GOOGLE PIXEL 4a: Google’s Budget Smartphone

Finally, Google is er with their budget smartphone and a suppose-to-be competitor for the iPhone SE and OnePlus Nord. Whether it will live up to the competition or not, we are here to find that out. The Google Pixel 4a is meant to give you the best of Google in an affordable package. Let’s take a look at it’s specs shall we…

  • Body & Display: 144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm (5.67 x 2.73 x 0.32 in) and weighs 143g(5.04 oz) and has Glass front (Gorilla Glass 3), plastic back, plastic frame. Has a 5.81 inches OLED display, 83.2 cm2 (~83.3% screen-to-body ratio) and 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~443 ppi density).
  • OS: Android 10
  • Chipset, CPU & GPU: Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730G (8 nm), Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver) and an Adreno 618
  • Memory: 128GB storage with 6GB RAM, non-expandable.
  • Camera: 12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS Features LED flash, Auto-HDR, panorama 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps; gyro-EIS
  • Selfie cam: 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
  • Battery: 3140mAh Li-Po; 18W USB Power Delivery 2.0 charging;
  • Connectivity: Nano SIM + eSIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.1 + LE; NFC; Wi-Fi direct; GPS, Galilleo, GLONASS.

NB: An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital version of the SIM card that you use to connect your phone to a network provider. The chip can be reprogrammed to suit whatever carrier you want to use; however not all carriers support eSIM, so you’ll need to check with your provider whether you’ll be able to use this function in the Pixel 4a. Plus it’s worth noting that its functionality is only available to a selected number of countries and these include: US, UK, Australia, Canada, Spain, Germany, Taiwan and Japan.

As you can see from the spec sheet, the Google Pixel 4a doesnt offer much, in fact, not enough to compete with its competition i.e. the likes of iPhone SE and OnePlus Nord.

Design & Display

I would describe the Pixel 4a’s design as simplistic and without any noise. With dimensions measuring 144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm and weighing just 143g its is very compact of a device and light too. You will find it a delight to use with one hand and easily tuck it away in your pockets after usage with ease. The lighteness could be because of it’s polycarbonate build, at the same time it will have a cheap feel when held. On the front you’ll notice a display distinguished by even minimal bezels of the top and bottom as well as side bezels. There is also a punch-hole at the top right corner of the display which houses the 8MP selfie camera. On the rear you will find the fingerprint scanner and a camera bump for the single main 12.2MP camera. Going to the bottom of the device, you will find a USB-C 3.1 port in the center, neighboured by microphone and speaker grilles. The down-firing speaker works with a second speaker just above the display to provide you with stereo sound.

It boasts a 5.81-inch OLED display with full HD+ resolution and HDR support. This is the first all-screen, beze-less Pixel phone. The 5.81-inch screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 equating to a pixel density of 443ppi, and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. As much as Google claims that the Pixel 4a has a bezel-less display, you could still see the dark borders around the phone… not so completely bezel-less. The Glass in use on the display is Gorilla Glass 3, which is quite dated but it will protect your phone from minor falls and scratches. The Pixel 4a also features an always-on display, which will permanently display the time, date, battery level, weather and other information depending on the circumstances.

Camera

The Pixel 4a is one of the few phones that feature the least number of cameras on them, only two cameras: one at the back and the other on the front. On the back you get a 12.2MP camera with a f/1.7 aperture and an 84-degree field of view. It can shoot 4K video at 30fps, 1080p at 30fps, 60fps and 120fps, and 720p at 30fps, 60fps and a super-slow 240fps. Similarly, on the front you’ll find a single 8MP f/2.0 snapper with an 84-degree field of view, and it can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.

Internals

Powered by the Snapdragon 730 processor, coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage the Pixel 4a will do pretty much all your daily tasks with ease. Compared to it’s rivals it is nowhere near the power they offer. Out the box the Pixel 4a boots with Android 10 and to top it all off Google guarantees you a minimum of three years of operating system and security updates for the Pixel 4a, which means the handset is set to get the major Android 11, Android 12 and Android 13 updates.

Battery

To be honest the battery on the Pixel 4a is a let down. It may get you through the day with about average usage but that’s about it. If you are a heavy social media person or mobile gamer, you will atleast need to charge it a couple of times. On the bright side, Google Pixel 4a comes with a 3,140mAh non-removable battery, which is larger than the power pack in its predecessor, and much larger than the 1,812mAh battery in the new iPhone SE. Google does claim that you’ll get up to 24 hours of battery life from a single charge thanks to the firm’s Adaptive Battery technology.

verdict

The Pixel 4a is a great phone especially for the price tag of $349. Without delay lets get into it’s flaws- It lacks face unlock, no expandeable storage, no in-display fingerprint scanner, mediocre battery, no 5G capability, comes in a single Black color and it doesn’t come with IP rating for water and dust resistance.

The Pixel 4a will be available August 20, both unlocked from Google and retailers like Amazon, as well as through Verizon, Google Fi, US Cellular and other select carriers. Unfortunately, there’s only one configuration of this device- 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. Almost forgot, this fall, there will be a Pixel 4a 5G for $499, releasing alongside the more premium Pixel 5 so stay tuned.

So how about it, then, would you go for the Google Pixel 4a? Let me know what you think about the phone in the comments section below. Stay safe!

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