Google Pixel 4a Review: One-Hand Friendly, Affordable, And Powerful

Aadhya Khatri - Mar 02, 2021


Google Pixel 4a Review: One-Hand Friendly, Affordable, And Powerful

Google Pixel 4a is the best Google can offer in a one-hand-friendly and affordable package

Google Pixel 4a is the best Google can offer in a one-hand-friendly and affordable package.

Google Pixel 4a Price

The phone comes at the price of $349 with no other choice when it comes to color and configuration. Google Pixel 4a price in India starts at Rs. 31,999.

Google Pixel 4a Design

With a dimension of 144x69.4x8.2mm and a weight of 143g, Google Pixel 4a is one of the most compact and light-weight Android phones available on the market. The polycarbonate unibody does help the phone shed some weight but at the same time, it makes the handset looks a bit cheap.

Google Pixel 4a Camera Back
With a dimension of 144x69.4x8.2mm and a weight of 143g, Google Pixel 4a is one of the most compact and light-weight Android phones available on the market

On the right, there is the power key and the volume rocker while on the left sits the SIM tray. The USB-C 3.1 port, speaker, and microphone grilles are at the bottom of the handset.

The phone comes with an eSIM – the SIM card’s digital version that can establish a connection between your phone and a network provider. Unfortunately, the eSIM isn’t enabled in India.

The Google Pixel 4a still has a headphone jack onboard so if you have a pair of wired headphones, there is no need to invest in an adapter.

While Google drops fingerprint scanner on the two more premium versions of the lineup, the sensor makes it to the rear of the 4a.

In short, the phone follows a minimalistic design with a rear fingerprint scanner and a camera bump at the top-left corner. While big, the bump doesn’t protrude too much so no worry that you have to put up with wobble while placing the phone flat on a surface.

Google Pixel 4a Display

The screen of Google Pixel 4a is a bit bigger than the 3a. This is also the first time Google released a bezel-less, all-screen handset.

google pixel 4a screen
The screen of Google Pixel 4a is a bit bigger than the 3a

The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, not the most advanced glass from Corning obviously but it can still ward off scratches and scruffs.

Google Pixel 4a sports a Full HD+ OLED panel with a resolution of 1080x2340 and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

Visuals appear colorful, clear, and bright on the screen. The handset also sports an always-on display that shows date, time, weather, battery life, and other information.

Google Pixel 4a Camera

While other brands woo customers with the number of cameras, Google does the exact opposite – giving the Google Pixel 4a only two snappers, one in front and one on the back.

Google Pixel 4a cameras
Google does the exact opposite – giving the Google Pixel 4a only two snappers, one in front and one on the back

On the rear, you have a 12.2-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/1.7 and a field of view of 84-degree. You can record videos with it at 4K/30FPS; 1080p/30FPS, 60FPS, and 120FPS; and 720p/30FPS, 60FPS, 240FPS.

Taking photos with the Pixel 4a is easy as all you have to do is to point and shoot, the phone’s camera and the software will do the rest for you. Most of the time, you will have great snaps.

The phone also has a handful of modes for you to play with, including portrait and panorama with the former using AI to blur the background.

While if you look close enough, you will still see traces of stitching in panorama shots and the blur effect sometimes isn’t precisely around the subject, the phone photography ability is impressive.

The Night Sight mode on Google Pixel 4a is one of the best on the market, given the price. Pictures taken with the mode look totally different from those captured by the regular shooting option. They are brighter but not in an artificial way.

The Night Sight has an extra mode called astrophotography but you will have to invest in a tripod and a lot of patience to take full advantage of it.

With just one camera on the back, there is no hybrid or optical zoom on the Google Pixel 4a, just 7x digital zoom.

The absence of a wide-angle snapper means you will have to step back a bit or switch to panorama mode. However, not many users will find the decision annoying unless what they desire is maximum flexibility.

On the other side, there is only one 8MP/ f/2.0 selfie camera with an 84-degree field of view. Overall, the front camera with its Portrait mode and Night Sight is a solid package that can produce decent selfie snaps.

Google Pixel 4a Battery Life

Google Pixel 4a draws power from a 3,140mAh battery and while Google claims a 24-hour battery life with one single charge, we couldn’t manage to get that much time with the phone. The phone does survive most of the day, from 7 AM to 11 PM under moderate usage.

Google Pixel 4a Black Back In Full
Google Pixel 4a draws power from a 3,140mAh battery

The phone doesn’t support wireless charging, not something surprising given the price tag. However, the bundled 18W charging brick allows for fast charging capabilities.

In our tests, the phone gets 20% of power from 15 minutes of charging while half an hour saw 35% got back to the power cell.

Google Pixel 4a Specs And Software

Google Pixel 4a runs on a Snapdragon 730 chipset paired with RAM of 6GB and onboard storage of 128GB. Given the price, the phone’s specs are ok but truth to be told, it is outgunned by several other rivals.

It’s easy to find similarly-priced phones offering more RAM, more powerful chipset, and more cameras on the market. It can still handle games but sometimes you will have to wait for a few seconds for the phone to load.

As a Google handset, the Google Pixel 4a gets vanilla Android 10 which is easy to navigate and runs very well.

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