- Great display
- Great camera
- Not Waterproof
- Battery life
- No Micro SD support
The Google Pixel 4a is Google’s latest mid-tier release. But as competition in the mid-tier market picks up, a good phone is all about cutting costs in smart places. Did Google make the right choices with their latest Pixel release?
The Google Pixel 4a’s design is simple but effective. It has a matte black finish and a one-piece shell that’s almost bezel-less. It comes in looking small but has a surprising amount of screen real estate.
The OLED screen is one of the sharpest and most color accurate in its price range. Reviewers had no issues with dim screens or muddy graphics. They loved the immersion of the sharp, bright screen.
Tom’s Guide says, “The 5.81-inch, full-HD panel in Google’s new midrange phone delivers bold yet realistic color, and gets surprisingly bright as well.”
While the device’s specs might indicate slowness or frame drops, reviewers raved about the phone’s performance. No, it won't keep up with a smartphone twice its price. But for the price, it was alarmingly good. Some gamers might be disappointed as it seems to struggle with more beefy games but it’s plenty of phone for those everyday tasks such as checking email, scrolling through social media, or chatting with friends.
Tech Radar states, “It can handle any app or game that you run, but you may find that some take a second or two longer to load than you'd like, especially big online games or intensive applications.”
Software & Storage
Google Pixel 4a runs on Android 10. As a Pixel phone, it also comes at least 3 years of extra updates. So it will be at the leading edge of Android releases for some time. 128GB of storage also offers more than enough room for most people. However, the phone doesn’t include a Micro SD option.
The cameras for this phone have been hailed one of the best in a mid-budget phone. Deeper shadows and brighter highlights make it very eye-catching. You may find some noise when zooming into a photo but overall, reviewers praised the phone’s camera for its color and sharpness.
Battery life for the phone was middling. It wasn’t good, nor was it awful. You won’t find any fancy features -- like wireless charging -- but the battery should last the day in most cases.
The audio was also lacking, but that’s kind of expected of a mid-range smartphone. On the upside, the phone includes a headphone jack. So whether you prefer a more intimate listening experience or you’re in a noisy room, you can plug in headphones and fix most of the issues reviewers had with the speakers.
Wired said, “The dual speakers are sufficient if you're in a quiet room, but introduce some ambient noise and you'll quickly be reaching for your headphones. Watching a video in the noisy outdoors of New York, I had to crank the volume up to the max, and it still wasn't too easy to discern dialog.”
Specs at a Glance
- Plastic chassis
- 5.81-inch, full-HD panel display
- Octa-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor
- 6GB of RAM
- Android 10
- 128GB of storage
- 12.2MP camera/ 8MP selfie lens
- 3140mAh battery
While it’s not likely that this phone will be the one to conquer them all. It’s still impressive for a mid-range smartphone. What the phone does, it does extremely well. With a camera that takes great shots and a beautifully sharp screen, there’s not a lot to be disappointed in.
Wired says, “At a time when millions of people are out of a job, this phone is a third the price of many high-end models, yet it will do everything you need. If you need a new phone, save some money and get on with more important things in your life.”
Android Authority states, “The Google Pixel 4a doesn’t have a 120Hz display. It doesn’t have the latest Snapdragon processor or multiple rear cameras, but with the Pixel 4a, none of that matters. The Pixel 4a is an affordable way to access one of the best versions of Android, with support and features that you can only get from Google.”
Tech Radar remarks, “The compact size, clean interface and great point-and-shoot camera of the Pixel 4a will appeal to those looking for an affordable, reasonably sized handset with enough grunt to handle the basics, plus the ability to capture some excellent pictures.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Andrew Cunningham, Nick Guy, The Wirecutter
The best version of Android with guaranteed updates through August 2023 plus a fantastic camera make the Pixel 4a better than phones that cost several times as much.
- C. Scott Brown, Android Authority
Getting the Google experience has never been more accessible. A compact phone that's easy to use, a beautiful screen, and one of the best cameras in this price range. The Pixel 4a is hard to beat.
- Amritanshu Mukherjee, BGR
Google doesn’t bluff when it says the Pixel 4a is “packed with all the things you want most in a phone.” It looks like a highly compromised package on paper but it does everything I would expect a fairly expensive smartphone to do in 2020. The Android experience is simply “muah” — there’s no other A...
- Aabhas Sharma, Gadgets Now
The Pixel 4a has a lot going for it. But compare it with other phones — OnePlus Nord for starters — in the same price segment and you will see that it falls short in specs. Having said that, the Pixel 4a is the ideal phone for those who don’t want big phones. It’s also great for those who want a gre...
- Siva Bharani, Fone Arena
Google Pixel 4a lived up to the expectations and also impressed with its camera capabilities despite featuring a single camera setup. Also being a polycarbonate/plastic phone, it can be used without a case. But I would recommend using case and tempered glass for long-term use.
Prices (Where to Buy)
Google backs up the Pixel 4a with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Pixel 4a 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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