Google Pixel 4a 5G Assessment: XL Oddball

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Google makes wonderful low-cost smartphones for the mid-range market however the Pixel 4a doesn’t assist 5G. Effectively, anybody dissatisfied 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 assist. That is removed from the identical cellphone with a 5G modem inside. 

It’s comprehensible for Google to focus on the 5G ingredient within the identify, however it might maybe have been a good suggestion so as to add ‘XL’ to this cellphone. It’s one other strong effort from Google, particularly if you’d like a number of the Pixel 5 options at a less expensive worth and with an even bigger display. 

Design & Construct – Is greater higher?

In a nutshell, this can be a greater model of the Pixel 4a when is involves design.

A 6.2in show is why it might have been a good suggestion to make use of the ‘XL’ branding that we’ve seen up to now. That’s zero.2in bigger than the Pixel 3a XL and the Pixel 5. 

Maybe Google thought Pixel 4a XL 5G was too many characters however regardless, this can be a fairly large cellphone. 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 want the dimensions of the 4a however for an even bigger cellphone, this has a pleasant steadiness and feels comfy to make use of. It’s smaller than the Pixel 3a XL and truly 1g lighter. 

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

Observe that if you’re coming from an older Pixel machine, the glass part on the prime is gone and the digicam module is rather a lot greater. There’s a superb cause for that on this cellphone which I’ll cowl later. 

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


Because of the 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 except Google can add extra to the vary at a later date. 

Display screen – The XL

As I’ve talked about, the bigger display 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 measurement 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 assist providing wonderful viewing angles, distinction and punchy colors. Precisely what you’d count on, and Google’s always-on show is without doubt one of the finest available on the market supplying you with the data you want at a look. 

The ‘Now Playing’ characteristic means cellphone even tells you what music is taking part in close by so that you don’t have to Shazam it. 

It’s price noting that when you’re pondering between this cellphone and the Pixel 5, the 5’s show is a little bit smaller at 6in however importantly affords a 90Hz refresh charge for a smoother expertise.  

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

Cameras – Twin weilding

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

So, in addition to the 12Mp we’re acquainted with, you additionally get a 16Mp ultrawide with a 107 diploma subject of view. It is not instantly apparent methods to change to this digicam however it’s the ‘.6x’ choice of zoom when in the primary digicam mode. There’s additionally a 2x choice 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 cellphone. The ‘a’ units usually solely have one rear digicam and Google does the remainder with intelligent software program. 

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

The Pixel 4a 5G is usually level and shoot with the app protecting issues pretty easy and messages will pop-up to offer you hand when wanted. Efficiency is superb as we’ve come to count on from a Pixel and the cellphone can get respectable outcomes is principally any state of affairs. 

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

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

Low mild efficiency isn’t something significantly particular however Google has Night time Sight for when it will get darkish and now mechanically switches to it when wanted. As you may see within the gallery, it’s unimaginable what it could actually do. 

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

Whereas the cellphone can’t shoot video past 4K at 30fps, that needs to be sufficient for most individuals. Even capturing 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 may change between completely different stablisation modes reminiscent of Locked, Lively and Cinematic Pan. You may even change 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 large distinction between the 2 telephones inside. 

Google has given the cellphone 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 when it comes to the 5 than this cellphone however makes the Pixel 4a 5G one of many most cost-effective telephones with this chipset – though not the most cost effective as I’ll discover later – and essentially the most inexpensive manner of getting a 5G Pixel. 

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

This appears to be all the way down to working the apps on Android 11 and could 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 may 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 hardly ever noticed three.5mm jack sits on prime for those who nonetheless need the easy pleasure of plugging in headphones. 

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

Battery Life – Lengthy however sluggish

An even bigger cellphone means an even bigger battery so the 4a 5G has a 3885mAh cell – basically 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 might get the 4a 5G from zero to 38% in 30 minutes. That’s nothing particular with most telephones going rather a lot sooner and in some way the Pixel 5 managed 45%. 

Within the PCMark for Android battery benchmark, the 4a 5G lasted an virtually equivalent quantity to the Pixel 5 – a strong 12 hours and 35 minutes. It is a cellphone that may supply longevity for these on the lookout 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 count on, the Pixel 4a 5G sits between the opposite Pixels in worth.  

On this planet of Pixels, it’s an affordable £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 assist 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, price £299 and the deal is offered in UK, Eire, Germany and France – T&Cs right here.

Take a look at our chart of the most effective mid-range telephones to see what different competitors the Pixel 4a 5G has. We even have a finest 5G cellphone round-up if 5G is a particular requirement. 


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

Pixel purists on the lookout for an XL mannequin have principally discovered it right here and can solely need to take into account the flagship 5 if issues like wi-fi charging and a 90Hz refresh charge show are sufficient to spend extra. 

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

The OnePlus Nord is a five-star cellphone and solely prices a little bit greater than the common Pixel 4a and there are a variety of different cheaper telephones with extra spectacular specs than the 4a 5G. 

Not loyal to Google’s own-brand line? You may effectively 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/
As much as 4K @30fps video recording
Stereo audio system
Headphone jack
Twin-band Wi-Fi 5
5G sub-6
3800mAh battery
18W quick charging
153.9 x 74 x eight.2mm
Simply Black
2 12 months guarantee

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