03 August 2020 16:32

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Google Pixel 4a finally official: Here are the full details

The camera and its clean version of Android are the main ways that Google is aiming to differentiate the Pixel 4A from the likes of the OnePlus Nord, Samsung Galaxy S71, and iPhone SE. Google Pixel 4A specs Display: 5.81-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED, 443 ppi with hole punch camera Google has gone with its first hole-punch display, an OLED screen that's 1080p and quite good for this price range. The 5.8-inch display puts the Pixel 4A at the lower end of Android phone sizes these days, but it's quite comfortable to hold and sturdy within its plastic body. The compact size, clean interface and great point-and-shoot camera of the Pixel 4a will appeal to those looking for an affordable, reasonably sized handset with enough grunt to handle the basics, plus the ability to capture some excellent pictures. There's slick Google Assistant integration, a clean Android interface with three years of guaranteed updates, and a seriously impressive photography experience considering the Pixel 4a has just one rear camera.

However, pull out the spec sheet and compare it to similarly priced rivals and the Google Pixel 4a doesn't seem like such a great deal, with less power, less RAM, fewer cameras, a smaller screen and no 5G connectivity - although a Pixel 4a 5G variant will arrive later in 2020, alongside the Google Pixel 5 (which will also be 5G enabled). Battery life is mediocre, with the phone just about lasting a day on a single charge – and if you really push it you'll be reaching for a charger come late afternoon. If you're thinking about getting the Google Pixel 4a you'll need to carefully consider what's important to you when it comes to a new smartphone. That said, its compact size, clean interface and great point-and-shoot camera will appeal to those looking for an affordable, reasonably sized handset with enough grunt for social media, web browsing and emails, plus the ability to capture some excellent pictures. Trouble is, the Google Pixel 4a is playing in a highly-competitive middle market, and is up against some handsets with far more impressive spec sheets – the likes of the OnePlus Nord, Realme X50 5G, Moto G 5G Plus and Mi Note 10 Lite can dazzle consumers with their multiple cameras, larger screens and 5G connectivity.

You'll find the mint-green accented power/lock key situated conveniently under thumb or finger on the right of the handset, with a black volume rocker just below, while the SIM tray is on the opposite side – this can only hold a single SIM, but the Google Pixel 4a also comes with a built-in eSIM card. Considering the phone has just one rear-facing camera, the size of the camera block seems a little excessive, but it's presumably a design decision from Google as it looks to mimic the square bump on the rear of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. The Google Pixel 4a also features an always-on display, which will permanently display the time, date, battery level, weather and other information depending on the situation; for example, if you have alarms set it'll show your next alarm, and if you're listening to music on the Pixel 4a it'll show you the track name and artist. The Pixel 4a makes photography easy – just point and shoot, and most of the time the camera, combined with Google's intelligent software processing, means you'll get a great photo in many scenarios. You'll also be prompted to switch modes if the phone detects low light levels, with the camera app suggesting that you try Night Sight instead of the standard camera option.

Night Sight is one of the best night modes we've used on a smartphone, and while the hardware and processing power on the Pixel 4a aren't up to the levels of the phone's flagship siblings, it still does an impressive job after the sun sets. There's also just a single camera on the front of the Google Pixel 4a – it's an 8MP, f/2.0 snapper with an 84-degree field of view, and it can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. Useful: an estimated time of when your phone battery will die (Image credit: TechRadar) The Google Pixel 4a comes with enough power to ensure you can do everything you want on the phone. There aren't too many smartphones around these days which you can comfortably use one-handed, but the Google Pixel 4a is one of them. The two cameras on the Google Pixel 4a may not offer the greatest flexibility at this price point, but they do offer an easy point-and-shoot experience which, more often than not, means you can take quality photos with very little effort.

Rival handsets boast 5G connectivity, multiple cameras, bigger screens, more power, larger storage options and premium designs – things the Pixel 4a simply doesn't have. The smaller screen (although it's still 5.8 inches) means there's less real estate for your eyes to lock onto – and your thumbs will cover some of it – while battery life takes a bit of a beating, and the phone doesn't have the same power as its competitors, meaning slightly longer load times. The Google Pixel 4a has a 5.81-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution, 2340 x 1080 pixels, for an impressive 443ppi. With a single 12.2-megapixel f/1.7 camera on the rear, what this phone really brings to the fore is Google's computational photography skills, letting you take advantage of all those technologies that are lauded on the Pixel 4. That means you get excellent portrait shooting on both the front and back camera, you get Night Sight for low light shooting as well as Google's astrophotography option that will let you take pictures of the stars.