Google Pixel 4A – A Surprisingly Good Cheap Smartphone

Google Pixel 4A stands out as the cheapest smartphone offered by Google. It is positioned on the market as a budget Android device and the truth is that it is definitely one of the best in its price range.

TLDR

For around $350, Google Pixel 4A offers great camera performance and much more. Full specs available on Amazon.

Advantages:

  • Great camera
  • Great OLED display
  • Attractive design
  • Low price
  • 128 GB storage

Disadvantages:

  • The iPhone SE is better
  • Lower than expected battery life
  • Not 5G (the 5G version is in the works)

Basically, Google Pixel 4A is a great upgrade to the Pixel 3A. It is available at a lower launch price while offering better technology. This actually makes it one of the best smartphones you could buy and the best cheap smartphone available.

Some people will prefer the Google Pixel 4A over the iPhone SE and there is nothing wrong with that. The truth is that the iPhone SE can be considered as better since it has more conveniences, like water resistance, and is more powerful. However, with the Pixel 4A, we have access to a brighter and larger OLED display, a design that is definitely better, and more storage.

Design

The design does not take any risks. Google’s Pixel 4A is just distinguishable by colorways, finishes, and materials. It does not feature some of the numerous design features that the competition focuses on right now. As a result, the 4A does look quite a lot like the Pixel 4. It is just lighter and cleaner and uses plastic-clad chassis and slimmer bezels instead of metal and glass.

There is no in-screen sensor for fingerprints. With the Pixel 4A, there is a rear-mounted Pixel Imprint scanner. This is actually preferred by many users and it has the advantage of being cheaper to implement, which makes the cost lower.

You may want to know that there is a headphone jack, which is often abandoned by smartphone makers. Then, you also have stereo speakers that are pretty good.

Overall, the smartphone is not flashy in terms of design, which is not a wonder when looking at the price tag.

The only real design-related problem is that the Pixel 4A is not water resistant. It can also not charge wirelessly. However, such features are quite rare at this price level. And you still get more screen display than with the iPhone SE.

Display

We have an OLED screen on a cheap handset. The full-HD, 5.81 inches display delivers really realistic colors and an unexpected brightness. Saturation is a little lower than the iPhone SE (powered by an LCD screen) in the Natural color profile. You may want to choose Adaptive or Boosted as the color setting though for livelier hues.

If we are to be nitpicking, we can say that there are worse viewing angles than the flagship Pixel 4. When looking from a steep angle, you will see some blue and red polarization. But this is not the case when looking from the natural angle.

Camera

You do not expect much from the Pixel 4A camera given the specs. The same sensor and lens of the past 2 generations of smartphones from Google are included. You get an aperture of f/1.7 and 12.2 megapixels. Not much, right?

What has to be mentioned is that the results are very good. This is possible because of the clever software included in a combination with pretty modest hardware. You get access to several features you normally see in more premium phones, like Live HDR+ and Super Res Zoom. Even the Night Mode is on, which is capable of fully capturing photos of starry skies.

Pixel 4A’s camera is not better than the iPhone SE’s. However, there are some interesting features included and the truth is the quality is just the best for this cash. You might get some oversaturated scenes, strong contrast, and some other lower-quality results but again we have to mention that this is still better than expected with this price tag.

Overall, the photographs you will take are not poor. They are good but not the best. You will get lower sharpness than with the iPhone SE, but it is not a problem for many.

Performance

You surely want to know if the Google Pixel 4A performs well or not. It is not as great as the iPhone SE, but you still get quite enough for the price.

You will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Series chipset, which almost always performs flawlessly. However, it is not near the A13 Bionic by Apple. Even so, the 730G Snapdragon in Google Pixel 4A combined with 6 GB of Ram give you access to sufficient and quit smooth overall performance.

At the end of the day, the performance of the Google Pixel 4A is quite enough for most people. It is actually better than expected for those that want to spend under $400 for a smartphone. However, if performance is very important for you and you do not care that much about the price range, iPhone SE is better.

Battery Life

Pixel 4A features a modest 3,140 mAh battery. It is the largest in a small Pixel device but battery life is not special. You can expect almost 9 hours of battery time at a screen brightness of 150 nits.

The Moto G Power is cheaper and offers better battery life, with 16 hours. The only good news is that you can quickly charge the smartphone. You just need 30 minutes from zero to 50%. Even so, battery life is basically the big weakness of the Google Pixel 4A.

Software And Features

You can expect several Pixel features that are appreciated, with an Android 11 update. This includes Call Screen to avoid telemarketers and robocalls and the Recorder app, which is very good since it is capable of transcribing voice to text in a very good way, and quite fast. Transcriptions can be exported to Google Docs.

We do talk about a smartphone that uses Android 11 so this will dictate most of the features and software included. This includes screen recording, app permission requests, and a very good power menu.

When you buy the Google Pixel 4A, you get 3 years of security and software updates. It is less than the 5 years that Apple offers, but is still good.

Conclusions

The bottom line is that the Google Pixel 4A is a highly recommended smartphone for everyone that wants a very good unit without having to spend a lot of money. This is especially the case if you are not interested in what the Pixel 5A has to offer.

Basically, Google Pixel 4A is practical and does everything well. It has a strong display, good performance, a lot of storage, a perfectly adequate design, and a good-enough camera. The only real problem is the battery life, but it is not that big of a problem for many possible users.

We are talking about the midrange of the phone market. There are many options available but the Google Pixel 4A is easily in the top three, even if not the best. The other two to consider are the iPhone SE (basically faster) and OnePlus Nord N10 G (5G, a bigger battery, and better display).

Overall, the balance before affordability and performance with the Google Pixel 4A is great. And you can easily buy it on Amazon.

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