It’s finally here google pixel 4a. And this is a really simple one. So the 3a was google’s budget phone with a great camera.Google Pixel 4a Review here. Double down on that so this 350 bucks is google’s budget phone with an excellent camera and that’s really it.
It doesn’t take long using this phone to figure that out. By the time you see this I’ve been using it for almost a week now.
And really the formula here is keep it simple. Everything here is really clean and simple. I mean just for starters look at it.
You know it’s the plastic build as we’ve all seen. And it’s all one piece so you can see there’s no seams anywhere.
Simple then there’s the spec sheet there is one size, one color, one spec simple. The whole phone is about the same size as the iphone 11 pro. But noticeably lighter of course thanks to the plastic. And i like the size I think it’s a good one size to have.
And with that on the front of the phone you’re getting a 5.8 inch 1080p led display. Flat screen 60 hertz and that hole punch cut out for the selfie camera.
Some people don’t like the hole punch. To me honestly really I’ve gotten used to it by now. And it’s better than a notch. It’s not the most incredible display but there’s definitely no big issues with it. You’re still looking at well over 400 pixels per inch.
And I’ve noticed a pretty decent range of brightness and some good viewing angles. The no high refresh rate at this price isn’t a deal breaker. But we’ll get to performance in a second and then the rest of this hardware package is simple.
#Google Pixel 4a Review: Simple and Clean
You guessed it you’re on the same page now it’s very simple. It’s all matte black everything. All the way around giving it not a soft touch feel but more of like this powder coated slight texture. And I like it and of course there’s a signature pixel accented light green power button. And actually these buttons are super clicky.
They’re pretty loud too. I think they’re the best feeling part of this phone. And there’s an honestly pretty disappointing single mono speaker at the bottom. But in positive news there is still a headphone jack up top it lives on with the budget pixel line.
Now with a lot of phones back a couple years ago I used to always have this moment. Where I would you know bend it twist it see if I can feel any weird creaking or anything happening with the phone.
And I sort of slowed down and stopped doing that because pretty much every phone now is fine in that department plus does his durability tests. But I got my pixel 4a and I started to do that a little. And there is actually a little bit of bending to it.
I don’t know if zack’s gotten his yet but i’m pretty sure when he does. And he does his test. I’m predicting it’s going to snap in half I don’t think the plastic unibody build is the most durable.
But on the upside it’s not glass which means it won’t shatter. So you know there’s ups and downs again. With this whole thing we have to keep the price in mind 350 bucks. So I am totally fine with a matte black unibody plastic build.
Also if you’re clumsy or worried about dropping your phone you already know channel sponsored dbrand’s got you covered with their made by google certified grip case.
It’s grippier than the naked phone. And yes it comes in matte black or literally any other color. My favorite part of this hardware though and maybe it’s the best example of them. Truly keeping it simple is the fingerprint reader still on the back.
#Google Pixel 4a Review: Simple and Clean
Same place It was on the pixel 3a and the pixel 2 and the original pixel and the nexus 6p and the nexus 5x.Look the point is this is the tried and true place to put it zero problems with this fingerprint reader on the back here. But look this is the pixel 4a.
And we all know the reason we’re here and it’s the cameras. And they’re really good spoiler alert again with photos. So there is a single camera on the back. It kind of resembles the multi-camera setups with the rounded rectangle but without spending the extra money for extra useless cameras nice.
And so it’s just one camera and a flash 12 megapixel sensor at f 1.7 with ois. The numbers aren’t too crazy but the photos you get are exactly what we’d expect right in the same style as pixel 4.
If anything just a little bit softer. But it has that confident, contrasty, high dynamic range look. And great color that we’re used to from the pixel. Which is so awesome at this price. Night sight still super clean.
I mean these are great photos for a 350 phone. And thanks to that I’m totally fine with it being the single camera on the back. Like do I miss the ultra wide a little bit yeah I came from a phone with an ultra wide.
So I guess a little bit but at this price I’m not mad. Do I miss the depth sensor at all. I mean with a single camera. Google’s been doing really good portrait mode photos of animals and humans and all kinds of objects.
So I don’t miss the depth sensor at all. Do I miss the 2 megapixel macro camera? “No” so keeping it simple just works great here. I don’t think anyone’s going to be mad.
This isn’t quad cameras and that also translates to the software experience as well. I remember when I reviewed the pixel 2 I called it the smartest smartphone. Mainly thanks to a lot of google features on top of android. Now this budget version carries a couple less of those googly features.
But I still really like the ones it has. Like there is no squeeze for assistant. They couldn’t build that into the hardware. But you can always swipe up diagonally from the corner and that gets you to google assistant.
Just as fast. There is no project sole or radar sensors up in the front of this phone but it still has rays to wake with the accelerometer and gyroscope.
And you can turn this on or off. And it has some of those pixel exclusive features. It has live caption available everywhere and I still love call screening. And the now playing which identifies songs in the background wherever you go and keeps a running list of them.
Like every time I switch back to a pixel I love these features and I miss them on other phones. But also like pixel 3a performance on the 4a on this phone is not that great.
Now at first I thought it was just me over realizing it because I just come from these super high end 120 hertz phones. But just having a 60 hertz phone shouldn’t be a death sentence for smoothness.
Phones were all 60 hertz a couple years ago and smoothness was fine. So it’s a little more than that. I feel like the snapdragon 730g is probably a lot more to blame here.
And I couldn’t stop noticing that it just wasn’t very smooth. The phone just doesn’t feel fast I guess is the main point which concerns me for how long it will last.
#Google Pixel 4a Review: Simple and Clean
You know this is one of the bigger sticking points among a lot of the budget phones coming out now is.
When you extrapolate their value over time. You’re kind of up against the gold standard of iphone se but this phone has some of the same issues pixel 3a had. Which you know didn’t stop people from loving pixel 3a.
As it’s still a great camera in a phone for the price. But again you should know what you’re getting into. But of course there is one more area where pixel 3a outperforms the numbers on paper.
And that’s the battery. So this phone has a 3140 milliamp hour battery.Doesn’t seem like that high of a number because it’s not uh the one plus nord had like a 25 bigger battery.
I wasn’t expecting it to be great but of course I should know better because it’s a 1080p 60hz screen. And I was pleasantly surprised with the battery on the 4a.
Now again all this is quarantine lifestyle testing. So it comes with the asterisk that all the rest of the phones have had. But if I’m getting five hours of screen on time comfortably with this phone and ending the day with 10 to 20 left consistently.
I don’t think anyone will have problems with the pixel 4a’s battery. So simply put that’s about it for this really simple phone. For some people it’s kind of forgettable but for others it’s exactly what we’re waiting for this new pixel. It’s doubled down on everything the 3a had going for it and lowered the price.
And so for this price, the lack of wireless charging or ip rating or glass and metal and stereo speakers and extra cameras. Really isn’t a deal breaker. In fact it’s expected the simple plastic build as expected the 60hz screen is fine.
The biggest upside is still the camera and the biggest downside is still the performance. It’s really just the only difference now is the existence of much more competition in this space with phones like oneplus nord and iphone se.
Now technically this phone undercuts them both in price. Which is going to matter to a lot of people 350 bucks is an insane price for the amount of phone you’re getting here and all these features.
But each one of these phones is going to have its own distinct advantages. Iphone and nord are going to be better performers. Iphone’s going to take better video. But you get more google features here.
Better stills camera so it’s what you want. I just really love that it feels like google’s getting a little more competitive with this pixel phone. Getting that lower price to undercut the competitors to give you a reason to buy it.
It’s great I just hope this translates into them making a true high-end pixel 5 flagship. Now I don’t know if that’s smart to get my hopes up.
For that considering their track record is not very good for flagships. But that’s what I’m hoping this competitiveness translates into.