The Pixel 4a, the new budget phone from Google in 2020, starting at $349 (UGX 1,286,314) may be the right phone for those who have been looking something that isn’t too expensive and comes from a trusted brand.
Announced on August 3, 2020, the Pixel 4a is said to be Google’s most affordable phone for the year, packing the most basic essentials in a small size, with a great camera, and most importantly, guaranteed software updates.
Well, with that said, do you think the Pixel 4a is the right fit for you? Let’s find out as we dig a little deeper in what makes it a good 2020 smartphone.
Does the Pixel 4a meet the standards of a good budget smartphone?
1. Size and weight: The 4a is a compact phone, which is smaller than the Pixel 4 and 4XL respectively. It’s light and good for those with small hands.
2. Display: Having a 5.81-inch OLED display panel is great. Its colour reproduction and contrast are excellent, however, an 83.3% screen to body ratio is not amazing in 2020 especially with thick bezels. The display size is not great for gamers or avid content watchers either.
3. Protection: Gorilla class 3 at the front screen is disappointing, and the plastic build gives it a non-premium (cheap) feel. Also, there’s no water or dust resistance. However, the plastic back gives it durability and greatly reduces its weight so it makes up for the ‘weak’ screen.
4. Platform: The phone is running on Android 10 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor, a good chipset which can run most of your apps fast. It also has 6GB RAM and an Adreno 618 GPU, which means you should be able to run multiple tasks simultaneously and low-end games with ease.
5. Camera: It has a single camera unit at the rear that’s 12.2MP, which is still low for 2020 but yet still records videos at 4K though, it could benefit from other camera units like ultra-wide. The selfie camera alone is just 8MP.
6. Storage: For the price, users get 128GB of storage without a card slot, which in our opinion is awesome for that price since many phones with similar storage space cost even more.
The Pixel 4a may not the be the golden goose we expected it to be but it does try to offer decent specs and software too. The price may be right for those in first and second world countries but a total downer when it comes to those in the third world ones.
For a $349 phone, is the Google Pixel 4a still worth buying?
$349 (UGX 1,286,314) is still a high price for a budget phone. One can still get something way better for similar pricing. It comes in one colour, has no card slot, and packs just a 3140mAh battery (you’d have to walk around with a car battery to keep the charge).
None the less, despite the drawbacks, being that it is a budget phone from Google, it still offers some decent features such as;
- Reliable fingerprint reader
- 128GB of storage
- A 3.5mm headphone jack
- Stereo speakers
- “Unlimited” cloud space on Google drive
- USB 3.1, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1
Now, some of these specs may not look so good but if you consider the ongoing pandemic then you will have to agree with me that expensive phones will not get as much market this year. In fact, the general expenditure on luxury goods has dropped worldwide. Bearing that in mind, I think we should let this one slide.
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. If you want something with 5G (wait for the Pixel 4a 5G version instead), top performance, longer battery life, then the 4a is not the right phone for you.
But then again, who is this phone for? It’s for those who love Google apps or for Pixel lovers, or maybe it’s for those who want a compact phone which has some pretty decent specs at a fairly affordable price.
According to David Imel’s review at Android Authority, he referred to the Pixel 4a as a good device calling it a “no brainer,”. David also noted that the 4a offers users “one of the best experiences on Android in a well-designed chassis, for one-third the price of modern flagships.”
Author: Solomon Mugisha
A Software Engineering student and tech enthusiast, Solomon Mugisha is an avid writer with a strong passion for technology. If he ain’t programming something, is definitely writing it down which is why he is known for his catchphrase: “if you can’t write programs, write files”.