Last year’s Google Pixel 3a proved to be the most affordable of Google’s current smartphones. With it, users were able to experience the concept of the Android OS without third-party add-ons. Without spending too much money. It’s the company’s first mid-range gadget since 2016.
The Google Pixel 4a marks the next step in affordable Google gadgets, bringing all the strengths of the Nexus and Pixel smartphones into one device. It has a minimalist design and a simple set of features. Each of which emphasizes the software features of the device. The Google Pixel 4a could become the king of low-cost devices in 2020. For this, it has branded cameras, a fantastic screen, great build quality and the best software suite on the market.
- display: 5.81-inch OLED, resolution 2340 × 1080 pixels, aspect ratio 19.5 to 9;
- chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G with GPU Adreno 618;
- memory: 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of permanent;
- cameras: main 12.2 megapixel with f / 1.8 aperture and 76-degree view, front 8 megapixel with f / 2.0 aperture and 84-degree view;
- battery: 3140 mAh;
- moisture protection: no;
- 3.5 mm audio output: yes;
- operating system: Android 10;
- Dimensions and weight: 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm, 147 g.
Features and performance
The smartphone has a 5.81-inch OLED screen with Full HD resolution – it looks fantastic. To be honest, this is one of the best displays you can see in a gadget in this price range. Its brightness in real tests reaches 719 nits. And its color contrast is highly accurate. This is one of the best displays in smartphones in 2020.
One of the reasons Google was able to make the Pixel 4a so affordable is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor instead of the more expensive Snapdragon 765G. It is less powerful than Qualcomm’s flagship chips, so you shouldn’t expect wild performance in games and complex applications from it. However, with daily use, there are no problems with it. It does not slow down or freeze. If you don’t need to do something out of the ordinary, this solution is enough.
The Pixel 3a had 4GB of RAM, so minimized apps were often swapped out of memory. The Google Pixel 4a with 6GB of RAM is doing better at this. That’s the perfect RAM for a normal Android device this year. It’s nice that Google used the same volume as the more expensive Pixel 4.
128GB of storage is another accepted surprise. This is especially surprising given that the minimum Pixel 4 comes with 64GB of storage. In general, enough for music and video.
The Google Pixel 4a uses the same 12.2MP primary camera found in the Pixel 4, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3a – the Sony IMX363. It has not changed in hardware, but it has been upgraded in software. It uses interesting features of its older brother, including the astrophotography mode and double exposure.
At the front is an 8MP f / 2 camera. Interestingly, despite the modest 8-megapixel camera, the gadget takes excellent selfies. They have almost no glare and very detailed shadows.
The Pixel 4a can shoot 4K video at up to 30fps and 1080p at 60fps. The videos look very good with good stabilization. On a bright day, they may be a little overexposed. But under normal conditions, there are no problems with light.
Overall, the Pixel 4a shots are classic Google smartphones – they look great in almost any situation. Yes, the gadget does not have a super wide-angle camera or telephoto lens. However, for $ 350 in US retail, the results are more than good.
The Google Pixel 4A battery is 3,140 mAh, a quantity in line with the compactness of the smartphone. With a full charge, you can still end the day with average use. But not with an intense one that will require a recharge in the evening. Compatible with 18W fast charging. There is no wireless charging.
Fast charging isn’t faster and of course, there’s no wireless charging. It takes 87 minutes to fully charge the Pixel 4a with the included 18W power supply. This is the average for smartphones in 2020.
The Google Pixel 4a has the best software Android has to offer (Android 10). Pixel Launcher is one of the simplest and smoothest skins for this operating system. Of course, the new Google product has a ton of exclusive features that are only available on the Pixel.
The gadget has an exclusive camera application, an updated assistant, a special menu for active playback and more. All this is extremely difficult to get on other gadgets, especially without jailbreak or third-party APKs. A lot of the tricks are AI-based, and they are really useful. On other devices, all this is very lacking.
Google gadgets have been updating for three years. This means that the Pixel 4a will be able to run Android 13 and possibly even Android 14. Very few smartphones have anything like this. If you want to always have access to the latest version of Android, there is no better Pixel smartphone right now. Also, Google smartphones are one of the few on which you can install test versions of Android.
Price and alternatives
For $ 350, the Google Pixel 4a has a lot of advantages: the main one is pure Android in a compact body. Small smartphones are made extremely rarely, and for a third of the flagship cost, this is just a godsend. In this same price range, there are only a few decent alternatives: iPhone SE, OnePlus Nord and Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro.
The $ 399 iPhone SE in US retail offers a better glass-and-metal frame, wireless charging, and a flagship processor. It lacks the vibrant OLED screen and a headphone jack that the Pixel 4a boasts. However, the choice between the iPhone SE and the Pixel 4a has based on the ecosystem you use: Apple or Google.
The most affordable international version of OnePlus Nord is priced at $ 500. For the money, it has a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, a 90Hz display, more RAM and storage, and 30W charging. All this is good, but the price difference is already critical.
The Pixel 4a is Google’s most affordable gadget. It is a compact smartphone that is easy to use. It has a good screen and one of the best cameras in this price range. The Google Pixel 4a doesn’t have many competitors in this regard.
The Pixel 4a lacks a 120Hz display, the latest Snapdragon processor, and multiple main cameras. But all this does not matter, because the device provides access to one of the best versions of Android with support for the latest developments in Google. This alone is worth far more than the sum of the rest of it.
The Pixel 4a should be bought for those who are tired of big, expensive smartphones and want to upgrade to something more compact, which works and does it well. At $ 350, this is one of the best smartphones in 2020.