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Google Pixel 4A: No nonsense $349 smartphone

Google Pixel 4A: No nonsense $349 smartphone

Google Pixel 4A has officially been announced and is available for sale and you can soon get one in your hands. After multiple delays and leaks, Pixel 4A was finally launched on Monday August 3. 

Google is serious with this phone and it has been launched at competitive price of $349. Pixel 4A is nothing like its predecessor and this phone can be a game changer. This phone can stand toe to toe with other phones in its competition like iPhone SE2 and recently launched One Plus Nord.

Along with Pixel 4A, Google has also announced Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5. Google Pixel 4A comes in only one size and that is 5.8-inches screen size, there is no XL option this time. If you want a bigger phone then you will have to wait till August 20 for Pixel 5.

For the price point of $349 Pixel 4A has lot to offer: 128GB storage, exceptional camera for photography and decent battery life. This phone has got most of its basics correct and seems to provide value for the price. 

We will have to wait and see if Pixel 4A is really a hit or is it again a miss.

Pixel 4A Hardware

pixel 4a

Pixel 4A has a basic and clean design with no fancy stuff going around. The phone is easy to hold and use in one hand. 

The body of Pixel 4A is made up of plastic with finger print sensor at the back. The phone itself has a solid feel but, the phone lacks wireless charging capabilities which is now expected in any smartphone. Headphones enthusiast will be happy to know that the phone still comes with 3.5mm headphone jack. It does not end with headphone jack; the phone also has a stereo speaker which you usually do not see it at this price point.

With Pixel 4A you do not get the feature to squeeze your phone to start Google Assistant, to access it you can say “Hey Google” or just swipe in from the bottom corner.

Google Pixel 4A comes with only one color- Black. Google calls it black as “Just Black” also, power button has unusual color of seafoam green.

Screen of this phone is OLED which you do not see it in smartphones of this price point. OLED screen has its share of problems though, red shifts in dark, reduced viewing angles and screen is not bright enough to view in direct sunlight. Also, phone is paired with Gorilla Glass 3, which is extremely old for a smartphone. 

But, I would like to remind you that this phone is just $349 and at this price point the screen should be acceptable. 

Pixel 4A Software

pixel 4a

Google’s software is as like its hardware, clutter free and simple without any bloated features. Android OS shipped with Pixel 4A is easy to understand and minimalistic. Google also guarantees that the phone will have software updates for 3 years.

This phone comes with some of Pixel-exclusive features which other Android phones may not have for quite some time. Some of the best exclusive features are car crash detection and ability for speech-to-text in phone calls.

With speech-to-text feature in phone calls, caller on the other end hears message saying that their speech will be transcribed. The speech will be transcribed in real life just like closed captioning, you will see text in real time with good accuracy. All this will happen locally on your phone, only thing is that the transcriptions are not saved.

Pixel 4A Camera

pixel 4a

What distinguishes Pixel from other Android phones is its camera. Presumably what makes Google Pixel’s camera so good is its software. 

Google Pixel 4A’s camera is as good as Pixel 4, that means the quality of Pixel 4A is really high when it comes to photography. The phone has a mediocre camera hardware, it is equipped with single 12.2-megapixel camera and Sony IMX363 optical stability sensor. At front, the phone has a single 8-megapixel punch-hole camera.

Pixel’s camera works really well at night and in dark as well. At price point of $349 it is extremely good and when compared with iPhone SE2, the camera of Pixel crushes the iPhone when it comes to taking photographs in dark as iPhone does not have a night mode. 

With Pixel 4A you can zoom up to 7x and it is above average when holding the image details. Also, the portrait mode in Pixel is good and it is expected to improve in further software updates. The phone also comes with astrophotography mode, which is expected to shoot impressive photographs of night sky.

Camera in Pixel 4A is not all perfect and there have been few sacrifices made to provide phone at such price. The phone lacks extra image processor so you will notice that images take longer time to process before you can view. 

Camera also lacks wide angle or telephoto lens but it is not a deal breaker. Usually phones which come with those lenses are not good so not having them is not a loss.

Another area where Pixel’s camera lack is video recording. The phone cannot shoot in all frame rates which even a common modern phone can do. Average phones like iPhone SE2 or any other average Samsung phone does better job when it comes to dynamic ranging and overall quality.

Pixel 4A Specifications

pixel 4a
  • Display: 5.81-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED, 443 ppi with hole punch camera
  • Dimensions & weight: 5.7 x 2.7 0.3 inches; 144 grams
  • Battery: 3,140mAh
  • RAM and storage: 6GB; 128GB
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G
  • Rear camera: 12.2-megapixel, 1.4 μm pixel width, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, OIS and EIS, f/1.7 equivalent aperture, 77-degree field of view
  • Video: 1080p at 30, 60, or 120fps; 720p at 30, 60, or 240fps; 4K a 30fps
  • Front camera: 8-megapixel, 1.12 μm pixel width, ƒ/2.0 equivalent aperture, 84-degree field of view
  • Other: Stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C, no wireless charging
  • Supports 4G
  • Includes 18W USB power adapter and cable in box, no headphones in box

Will the phone’s performance remain same in future?

pixel 4a

Android phones for a long time have a bad reputation for not lasting long and it is mostly due to processor. Though Google is saying that it will provide regular software updates for three years but, we will have to practically see how phone will perform after 3 years of usage. 

Currently, the phone is fast enough for daily usage but apps take some time to open. Also, there’s something funny about scrolling in Chrome and Twitter, but it is not at all slow.

Now to answer how it will fair in long run, it is difficult to answer but looking at how Pixel 3A’s long term performance, it is expected to have similar life to that of Pixel 3A.

Final words

Pixel 4A is small, clutter free and easy to use smartphone which will get your work done. It is yet to know how it will fair against its competition but, the hopes are high from this budget phone.

What do you think about Pixel 4A? Will it score big for Google or will it struggle like its predecessors? Share your views in comments.

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