Pixel 4a: Google's affordable masterpiece
Google Pixel 4a: A Midrange Phone with a Flagship Camera
If you're looking for a smartphone that offers excellent value for money, great performance, and stunning photography, you might want to consider the Google Pixel 4a. This midrange phone has a lot to offer, especially for photo buffs who want to capture amazing shots without breaking the bank. In this article, we'll review the Pixel 4a's design, display, camera, battery life, performance, and software, and compare it with some of its competitors. We'll also give you some tips and tricks to get the most out of your Pixel 4a experience.
What is the Pixel 4a and why should you care?
The Pixel 4a is Google's latest addition to its Pixel lineup, which is known for its clean Android interface, guaranteed software updates, and impressive camera quality. The Pixel 4a is a successor to the Pixel 3a, which was a game changer when it came out last year as one of the best midrange phones on the market. The Pixel 4a builds on that legacy by offering a refined design, a larger screen, a faster processor, more storage, and a lower price tag. The Pixel 4a also retains some of the features that made the Pixel 3a popular, such as a headphone jack, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a single rear camera that can rival many flagship phones.
What are the main features and specs of the Pixel 4a?
Here are some of the key features and specs of the Pixel 4a:
Display: 5.81-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 2,340 by 1,080 pixels and a pixel density of 443ppi.
Camera: 12.2MP rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, dual-pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization, electronic image stabilization, HDR+, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Super Res Zoom, and video recording up to 4K at 30fps. 8MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus, HDR+, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and video recording up to 1080p at 30fps.
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor with Adreno 618 GPU.
Memory: 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (non-expandable).
Battery: 3,140mAh battery with 18W fast charging (no wireless charging).
Software: Android 10 (upgradable to Android 11) with three years of guaranteed updates.
How does the Pixel 4a compare with other midrange phones?
The Pixel 4a is not the only midrange phone that offers a great value for money. There are other options that you might want to consider, such as the OnePlus Nord, the Samsung Galaxy A51, the iPhone SE (2020), and the Moto G Power. Here is a brief comparison of how they stack up against the Pixel 4a:
5.81-inch OLED, 1080p, 443ppi
12.2MP rear, 8MP front
3,140mAh, 18W fast charging
Snapdragon 730G, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage
Android 10, three years of updates
6.44-inch AMOLED, 1080p, 408ppi, 90Hz refresh rate
48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP rear, 32MP + 8MP front
4,115mAh, 30W fast charging
Snapdragon 765G, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage
OxygenOS based on Android 10, two years of updates
Samsung Galaxy A51
6.5-inch Super AMOLED, 1080p, 405ppi
48MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP rear, 32MP front
4,000mAh, 15W fast charging
Exynos 9611, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage (expandable)
One UI based on Android 10, two years of updates
iPhone SE (2020)
4.7-inch LCD, 750p, 326ppi
12MP rear, 7MP front
1,821mAh, 18W fast charging (adapter sold separately), wireless charging
A13 Bionic, 3GB RAM, 64GB storage (non-expandable)
iOS 13, four years of updates
Moto G Power
6.4-inch LCD, 1080p, 399ppi
16MP + 8MP +2MP rear,16MP front 5,000mAh,10W charging Snapdragon665 ,4GB RAM ,64GB storage (expandable) Moto UI based on Android10 ,one year of updates <p Design and Display
How does the Pixel 4a look and feel?
The Pixel 4a has a simple and minimalist design that is typical of Google's phones. It has a plastic body that is lightweight and comfortable to hold, with a matte finish that is resistant to fingerprints and scratches. The phone comes in only one color option: Just Black, which is a dark gray shade with a subtle blue tint. The phone measures 5.7 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches and weighs 5.04 ounces, making it one of the smallest and lightest phones in its category.
The Pixel 4a has a punch-hole cutout on the top left corner of the screen, which houses the front-facing camera. This allows the phone to have a nearly bezel-less display, with only a thin chin at the bottom. The phone also has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that is fast and reliable, as well as a single camera module and an LED flash on the top left corner of the back. The phone has a power button and a volume rocker on the right side, a headphone jack on the top, and a USB-C port and stereo speakers on the bottom.
What are the pros and cons of the Pixel 4a's design?
The Pixel 4a's design has some advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences. Here are some of them:
Compact and lightweight
Plastic and plain
Bezel-less and punch-hole display
No water resistance or wireless charging
Headphone jack and stereo speakers
No color options or microSD slot
In summary, the Pixel 4a's design is ideal for those who want a small and simple phone that is easy to use and carry around, but not for those who want a premium or flashy phone that has more features and customization.
How good is the Pixel 4a's screen quality and performance?
The Pixel 4a has a 5.81-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 2,340 by 1,080 pixels and a pixel density of 443ppi. The screen is bright, sharp, colorful, and responsive, with excellent contrast and viewing angles. The screen also supports HDR10+, which enhances the dynamic range and color accuracy of videos and photos. The screen also has an ambient EQ feature, which automatically adjusts the color temperature and brightness of the screen according to the ambient light.
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The Pixel 4a's screen also has some features that improve its usability and functionality. For instance, it has an always-on display option, which shows the time, date, battery level, notifications, and music controls on the screen even when it is locked. It also has a double-tap to wake option, which lets you turn on the screen by tapping it twice. It also has a now playing option, which identifies the song that is playing in the background and shows its title and artist on the screen.
Camera and Photography
What makes the Pixel 4a's camera so impressive?
The Pixel 4a's camera is one of its main selling points, as it offers a flagship-level photography experience at a fraction of the cost. The Pixel 4a has a single 12.2MP rear camera with an f/1.7 aperture, dual-pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization, electronic image stabilization, and an LED flash. The Pixel 4a also has an 8MP front camera with an f/2.0 aperture and fixed focus.
While the Pixel 4a's camera hardware may seem modest compared to some of its rivals, which have multiple cameras with higher megapixels and zoom capabilities, the Pixel 4a's camera software is what makes it stand out. The Pixel 4a uses Google's advanced computational photography algorithms, which process and enhance the images using artificial intelligence and machine learning. These algorithms enable the Pixel 4a to produce stunning photos that are rich in detail, color, contrast, and dynamic range, regardless of the lighting conditions or the subject matter.
Some of the features that the Pixel 4a's camera software offers are:
HDR+: This feature automatically captures multiple exposures of the same scene and combines them into one optimal image that has balanced shadows and highlights.
Night Sight: This feature allows the Pixel 4a to take clear and bright photos in low-light situations, without using a flash. It also has an astrophotography mode, which lets the Pixel 4a capture stunning shots of the night sky and stars.
Portrait Mode: This feature creates a bokeh effect, which blurs the background and makes the subject stand out. It also has an edge detection feature, which outlines the subject accurately and avoids blurring important details.
Super Res Zoom: This feature uses digital zoom to crop and enlarge the image without losing quality or detail. It also uses a technique called RAISR (Rapid and Accurate Image Super Resolution), which sharpens and enhances the image using machine learning.
How does the Pixel 4a perform in different lighting conditions and modes?
The Pixel 4a's camera is capable of taking great photos in various lighting conditions and modes, thanks to its HDR+ and Night Sight features. Here are some examples of how the Pixel 4a's camera performs in different scenarios:
Daylight: The Pixel 4a's camera captures crisp and vivid photos in daylight, with accurate colors, contrast, and exposure. The HDR+ feature ensures that the details in the shadows and highlights are preserved, and the Super Res Zoom feature allows you to zoom in without losing quality.
Indoor: The Pixel 4a's camera also performs well in indoor settings, with good white balance, noise reduction, and sharpness. The Portrait Mode feature creates a natural and realistic bokeh effect, and the Night Sight feature can brighten up dark areas and reduce motion blur.
Night: The Pixel 4a's camera excels in low-light situations, with its Night Sight feature that can capture stunning photos even in pitch-black environments. The Night Sight feature uses long exposures and machine learning to produce clear and bright images, with minimal noise and grain. The astrophotography mode can also capture amazing shots of the stars and the Milky Way, with a tripod and a clear sky.
The Pixel 4a's camera also has some other modes and features that can enhance your photography experience, such as:
Top Shot: This feature automatically selects the best shot from a burst of photos, based on factors such as focus, smile, eyes, and motion.
Dual Exposure Controls: This feature allows you to adjust the brightness and contrast of the foreground and background separately, using two sliders on the screen.
Social Share: This feature allows you to quickly share your photos to your favorite apps, such as Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, with a swipe up gesture on the screen.
Google Lens: This feature allows you to identify objects, landmarks, text, or QR codes in your photos, and get more information or actions related to them.
Battery Life and Performance
How long does the Pixel 4a's battery last and how fast does it charge?
The Pixel 4a has a 3,140mAh battery that can last for a full day of moderate use, or up to 24 hours of standby time. The battery life may vary depending on your usage patterns, settings, and network conditions, but in general, the Pixel 4a can handle most tasks and activities without running out of juice. The Pixel 4a also supports 18W fast charging, which can replenish up to 50% of the battery in just 30 minutes. However, the Pixel 4a does not support wireless charging or reverse wireless charging, which are features that some of its competitors offer.
How powerful is the Pixel 4a's processor and how smooth is its software?
The Pixel 4a has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor with an Adreno 618 GPU, which is a midrange chipset that can handle most apps and games without lag or stutter. The Pixel 4a also has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (non-expandable), which are generous amounts for a phone in its price range. The Pixel 4a can run multiple apps in the background, switch between them quickly, and store plenty of photos, videos, music, and documents.
The Pixel 4a also has a smooth and responsive software experience, thanks to its stock Android interface and Google's optimization. The Pixel 4a runs on Android 10 out of the box, and is eligible for an upgrade to Android 11, which is the latest version of the operating system. The Pixel 4a also has three years of guaranteed software updates and security patches, which means it will always have the latest features and bug fixes. The Pixel 4a also has a clean and clutter-free user interface, with no bloatware or unnecessary apps. The Pixel 4a also has some exclusive features that are only available on Google's phones, such as Call Screen, Recorder, Live Caption, and Personal Safety.
What are some of the unique features and benefits of the Pixel 4a's software?
The Pixel 4a's software has some unique features and benefits that make it stand out from other phones. Here are some of them:
Call Screen: This feature allows you to screen incoming calls from unknown numbers, and lets Google Assistant answer them for you. You can see a transcript of the conversation on your screen, and decide whether to answer, hang up, or block the caller.
Recorder: This feature allows you to record audio and transcribe it in real time, even when offline. You can also search, edit, and share your recordings easily.
Live Caption: This feature allows you to generate captions for any audio or video playing on your phone, even when offline. You can also adjust the font size, color, and position of the captions on your screen.
Personal Safety: This feature allows you to set up emergency contacts and share your location with them in case of an emergency. You can also enable car crash detection, which can automatically detect if you're in a car accident and call 911 for you.
Who should buy the Pixel 4a and who should look elsewhere?
The Pixel 4a is a great phone for anyone who wants a simple, reliable, and affordable smartphone that can take amazing photos, run smoothly, and last for a long time. The Pixel 4a is especially suitable for those who value Google's software and services, such as Gmail, Google Photos, Google Assistant, and Google Maps. The Pixel 4a is also a good choice for those who prefer a smaller and lighter phone that is easy to use and carry around.
However, the Pixel 4a is not for everyone. Some people might want a more premium or flashy phone that has more features and customization options. Some people might also want a larger or higher refresh rate screen, a more powerful or 5G-ready processor, a bigger or wireless charging battery, or a more versatile or zooming camera. For those people, there are other phones that might suit their needs better, such as the OnePlus Nord, the Samsung Galaxy A51, the iPhone SE (2020), or the Moto G Power.
What are the main strengths and weaknesses of the Pixel 4a?
The Pixel 4a has many strengths and weaknesses that make it a unique and competitive phone in its category. Here are some of them:
Flagship-level camera quality
Small and low refresh rate screen
Smooth and secure software experience
No water resistance or wireless charging
Affordable and reasonable price
No color options or microSD slot
Compact and lightweight design
No 5G support or ultra-wide camera
Long software support and updates
Average battery life and performance
In summary, the Pixel 4a is a well-balanced and well-rounded phone that offers a lot of value for money. The Pixel 4a is not perfect, but it does most things right, and it does some things exceptionally well.
Where can you buy the Pixel 4a and how much does it cost?
The Pixel 4a is available in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, India, and Singapore. You can buy it from Google's online store, as well as from various retailers and carriers in each country. The Pixel 4a costs $349 in the US, 349 in the UK, 349 in Europe, 31,999 in India, and S$499 in Singapore. The Pixel 4a comes with a USB-C cable, an 18W power adapter, a SIM tool, and a quick start guide in the box.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the Pixel 4a:
Does the Pixel 4a have a face unlock feature?
No, the Pixel 4a does not have a face unlock feature. It only has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication.
Does the Pixel 4a have dual SIM support?
Yes, the Pixel 4a has dual SIM support. It has a single nano-SIM slot and an eSIM option. You can use two different carriers or plans on your Pixel 4a.
Does the Pixel 4a have stereo speakers?
Yes, the Pixel 4a has stereo speakers. It has one speaker on the bottom edge and one speaker on the top edge of the phone. The speakers are loud and clear, with good balance and quality.
Does the Pixel 4a have wireless charging?
No, the Pixel 4a does not have wireless charging. It only supports wired charging with an 18W power adapter.
Does the Pixel 4a have a headphone jack?
Yes, the Pixel 4a has a headphone jack. It is located on the top edge of the phone. You can use any standard 3.5mm headphones or earphones with your Pixel 4a.