- Big beautiful screen
- Excellent battery life
- Headphone jack
- Fast fingerprint scanner
- No waterproof or dust rating
- Stale design choice
- No wireless charging
Budget-friendly phones have come a long way in the last decade, and the Google Pixel 4a 5G is proof of that. Premium feeling features that won’t empty your bank account are rare. Does the Google Pixel 4a 5G meet the standard?
The body of the Google Pixel 4a 5G is made of plastic. While that allows it to remain lightweight, reviewers, unfortunately, noted it felt cheap. However, the matte back finish keeps it from looking cheap. So it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.
A 6.2-inch OLED screen adds a touch of finesse back to the phone with bright colors and good screen clarity. The bezels are very slim, and that makes it great for viewing media. However, the use of older Gorilla Glass 3 didn’t impress reviewers -- especially when other phones of its price-point have the most up-to-date version.
The Google Pixel 4a 5G is a mid-tier phone with mid-tier performance. It won’t blow you away, but it will do most of what you ask of it. A few reviewers mentioned minor stuttering while editing photos or sharing; otherwise, it behaved like any other smartphone of its price tier. It even handled mild multi-tasking well.
Software & Storage
The Pixel-first software impressed reviewers with its buffet of extras. Call-screening was popular with reviewers. A new one called “Hold For Me” offers the ability to set your phone down while being put on hold. Once it’s your turn and someone else is on the line, the phone rings loudly to let you know. It also has plenty of space at 128GB, but the phone doesn’t include microSD support, unlike a lot of Android phones.
The primary lens on the Google Pixel 4a 5G is 12MP with a 16MP wide-angle lens. The included might-mode is capable unless you’re in extremely low light, making the phone ideal for photography on a budget. Will it keep up the Pixel 5 or other top-end phones? No. But the picture quality for the price added up for most reviewers.
Image stabilization impressed reviewers on the video front and made it easier to avoid jiggles and shakes when capturing footage on the go.
Battery life on the Google Pixel 4a 5G blew reviewers away. One noted that even with 6 hours of video and several tasks throughout the day, the phone lasted nearly 48 hours on a single charge. Battery life like this is unheard of for most smartphones in the price range.
In terms of audio, the Google Pixel 4a 5G has two speakers for stereo sound: one at the bottom and one on the earpiece. But it’s still mostly average when it comes to audio quality. Reviewers noted the audio lacked bass and felt flat but that it was loud enough to hear.
Specs at a Glance
- Plastic chassis
- 6.2-inch OLED display
- Octa-core 2.4 GHz Qualcomm SDM765 Snapdragon 765G processor
- 6GB of RAM
- Android 11
- 128GB of storage
- 12MP primary lens, 16MP wide lens, and an 8MP selfie camera
- 3800mAh battery
The Google Pixel 4a 5G won’t win any awards for being innovative, and some reviewers mentioned just going for the Pixel 5 even if it has a smaller screen. That doesn’t make it a bad phone, though. For a fair price, you get a phone that will do what you want as long as you have tempered expectations and is more than enough smartphone for most.
Android Authority says, “The Google Pixel 4a 5G is here and it’s bigger and better than the already-excellent Google Pixel 4a. It’s also more expensive.”
The Verge comments, “As with all Pixels, the 4A 5G’s strengths are hard to put on a spec sheet. It’s more unassuming than other Android phones, but its software is also more elegant and easier to use — and of course, the camera is almost surely better than the direct competition. It won’t turn heads, but the Pixel 4A 5G won’t let you down, either.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Ian Stokes, Top Ten Reviews
The Google Pixel 4A 5G is a great budget smartphone that does everything you could want. It has a good camera, decent internal specs, and feels like a well-built piece of kit. It lacks flashy features though, so some people might find it a bit dull, and you can find cheaper models elsewhere that off...
- Peter Phelps, Recombu
The Pixel 4a 5G is a very good phone, boosted significantly by its highly impressive camera performance and Google’s signature streamlined software. However, take a look at your top priorities and your available budget before buying this one over the Pixel 4a or the Pixel 5.
- Scott Webster, Android Guys
As we enter 2021 we’re finally at a point where it makes sense to consider 5G or to at least have a phone that takes advantage of it. I would not recommend the device on its 5G merits alone but I don’t push any handset on the basis of 5G support. But, for people who want a quality device with that f...
- Sean Riley, Laptop Mag
Pixel 4a 5G isn’t a flagship phone and it isn’t trying to be; with its excellent cameras and unmatched software support (among Android phones), it is an amazing option at under $500.
- Ryne Hager, Android Police
The Pixel 4a 5G is easy to recommend. Honestly, I think most folks looking at the more expensive Pixel 5 should reflect on what they value in a phone and consider if this can deliver what they want for hundreds less. This isn't really a Pixel 4a 5G, this is the Pixel 5 Lite, and if you can live with...
Prices (Where to Buy)
The Pixel 4a 5G price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Google Pixel 4a 5G prices from around the web here on The Informr.
Google backs up the Pixel 4a 5G with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Pixel 4a 5G has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Google support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Google's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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