Pixel 4a 5G review: Buy this instead of the Pixel 5

8 min read
fairly easy
Google's Pixel 5 is here, but it didn't exactly blow our minds. Released alongside it is another phone that's more worthy of your consideration: The Pixel
4a 5G. Ignore the name, it's basically a Pixel 5 but $200 cheaper. You give up on a few benefits like an IP rating, 90Hz display, and metal build, but you get a bigger screen and a headphone jack, all with the same camera and internals.

Frankly, we don't see a reason for most folks to buy the Pixel 5 over this.

Specs Chipset Snapdragon 765G Display 6.2" 1080 x 2340 19.5:9 60Hz OLED RAM 6GB Storage 128GB UFS 2.1 Rear cameras 12.2MP f/1.7 primary w/ OIS & EIS

16MP f/2.2 wide-angle (107° FoV) Front camera 8MP f/2.0 Power 3,800 mAh battery, 18W wired PD charging Headphone jack Yes Software Android 11 Connectivity 5G support varies by model, 2x2 MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi (up to ac), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC Dimensions 153.9 x 74 x 8.2 mm (8.5mm for mmWave) 168g (171g for mmWave) Misc. Pixel Imprint capacitive fingerprint sensor, Titan M Security Module, eSIM, stereo speakers (via earpiece) Colors Just Black, Clearly White Price $500

The Good Camera It's a Pixel, and the camera is just what you expect: excellent. This may have the best wide-angle I've ever used on a phone. Battery life Lasts a long, long time on a charge. Software The Pixel experience is great, and I'd straight-up pay a subscription to get features like Automatic Call Screen on another phone. You also get prompt monthly security updates and the fastest Android version updates out there. Screen It's not 90Hz+, but it's very uniform and gets bright enough and dim enough. Price $500 is good for the hardware.

The Not So Good Materials It doesn't really matter, but plastic is objectively less premium than metal, the texture gets greasy and picks up wear easily, and this is "only" Gorilla Glass 3. No IP rating Easier to forgive in the cheaper 4a, at $500, it's more of a bummer there's no IP rating here. Jank Though it's fast enough, I ran into more stutters and jank than I expected based on experience with other Snapdragon 765 devices. No wireless charging We like to see more "extras" like this as the price…
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