Pixel 4a, the only phone Google launched in India in 2020, is very different from the conventional set of Android phones. This year, Google brings in just one variant and just one color, but the phone is available at a competitive price. (Google Pixel 4a Review हिंदी में पढ़िए).

With phones like OnePlus Nord, Vivo V20, and Galaxy M51, the mid-range competition is quite aggressive and we were naturally excited to test how well the Pixel 4a stacks up.

Does the phone gets the proper Pixel treatment and has Google once again managed to truly drag down effectively flagship experience to the mid-range segment? We will try and answer all such questions in our Google Pixel 4a review in order to help you decide if this is a phone you should buy.

Contents

Google Pixel 4a Price and Specifications

Model Pixel 4a
Display 5.81-inches OLED, FHD+, 60Hz, Gorilla Glass 3, HDR
Software Android 11
Processor Qualcomm octa-core Snapdragon 730G
Memory 6GB LPDDR4x RAM + 128GB storage
Rear Cam 12.2MP dual-pixel, 1.4-micron pixel size, AF
Front Cam 8MP, 1.12-micron pixels, Fixed focus
Dimensions 144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm; 143g
Battery 3140mAh with 18W charger
Miscellaneous 3.5mm jack, USB-C 3.1, fingerprint reader, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0
Dual SIM Yes (one eSIM)
Price Rs. 31,999

What’s in the Pixel 4a box?

Pixel 4a comes with:

  • 18W USB PD Charging adaptor
  • USB Type-C to Type-C cable
  • Quick Switch Adaptor (OTG adaptor)
  • SIM ejector pin and documentation

Google Pixel 4a Review: Design and Build

Google Pixel 4a is one of those rare phones that looks and feels better in person than in pictures. The structural minimalism google follows works and that simple contrasting Mint accent on the power button makes a difference. 

In line with our individual preferences, the handset is compact and also extremely light. This ensures that the phone is comfortable to wield and all buttons and ports are easily accessible, even when the power button is positioned above the volume rocker.

Google uses a unibody polycarbonate casing, but it’s not run of the mill plastic and the handset actually feels very tough and durable. The inviting soft-touch rubberized matte finish serves as an added bonus.

Bezels around the display are uniform on the left, right, and top, and the chin is marginally thicker. Google resorts to a punch hole notch, something we are accustomed to by now and don’t find distracting. The screen is shielded by Gorilla Glass 3. 

The Type-C port (USB 3.1) at the bottom is flanked by the speaker slits, one of which houses a speaker. The Audio jack is present at the top. The SIM tray accommodates one SIM card but users can activate the E-SIM for dual SIM connectivity.

Google Pixel 4a review: Display

Google isn’t compromising with the display quality. Pixel 4a’s 5.8-inch OLED display supports wide color gamut and HDR10. It’s a great screen to watch multimedia content. The screen is also perfectly legible under direct sun and has wide viewing angles. Blacks are OLED awesome and we didn’t notice any issues with grey and white uniformity.

Google adds a relatively color-accurate ‘Natural’ profile but the default Adaptive mode is well implemented and we didn’t face any urge to switch. On the downside, high screen refresh-rate is missing and the touch is a hair less responsive compared to high-end phones. 

Pixel 4a has DRM Widevine L1 certificate for HD streaming on popular apps. HD and HDR streaming is supported on Netflix. HDR videos look excellent on Youtube. We couldn’t get HD streaming to work on Amazon Prime, though.  

Also Read: Best slim and compact phones to buy in 2020

Google Pixel 4a Review: Performance and Software

Performance hardware sees a healthy upgrade as compared to the last year. Google Pixel 4a is powered by Snapdragon 730G octa-core chipset. While not flagship-grade, this is a powerful SoC that’s capable of steering a smooth Android experience. There is only one variant available this year – 6GB + 128GB. 

Performance gaps do show up under heavy loads as in the camera app while processing portraits, but by and large, the performance exceeded our expectations. This is not a form factor best suited for heavy gamers, and for everyone else, the Snapdragon 730G with google optimizations remains a sweet proposition.

As for software, the Pixel 4a is an excellent representation of Android 11. It’s the little things like well implemented Always-on display, responsive gestures, and impactful haptic feedback that make a big difference and elevate the experience to premium.

Using the Android 11 Smart Home dashboard is a seamless experience (which it wasn’t on Vivo V20). Most Android 11 features worked well, but once again we couldn’t get notification bubbles to work even with the option enabled in the settings and within individual apps. 

By now we are quite used to front or side-mounted fingerprint reader and switching back to the rear fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 4a took some getting used to. The sensor is snappy and users may use the swipe down gesture to unfurl notifications or quick settings panel. 

Call quality on Pixel 4a is excellent on our Reliance Jio network. We didn’t face any connective related issue in our time with the handset.

Also Read: Android 11 features, tips and tricks

Google Pixel 4a Camera Review

Pixel 4a uses a single 12.2MP sensor for the rear camera. Google understands this sensor well and its image processing algorithms is where the magic resides. The software is extremely deft at understanding a scene and what makes a good picture.

Images shot in daylight retain ample details and show natural color tones (something very rare in this segment). The dynamic range is also quite wide.

Pink and red in the above shots have been faithfully reproduced.

Night Sight helps enhance pictures shot at both night time and indoors. Once again, the Pixel 4a doesn’t blow the exposure and can churn out close to natural shots with high precision.

Capturing a subject in dark ambiance with multiple light sources in the background can be very tricky and Pixel 4a did falter with capturing the essence of the scene. We’d say the Vivo V20 did a better job here. 

Pixel 4a night sight
Vivo V20

Now, let’s talk portraits!

Where Pixel 4a truly excels is at consistently and effortlessly clicking awesome portraits. The intense creamy backdrop blur (which we prefer) could feel unnatural and the picture could go awfully wrong if it weren’t for such high precision in object detection. Pixel 4a can retain details in highlights and shadows and retain subject texture even in indoor lighting. 

There is no wide-angle or macro camera which makes the Pixel 4a decidedly less versatile. Having said that, most other phones implement these extras only half-heartedly and in practical terms, you won’t really be missing out on much. 

We’d say that the Pixel 4a rear photography experience is superior to what we have with phones like OnePlus Nord, Vivo V20, and Galaxy M51.  The hardware is however showing its age and the 4a feels lacking in many aspects when compared to pricier flagships and flagship killers. 

Pixel 4a isn’t as deft when it comes to capturing videos, but it’s still not lagging behind other rivals in the under INR 30k segment. The same can not be said for the selfie camera. The front shooter benefits from the same image processing expertise. White balance and colors are quite good, but details and video quality takes a hit while shooting indoors under artificial lighting or in relatively darker ambiance. 

Google Pixel 4a review: Battery and Audio

The 3140mAh battery on the Pixel 4a can comfortably last for 24 hours of mixed usage. We are getting a screen on time of 5 hours+, which is surprisingly good considering the paltry battery capacity.

The phone supports 18W fast charging and the bundled USB PD charger can top up 85 percent in just 1 hour. A full charge takes around 1 hour. The battery backup falls short of what you could get with phones like Galaxy M51 and OnePlus Nord, but not intolerably so.

As for audio, Pixel 4a has stereo speakers and retains the 3.5mm audio jack. The output from front and bottom speakers is balanced and together the two can get sufficiently loud for dialogues are crisp and clear. Of course, you’d want to use your headphones to relish fine details but for viewing videos or content you run into on social media, these speakers are great.

Audio via wired and wireless headphones is quite good. Popular HD codecs like AptX, AptXHD, LDAC, and AAC are supported. 

Google Pixel 4a Hands-On Review + Pros & Cons Video [in Hindi]

 

Google Pixel 4a Review verdict: Should you buy it?

Google Pixel 4a is the phone I would personally buy for under INR 30,000 or even INR 35,000 and that’s because it caters perfectly to my personal biases. For the same reason, this isn’t a phone that I can blindly recommend to everyone.

The Pixel 3a was a fabulous phone. The Pixel 4a sticks to the same strengths and is now available for a more competitive price, but a good deal has changed in the last year.  

Experiences like high-refresh-rate displays and fast charging are now available on affordable phones and make a meaningful difference. Young consumers are now shooting videos or short videos more often and the portrait magic alone might not suffice for everyone’s needs.

But for some of us, Pixel 4a is the mid-range phone we have always wanted. It’s compact and handy, has delightful software, a gorgeous HDR display, an excellent haptic feedback motor and offers an effortlessly gratifying still photography experience.

Pros 

  • Elegant Design 
  • Gorgeous display
  • Great rear camera for the price
  • Clean software, reliable performance

Cons 

  • No high refresh rate display
  • Average battery backup
  •  

Google Pixel 4A FAQ

Question: What is the SAR Value of Google Pixel 4a?

Answer: Head – 0.99 W/kg; Body – 1.19 W/kg

Question: Does Pixel 4a have DRM L1 for HD Streaming on Netflix and Prime Videos?

Answer: Netflix supports HDR and HD streaming. Prime videos is streaming in SD on our review unit.

Question: How to get Google Pixel 4a repaired and serviced in India?

Answer: Google partners with B2X for after-sales support in India. The service involves home pick and drops in select cities.

Question: Does Pixel 4a have LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage?

Answer: Yes the phone has LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage.

Question: Does Pixel 4a have auto call recording?

Answer: No, it does not.

Question: Does Pixel 4a support NavIC?

Answer: No, it does not.

Question: Does Pixel 4a have dual VoLTE, Career aggregation and Wi-Fi calling?

Answer: Yes, it does. 

Question: Does Pixel 4a have stereo speakers?

Answer: Yes, it does not.

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