Google today officially announced the Pixel 4A priced at US$349. Pre-orders are now available and will be shipped on August 20.
From an industry perspective, the most fascinating thing is the price: $349. This is $50 less than the basic iPhone SE and last year’s Pixel 3A. Pixel 4A may be late, but it is already priced.
It must do the same, because competition for phones priced below $500 has become extremely tense. The camera and its clean Android version are the main way Google aims to distinguish the Pixel 4A from products such as OnePlus Nord, Samsung Galaxy A71 and iPhone SE.
Despite many rumors to the contrary, the Pixel 4A only uses one screen size (although the upcoming 4A 5G is expected to be larger). It also has only one color, appropriately named “only black”.
Google remains the same camera module used in Pixel 3, 3A and Pixel 4: Sony’s 12 megapixel IMX363. Although the sensor itself clearly shows its age, the result is still better or better than what you can get on any other smartphone at any price. For photos, the Pixel 4A matches the Pixel 4 in quality-although it is slower in terms of saving photos. For video, as with Pixel phones, its functions should be mixed at best.
Google introduced its first punch-hole display, a 1080p OLED screen, which is not bad in this price range. Today, the 5.8-inch display puts the Pixel 4A at the low end of the Android phone size, but it is quite comfortable to hold and sturdy in its solid plastic body. Google has always kept the stereo speakers in the Pixel 4A, which is rare at this price point. It also retains the headphone jack, which is rare at any price point.
However, for the Pixel 4A, the most important specifications may be RAM and storage, both of which are actually good news. Pixel 4A is equipped with 6GB RAM, enough to run Android 10 and higher, without forcing background applications to exit early. It also has 128GB of storage space, twice the entry-level iPhone SE. This means that the Pixel 4A is $100 less than the iPhone SE with similar storage.
Of course, neither processor nor Google can compare with Google and other Android manufacturers, especially at the low end. Where the iPhone SE has Apple’s best internal chip, Pixel 4A can be used with Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G. It is fast enough, but it is hard to say that it will last for several years.
Instead of face unlock or in-screen fingerprint sensor, Pixel 4A has a more traditional fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone.
Last but not least, the battery capacity of the Pixel 4A is 3,140mAh, which is significantly larger than the smaller Pixel 4 battery. In my test, it was not a problem to keep the phone lasting all day.
The aggressive $349 price point combined with a basic level of quality and three years of software updates promised by Google has now become one of the better deals in smartphones.