Thinking of buying a Pixel 4a in 2021? Here’s everything you need to know before you decide…
The Pixel 4A is a mid-range smartphone launched by Google on 3 rd August 2020. The intent was to capture the budget segment in the smartphone industry. After the success of the Pixel 3 google continue the trend and made a phone which fits well in one hand and has a good camera and battery life.
From the word go google tried to make a simple phone with lots of oneness, which means the 4A has one color, one unibody design, one size, and one model available worldwide. The idea is to keep everything clean and simple.
In this Google Pixel 4a review, we bring you all the info you need to make a smart purchase decision and to make the most of your new phone.
Let’s jump into the specification of what it stores for us in terms of hardware and software…
The specifications of Pixel 4A:
|Display, Screen||Fullscreen 147.6 mm/5.8″ display withFHD+ (1080 x 2340) resolution, Auto HDR, Aspect ratio 19.5:9, Always On Display|
|Pixel density||OLED display at 443 PPI|
|Dimensions||144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G octa-core, 2XCortex-A76, and 6XCortex-A55 cores. Integrated with Titan -M Security Module.|
|Software||Android 10 upgraded to Android 12|
|Camera||12.2 MP dual-pixel rear cameraƒ/1.7Auto-focus with dual-pixel phase-detection, Optical + electronic image stabilization, 77° field of view, 1.4 μm pixel width.|
|Front camera||8 MP wide-angle cameraƒ/2.0, fixed focus, 84° field of view, 1.12 μm pixel width|
|Video||4K @30 FPS from the rear camera and 1080p @60 FPS from the front cam|
|Storage||64GB/128 GB onboard and Unlimited cloud storage at high quality with Google Photos.|
|Battery||3,140mAh battery with 18W fast charging support. No wireless charging|
USB-C® 18 W adaptor with USB-PD 2.0, 18 W fast charging
|Connector||USB- Type C 3.1|
|Headphone Jack||Yes, 3.5 mm|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer|
|Connectivity||Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA|
|Tracking||GPS,GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS and NFC support|
|Price||₹ 35,000 / $ 349.99 / £ 299.00 / € 347.50|
Let’s talk about the specs and features of Pixel 4A so you have a better idea about the phone____
The Display and Design:
You’re getting a 5.8-inch 1080p AMOLED full HD plus flat screen with a 60-hertz refresh rate on the front side of the phone. They put a decent quality AMOLED screen and there is a hole punch cut out for the selfie camera. Honestly, it looks nice to me, Some people don’t like the hole punch which is fine but I have gotten used to it feels way better than a notch.
The display is not the most incredible one but there are definitely no big issues with it as the screen looks nice. There are over 400 pixels per inch and I’ve noticed a pretty decent range of brightness and some good viewing angles when watching a video or any general use.
There is no higher refresh rate support for the device and you should not complain about it in this price range. The screen aspect ratio is 19.5:9 and also the always-on display function is there. Screen covered with corning gorilla glass 3.
This is a very compact phone with a very clean and simple look. The matte black color is simple and the polycarbonate material is high quality. There is also the brand G logo on the back.
A light green power button is very attractive and actually, these buttons are super clicky they’re pretty loud too I think they’re the best feeling part of this phone.
The dual stereo speaker at the bottom is small in size but the output is decent enough, not the loudest. The good news is there is still a headphone jack up top included with the budget pixel lineup.
I don’t think the plastic unibody build is the most durable one but you don’t have to worry about stretches, which are pretty common in glass body phones. Both designs have their plus and minuses. And Keeping the price in mind 350 bucks I’m totally fine with a matte black unibody plastic build.
There is also a physical fingerprint reader on the back and it’s pretty responsive and accurate in reading almost all the time.
Great Pixel Camera:
We all know that most of us loved pixel phones for their brilliant cameras, and the same goes here. There is a single camera on the back here and it kind of resembles the multi-camera setups with the rounded rectangle. Although it’s fine to have a single good camera rather than 4-5 useless cameras.
So it’s just one camera and a flash 12-megapixel sensor at f 1.7 aperture with optical image stabilization. the numbers aren’t too crazy but the photos you get are exactly what we’d expect from a pixel device. The 77° field of view for wider capture photos and 1.4 μm pixel width for clear and high-quality images.
The images are a little bit softer but the contrast level is great. The high dynamic range and dual-phase photodetection help us to capture good quality images with lots of details and natural colors.
The night photos are super clean with less noise also the pictures came out good so overall I would say the camera performance is actually pretty good on this one even in indoor lighting conditions it does perform very well.
Although on the back there are no Ultra wide and depth sensors present on pixel 4 I can’t complain at this price point.
The portrait mode photos of animals and humans and all kinds of objects turned out awesome. The single camera works great here and I don’t think any other phone produces this kind of stuff with a single lens.
On the front side, we have an 8-megapixel wide-angle fixed focus shooter with an f 2.0 aperture. It has an 84° field of view for wider capture and 1.12 μm pixel width for better quality photos.
Here are some camera samples …
The RAM, Storage, and Performance:
There is only one model launched by google with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB onboard storage. The storage supports UFS 2.1 which means faster access.
The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor with two Cortex-A76 cores and six Cortex-A55 cores. Although the processor is gaming-friendly on paper, the GPU also supported a higher resolution, but in reality, it performs well but not super fast. Considering the price it’s ok.
You won’t get flagship-level smoothness or the highest frame rates like other flagships. You will get a nearly seamless, lag-free experience in day-to-day use, which is what we expect from these kinds of phones.
One of the strong points of pixel phones is the stock android software with no bloatware included and you’re getting the pure android 11 experience.
And because of that stock android experience, you don’t have any issues or lags in terms of ram management on this device. It performed very well and stock android means you are getting security and patch updated more frequently.
I must tell you if you are a hardcore gamer then this phone is not for you. With my normal day-to-day use with light gaming, it performs really well with no issue.
Here is the Antutu benchmark where pixel 4a stands among others…
One of the main aspects of any phone is the battery life and how much the battery lasts in a single change. These days almost all phones come with huge battery life so 3140 MAH is worth it or it’s a little less, Ok check this out.
After using it continuously I’m surprised with the battery life that I was getting on this one easily lasted me over a full working day without any issues. I’m getting five hours of screen on time comfortably with this phone and ending the day with 10 to 20 left consistently.
I did not even have to use the battery saver mode or anything so the calibration that google has done is really good.
After using this one I would say easily last for a typical working day over 24 hours and for casual users, it can last about one and a half days. But one thing guys I’m using this with a single sim and if you using the second slot using E–sim then maybe there is more drain possible.
The handset comes with an 18W charger in the box, that takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes to go from 0-to 100%. It’s pretty slow compared to the others.
Some users reported heating issues but I don’t find any major heating problems if you using the camera for a long time the back is getting warmer which is normal.
The Call and Connectivity:
Technically pixel 4a is a dual sim phone but only one physical sim card is included on the phone. Another one is E-sim and most of the tests are done with a single sim because I don’t have any E-sim.
The cellular reception and the network quality are great outdoor as well as indoors, and I find no issue in terms of call drop or call quality.
The network speeds that I got on this one were very good also the wi-fi antennas are calibrated very well. The upload and download speed are great with wifi and mobile network.
You can take calls on speakerphone that’s actually produced good output with stereo speakers.
What about the Pixel 4A – 5G:
Launched on December 24, 2020, it’s the Big brother of Pixel 4A, and google launched this one with a couple of upgrades.
The Pixel 4a (5G) was released with a price tag of $499 but right now it may be increased in some countries.
The 5G version is almost similar to pixel 5 and far different from pixel 4a. It features an extra wide-angle camera, a more powerful Snapdragon 765G processor, and a slightly larger 6.2-inch display. The battery also sees a bump up, which should help the device to last long when using a 5G radio.
Pixel 4a (5G) is currently on sale in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia.
Some other useful features:
- Different camera features are also included with the device like Night site, Top shot, Portrait mode, HDR+, Dual Exposure controls, Motion autofocus, Super-resolution zoom, etc.
- There is a 3.5 mm headphone jack available so you can plug in your favorite headphone and listen to high-quality music.
- with Pixel feature drops updates coming to Pixel 4a every three months. Google constantly adds new software features to its Pixel phones, eschewing the need to wait for a major update.
- Pixel 4a launched initially with android 10 but is upgradable to Android 12 so you are getting all the updated features.
Is it worth buying Pixel 4A?
Now comes the big question should you consider yourself buying one pixel 4a in 2021, Ok let’s find out the answer…
- If you are a fan of Pixel phones but more concerned about the price because all other pixels are quite expensive, then you should consider one.
- If you are someone like me who prefers a stock android experience from their phone and is concerned about security and updates then it’s a natural choice even today.
- If you love to take good quality photos with natural colors, even in low lights then Pixel 4 A is for you.
- I’m not a heavy gamer and mostly use the phone for general purposes so the snapdragon 730 is enough for me, but if you want more power then go for the 5G version which has snapdragon 765G.
- Lastly, if you are ok with a small screen of 5.8 inches, 18-watt charger, 3140 MAH battery, and a single rear and front camera then go for it.
Lastly, let’s clear some doubts:
- The Google Pixel 4a doesn’t have an official IP rating for water and dust resistance. You shouldn’t expose it to any liquids.
- The Pixel 4a does not have the Active Edge feature. Found on previous Pixel phones, Active Edge allowed you to squeeze the sides of the phone to open Google Assistant or silence alarms.
- The standard Pixel 4a does not support 5G. Its processor, the Snapdragon 730G, is not a 5G chip. If 5G is a must for you, then go for Pixel 4a 5G.
- The Pixel 4a doesn’t have a memory card slot, so you won’t be able to expand the storage beyond the internal 128GB.
- The Pixel 4a launched in Just Black for US customers, later arriving in Barely Blue for those who don’t like black.