In what was a very surprising announcement, Google launched three new Pixel phones, including its 2020 flagship, on Monday, August 3. The Pixel 4A and Pixel 4A 5G are Google’s mid-year variants of its flagship, which are cheaper and not as feature-packed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the device, which was originally supposed to launch earlier this year, has been delayed. So Google just decided to announce all three devices, even though they have different launch dates.
The Pixel 4A (from £349) is available for preorder now, and will ship from August 20. The Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5 (from £499) will ship sometime later this year. Here’s a look at all Google has packed into its latest devices.
Display: 5.81in FHD+ (1080 x 2340)
Battery: 3140 mAh
Memory & Storage: 6GB RAM with 128GB internal storage
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730
Camera: 12.2MP (rear), 8MP (front)
Unlike previous years, the Pixel 4A is available only in one size and colour (black). For close to £50 off compared to its competitors (the iPhone SE and Galaxy A51), you get 128GB of storage, which is a huge saving (for comparison the 64GB iPhone SE is £399). But what else makes the Pixel 4A stand out? Well at its cost, you get a solid camera, prompt software updates and of course the headphone jack. All of which add up to make the 4A a fantastic budget phone.
The main USP of the 4A is the camera, which is the exact same primary shooter you get on the Pixel 4. Cnet said: “though it doesn’t have multiple rear cameras like, say, the Galaxy A51 or the original Pixel 4, it takes very little effort to get the Pixel 4A to spit out a good photo. This is what makes it fun and hassle-free to use.” The 4A has the same Night Sense and astrophotography mode as the 4, so you do get a great bargain.
In terms of looks, the Pixel 4A makes no attempt to hide its budget status. The polycarbonate body is plain, the only indication of styling is the powder blue power button. There’s none of the elegance of the iPhone SE or shine of the A51, which can be a dealbreaker if you prefer to go caseless. As most budget phones do, the 4A replaces the facial recognition tech for a fingerprint sensor, located at the back of the device.
Another thing that makes the 4A stand out is its battery. The 3,140mAh battery is notably larger than the smaller Pixel 4’s battery, which is a great bonus. All that in a much smaller body makes the 4A a budget phone worth buying. As The Verge put it “though it’s clear that costs were cut in some places, the 4A still handles the fundamentals of what you want from an Android phone.” Early reviews have praised the device’s camera, but the performance reviews have been mixed. That’s mostly down to the mid-tier Snapdragon processor, but hey that’s a tradeoff you will have to accept for the price.
In conclusion, FinalBoss believes that the 4A is cheap, but doesn’t always feel like it. You get a great camera, excellent battery and 3 years of Android updates. And that should be great for those on a budget.
Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5
What do we know about these devices? Well… they launch this “fall” and come with 5G. And that’s it. The announcement on Monday was more of a teaser by the company than an actual announcement. I suspect it was to keep carriers and customers interested in the global 5G rollout. Brian Rakowski, Google’s VP of product management said the company will “share more about these devices and [its] approach to 5G” in the coming months. So we will have to wait and see what Google has up its sleeve.
What we do know is that the devices will start at £499 and launch in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. If the 4A is about mass appeal, the 5G phones are all about ushering in the new era of networking. It is clear that with its 5G devices, Google doesn’t want to sell in large numbers, just in markets where it can make the most cash. It’s an interesting tactic we saw last year with the Pixel 4, which was banned in India because of its Soli chip.
Along with a teaser, Google released an image of the two devices, not that it helped much. From the image, we can see that the 4A 5G and Pixel 5 will come in two different finishes – one in matte black and the other in a sparkly stardust-like finish. I can only assume the sparkly device is the Pixel 5, as Google has a history of weird and bold design choices for its flagship.
The 4A 5G is clearly a rebranding of Google’s Pixel ‘XL’ model, and should come with most of the same specs as the 4A. The key difference will be size, the SoC (leaks indicate it will be the Snapdragon 765G), updated to support 5G networks and a second camera (as per renders).
The Pixel 5 on the other hand, will be a true flagship. Leaks have shown it will come without a headphone jack, one of the key factors differentiating a ‘budget’ and ‘flagship’. Expect wireless charging (maybe even reverse wireless charging?), facial recognition and an improved battery and camera set up. The SoC though, should be the same. And if the Google teaser image is anything to go by, it will be smaller than the Pixel 4A 5G.
Google is notorious for its leaks, so I’d expect the 4A 5G and Pixel 5 to be as described. The only thing we don’t know about is the camera, which is really the only thing that’s left. Guess we will know very soon, either through leaks or through an official announcement. Stay tuned to find out!
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With 3 years experience in journalism prior to joining the FinalBoss team, Srivats has made a name for himself as the go-to guy for in-depth analysis and technical pieces. From the latest gadgets to major launches announced by the biggest tech brands, Srivats brings you content that keeps you in the know.