Google has finally marked the entry of its 4th series smartphone with the launch of Google 4a in India. Google was not able to launch the previously launched Google 4XL in the Indian smartphone market due to technological configuration issues but this time the company has made some adjustments and has come up with Pixel 4a to suit the demand of the Indian customers. The new Pixel 4a will be competition to the likes of OnePlus Nord. The powerpoints on which the new Google Pixel 4a is mostly cashing in are the cameras, processor, RAM which we will be testing in this review of ours.
Google Pixel 4a comes with a compact polycarbonate body that holds a simple yet aesthetic appeal. The phone fits the palm quite comfortably and the lightweight body of the phone allows you to operate the phone for a longer period. Pixel 4a has an inquisitive rear side where there is a physical fingerprint sensor which is mainly due to the company’s way of cutting the cost of the phone. Also, there is a rectangular frame at the rear side carrying just one camera sensor and a dual-LED flash. The front fascia of the phone is having a 5.8 inches screen with a punch hole on the top left side of the display. The bezels on the screen are very slim and the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. On the right side of the phone lies a power button of mint-green color and the volume rockers. On the left side lies the SIM tray which can hold only one SIM card but the Google Pixel 4a comes with a built-in eSIM card. The bottom side of the phone has the Type-C USB port and speaker grille whereas at the top side lies a 3.5mm headphone jack. Ironically, Google has yet not used glass protection at the back and continues with its age-old outdated design which gives an inferior feeling to the phone. And can you imagine that it has not started using the face unlock feature which is as common as flu in the market but on the contrary relies on the fingerprint scanner on the back cover? Why did companies launch new phones if it does not improve from the previous generation? This is the fourth generation Pixel phone which I am using but the design of all these phones has remained the same which is really sad. The best part of being Pixel 4a is that it’s compact which is rarely found these days.
The new Google Pixel 4a comes with a 5.81-inch OLED screen with a Full HD+ and 1080×2340 resolution equating to a pixel density of 443ppi and has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The colors produced are very vibrant, clear, and bright. The screen space is good enough and the HDR contents maintain very sharp details which you will enjoy while watching shows on Netflix and Prime. The screen space will feel a little less when compared to the other phones of a similar price range. The brightness level is also very good and the Pixel 4a is the first Pixel phone to push brightness past the manual slider when set to the automatic adjustment. The punch hole selfie lens makes it look even attractive.
Google Pixel 4a comes with just two camera sensors one at the back and one at the front. The lack of so many rear camera sensors seems to portray that the phone might be lacking the power to capture images of high quality but the Pixel 4a will surely surprise you with its power to capture super detailed images with proper color balance and saturation level. The rear sensor is a 12.2MP lens with a 1/2.55″ sensor and 1.4 µm size pixels and has an aperture of f/1.7. The rear sensor does not have any manual shooting mode but there is Dual Exposure mode which lets you adjust the highlights and shadows of the scene before taking the shot. Another feature of the Pixel 4a is Live HDR+, which allows you to preview in real-time a near-final version of the post-processed image before you press the shutter button. In most shots, the contrast is superb and the colors stay true to life. It should be noticed that one of the advantages of this camera’s images is that the average color temperature is usually cooler than other cameras of other phones. The Pixel 4a only has a single sensor, but it supports Super Zoom from Google, which uses software to transform a digitally zoomed 2X image into a 12MP image. Low light shots are also very impressive and the details are very good and Pixel 4a captures the finest images in low lights as compared to other phones of similar range. Astrophotography-first introduced on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, is supported by the Pixel 4a as well. It is a longer-term mode of Night Sight that unlocks when the phone senses that it is fully secure. The camera will take anything between 1 and more than 3 minutes to catch a shot, depending on the scene. At the time, clouds seem to fly a fairway, so it’s advisable to film on a clear night. There are plenty of options available such as Enhance, B&W Portrait, Color Pop, Filters and markup, so do whatever you want with your pictures.
The selfie camera is of 8MP with an f/2.0 aperture lens and a rather wide 24mm field of view. The selfies captured maintain a very good level of contrast and dynamic range. Even when taking a selfie with a lighter backdrop in a shaded spot, the camera knows what to calculate and shadow brightening doesn’t seem very intense. Colors lean to the cold side, like the main camera, and are vibrant under bright light. The backdrop is distorted with selfie portraits, so it’s easier to forget that you’re not completely in view. The bokeh effect is very strong, like the main camera’s portraits.
The Pixel 4a is capable of shooting up to 4K video at 30 frames per second, and [email protected] is also available. The video looked amazing in the traditional 1080p shooting format. The dynamic range is outstanding, whilst the specifics that are resolved look fine. The picture isn’t soft, but it’s not too sharp. There are spot-on shades and there is low noise.
Overall, Google Pixel 4a emerges winner in the camera department with brilliant shots from the rear as well as by the selfie lens. There’s no match to the Portrait clicked by a Pixel and 4a does not disappoint either. The Night Sight is better but, it requires a steady hand to click. The absence of a wide-angle lens sometimes feels to you when you venture out.
Google Pixel 4a comes with Android OS11 which is very handy. With a total of eight cores, Google Pixel 4a runs the Snapdragon 730G chipset built on the 8nm technology. There are 2 Kryo 470 Gold high-power cores clocked at 2.2GHz and 6 Kryo 470 Silver powerful cores clocked at 1.8GHz. The Adreno 618 GPU drives the graphics on the phone. The 730G processor on Pixel 4a is an upgrade when compared to its predecessor which ran Snapdragon 670. The Pixel 4a uses UFS 2.1 storage that is greatly superior to the eMMC 5.1 storage of the 3a. We have seen major increases in the speed of storage over the Pixel 3a’s. When trying to juggle a lot of apps, 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM makes the Pixel 4a sound like it’s not breaking a sweat. The handset efficiently executes everyday activities. The internal storage is 128GB and it is non-expandable. The 730G chipset is good but OnePlus Nord possesses a much more powerful processor which puts the Pixel 4a on the back seat of the competition. Pixel 4a can run any game you choose to play. Casual gaming is perfect for any smartphone at the price point at which the Google Pixel 4a comes but if you’re looking for a powerhouse with tailored cooling and game-specific settings, then Pixel 4a is not exactly the deal you are looking for.
Google Pixel 4a runs on 3,140mAh battery power. The battery capacity of the phone seems to be average as the other companies are providing more battery power in which the Pixel 4a falls. With an average use of the battery lasts a day but with little intense use, you do have to charge it again. The phone comes with the same 18W USB-C Power Delivery charger which rapidly charges the phone but still, it will take you more than an hour to completely charge the phone.
Google Pixel 4a has come to India at the time when festivity begins and it does add some flavors to it. Pixel 4a shines on light-weight and compact design. The cameras were outstanding in its class. The processor is agile and works fast and can be observed while clicking portrait and night shots. The battery might look less on paper but, can easily last a day on a single charge. Selling at around Rs 30,000, Google Pixel 4a beats Nord in camera and in ease of usage with many Google-backed essentials. Pixel 4a does not stress out but, keeps it simple and efficient.