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Serving as the successor to Google Pixel 3a, the Pixel 4a launched in the market on August 20, 2020. The Pixel lineup brings together everything you love about Android combined with the best of Google to help you get things done. Pixel phones are known for their software and industry-leading photography performance. Google Pixel 4a is an affordable but compelling addition to Google’s already famous Pixel lineup.
The device builds upon the Pixel 3a, featuring improved design, a new chipset, a little bigger screen and battery, more RAM and storage. You get 3 years of Android updates with Pixel phones, which is pretty great. However, because of its budget-friendly price, the Pixel phone faces competition from devices like OnePlus Nord, Apple iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy A71 5G, Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite, and many more. The Google Pixel 4a didn’t just upgrade the game for Pixel phones, it also changed what you could expect from all Android phones at a reasonable price. Let’s dive deep into the Google Pixel 4a review to learn why this Android phone is gaining so much attention.
The smartphone arrives in an elegant white box with Google Pixel 4a branding on the front with a picture of the device. The back of the box has #teampixel inscribed on the package. Opening the box reveals the smartphone covered in a protective film. Below the device lies the quick start guide, warranty information, and SIM ejection tool. Underneath the guides is the Type-C charging cable, 18W charging adapter, and quick switch adapter.
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The Google Pixel 4a takes the best features of the flagship smartphone and delivers them in a compact, easy-to-carry design. Pixel 4a looks very similar to the Pixel 5 with thinner bezels and a punch-hole selfie camera on the top left. The 5.8-inch front display lets you easily handle this device with one hand. Pixel 4a is available in two colors — Just Black and Barely Blue. We received the Just Black variant.
The back has a matte finish with a squircle (square with rounded corners) shaped camera panel on the top left edge. The matte finish provides a very solid grip in hand, eliminating the fear of accidentally dropping the phone. Unlike glass backs, it also resists fingerprints and scratches, so it looks new for longer. The fingerprint sensor is in an easy-to-access position on the back, in the middle. With a swipe-down on the fingerprint scanner, you can instantly see toggles and notifications. Google branding appears at the bottom of the device.
The bottom edge hosts the speaker and USB Type-C charging port. The right edge has a mint-colored power button and a volume rocker button, and both make a nice, clicky sound when pressed. It is great to see a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top, which is rare these days. The SIM card slot is on the left edge of the device.
The Pixel series has always been about the camera, and Google puts a lot of work into the camera software to stay ahead of the competition. Though the camera hardware is the same as the Pixel 3a, the camera performance is much better because of software upgrades and a better processor. Google Pixel 4a features the following cameras:
From daytime to nighttime, the 12.2 MP primary camera takes excellent pictures in all sorts of lighting conditions. The HDR+ technology improves the overall quality of the images. Photos came out surprisingly great. Google Pixel 4a gave tough competition to flagship devices like iPhone 11 Pro in terms of photography. It captured good details with accurate colors. The camera software also manages saturation and brightness well, giving balanced results.
Even though there is no depth camera, the Portrait Mode is a decent replacement. Subjects are accurately in focus with proper background blur. Using the Google Photos app, you can add blur effects even after clicking the picture. Night sight works like a charm as it accurately lights photos captured under low light. The pictures captured by the Pixel 4a were excellent to share on social media.
Similar to the Pixel 4, the camera app also has the Astrophotography mode to capture starry nights in stunning clarity. However, you have to keep the device very still for a few minutes to capture pictures in astrophotography mode. The Pixel 4a’s front-facing 8MP camera does a solid job under good lighting conditions. There is no zoom camera, but you can use the Super Res Zoom for sharp images from far away. The main camera can record 4K videos at 30 fps, while the front camera captures 1080p videos at 30 fps. Google Pixel 4a 5G comes with an additional ultra wide camera but is slightly more expensive. The camera is the strongest feature of Pixel 4a. In our opinion, it is one of the best camera phones available in the budget price range.
See more of everything on the 5.8-inch display on the Pixel 4a. With a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 pixels, you can see your content in all its details and vibrancy. AMOLED on this mid range phone is a big plus. It significantly improves the viewing experience. The color accuracy is superb, playing games felt immersive, and the text was easily readable.
The display also responded well to touch. It is also home to the punch-hole selfie camera. Unlike the Pixel 3a XL, the display has Gorilla Glass 3 protection rather than Dragontrail. It’s a highly durable scratch-resistant glass to protect the device in case of slips and falls. The screen has a pixel density of 443 PPI. The always-on display continuously shows useful information about your day. You can see the date, time, alarm, and much more without unlocking the screen. We also had no problem using the device under direct sunlight as content could easily be seen. Overall, the display on the Google Pixel 4a is excellent; we have no complaints.
Featuring a bigger battery than the Google Pixel 4, the Pixel 4a has a 3,140 mAh battery. The power-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor combined with the Adaptive Battery feature provides an all-day battery life. It learns your usage patterns and reduces power to the apps you don’t use as much, thus extending battery backup. On normal usage with calling, texting, and light web browsing, we had about 30% juice left at the end of the day. On heavy use, including playing games and streaming videos, we had less than 20% battery at the end of the day.
The device also has fast charging capabilities. With the included 18W fast charger, you can recharge half the battery in 30 minutes. Overall, the battery backup of the Pixel 4a has improved over its predecessor.
Similar to Google Pixel 5a 5G, the Pixel 4a comes with a huge internal storage capacity of 128 GB. This is double the storage that iPhone SE offers at this price point. We believe that 128 GB storage is sufficient space for users who love storing thousands of photos, videos, apps, and files. You can store unlimited pictures on Google Photos with the Pixel. Moreover, you can significantly expand storage by subscribing to Google cloud. Average phone users who call, text, browse the web, occasionally capture photos and videos will find 128GB to be more than sufficient.
The Google Pixel 4a’s performance is decent considering the cost. It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, a speedy and fluid chipset that smoothly handles all the tasks you throw at it. Rather than 4GB of RAM like its predecessor, Google upgraded the Pixel 4a to 6GB. The extra RAM facilitates faster multitasking, and better gameplay, while eliminating any lag or stutter.
The device can handle multiple heavy tasks simultaneously. We could play games like Call of Duty Mobile and Alto’s Odyssey in high settings. Even though the device is not meant to compete with gaming phones, we still have no complaints. Users who play games occasionally might not even notice the difference. Google Assistant works seamlessly with the Pixel. You can do much more than ever before; for instance, it will hold calls for you and let you know when someone is on the line.
Best of all? The device is eligible for the Android 11 update, and it even supports Android 12 beta. The software is clear of bloatware and very user-friendly. There are no unnecessary apps or games installed. With the Recorder app, the device can quickly transcribe speech and recordings.
You can also use two SIM cards with the Pixel device, including one physical SIM and an e-SIM. In our opinion, the Google Pixel 4a delivers decent performance.
When it comes to the Pixel 4a, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The smartphone crams quite a lot into its compact body. It’s priced well below flagships, including Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL but offers similar functionality, excellent camera performance, always-on display, stock Android experience, and three years of software support. The Google Pixel 4a features a subtle design that is pleasing to the eye and a matte finish that feels premium in hand.
The Pixel 4a is Google’s budget option for the Pixel line of phones. If you want a cutting-edge photography device without breaking the bank, Google’s Pixel 4a is ideal for you. If you’re already an Android or a Pixel fan, then the Google Pixel 4a phone will not disappoint.
No, there is no wireless charging on the Pixel 4a.
There is no 5G support on the standard Pixel 4a, but the Google Pixel 4a 5G supports 5G.
Google Pixel 4a is available unlocked from the online Google Store.
Google 4a Pixel does not have an IP rating, so it isn’t waterproof.
Google Pixel 4a will be eligible for Android updates until August 2023.
The Google Pixel 4a was released on August 20, 2020.
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