The Zimbabwean Perspective

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Smartphones Tech

Google Pixel 4A: The basics done right gives you all the smartphone you need.

But it’s got fierce competition…

Google’s Pixel 3A was arguably our favorite phone of last year, matching price, performance and pragmatism in a way that pretty much no other device did last year. By combining the best part’s of it’s Pixel range, namely the camera and software features, Google created a great smartphone that made the kind of dent that all of its competitors noticed. And now with the Pixel 4A, Google’s done it again, except this time this budget king might be facing some pretty compelling competition.
Now you’ll notice in The Verge review above, reviewer Dieter Bohn talks about how this phone is the perfect balance of getting the basics right, and despite my title, I’m not copying him, it’s just that true! The Pixel 4A is as pragmatic as the 3A while benefiting from the progress of tech in the Android space (in the form of a hole punch camera and thinner display)and still brings a best in class camera that can challenge the bigger pixel 4, iPhone 11 and even the recently praised Sony Xperia 1 II. Simply put, for USD $350 you can’t get a better deal. This is by far the best camera for it’s price range (with the only competition coming from the iPhone SE) and it come in a phone that will satisfy most budget buyers at everything else too. The phone’s not the fastest ever, but it will serve you well, it’s not the flashiest or has the best screen, but it’s 1080p OLED panel will still impress many, its storage is regrettably not expandable, but it comes with 128GB out of the box. Throw in some great software features including Google’s offline voice transcription and song recognition, combined with three years of Android updates and support and you have one of the best Android phones you can buy this year.
Display5.81-inch OLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
19.5:9 aspect ratio
Gorilla Glass 3
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 730G
2x Cortex-A76
6x Cortex-A55
GPUAdreno 618
No microSD slot

12.2MP, f/1.7, 1.4µm pixels, optical + electronic image stabilization

8MP sensor, f/2.0, 1.12µm pixels, fixed focus, 84-degree field-of-view

Headphone jackYes
18W charging
No wireless charging
IP ratingNo IP rating
SoftwareAndroid 10
ColorsJust Black
Dimensions and weight144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm

Now we did say best Android phones and not just best phones for a reason. The iPhone SE might be mainly meant for those already wanting to join Apple’s camp but it’s also this phone’s main competition and a very compelling contender at that. It’s camera is arguably not as good at photos, but it takes better video, it’s water resistant while the 4A isn’t and it has the iPhone 11’s more powerful A13 bionic processor, meaning not only will it likely get software updates for longer, but it will also likely perform better after a few years. However, it’s also lacking a headphone jack, has the honestly ugly and dated iPhone 6 design and has a worse screen and larger bezels. Add the fact that it’s 64GB version costs $50 more that the 128GB 4A and you can see why the Pixel might still win this one. But again, the Pixel is still not alone here. The OnePlus Nord while costing $100 more has much more power, a multicamera array that trade quality for versatility (which come people prefer) a 90hz screen that might keep it in people’s lives long after they dump the Pixel. Samsung’s Galaxy A51 also has a much better screen and the best battery life out of all of these. It’s also the one that will definitely be available locally while the rest will take some connections to find. Regardless, the Pixel 4A is definitely going to be facing a fight, but it’s also just proof that the sub category it created is only growing: cheaper phones that put their flagship counterparts to shame. And honestly, we’re all for it. The more the merrier.

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