Google would have announced a follow-up to the successful Pixel 3a in May if 2020 in any way resembled the year that came before. The I/O developer conference was, of course, cancelled and almost three months have passed without a launch of Pixel 4a. With a quiet, online unveiling of Made by Google’s next device, that is luckily changing today.
The mid-range design of the Pixel 4a begins with the eschewing of glass and metal for a poly carbonate uni-body which lacks a shiny shade distinguishing the phone ‘s top quarter. It is a fine design and cost-cutting choice, like last year, which will serve Google well. The rear is predictably equipped with a Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor while the top-left hump takes after the Pixel 4.
A dual-pixel 12.2 megapixel camera is in the bottom-right while the opposite corner is home to flash. Like the main camera of the Pixel 4, it has optical and electronic image stabilizer, an aperture of about 1.7, a field of view of 77 degree, and a width of 1.4 μm. Night Sight and Portrait mode capabilities include.
The Pixel 4a is Google’s first device to feature a hole-punch camera for the front-facer of 8 megapixel camera, to be a cheaper handset. This results in minimal, all-around bezels and a discreet earpiece. It is otherwise a Gorilla Glass 3 protected aspect ratio of 5.81-inch 1080×2340 OLED at 443 PPI, and 19.5:9.
Other hardware features include a fan-favourite headphone jack up top, right-edge power button and volume rocker, right-edge SIM card slot, and below USB-C port. There is no wireless charging to power the 3,140mAh “all-day” battery, but for this phone class, that’s more than expected.
It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 730G paired with 6GB of RAM and Titan M security module under-the-hood. With three years of OS and security updates it runs Android 10 off the box.
This is the second phone to feature the new Google Assistant after the Pixel 4. Recognition of speech on-device and understanding of language allows for faster commands. This in turn navigates apps and execute some hands-free actions. For example, you can search for Google Photos and then send it to a contact via voice after finding the right image. It now works in German , French, Spanish, and Italian aside from English.
Google only offers the Pixel 4a in one storage (and size) capacity. It’s double at 128GB from last year, though at $349, it comes in $50 cheaper. As of today, it is only available in the following countries under “Only Black” with a mint power button:
Shipping August 20, comes with a free trial of Google One, YouTube Premium and Google Play Pass for three months.