Google Pixel 4A
Updated: Dec 25, 2020
The cheapest phone from Google in 2020 is the Google Pixel 4a and it’s a great budget Android device. It might be the lowest rung on the ladder beneath the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, but it offers many of the same great benefits. In this Google Pixel 4a buyer’s guide, we bring you all the info you need to make a smart purchase decision and to make the most of your new phone.
The Pixel 4a was announced on August 3, 2020. It’s Google’s most affordable phone for the year and it’s a great pick if you want:
A cheap-ish phone from a trusted brand
A great camera
A smaller size
Quality software and guaranteed updates.
The Pixel 4a costs $349 in the US, where it’s available in only one size, one color, and one storage configuration. It competes with the iPhone SE, the OnePlus Nord (outside the US), the Samsung Galaxy A51, and a slew of other affordable phones from brands like Xiaomi and Realme.
You should avoid the Pixel 4a if you want:
Top performance, especially for games
Lots of bells and whistles
A battery that holds several days
5G (get the Pixel 4a 5G version instead).
We think the Google Pixel 4a is a great pick for the money, especially in the US, where value-focused brands like Realme and Poco are not present. At $349, it’s a great phone for those who want something solid and functional for day-to-day use, with added niceties like a high-quality camera and a beautiful screen. Now, Google doesn’t have a stellar track record as a phone maker. Some previous Pixel phones have suffered from hardware issues. Also, Google phones are rarely on the cutting edge in performance and battery life. The Pixel 4a is no exception. Keep that in mind if you want the highest reliability or the best specs for your money. The Pixel 4a is the follow-up to the Pixel 3a, which was very popular last year. The 3a was our most recommended device of 2019 and all signs suggest the Pixel 4a will follow in its footsteps.
Is the Pixel 4a camera good?
The Pixel 4a features the same 12MP camera sensor as its predecessor. There’s also only one lens on the back – no wide angle, no zoom, no depth sensors.
On paper, that doesn’t sound encouraging, but specs alone don’t paint the full picture. Like other Pixel phones, the Pixel 4a punches above its weight, thanks to great software optimization. As David put it in our review, “images from the Pixel 4a are classic Google. That is, they’ll look fantastic straight out of camera in nearly any situation.”
How is the Pixel 4a battery life?
From our experience, you can expect around 6.5-7 hours of screen-on time from the Pixel 4a’s 3,140mAh battery, with medium usage. That’s a fairly good number for a battery this size, though it probably won’t be enough to get you through two days of use.
Is the Pixel 4a fast enough?
Like everything else about the Pixel 4a, the phone’s performance is good enough for the money. You won’t get flagship-level smoothness, or the highest frame rates in Fortnite. You will get a nearly seamless, lag-free experience in day-to-day use, which is what most people who buy this kind of phone want and expect.
Where can I get one?
The Google Pixel 4a is available from the Google Store and via Google Fi. Other retailers that will offer it include Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. In the US, Google will also sell the Pixel 4a on C Spire, Spectrum Mobile (Charter), US Cellular, Verizon, and Xfinity Mobile (Comcast). The Pixel 4a is now available in a variety of other countries as well, as emails have been sent out to users who signed up for the waitlist.