sorry for the long post, but I'd like to share my experience with the Google Pixel 3a XL, as I think it could help others make the decision when choosing a phone for the Ubuntu Touch. It will be also a little comparison with Google Nexus 5, which was my previous phone.
I bought a 3 month old phone (returned to the store) because they no longer sell a new one. I've been using the phone as daily driver for 3 weeks now and I must say I'm impressed. It's a real difference from Nexus 5.
I was a little worried at first. It still costs like a new mid-range phone and there were some posts on the forum, which made me worry about the current state of this port. In the end, everything went good.
I had to flash older Android version (as noted on the devices page), since it was updated to the latest. I used the same version as on the devices page, but downloaded it from "bonito" section, as it is the XL version ("sargo" is the base version).
Unlocking the bootloader was a little different than on Nexus 5, but I guess you have to search for tutorials and FAQs for the specific phone and Android version everytime you get a new phone.
# install tools on linux machine
sudo apt install adb fastboot
# on phone in android settings
- enable developer mode
- enable USB debug
- allow OEM unlock
- restart to fastboot mode
# on linux machine run command and confirm it on the phone using buttons
fastboot flashing unlock
# download and unpack the android image and run command from within the unpacked folder
# in a few minutes it was all done
Then I used UBports Installer to install Ubuntu Touch from stable channel. I had to pick device manually, since there was an entry only for Pixel 3a and not 3a XL and I selected to wipe the device. After a while it booted into a post-install wizard.
Calls, SMS, MMS
There are some known problems with USA carriers, also depending on the phone model, but since I'm in central Europe with european phone model everything works.
I just noticed it takes some time to connect to the cellular network. It asks for unlocking the SIM like 30s after I unlock the phone for the first time after the boot. This happened almost instantly on my previous phone.
When I enable airplane mode (by mistake), it won't reconnect to the cellular network. I loose patience after 30s and reboot always fixes everything.
There are still some glitches with the calls. Speaker won't disable during the call when it was once enabled and you can't change volume during the call. But I don't usually need those features and it all seems fixable to me.
There is one issue, which I think is related to the phone itself. The other side have troubles hearing me if they don't change volume to 100%. I tested it by myself by swapping the phones and can confirm, that I could barely hear them when volume was set to 50% in a quiet room. I could hear clearly when using the old Nexus 5 and same settings.
So far only 1 person reported the problem to me and others seem to hear me clearly, but this seems to be generic issue for some/many? Pixel devices with no fix from the Google.
I had similar experience with my first Nexus 5 (European model), but it was probably faulty device, since my second Nexus 5 (USA model) had no problem.
I do not use MMS, so I can't report on that.
The battery lasted 107 hours (from 100 to 3 percent) in opposite to like 20 hours on my Nexus 5. I'm not a heavy weight phone user, I do 1-2 calls a day, a few SMS, 30 min online max. Wifi, BT, mobile data and location services are disabled most of the time, but it still feels like a real freedom. It also charges really quickly.
Photos seems to be better than on Nexus 5 and also after a few years I can finally watch videos I just recorded directly on the phone! This was a big trouble for me when using Nexus 5.
Related to the phone itself it seems, that camera is either closer to the edge or I just hold the phone differently, but I keep sticking my fingers in the camera veiw and this didn't happen with my previous phone.
WIFI, BT, 3G/LTE
Wifi and LTE seems to work perfectly. I can even re-connect when using mobile data. This was broken on my Nexus 5 since last two OTAs (after first usage of mobile data it reported no connection when re-enabled until the reboot).
I do not have any BT device, so I can't report on that, but from other forum posts it seems to work.
I can get location like in a two minutes. Once they removed assisted GPS it took like 15-20 minutes on Nexus 5. Also I can run uNav with local OSM Scout Server without it crashing in a few minutes. I recently took 1h car trip with it and it worked great.
UI and others
Everything feels smooth and starts quickly. It's also big enough on XL screen, so I do not have to adjust the scaling.
I can't think of anything else, which I do with the phone and almost everything is marked as "working" on devices page, so you can probably count on that.
Oh, Tux Racer works on that nicely. It worked also on Nexus 5, but it heated-up the phone quickly.
Overall I'm impressed by the phone and the quality of the port, so big thank you @fredldotme.
I just fear, that there will be no Yumi animation during the OTA update, as recovery also looked differently (Halium 9 device), but we shall see with the nearest OTA.