Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Sneak Peak at the Google Pixel 4a

Google announced the Pixel 4a this week. It’s an absolutely fantastic mid-range small-sized smartphone, great all-round, including a really affordable price, but with one tiny problem. You can pre-order it today, but you won’t get your hands on it till 9th September onward, probably much later.

At just S$499, the Google Pixel 4a can easily be said to be a steal. The Pixel 3a last year retailed at S$659 (and S$779 for the Pixel 3a XL). Apple’s iPhone SE, their affordable smartphone launched this year, sells from S$649 upward.

This makes the Plxel 4a very attractive. It’s a completely decent smartphone, even though it doesn’t have any bells and whistles like extra cameras, water-resistance rating, or wireless charging.

The smaller form factor of the Pixel 4a, having a 5.81 inch with 1080×2340 resolution (19.5:9 aspect ratio) OLED display, will fit perfectly in normal-sized hands. The Pixel 4a’s size, measuring in at 144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm, is smaller than last year’s Pixel 3a (which the smaller of the 3a / 3a XL, to be clear). It’s weight at 143 grams is also slightly lesser than the Pixel 3a. You do get a slightly larger 3140 mAh battery.

This year, the Pixel 4a is available in only a single SKU: black, with 6 GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 128 GB of storage. This smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor.

The other internals haven’t changed much. There’s a 8 MP front camera, and a 12. 2 MP dual-pixel rear camera. 4K video recording on the rear camera still tops out at 40K @ 30 fps, though you can get 1080p up to 120 fps, and 720p up to 240 fps, the same as the Pixel 3a / 3a XL. The 3.5 mm audio jack is still there, as is the fingerprint sensor, NFC, and 18 Watt USB-C charging.

Active edge, the feature that allows you to squeeze the sides of the phone to activate Google Assistant, is now gone in the Pixel 4a. I think most people won’t miss this much.

I am disappointed about the lack of water-resistance rating. This also wasn’t available in last year’s Pixel 3a and 3a XL. I’m not asking to use the Pixel 4a underwater, but I like some assurance that getting caught out in the rain won’t destroy the smartphone.

The Pixel 4a is an excellent mid-range smartphone that is easy to recommend to anyone who just needs a decent device for all their casual daily use. The extra bonus, being a Google Pixel device, of having a pure Android experience and direct OS and security software update for three years, sweetens the deal even more.

You can pre-order the Google Pixel 4a now from the Google Store, Courts Online, and Hachi.tech, with fulfillment supposedly starting from 9th September. The Pixel 4a will be available in-stores at Courts and Challenger from mid-October. Either way, there’s going to be some waiting, because when I tried pre-ordering from the Google Store, I was given an early October estimated date.

I’ll have a full review of the Pixel 4a coming up soon!

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