amazon GOOGLE PIXEL 4A reviews
In the Android world, Google’s Pixel line is often looked down on when it’s always on the tail of competitors. Much of the criticism the Pixel receives is worth it, but not all – and the Pixel 4A is a powerful example of Google not bad with hardware.
There’s one more thing to say about the Pixel 4A: it came out too late, which Google said was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its release date is August 20, oddly close to the annual Pixel launch date in October, so Google decided to “do it” and pre-announced two more high-end phones: the Pixel 4A 5G price 499 USD and Pixel 5 price unknown. If you’re hoping for a different phone instead of just a 5.8-inch screen option, you’ll have to keep waiting for the Pixel 4A and Pixel 5.
Now let’s get into Google Pixel 4A details.
When it comes to the Pixel, there’s only one reason to buy it over any other Android phone: Google’s software. Everything is tidy and less cluttered than in other versions of Android; updates are guaranteed for at least 3 years; And most importantly, Google’s software is what makes the Pixel camera so cool.
So we’ll evaluate the Pixel 4A’s most compelling feature first: taking pictures. After dozens of tries, the conclusion is: Pixel 4A’s photo quality is on par with Pixel 4.
The reason isn’t the Pixel 4A’s camera hardware. It only has a 12.2MP sensor with optical image stabilization on the back (with flash) – Sony IMX363 sensor has been used since the Pixel 3 era. The front of the camera is an 8MP sensor for selfies.
Overall, it’s almost impossible to know which photos of the Pixel 4A and which of the Pixel 4 are. They all have the typical Pixel image quality: remarkably high contrast, sharp details, and cool tones.
Both cameras are particularly impressive when it comes to low-light shooting. Their night shots are both great – especially considering the $ 349 price tag. When comparing the 4A with the iPhone SE, although the iPhone sometimes takes more flattering photos, warmer tones, in the daytime, when shooting at night, the iPhone SE is completely “crushed” by the Pixel 4A because it does not Night shooting mode at all.
You can zoom up to 7x, and the Pixel retains fine (above average) image detail when cropping. Like most phones these days, the 4A’s portrait mode is good as long as you don’t look too closely at the outline of the subject. Pixel 4A’s photography software will crop the image to 2x when you switch to portrait mode – but don’t worry because when Android 11 is officially released, the image will be cropped 1.5x by default.
Do not forget the Pixel 4A astrophotography mode. However, nothing is perfect. Since the Pixel 4A lacks the additional image processors the Pixel 4 owns, the images take longer to process before you can view them. Google also says its HDR Plus algorithm sometimes takes advantage of fewer photos than the Pixel 4, but in reality, the difference is almost nonexistent.
It’s a bit sad that the Pixel 4A doesn’t have a wide-angle or telephoto lens, but only “average”. Usually, those sensors are of inferior quality to primary sensors – especially at this price point – so removing them should not be a huge loss either.
The biggest minus with regard to the camera is the lack of video recording, but that’s the case with every Pixel phone, not just the 4A. Even more worth mentioning, the Pixel phones aren’t technically even able to record video at all the popular aspect ratios of other modern phones. The iPhone SE and Sony’s mid-range phones do a good job of capturing movies with a higher dynamic range and overall quality.
However, in terms of photography, the Pixel 4A can “weigh” the Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20, and win in most shooting situations.
Hardware and software
There’s a word commonly used to describe Pixel hardware as “humble”. It’s very basic: no frills, no flair, just a phone that’s easy to hold, with no additions. It looks a bit boring, but at least not too naked.
Pixel 4A has a single screen size of 5.8 inches. This is also the first time Google has used the “mole” design, which helps the screen to overflow closer to the edge. The screen bezels are still larger than flagship devices, but smaller than many other phones in the same price range.
Pixel 4A uses an OLED display, which is very rare in this price segment. Of course, the OLED display quality of the Pixel 4A cannot be compared with the OLED displays of the higher-end phones. You will find it a bit red in the dark, the viewing angle is narrow, and the brightness is just enough for use in direct sunlight. In addition, the screen also uses Gorilla Glass 3 toughened glass, which as of now has 4 more generations released already.
But once again remember: at $ 350, what more could you expect than a 1080p OLED display? If you’re not a tech connoisseur, with the “transcendent” ability to instantly know the high pixel density and refresh rate when you see them, you will probably be fine!
The body is made of plastic, with a fingerprint sensor on the back. The feel in the hand is pretty solid, but the lack of wireless charging can be a bit uncomfortable. The good news is that Google still retains the 3.5mm headphone jack, and also the stereo speakers – something that is often cut down for this price segment. You can’t squeeze the side of the phone to call Google Assistant, but who needs it when you just swipe from the corners of the phone below the screen or simply say “Hey Google”?
What about the color of the machine? Any color you like, as long as it’s black. Google often uses pretty cute names to refer to the paint color of the device, and the black they call “Just Black”, is reasonable, because there is no other color! Well, the power button is pretty green!
The Pixel 4A is packed with a few features that the only Pixel has (before) – sooner or later they’ll make it to other Android phones as well. Among them, the most attractive is probably safety features like car crash detection, but the most useful feature many people will need daily is voice-to-text interpretation during calls.
When you turn it on, the caller on the other end will hear a message that what they are about to say will be translated. It then acts like Android’s subtitles feature: the words were spoken during a call appear in (almost) real-time with amazing accuracy. Everything happens on your phone, and the translated content is not saved.
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Talking about the configuration, many would consider that good news, while others worried.
The good news is that Google has more than enough RAM (6GB) to keep the Pixel 4A running smoothly on the latest Android, and enough space (128GB) to hold most of the content that most users need. The 128GB capacity is an especially wise move, as it doubles the capacity of the lowest iPhone SE – meaning a 128GB iPhone SE will cost $ 100 more than a similar Pixel 4A.
All the specs seem pretty good, but the iPhone SE has one advantage over the Pixel: the processor. While Apple can take advantage of the “home-made” chip to bring its fastest mobile chip to the low-cost iPhone SE, Google has to choose from among the chips Qualcomm offers at a certain price range. That’s why the Pixel 4A uses a mid-range Snapdragon 730G chip, and it’s a worrying endeavor for many people.
This chip can be fast enough for everyday tasks. It might take a little more time to open the app, and scrolling smoothness in Chrome or Twitter is not satisfying, but the 730G is not slow.
More worrying is its longevity. Android phones have always had a reputation for not being used for as long as the iPhone – and the processor is one of the big reasons contributing to that bad reputation. The Pixel 4A’s mid-range chip simply doesn’t have the power to accommodate more complex software in the future. Google promises software updates for at least three years, and while last year’s Pixel 3A (which also has a mid-range processor) is still fighting, that’s one thing to think about. In short: if you want a phone that’s solid to last for 4 years or so, look elsewhere.
But if the most important thing to you is battery life, congratulations. Google learned from experience after the bad decision they made with the Pixel 4. Pixel 4A has a 3,140mAh battery, larger than the Pixel 4. Combined with a power-efficient chip like the Snapdragon 730G, the Pixel’s battery life 4A is above an acceptable level. Assuming on average you use your phone 4.5 hours/day, then 4A can last a long day without needing to charge more.
When it comes to phones under $ 500, we often end up with a discussion about what it takes to get the price low. If you put a price on the issue, you obviously can’t ask for everything. Phone manufacturers have to make choices about what to keep, and what to discard.
With the Pixel 4A, Google has an advantage: being able to use its software to help the camera compete with any other phone without spending too much on complicated camera systems. As a result, they can put their money on other features, like a large, beautiful OLED screen, and stereo speakers.
Calling the Pixel 4A a “basic” phone would be unfair to it. But what you get when using 4A is that it does very well with everything users expect from a phone: good battery life, nice camera, good software, acceptable speed.
Calling the Pixel 4A a “cheap” phone is somewhat misleading. At $ 349, the Pixel 4A is definitely cheap, but it doesn’t feel cheap. The iPhone SE is probably more valuable in the long run, but if you want Android or great photos in its price range, then the 4A is the right choice.
After all, though, the Pixel 4A is still a cheap and basic phone. But most budget phones don’t do the basics well. Pixel 4A does and again: it’s only $ 349!