Test google pixel 4a 5g

The google Pixel 4a 5G delivers if you"re after 5G connectivity in an affordable package

ByPhilip Michaels13 september 2021

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The Pixel 4a 5G may notfall be as an excellent a worth as ns Pixel 4a, however it has many des the features von the Pixel 5 for hundreds less. That provides it a better auswahl if freundin want a 5G phone from Google.

Du schaust: Test google pixel 4a 5g


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Starting price: $499/£499Screen size: 6.2-inch FHD OLED (1080 x 2340); 60Hz update rateCPU: Snapdragon 765GRAM: 6GBStorage: 128GBRear cameras: 12MP hauptsächlich (ƒ/1.7 ); 16MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2)Front camera: 8MP (ƒ/2.0)Battery size: 3,885 mAhCharging: 18W wiredSize: 6.1 x 2.9 ns 0.3 inch (153.9 ns 74 ns 8.2 mm)Weight: 5.9 ounces (168 grams)


The google Pixel 4a 5G remains a good buy despite it jetzt having to be replaced von the google Pixel 5a. Particularly zum U.K. Customers where ns 5a isn"t currently sold.


While the grundlegend Pixel 4a was zum people who wanted die best camera phone an the cheapest possible device; the Pixel 4a 5G aimed zum people who want a competitively-priced camera phone but deshalb 5G connectivity, much better performance and a bigger display.

There are a slew des other mid-range 5G phones i beg your pardon the google Pixel 4a 5G goes toe-to-toe versus — in LG Velvet here, a Galaxy A71 5G there. And I think the fares pretty well, together Google"s expertise with cell phone photography outweighs any concerns about die Pixel"s subpar battery.

But an many ways, the ja wirklich competitor to die Pixel 4a 5G are other google phones. Beside from ns Pixel 5a, the Pixel 5 share much an common v its cheaper sibling — deshalb much dafür that ultimately, ns Pixel 4a 5G gets ns better von any comparison. If you want a 5G phone from Google, and can"t wait for the Pixel 6 or can"t get ns Pixel 5a, ns Pixel 4a 5G is the one zu get.


Pixel 4a 5G review: Price and availability

There"s one version von the google Pixel 4a 5G — a 128GB modell with 6GB of RAM — und it wollen cost sie $499/£499. That"s $200/£200 cheaper than ns Pixel 5 in spite of sharing many von the very same components. You möchte pay $150/£150 more over the basic Pixel 4a though, which may strike part as a steep premium weil das 5G connectivity. Ns Pixel 4a 5G ist only $20 more than ns starting price of the Pixel 3a XL, which doesn"t arbeiten with 5G. (See how die latest Pixels compare zu their predecessors in our google Pixel 4a vs. Pixel 3a comparison.)


Google sells ns phone unlocked, und you can so buy versions native the google Store that space tied kommen sie Verizon und Google Fi. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon all stange the Pixel 4a 5G themselves too.

One grad about die Pixel 4a 5G marketed through Verizon — it costs $100 more than ns standard $499 version. That"s since it"s designed zu work v Google"s high-speed mmWave-based 5G towers the outperform 5G networks constructed on low- zu mid-band spectrum. Verizon 5G attributes mmWave in 51 cities, when a nationwide network built on lower eis spectrum launched an October. (You"ll blieb get 5G with die Pixel 4a 5G there is no mmWave, yet it just be a wenig bit faster than LTE.)

Pixel 4a 5G review: Design

The Pixel 4a 5G ist a handsome phone, and at times, wie it was sitting face-up ~ above my workdesk opposite von a Pixel 4 XL, i had zu do a double-take before i knew i m sorry phone to grab. That"s notfall the case when die Pixel 4a 5G is flipped end — the back is do from plastic, and it definitely aussehen it.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

You may notfall get a an elaborate glass or metal frame kommen sie lend your phone a touch of style, but ns Pixel 4a 5G is still comfortable zu hold. Also with a 6.2-inch screen, it"s relatively lightweight at nur 5.9 ounces (168 grams). Die fancier-looking LG Velvet tips die scales hinweisen 6.3 ounces, and if you like easier-to-carry handsets, ns Pixel 4a 5G"s lighter weight makes a world des difference.

The edge on the Pixel 4a 5G are reasonably plain, with ns power taste (in a contrasting white on the Just schwarz version des the phone) and volume rocker on ns right side. Ns top contains a headphone jack, which is good news zum people blieb using wired headphones and earphones.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

On the back of die phone, a little bit southeast of the behind camera array, google included a fingerprint sensor. Ns location seems a wenig high up weil das my taste, as i sometimes had actually trouble locating the sensor. Probably that defines why it occasionally took me a couple von tries kommen sie unlock the Pixel 4a 5G, especially when ich was stop it with my right hand.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Buy the google Pixel 4a 5G native the google Store, and you kann only pick die Just black option. That"s deshalb the only shade offered zu U.K. Buyers. Verizon at this time gives sie a choice bolzen black und white, i m sorry aren"t exactly the most vibrant shade decisions you"ll ever be asked zu make.

Pixel 4a 5G review: Display

Like ns Pixel 4a and Pixel 5, the Pixel 4a 5G uses in AMOLED display screen with in FHD resolution, and a punch-hole notch for the former camera an the top left corner. Weist 6.2 inch across, die Pixel 4a 5G is the largest von the 2020 Pixel line-up, beating ns 5.8-inch Pixel 4a and 6-inch Pixel 5.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The display ist one of the greatest trade-offs you"ll make wie you choose bolzen the Pixel 4a 5G und the Pixel 5. It"s not that ns more high-quality Pixel has actually a much more colorful display screen — it abdecken 128.8% des the sRGB shade spectrum, compared to 128.3% über the Pixel 4a 5G. Rather, die Pixel 5 uses a 90Hz refresh rate that tun können make scrolling smoother und other content more immersive. Ns Pixel 4a 5G goes v a much more conventional 60Hz rate.

Set ns two phones side by side and you"ll notice a difference. A phone v a faster-refreshing display offers a better experience overall. I"m not sure it"s $200 worth des difference, though, und unless you"re downgrading indigenous a call that already offered a fast-refreshing screen, you"re not likely to be bothered über its lack on ns Pixel 4a 5G.

The Pixel 4a 5G"s screen ist colorful enough, though ns LG Velvet catches more of the sRGB color spectrum hinweisen 140.6%. Colors are nur as specific on both phones, though, together they schutz equal Delta-E rating von 0.3. That"s about equal to die Pixel 4a"s 0.29 rating, but behind the iPhone SE und its 0.2 score. (Numbers closer to zero are better.)

One des my best complaints with last year"s Pixel 3a lineup was die dim screen google used top top its budget phone. Things schutz improved with ns Pixel 4a 5G, which kann reach a preferably brightness von 638 nits when you"ve gott Adaptive Brightness rotate on. That"s not as great as die Pixel 4a"s 681-nit rating, but an line with the iPhone SE"s 625 nits. It"s so ahead of mid-tier 5G phones like die LG Velvet (567 nits), Motorola leaf (558 nits) and Galaxy A71 5G (481 nits).


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Just make sure you have Adaptive Brightness enabled wie man you walk outside. Otherwise, brightness tops out punkt 411 nits for the Pixel 4a 5G, and the glossiness des the display tun können make it very hard kommen sie make the end details in the shining sun. Ich had kommen sie squint wie man watching Hail, Caesar! top top Netflix or play PUBG Mobile kommen sie get die full picture des what ich was looking hinweisen when outdoors.

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Indoors, i found the Pixel 4a 5G"s screen nice and colorful, even if it is it together Channing Tatum"s clean dress whites from a Hail, Caesar! musical or die green wallpaper in the riegel where he was dancing. The YouTube trailer for Stardust also reflected the muted "70s colors as well as johnny Flynn"s transformation from david Bowie to ns magenta-haired Ziggy Stardust.

Pixel 4a 5G review: Cameras

While Pixel 4a owners make do with a einzel rear camera, the google Pixel 4a 5G gets die same set of sensors as the Pixel 5 — a 12MP taste lens together with a 16MP ultrawide shooter. Google"s superlative computational photography is along for the ride, too.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Those cameras space probably ns best thing about ns Pixel 5, und the same can be said here. Even better, you"re paying $200 less zum photos the look just as great as die ones captured von Google"s flagship.

The Pixel 4a 5G walk a solid job capturing this photo von some breakfast tacos, also with part unforgiving light streaming in from a kitchen home window to die right of the shot. Ns colors are exact — from die bright red peppers to the dollop des sour cream. I also like how die Pixel maintained everything in focus, even the taco bei the background.

That very same taco doesn"t look as sharp in the LG Velvet"s photo und the colour seem zu have in overly yellow cast to them. The differences are minor however they"re enough kommen sie separate a kind midtier camera phone call like ns Velvet native a superior one like the Pixel 4a 5G.

That"s not to say die Pixel 4a 5G pond every shot. There"s nothing yes, really wrong v this scene of a foggy Santa Cruz cliffside, though ich think die LG Velvet does a better job overall depicting ns fog bei the shot, an especially as that wraps around the trees bei the far background. The Velvet"s picture shows a an ext detailed texture weil das the tree trunk bei the left foreground of the shot, when that same tree aussehen much darker in the Pixel"s shot.

That said, ns Pixel 4a 5G more successfully handles ns sunlight breaking through ns fog und backlighting die tree on ns right-hand side von the photo. You have a little over-exposure in the LG Velvet"s image.

How does the Pixel 4a 5G fare versus beefier competition? to find out, ich used Google"s phone and in iPhone 11 Pro max to shoot a picture of my favorite surfer. You"d really be hard-pressed kommen sie say which photo came native which phone, despite if freundin study ns details, ns iPhone 11 Pro max did a better job highlighting ns patches of blue in in otherwise foggy sky. Still, freundin wouldn"t look hinweisen those two photos und see $600 worth des difference, particularly in the way the Pixel 4a 5G matches the iPhone"s ability to capture the surfer"s have fun on ns water von the birds pool.

Speaking of tide pools, ich used tonnage year"s google flagship — the Pixel 4 XL — kommen sie shoot a picture of a tide schwimmbad to see nur how viel the Pixel 4a 5G can replicate its an ext expensive predecessor. And I think this pictures come as close to being a perfect complement as possible. Both pick hoch the einzelheiten of mussels clinging to die surrounding rocks und you can see a reasonably detailed outline of a sea anemone just underneath ns surface des the water. If freundin want a flagship-quality camera without the accompanying price, the Pixel 4a 5G ist as close as you"re going zu get.

I"m also impressed by how the Pixel 4a 5G makes the most des Google"s prowess v computation photography. Ns Night Sight feature on ns Pixel 4a 5G produce photos together sharp as any Pixel phone und can go toe-to-toe with ns low-light picture mode of handsets like die iPhone 11 jeden Max.

You can argue that ns Pixel 4a 5G far better captures some of the nuances des the flowers an this picture of Halloween decorations, though i think ns iPhone does a better arbeit with die shading on ns skull to die right des the flowers, notfall to mention die background lighting. Still, this Pixel 4a 5G low-light shot ist better 보다 anything produced von a sub-$500 phone must be.

I think die Pixel 4a 5G deshalb does a credible job with portrait shots, at least determining where die background ends und the subject begins. The outline des my daughter zu sein very distinct bei the Pixel 4a 5G"s photo, uneven with die iPhone 11 Pro maximal where some of her hair and a little halo around produziert left must get captured up in the blur.

I so prefer that the Pixel 4a 5G"s shot consists of more des the background, despite that kann be a personal preference. Where die iPhone excels ist skin tone — sie can ausblüten see mine daughter"s freckles, while die Pixel over smoothes herstellung face. (This wake up a last with google phones.) and I just think the blur on the iPhone"s shot aussehen a wenig more natural und less computer-generated.

Turning zurück to a phone in the Pixel 4a 5G"s preis class, we see how viel better the 8MP front camera can handle self than ns front shooter on ns LG Velvet. Mine face aussehen hearty und healthy in the Pixel"s shot. Probably my skin"s a little too smooth, however it"s a very an excellent shot with balanced colors und lighting. Ns Velvet provides me look as if I"ve watched a ghost, draining all die color from mine face and making me look slightly over-exposed.

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Google Pixel 4a 5G: Performance

We find an ext similarities betwee the google Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5 when it comes to their processors. Both usage a Snapdragon 765G, which isn"t ns most an effective chip you"ll find in this year"s best android phones. Yet it zu sein a processor favored von phone devices who want zu offer 5G-ready devices — ns Snapdragon 765G has a integrated 5G modem — yet don"t want their phones zu cost as viel as ns priciest flagships. The LG Velvet also uses the Snapdragon 765G, while the Galaxy A71 and Motorola Edge use a slightly lower-powered Snapdragon 765.