Google Pixel 4a 5G Evaluation: XL Oddball

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Google makes wonderful low cost smartphones for the mid-range market however the Pixel 4a doesn’t help 5G. Nicely, anybody disillusioned by that may now be glad with the aptly named Pixel 4a 5G. 

Nevertheless, there’s much more distinction than simply the cell networks these telephones help. That is removed from the identical telephone with a 5G modem inside. 

It’s comprehensible for Google to focus on the 5G aspect within the identify, however it could maybe have been a good suggestion so as to add ‘XL’ to this telephone. It’s one other stable effort from Google, particularly if you need among the Pixel 5 options at a less expensive value and with an even bigger display screen. 

Design & Construct – Is greater higher?

In a nutshell, it is a greater model of the Pixel 4a when is involves design.

A 6.2in show is why it could have been a good suggestion to make use of the ‘XL’ branding that we’ve seen prior to now. That’s 0.2in bigger than the Pixel 3a XL and the Pixel 5. 

Maybe Google thought Pixel 4a XL 5G was too many characters however regardless, it is a fairly huge telephone. It doesn’t really feel loopy because of comparatively small bezels – though they’re nothing particular. There are actually greater telephones on the market. 

I personally desire the scale of the 4a however for an even bigger telephone, this has a pleasant steadiness and feels comfy to make use of. It’s smaller than the Pixel 3a XL and really 1g lighter. 

With a design matching the common Pixel 4a, there’s no waterproofing right here and the unibody case is produced from polycarbonate. Google lists it as ‘soft-touch’ which is not listed for the common 4a, however they really feel similar to me. 

Notice that if you’re coming from an older Pixel machine, the glass part on the prime is gone and the digicam module is so much greater. There’s a great cause for that on this telephone which I’ll cowl later. 

The fingerprint scanner, as common, sits on the again and doesn’t have an excessive amount of of a concave form however works very nicely.


As a result of constraints of 2020, the Pixel 4a 5G is barely out there in a single color – Simply Black. It is a disgrace however that’s the best way it goes until Google can add extra to the vary at a later date. 

Display screen – The XL

As I’ve talked about, the bigger display screen is a key cause to get the Pixel 4a 5G. It’s the largest of Google’s 2020 telephones.  

It retains the identical decision because the Pixel 4a so the bigger dimension means a drop in pixel density however not sufficient that it’s noticeable, so no want to fret in regards to the distinction on that entrance. 

It’s nonetheless an OLED panel with HDR help providing wonderful viewing angles, distinction and punchy colors. Precisely what you’d anticipate, and Google’s always-on show is among the finest available on the market supplying you with the information you want at a look. 

The ‘Now Taking part in’ function means telephone even tells you what music is taking part in close by so that you don’t must Shazam it. 

It’s value noting that when you’re pondering between this telephone and the Pixel 5, the 5’s show is somewhat smaller at 6in however importantly gives a 90Hz refresh price for a smoother expertise.  

There are additionally fairly just a few cheaper telephones with 90Hz and even larger refresh charges. I’ll point out just a few within the value part beneath. 

Cameras – Twin weilding

An uncommon transfer sees the Pixel 4a 5G get the identical cameras because the Pixel 5. Usually Google solely gives the identical essential digicam however right here you additionally get the secondary ultrawide lens and that is why the module on the again is greater than the 4a. 

So, in addition to the 12Mp we’re conversant in, you additionally get a 16Mp ultrawide with a 107 diploma area of view. It is not instantly apparent swap to this digicam however it’s the ‘.6x’ possibility of zoom when in the principle digicam mode. There’s additionally a 2x possibility however there’s no telephoto right here, it’s simply digital zoom. 

If you’re new to the Pixel telephones, what Google does it present top-notch images with out throwing extreme quantities of cameras at a telephone. The ‘a’ units usually solely have one rear digicam and Google does the remaining with intelligent software program. 

That’s primarily nonetheless the case right here however the ultrawide possibility is a welcome addition and, when you ask me, extra helpful than telephoto. 

The Pixel 4a 5G is generally level and shoot with the app holding issues pretty easy and messages will pop-up to present you hand when wanted. Efficiency is superb as we’ve come to anticipate from a Pixel and the telephone can get respectable outcomes is mainly any state of affairs. 

Simply take a look at the spores of mould on the blackberry I rapidly shot whereas holding an eye on the canine on the park. Not a shot I took some time to excellent earlier than hitting the shutter button. 

Together with common pictures, portrait mode is up there with one of the best though can by no means be 100% correct. A new function is known as Portrait Mild which provides a digital mild which you’ll be able to management after you’ve taken pictures. Though, this might solely seem for photographs of individuals however wouldn’t pop up for pictures of my canine. 

Low mild efficiency isn’t something notably particular however Google has Evening Sight for when it will get darkish and now robotically switches to it when wanted. As you possibly can see within the gallery, it’s unbelievable what it might probably do. 

Oh, and the entrance 8Mp digicam ain’t half unhealthy both.

Whereas the telephone can’t shoot video past 4K at 30fps, that ought to be sufficient for most individuals. Even taking pictures at Full HD is properly crisp and the colors are vibrant. Importantly, the footage is fantastically clean with a gimbal-like really feel because of wonderful optical picture stabilisation. 

When utilizing the video mode, you possibly can swap between completely different stablisation modes corresponding to Locked, Lively and Cinematic Pan. You’ll be able to even swap it off, not that you just’d need to. 

Specs & Efficiency – Nearly a Pixel 5

The Pixel 4a 5G has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage – there aren’t any different fashions to select from. This matches the common Pixel 4a however there’s one other huge distinction between the 2 telephones inside. 

Google has given the telephone the identical processor because the Pixel 5 and that’s the favored Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G we’ve seen in so many telephones this 12 months. The LG Velvet and OnePlus Nord to call two. 

That’s extra of a shock by way of the 5 than this telephone however makes the Pixel 4a 5G one of many least expensive telephones with this chipset – though not the most cost effective as I’ll discover later – and essentially the most reasonably priced manner of getting a 5G Pixel. 

As we discovered with the Pixel 5, the benchmark figures are oddly low right here with an identical end result to the 730G-powered 4a in Geekbench 5 and decrease framerates in GFXBench regardless of the identical decision. 

This appears to be right down to working the apps on Android 11 and is likely to be one thing that Google fixes in an replace. Happily, the real-world utilization is completely clean and I had no efficiency points with the Pixel 4a 5G in any respect. 

You’ll be able to see our benchmarks beneath in contrast with different Pixels and rivals.

In addition to specs being impressively much like the Pixel 5, the 4a 5G has one thing the flagship doesn’t. A not often noticed 3.5mm jack sits on prime for those who nonetheless need the straightforward pleasure of plugging in headphones. 

Different specs embody the stuff you’d anticipate like GPS, NFC, Bluetooth. After all, the apparent cause to purchase it as a substitute of the common 4a is the addition of 5G – even perhaps when you do not plan on switching to a 5G plan for some time.

Battery Life – Lengthy however sluggish

An even bigger telephone means an even bigger battery so the 4a 5G has a 3885mAh cell – primarily 24% greater than the common 4a. Oddly, the Pixel 5 has a fair bigger battery at 4080mAh. 

There’s no wi-fi charging right here so that you’ll have to purchase the Pixel 5 for that, however wired charging is 18W and may get the 4a 5G from Zero to 38% in 30 minutes. That’s nothing particular with most telephones going so much sooner and someway the Pixel 5 managed 45%. 

Within the PCMark for Android battery benchmark, the 4a 5G lasted an nearly similar quantity to the Pixel 5 – a stable 12 hours and 35 minutes. It is a telephone that may supply longevity for these searching for it. 

I’m a really mild consumer and I can get three days out of it with out a lot hassle. Most customers will comfortably get via a day and plenty of will get a pair. 


As you’ll anticipate, the Pixel 4a 5G sits between the opposite Pixels in value.  

On the earth of Pixels, it’s an inexpensive £499 or US$499 – that’s £150 greater than the 4a and £100 behind the 5. . Nevertheless, the broader market is so aggressive that there’s higher worth for cash to be discovered when you look elsewhere. 

The OnePlus Nord is a frankly ridiculous £379 and you will get a 12/256GB mannequin for £469 – nonetheless lower than the 4a 5G. 

Different rivals embody the Oppo Discover X2 Lite at £399 and the Realme X50 5G is simply £299. Someway, the Realme has the 765G processor, 5G help and even a 120Hz show. 

Sweetening the deal considerably, nevertheless, is a free pair of Bose QC 35 II noise cancelling headphones when you pre-order the Pixel 4a 5G between 5-18 November. They’re wonderful, value £299 and the deal is obtainable in UK, Eire, Germany and France – T&Cs right here.

Try our chart of one of the best mid-range telephones to see what different competitors the Pixel 4a 5G has. We even have a finest 5G telephone round-up if 5G is a selected requirement. 


In a Google telephone bubble, the Pixel 4a 5G is a superb telephone sitting neatly between the opposite choices this 12 months in value. But, it will get numerous Pixel 5 options together with the extra highly effective processor and ultrawide digicam. 

Pixel purists searching for an XL mannequin have mainly discovered it right here and can solely need to contemplate the flagship 5 if issues like wi-fi charging and a 90Hz refresh price show are sufficient to spend extra. 

Nevertheless, examine the 4a 5G to the broader market and it immediately seems like a little bit of an oddball. 

The OnePlus Nord is a five-star telephone and solely prices somewhat greater than the common Pixel 4a and there are quite a few different cheaper telephones with extra spectacular specs than the 4a 5G. 

Not loyal to Google’s own-brand line? You would possibly nicely be higher off procuring elsewhere. 

Google Pixel 4a 5G: Specs

Android 11 with minimal of three years of OS and safety updates
6.2in 19.5:9 Full HD+ (2340×1080) OLED show
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor
Adreno 620
Titan M safety module
128GB storage (non-expandable)
12.2Mp essential digicam w/ OIS+EIS, f/1.7
16Mp ultrawide digicam w/ 107° FoV, f/2.2
8Mp hole-punch front-facing digicam, f/2.0
As much as 4K @30fps video recording
Stereo audio system
Headphone jack
Twin-band Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
5G sub-6
3800mAh battery
18W quick charging
153.9 x 74 x 8.2mm
Simply Black
2 12 months guarantee

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