The Google Pixel 4a 5G at a glance:
- Display: 6.2 inches (1080 x 2340); 60 Hz refresh rate
- CPU: Snapdragon 765G
- RAM: 6 GB
- Storage: 128 GB
- Rear cameras: 12 MP main; 16 MP ultrawide
- Front camera: 8 MP
- Battery: 3,885 mAh
- Weight: 5.9 ounces (168 g)
Google Pixel 4a 5G – The Best Google Phone of 2020?
The Google Pixel 4a 5G offers more than just a 5G connection over the standard Pixel 4a model which came out in Aug 2020. Starting at $499, the updated model gives you a bigger screen, excellent cameras, and a power-efficient processor. Sure, you can find similar features in similarly priced phones, but the Pixel 4a 5G stands out in the camera department and this stock Android device is guaranteed to get three years of Google updates.
The Pixel 4a 5G comes in a black or white (Verizon exclusive) plastic body which might be a bit of a letdown since most phones in this price point come with a glass finish instead. It’s worth noting that the matte finish minimizes unsightly fingerprints and smudges. However, it can be prone to nicks and scratches. Overall, the body feels smooth and easy to grip despite being the biggest of Pixel’s current lineup.
The single sim card tray is located on the left side. A dual sim configuration would’ve been awesome. As usual, you don’t get Micro SD memory card support but the 128 GB ROM is more than enough for most people. For now.
The Pixel 4a 5G sports a 6.2-inch OLED screen in full HD+ resolution. This combination produces crisp and detailed images even under daylight. While the balanced color temperature and sharp contrast create natural-looking images. Watching HDR content on Netflix truly pops out. On the downside, the refresh rate tops out at 60 Hz so you won’t be getting that extra smooth Android experience a 90 Hz provides. The screen’s hole-punch selfie camera is located on the upper left side and the entire screen real estate is protected by a Gorilla Glass 3 coating.
Google Pixel 4a 5G – an Excellent Choice
The stereo speaker setup is surprisingly capable of delivering immersive audio especially indoors. Bluetooth connection is flawless with support for the usual high-resolution codex. Thankfully, the Pixel has a proper 3.5 mm headphone jack which comes in handy when you run out of juice in your Bluetooth-enabled device.
For the processor, Google opted for the same Snapdragon 765G found in the Pixel 5 flagship. Along with its 6 GB RAM, this phone can handle anything thrown at it including modern 3D games like Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty: Mobile. Get the full experience with maxed out graphics with smooth frame rates. Multitasking is a breeze.
Although it lacks WiFi 6 support, the phone’s 5G connectivity more than makes up for it making this more future-proof than the base Pixel 4a. The battery life on this device is excellent thanks to its 3,800 mAh battery. It can last the full day even with plenty of video recording, Spotify, and social media. The charger comes in at 18W. A little on the low side especially compared to OnePlus Nord N10’s 30W Warp Charge. Wireless charging is also absent as expected since the device is made of plastic.
At the back, you’ll find the fingerprint sensor and two cameras on the upper left side. There’s a 12-megapixel camera sensor with optical image stabilization and a 16-megapixel ultrawide-angle lens. These are the same sensors found on the flagship Pixel model. As expected, images are excellent and at par with the best phones in the market. You get clear, detailed photos indoors and outdoors. The dual brightness controls allow you to capture stunning HDR images even up against harsh lights.
Low light situations are handled by Pixel’s Auto Night Sight so you can still capture images with life-like colors and good balance. The portrait mode is spot on and can add a bokeh effect to the background producing professional-looking photos. Meanwhile, the ultra wide-angle lens lets you capture more of the scenery without compromising color accuracy.
As expected, the Pixel 4a 5G produces high-quality videos as well. Recording on 4K will give you high detail levels with natural-looking colors. Audio pickup worked perfectly fine every time.
The front-facing 8-megapixel camera captures gorgeous shots despite the lower resolution. Perfect for your Instagram posts. You can also switch to portrait mode or night mode if you prefer.
On a final note, the Pixel 4a 5G is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget and you can’t quite get to that Pixel 5 flagship model. You get the same performance, battery life, and OLED display. With the exact same hardware, you can expect flagship-level camera performance as well. However, you’ll be missing that 90 Hz screen refresh rate, which can be a deal-breaker especially if you’ve grown accustomed to it.
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