I’m a long time iPhone user, but I’ve been wanting to dabble in the Android world for quite a bit. And since the Pixel 4a is pretty new, I figured this would be a good start point. Hey guys, how are you all doing, really? That’s just great.
And I’ve been testing out the Google Pixel 4a for about two weeks now. And as you could imagine, I have some things to say. But ultimately we’ll be answering the question, who is this phone for? But first, what is it? In a few words, it’s very simple and inexpensive.
and this is kind of optimized by the color options on the website, black. Just Black. That’s Google saying don’t even ask for any other colors or configurations. It’s just freaking black. So it’s simple. One size, one color, one set of specs, one price $349.
Before we hop more into my thoughts, let’s break down the specs of this guy. So this phone features a 5.8-inch, 1080-by-2340 all wide display with a whole punch camera or as Google calls it, the transmissive hole, pretty fancy. And because it’s OLED, the blacks on the screen really look black and rich with a 200,000 to one contrast ratio.
It also features six gigabytes of Ram, 128 gigabytes of storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G with an Octa-Core Titan M, which is Google’s security chip. And you’re guaranteed at least three years of OS and security updates. The rear camera has a 12.2 megaPixel sensor and the front camera has an eight megaPixel sensor.
And as for the rear cameras, video capabilities, it can shoot up to 4K at 30 frames per second, and it has video stabilization. and of all the features on the phone, I’m definitely testing the camera out the most, because I think that’s the feature most people care about a lot.
So we’ll talk more about that soon. On the battery end, the phone has a 3,140 milliamp hour battery, and the phone comes with an 18 Watt USB-C adapter and a quick switch adapter too. So pretty neato.
And here’s another thing you don’t see too often, a headphone jack. So that’s included with your 4a. Can I be honest? I kind of missed the headphone Jack on my iPhone. So that’s kind of nice.
And on the rear, you have that handy capacity fingerprint scanner, so you can unlock your phone super easily. So to keep things as fair as possible, I’m approaching this review in two ways. The first way I’m approaching the review in is, me as a long time iPhone user being new to the Android platform,
and considering all of the speed bumps I guess you could say during my transition, and the other way I’m approaching this review is, more holistically, and I’m trying to phase the iPhone out of my mind completely, and I’m just reviewing the phone for what it is.
No iPhone in my memory at all. So after using an iPhone for so long, the first thing that hit me with the 4a was how it feels, because it’s made of polycarbonate, it’s so much lighter than what used to, because I carry a stainless steel and glass phone around all the time.
But also the feeling of the back was different because it’s polycarbonate, but it’s got this kind of powder coated finish to it. And I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of that, It feels kind of weird on my fingers. It almost feels like the feeling lingers on my fingers even after I touch it for a while.
I’m not sure if that happens to anybody else or if I’m just weird. There’s probably a more technical name for that type of powder coating, I’m not an engineer. And I couldn’t say, hey, it’s only $350, so it’s okay that it’s cheaper feeling like that.
But then I think, well, the iPhone SE is only $50 more and that’s a glass and aluminum, but there’s trade-offs to everything. And honestly, if I was an Android user and I wanted to stay in the Android ecosystem, I wouldn’t even be considering an iPhone SE anyway, so ultimately, it doesn’t matter.
The screen though feels perfect. It’s Gorilla Glass 3, so no complaints there. Visually, I do like the look of the design, way more than the feel of the design. It’s got that unibody look, no seams, It’s just all one piece, very, very minimalist looking, very clean.
And I also like that the top speaker is built in to the bezel here. So because of that and because of the whole punch camera, there’s no need for a notch, like what you have on the iPhone. Now I understand the iPhone has a lot of hardware shoved in there for face ID and the true depth camera and all that stuff.
It’s trade-offs, nothing is free. There’s always trade-offs. But on this particular phone, with the way it’s built, you seem to have more uninterrupted screen because there is no notch. So let’s talk software for a bit. Because I’m transitioning
to Android for this test, I just wanted to install a few apps that I’m comfortable with,
that I use all the time like Dropbox, and of course, YouTube, Twitter, all that great stuff. But also, since Apple offers it, Apple Music, they have an Android version of that app, and I subscribed to Apple Music recently, and honestly, I’m really loving it.