More than just getting the basic right.
Google's latest launch, Pixel 4a, focuses right on the base of a mid-tier smartphone, with a cherry top of praiseworthy camera quality at only S$499. Against the latest release of OnePlus Nord in the mid-tier and its high-end sibling Pixel 4, Pixel 4a did seems to impress the market in its way. And as an improved version to its predecessor, Pixel 3a, which was S$659 before the discount, Pixel 4a cost S$160 less at its launching price.
Camera - Taking photos up a notch
Although the Pixel 4a does not come with a second rear telephoto, it has the Pixel 4's 12.2 MP dual-pixel rear main camera and a small punch hole 8MP camera front. And using a similar processing software powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, it can take good quality photos, almost like its high-end sibling, Pixel 4.
It consists of 7 camera features, which can be found in the Pixel 4 too. In it, three significant features would be the night sight feature that takes excellent pictures in low light conditions, the portrait shot with blurring effect at the background, which adds focus to the subject, and the HDR+ with automatic color and lighting adjustment.
Performance - Standard
Running on a mid-tier Snapdragon 730 chipset, and a low refresh rate of 60Hz, there is undoubtedly a minor tad of latency in the browsing experience compared to smartphones with 90Hz / 120Hz refresh rate. However, coupled with the 6GB RAM, an upgrade from its predecessor, Pixel 3a, it is considered a standard performance for day-to-day use.
Display - Compact size
With a bezel-less display, the Pixel 4a comes in a 5.81-inch OLED screen, a comfortable compact size to hold on and use. It gets pretty bright and has a pixel density of 443ppi, providing a similar sharpness and clarity of display as the Pixel 4.
Available in a smooth matte black coating, the Pixel 4a may not sit on the premium side but doesn't look cheap either. It has a lightweight frame, polycarbonate body, and a nice gorilla glass 3 cover that is good against small scratches and chips.
Battery - Decent
Another highlight for Pixel 4a would be the 3140 mAh battery size with an 18W fast charging charger included and an adaptive battery management software. The smart adaptive battery learns the frequently used apps and reduces power to rarely used apps, giving it longer battery life. Hence, despite a smaller battery size than others, Google's software eventually made up for it.
It has more battery capacity than Pixel 3a and Pixel 4, and about 25% lesser than OnePlus Nord. With a light to average usage, the Pixel 4a does last the whole day with an estimation of 20-30% more to spare. But if you were to binge on videos and gaming, it would probably give you approximately 4 to 5 hours of screen time.
Pixel 4a's Perks
OS and Security updates
Users get to have a minimum of 3 years OS updates, and security with Google's powerful Titan M chip.
A new feature introduced is the real-time live caption available for videos and audios. And this includes phone calls and audio recordings too.
The little help that allows us to work more efficiently day-to-day.
With that, Google Pixel 4a does have a fair share of features and functions compromised. But for this price tag, it is still quite a bargain. It does not have the IP water or dust resistance, wireless charging, and it is not 5G supported, which are all usually included in high-end smartphones. Also, despite not having the facial recognition function, Google did include the fingerprint sensor at the back of the Pixel 4a, giving users the convenience needed.
Although there is only one storage available (128GB) in Pixel 4a, it comes with three months of Google one, which includes access to 100GB cloud storage with automatic phone backup.
To sum it up, although the specification may be the basic in the mid-tier smartphone, thanks to Google's software, the users still get to experience a competence performance speed, have fantastic camera quality than others, and longer battery life, all for S$499 only. On top of that, users get to enjoy Google's features with security updates and OS upgrades directly from Google for three years.