By The Biz Team (Nicholas)
The Google Pixel 4a hit the market a few months before the scheduled delivery. It has several attractive attributes that work for it, attracting a significant part of the customer base during these trying times. These include a great camera, amazing price, and comfortable sizing. The OLED screen is quite colorful and sharp, and there are several attractive features. The polycarbonate shell also means it is more durable than the previous iteration.
There are two shooters, an 8 MP sensor on the front and 12.1 MP for the rear. It has an f/1.7 aperture and 84-degree field of view, providing a 4K video at 30 fps, 1080 at 30, 60, and 120 fps. Though it may not look like a lot on paper, especially when compared to three of four camera setups, which are on many of the Pixel 4a's rivals, the primary camera is still able to hold its own. It makes photography very simple as it can produce great photos even with armatures due to intelligent software processing. A few modes are available to choose from if there is something slightly different needed like panorama and portrait. The latter would produce a background blur using artificial intelligence, considering there is no depth sensor.
The Pixel 4a comes available with a 3140 mAh non-removable battery larger than the power pack within the predecessor and much larger than the battery in the new iPhone SE. Android claims that customers will benefit from up to 24 hours of battery life following a single charge because of the organization's Adaptive Battery technology. The battery is also able to sustain meaningful use when it comes to video or gaming. Three hours of music streaming over Spotify and another three hours of gaming helped deplete the battery to a level where testers needed to reach for the charger. It also ships with an 18W fast charger that takes 90 minutes before the phone is fully charged, and 50% is attained within 30 minutes.
The body is a high-quality soft-touch polycarbonate, and it feels quite pleasant. The screen measures 5.8 inches, and the OLED FHD display is bright & crisp. There is a big hole at the top left of the screen for the selfie camera, and the display does not have the 90 Hz refresh rate of some of the more expensive competitors; however, it does entail HDR certification for watching movies. The 4a has a 4.5% bigger screen than the predecessor, but the body is slightly smaller. As a result, it is quite light at just 143g. The polycarbonate uni-body structure is the main culprit for this, and though it helps the handset shed some of the weight, it does also mean that it does not appear or feel to be premium. That may not be a problem, mainly because of the economical price. The plus side is there is less glass to potential smash from dropping the phone on hard surfaces. The polycarbonate finish also feels stable and durable.
Performance and features
The Pixel 4a avails sufficient power with the Snapdragon 730 chipset, 6GB of RAM, and 128 GB of internal storage. These specifications are more than adequate, considering the price range of the newest offering. It has one of the last remaining processors that do not feature 5G, and it is a significant upgrade from the Snapdragon 670, which is featured in the 3a. Day to day performance was quite good, matching the smooth operation expected from top of the line phones from the last few years. Switching between applications and loading images is seamless and snappy. Even the heavier application games run well. The Pixel 4a is available with Google's stock Android 10 operating system that runs well and is easy to navigate.
The user may opt for gesture controls over the traditional navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen, and after a bit of practice, the former makes one-handed use easier. The stereo speakers are quite loud though they do avail a more balanced sound than other Galaxy offerings. The rear fingerprint reader on the device is quite fast and works well. The Pixel 4a also gets the search giant's Recorder app that can live transcribe meetings and conversations. The user may ask the assistant to begin and stop recordings and transcriptions imported to Google Docs for excellent editing. The accuracy as well is good, but it is not perfect.
The Pixel 4a costs £349, and it is only available in black. For comparison, the Pixel 4 has an RRP of £669. It is set to be open to pre-order from 10 September, and it is going to be on sale on 1 October.
Google does not give an estimation for the expected number of the full charge cycles from the batteries of the Pixel 4a. A smartphone battery's typical lifespan is set at 500 cycles while maintaining 80% of the capacity. The Pixel 4a as well is repairable while, considering out of warranty repairs may entail £110for the screen and 60 for the battery. The device also has about 45% of post-consumer recycled material in the plastic mechanical parts, which is part of the brand's commitment to include recycled materials in each of the products launching from 2022.
It is small, light, and quite economical, considering it is being compared to other smartphones within the same level. The performance is deemed good, and the battery lasts at least 24 hours with light to regular use. It satisfies a lot of requests in the customer base. It is not perfect as there is no 5G, and some users may prefer the glass coverings.