Jun 01, 2020 News
The Google Pixel series have been slowly catching on the likes of Samsung and Apple in the flagship category, as they’ve looked to dominate in particularly two segments of the mobile world: cameras, and software. Even with the advanced hardware from Samsung, Apple and Huawei from the past few years, Pixel has been beating them by a decent margin with just a singular camera setup. WIth phones going for triple and quadruple cameras these days, it’s incredible how the Pixel has been able to perform at such a high level in the camera department with just one camera. The second feature the Pixel phones have been leading in software. Google is the main developer for Android, and that’s why the company’s phones get all the major updates first. The newest version of Android will always be first on a Pixel, and the Google phones also have a clean, stock version of the OS. However, performance hasn’t been a thing for the Pixels - something they’ve been criticized for a lot. Let’s hop on our preview of the Pixel 4a, and see if the upcoming mid-range/budget device from Google will be any good.
Thanks to several leaks from twitter users such as @OnLeaks and @91mobiles, we have a great idea of what the Pixel 4a is going to look like. As the CAD designs show below, the 4a seems like a smaller, simplified version of the Pixel 4, which is a good thing. The 4a also features the square-ish camera module on the back as its older sibling. However, what it differs in is that it only has a single camera, compared to two on the 4. That shouldn’t be a thing to worry about though, because we know how capable Google’s processing is to make pictures look spectacular from even a single camera setup. We still get that colored power button that we love, and the rest of the body seems identical, except smaller dimensions. Moving to the front, the 4a ditches the forehead, and just opts for a punch-hole camera setup, which falls much more in line with the 2020 aesthetic that we’re used to now. The omission of a headphone jack from the Pixel 4 will be reversed as well, with the 4a having a 3.5mm jack on top as per the renders.
Pixels have been notoriously known for underwhelming performance as flagships, and that’s mostly due to the poor optimization by Google in the software department - which is peculiar to say the least, because considering the fact that Android is mostly the contribution of Google, they should be able to integrate the hardware with the software seamlessly. After usage of few months, a lot of Pixel users have complained about a significant dip in performance, and we hope that that will be fixed with the upcoming 4a and the Pixel 5 series.
The 4a will most likely feature a Snapdragon 700 series chipset, perhaps the 730G to be specific. The 730G is a competitive chipset used in mid-range devices like the Samsung A71, and is known for its powerful and efficient performance. It can go toe-to-toe with the best chipsets from 2018, which means the capability of running any heavy game on high settings smoothly. Day to day tasks should feel buttery smooth as well - that is, unless Google messes up the optimization process for their devices’ longevity. We expect the 4a to be a worthy performer.
Well, through leaks and information from 9to5Google, we’ve come to know that the primary camera on the 4a will be the exact same sensor as the Pixel 4. That means that we should expect flagship level of photographs from the Pixel 4a camera, with a support of 4k 30fps video recording as well. You’ll also be able to go up to a respectable 120fps on 1080p resolution, which is more than enough to make your shots look professional. However, we all know that photographs are the Pixel’s main forte, and you will be able to take spectacular images in an easy point-and-shoot fashion without having to tweak the settings at all.
Well, this is an area that may worry several people waiting on the 4a. The phone is suspected to have a 3080 mAh battery cell, which by today’s standards seems pretty low. However, we also have seen slightly lower battery units on phones like the iPhone XR which has a great battery life performance overall - and considering the fact that the 4a will most likely have an LCD display, they should be able to get the phone to give at least 7-8 hours of screen-on time. Moreover, to cover up for the smaller battery, we hope that the phone will support fast charging of decent speeds, so the effect of the lower battery life can be subdued to some extent.
Now Google has been keeping the Pixels at relatively the same price from previous year’s models throughout their smartphone adventures. We can expect the same with the 4a - with its price being similar to the 3a at around 400 bucks. Now, this may not be as accurate, and we might even see the 4a being even cheaper than that, maybe coming around 300 to 350 dollars instead, depending on the variant. If Google does manage to get the 4a down to a $300 price point, then it will automatically make a case for it to be one of the best deals in the market.
Expected to come somewhere around late June to Mid July, we think that the 4a will be a major improvement over the already much loved Pixel 3a, and that apart from the overall display, we don’t think it will have many points of criticism. Keep your eye out this summer for a great budget phone to enter the market.