- 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.”
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