Google Pixel 4a 5G – Design and Features
It may sound a bit hyperbolic, but the Pixel 4a 5G is one of the best-feeling phones I’ve ever had. The size is perfect for your hands. It’s 2.9 x 0.3 x 6.1 inches (W x D x H), completely 0.5 inches higher than the iPhone 11 Pro. But the Pixel 4a 5G can hide its size behind a strangely smooth plastic frame. This makes it more robust, relatively high quality, and much more grip than the iPhone-like ones mentioned above.
Its plastic body isn’t as luxurious as the iPhone and smoother than the glossy plastic of other Android smartphones, but it’s still really fun to feel. Plastic phones give you a sense of freedom. This is not a case-covered phone. You will drop it, and it will (hopefully) be okay. Despite the polycarbonate body, the craftsmanship of the Pixel 4a 5G is undeniable.
It’s as subtle as possible, with a matte black body with minimal branding and a gray Google “G” on the back. If you like colorful phones, you have to look elsewhere. Like the Model T, it comes in one color: black. On the back is a fingerprint scanner with the same 12.2MP dual pixel camera and 16MP ultra wide camera as the Pixel 5 and a square camera bump. The design has only one personality. It’s white. Button on the side. (The non-5G version of 4a is a more sprite baby blue color with a nasty macaroni and cheese orange button).
The front is similarly sparse, with a medium bezel and a small perforated front camera. (Happily, that hole punch is in a perfect place to completely hide the countdown timer for some freemium game ads I’ve played.) At the top is a non-dead 3.5mm headphone jack. It is equipped. Bottom, USB-C port, stereo speakers (embedded in a strange big gap near the port).
Inside the phone is a fine Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, 6GB of RAM, and a 3800mAh battery that can keep the 6.2-inch OLED running for 48 hours touted.
Of course, the show’s protagonist is the 5G cellular capabilities, which is where your mileage changes dramatically.
5G dramatically increases your internet bandwidth, but no one knows if you have it. Despite being at AT & T and firmly on the company’s 5G coverage map, I was only able to receive “5Ge” connections. In short, it’s a marketing fluff that covers most of AT & T’s LTE network. Still, I was able to receive a down of 175mbps and an upload speed of 58.5mbps. This was fast enough for Stadia, Game Pass, etc., but less than a tenth of the theoretical peak of 2 Gbps reported by AT & T. If you didn’t get the chance to see real 5G in the Bay Area, I think 5G is still more scattered than advertised.
Finally, there’s a USB-C-USB-C code inside the box, which is Google, not Apple, so it’s an 18W USB-C charger.
Google Pixel 4a 5G – Performance and Games
The Pixel 4a is powered by Qualcomm’s powerful (but least powerful) processor, the Snapdragon 765G. Not going on the flagship route helps keep the price of the Pixel 4a down, but prevents the phone from shaking the butter refresh rate that may have been seen on other devices (including the Pixel 5). I will.
Fortunately, refresh rate limits were one of the only areas where I noticed sub-flagship performance, but I did. Even cheaper phones with the same processor and 90hz refresh rate, especially after testing the OnePlus Nord N10 5G. Still, the Pixel was able to play all the games I threw, from Call of Duty: Mobile to Asphalt 9, Elder Scrolls: Blades. Surprisingly, the phone didn’t get hot after an hour of graphic-heavy racing on Asphalt 9. Even if it was charged at the same time, it held up brilliantly.
The mobile phone’s 3800mAh battery also worked well, consuming only 5% of the overall game and service in 15 minutes of play time. This was true no matter what intensive Android game you tried. The same 5% drop occurred when streaming Doom Eternal in Stadia.
And if you can find a reliable 5G connection (or 5GE), you can stream your game almost perfectly. After literally hours of testing Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming, my network experience has never been more perfect. (Again, I’m using AT & T’s supercharged LTE network and it wasn’t really 5G.) In fact, for some reason, there are many issues with WiFi, which is much faster than cellular data. Has occurred. However, be aware of invoice payers. If you have a data limit, streaming can help you find it quickly. Stadia burned over 1 gig of data in 5 minutes and used 10 GB of bandwidth in 1 hour.
Google Pixel 4a 5G image sample
Google Pixel 4a 5G – Camera
The Pixel 4a has the same camera system as the Pixel 5, including a 12.2 megapixel main camera and a 16 megapixel ultra-wide camera. You can take shots between the two with a zoom of 0.6x, 1x, and 2x.
These cameras take clear pictures. Even when I zoomed in, the individual hair was clear. The camera system is also completely fast. Unfortunately, in many images, the saturation is completely out of control, casting the sunset portrait with an unrealistic orange glow and dyeing the grass in an almost heterogeneous shade of green.
During that time, the selfie camera couldn’t make my quarantine hair look beautiful, but I took decent pictures, especially when using portrait mode to smooth my face. In dark places, portrait mode significantly reduced noise, but the face became smoother and looked like a video game character.
To test Google’s low-light feature, NightSight, I took different pictures in different darkness, including in too dark situations. Such lighting never produces a tack-sharp image, but I was still very impressed with the result. The Pixel needs to be stable while the sensor captures more light, but Google seems to be better at correcting motion than Apple. Some of the photos I took looked almost completely bright, even if they were a little soft.
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