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Google Pixel 4a review


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Google Pixel 4a display standing stright 2

 

The Google Pixel 4a has finally arrived. We’re here to tell you everything about it.

 

In this Google Pixel 4a buyer’s guide, we bring you all the info you need to make a smart purchase decision and to make the most of your new phone.

 

The Pixel 4a was announced on August 3, 2020. It’s Google’s affordable phone for the year and it’s a great pick if you want:

  • A cheap-ish phone from a trusted brand
  • A great camera
  • A smaller size
  • Quality software and guaranteed updates.

The Pixel 4a costs $349 in the US, where it’s available in only one size, one color, and one storage configuration. It competes with the iPhone SE, the OnePlus Nord (outside the US), the Samsung Galaxy A51, and a slew of other affordable phones from brands like Xiaomi and Realme.

You should avoid the Pixel 4a if you want:

  • Top performance, especially for games
  • Lots of bells and whistles
  • A battery that holds several days
  • 5G (wait for the Pixel 4a 5G version instead).

 

Is the Pixel 4a worth buying?

 

Google Pixel 4a back taking photo 2

 

We think the Google Pixel 4a is a great pick for the money, especially in the US, where value-focused brands like Realme and Poco are not present.

 

At $349, it’s a great phone for those who want something solid and functional for day-to-day use, with added niceties like a high-quality camera and a beautiful screen.

 

Now, Google doesn’t have a stellar track record as a phone maker. Some previous Pixel phones have suffered from hardware issues. Also, Google phones are rarely on the cutting edge in performance and battery life. The Pixel 4a is no exception. Keep that in mind if you want the highest reliability or the best specs for your money.

 

The Pixel 4a is the follow-up to the Pixel 3a, which was very popular last year. The 3a was our most recommended device of 2019 and all signs suggest the Pixel 4a will follow in its footsteps.

 

 

Below you’ll find the key Pixel 4a specs at a glance.

 

U3A2tB.jpg

 

The Pixel 4a features the same 12MP camera sensor as its predecessor. There’s also only one lens on the back – no wide angle, no zoom, no depth sensors.

 

On paper, that doesn’t sound encouraging, but specs alone don’t paint the full picture. Like other Pixel phones, the Pixel 4a punches above its weight, thanks to great software optimization. As David put it in our review, “images from the Pixel 4a are classic Google. That is, they’ll look fantastic straight out of camera in nearly any situation.”


Google Pixel 4a sample photo 4Google Pixel 4a sample photo 46Google Pixel 4a sample photo 1Google Pixel 4a sample photo 5Google Pixel 4a sample photo 39

 

The Pixel 4a’s single camera is refreshingly simple, but that’s its weakness too. Other phone makers are pushing the hardware envelope, adding more lenses, bigger sensors, and more complex zoom systems. This gives users more power to capture each scene in the best way. Meanwhile, with the Pixel 4a, what you see is what you get.

 

pixel 4a battery test

 

From our experience, you can expect around 6.5-7 hours of screen-on time from the Pixel 4a’s 3,140mAh battery, with medium usage. That’s a fairly good number for a battery this size, though it probably won’t be enough to get you through two days of use.

We ran the Pixel 4a through our battery test against two competitors – OnePlus Nord and LG Velvet – and two other Google devices. As you can see in the chart below, the Pixel 4a gives the Nord’s bigger battery a good run, while the 4,300mAh LG Velvet pulls ahead. The 4a clearly beats both the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 4.

 

 

 

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