“Bringing the power of hardware, software, and AI.” These are the words of Google Project Manager Soniya Jobanputra in a video that presents the 411 on the sleek new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones. Not that we want an explanation because launching new mid-range phones in between premium flagships is really nothing new but Google insists. It’s just the first time for Google to have more than two new products under the Pixel flagship line. The Pixel 3a’s release isn’t because of low Pixel 3 sales but the Google exec and her team thought it would provide consumers flexibility at the mid-range point.

Old Pixel phones are usually high-specced but the Pixel 3a/3a XL pair still delivers a 3.5mm headphone when the Pixel 3 didn’t have it just like the Pixel 2. Perhaps Google studied the response of the public so it decided to bring it back.

At the mid-range price point, the consumers need more flexibility provided by a headphone jack. That’s true for some people but the reason given isn’t enough.

Does this mean only those who can afford mid-range phones are the only ones that need a headphone jack? We don’t think so.

The way Jobanputra described the new Pixel 3a was very enthusiastic–as if the headphone jack is a unique addition. We’re not judging how the Google Pixel team decided on the Pixel 3a with an affordable device but really, it’s nothing special. Earlier, we thought the Pixel 3a and 3a XL were released because the Pixel 3 and 3 XL didn’t sell much especially the past quarter.

The redeeming point of this issue is the Pixel team didn’t want to produce more e-waste. That’s a fair explanation. Digital audio is still the future but right now, the market isn’t ready for it. What do you think of Google’s explanation?