Google Pixel 4aSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

To put things nicely, the road to the Pixel 4a has been a long one. The phone was originally slated to launch back in May during the Google I/O developer conference, but thanks to everything going on in the world, Google had to hit the 4a with delay after delay.

It's now late into 2020, and at long last, the Pixel 4a has arrived. It's a lot like the Pixel 3a before it, but it upgrades a few key specs, gets a more modern design, and costs even less. That's a recipe for success if we've ever heard one, and it means there's a lot to talk about.

From full device specs, our review, or anything else in between, here's everything you need to know about the Google Pixel 4a!

Latest Pixel

Google Pixel 4a

An outstanding camera, and then some

The Pixel 3a was hailed as one of the best affordable phones of 2019, and for 2020, we have its successor in the form of the Pixel 4a. The camera is better than ever, performance is plenty fast, the battery is reliable, and there's even a headphone jack. Assuming you're a fan of smaller phones and don't mind the boring design, the Pixel 4a is one of the best deals out there.

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How much does the Pixel 4a cost?

Google Pixel 4aSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

Let's start with the most important thing of all — price. The big draw to the Pixel 3a was its $399 starting price, and for the Pixel 4a, Google was able to hit an even lower number.

If you want to buy a Pixel 4a for yourself, you'll pay just $350. That makes it considerably cheaper than flagships such as the Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro, and just a little bit more expensive than the Moto G Stylus.

Google's once again offering just a single storage option, but that also comes with a nice tweak compared to last year. Instead of being limited to 64GB of space, the Pixel 4a ships with 128GB. There's still no microSD support for further expanding how much room you have, but 128GB should be more than enough for the vast majority of users.

No matter what you think of the Pixel line, you have to give Google credit for its pricing of the Pixel 4a. We seldom see companies offer lower prices for new smartphone releases, and the Pixel 4a is a wonderful exception to that rule.

When is the Pixel 4a being released?

Google Pixel 4aSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

As of right now, the Pixel 4a is officially available for purchase in the United States on Google's own web store, along with Google Fi, Verizon, Amazon, and Best Buy.

Outside of the U.S., you can also get the Pixel 4a in:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain

That's a pretty small launch for Google, especially when you consider that some key markets — like India — are completely missing. This could be due to the pandemic resulting in production issues, or be related to something else entirely. In any case, all we can do is hope that the Pixel 5 sees a much broader release.

Have we reviewed the Pixel 4a?

The Pixel 4a has a great price and is available for purchase, but is it any good? Yes, yes it is. Here's our Pixel 4a review: we gave it four stars out of five. The Pixel 3a left the 4a with big shoes to fill, and for the most part, Google pulled it off with great success.

Just like its older sibling, the Pixel 4a sets a new standard for camera performance in this price range. Equipped with the same primary camera as the Pixel 4 and Google's magical image processing, the Pixel 4a takes incredible photos. Take out the phone, press the shutter button, and you're treated to a fantastic image every single time.

The camera isn't the only talking point, however, as the rest of the Pixel 4a experience is every bit as good. The AMOLED display looks very nice, the Snapdragon 730 processor is plenty fast for virtually any task, and battery life is wonderfully reliable. Add all of that together with a form factor that's easy to use in one hand and Google's unmatched software, and the end result is one of the very best phones you can buy for under $400.

All of that said, we don't blame you if you find the 4a to be a tad boring. The design is uninspired, the lack of any ultra-wide or telephoto cameras is a bummer, and not having a larger XL model could turn big phone-lovers away. If none of those things are an issue for you, though, the Pixel 4a is a darn good choice for your next Android.

What specs does the Pixel 4a have?

Google Pixel 4aSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

Given the price of the Pixel 4a, you shouldn't go in expecting top-of-the-line specs. That wasn't the point of the 3a, and that's not the point here. What you do get is a spec sheet that offers a lot of value for the $350 asking price. Here's what we're working with:

Category Google Pixel 4a
Operating System Android 10
Display 5.8-inch
AMOLED
2340 x 1080
60Hz refresh rate
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 730
Memory 6GB RAM LPDDR4x
Storage 128GB
Expandable Storage
Rear Camera 12.2MP dual-pixel
1.4-micron
ƒ/1.7
OIS
Phase detect auto focus
Front Camera 8MP
1.12-micron
ƒ/2.0
Fixed focus
84-degree FoV
Security Rear capacitive fingerprint sensor
Audio Dual speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Battery 3,140 mAh
Charging 18W wired charging
USB-C
Water Resistance
Dimensions 144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm
Weight 143g
Colors Just Black

The Snapdragon 730 isn't the most technically impressive chipset that Qualcomm currently offers, but paired with the same amount of RAM found in the flagship Pixel 4, you'd be hard-pressed to be upset with the performance offered by the 4a. It's responsive, handles virtually every app with ease, and can even power you through graphically-intense games like Call of Duty: Mobile.

It's also great that Google once again offers an AMOLED panel, ensuring that colors are vibrant and blacks are as deep as can be. Viewing angles aren't the very best, but that's a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.

There's also the Pixel 4a's battery, which weighs in at 3,140 mAh. That doesn't sound all that impressive at first glance, but in our testing, the Pixel 4a proved to easily get through a full day of heavy use with plenty of gas left in the tank.

How many cameras are on the Pixel 4a?

Google Pixel 4aSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

In a world where phones are shipping with two, three, or even four rear cameras, the lone sensor on the Pixel 4a might look disappointing. Thankfully, we're pleased to say that it's anything but. The 12.2MP camera on the Pixel 4a is the exact same one found on the flagship Pixel 4, and simply put, it is outstanding.

Images are detailed, exposure levels are handled nicely, and even low-light shots look great. Above all else, the Pixel 4a does these things consistently. Just about every single time you press the shutter button to take a picture, it comes out looking fantastic.

Are we annoyed that there aren't multiple cameras? Sure. The telephoto lens on the Pixel 4 is still one of the best on the market, and while Google has yet to jump on the ultra-wide bandwagon, we'd also love for that to change sooner rather than later. The quality of the Pixel 4a's single camera does help make up for the lack of any secondary ones, but that's something we hope to see changed in the eventual Pixel 5a.

Is it worth upgrading to the Pixel 4a from the Pixel 3a?

Google Pixel 4a and Pixel 3aSource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

There's no denying that the Pixel 4a is an outstanding phone, but it didn't magically get here on its own. Prior to the 4a, Google took the smartphone market by storm a year earlier with the Pixel 3a. That phone was built on a very similar foundation, and as a result of that, is still chugging along just fine here in 2020.

So, that begs the question — do Pixel 3a owners need to upgrade to the Pixel 4a? That depends.

If your Pixel 3a is starting to feel a little long in the tooth and you're itching for something new, the Pixel 4a comes with a few nice upgrades. It has smaller display bezels, a newer processor, more RAM and storage, and is even a bit cheaper than the Pixel 3a's retail price.

That said, if the Pixel 3a is still serving you just fine and you don't feel compelled to upgrade, you can keep on using it without any issues. It may not be the flashiest phone these days, but the Pixel 3a still has plenty of kick left in it for existing owners.

How does the Pixel 4a compare to other phones?

Moto G Power 2020 Hands OnSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

As great as the Pixel 4a is, it's far from the only budget phone you can buy in 2020. It's going up against a lot of competition, with one of those competing devices being the Moto G Power. The Moto G Power doesn't have as nice of a display, its cameras are less capable, and there's no NFC for Google Pay. However, it costs a fair amount less and still provides a pretty good user experience. The big draw to the phone is its 5,000 mAh battery, which allows for up to three days on a single charge — something you'll never be able to do on the Pixel 4a.

There's also the Samsung Galaxy A51, which has proven to be one of the most popular affordable phones of the year. The A51 is a pretty exciting phone for the price, delivering a larger AMOLED display, really excellent battery life, and a much more interesting design. The Pixel 4a still has it beat with its camera and more capable chipset, but these are two really interesting phones that do a lot right.

And, of course, we have the iPhone SE. Assuming you're OK using iOS, the iPhone SE is hard to argue with. The design may be outdated by 2020 standards, but everything else is top-notch. It has an insanely fast processor, a great camera, Qi wireless charging, and is backed by at least five years of updates.

Should I get any accessories for the Pixel 4a?

Google Fabric Case Pixel 4a HeroSource: Google

Thanks to its plastic construction, the Pixel 4a is a phone that you don't have to baby nearly as much as ones made out of glass. That said, you should still consider getting some accessories to go with it.

First thing's first, pick up a case for the phone! It takes just one drop to damage the back plastic or frame of the Pixel 4a, and a case is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent that from happening. There are a ton of excellent options out there, including the official fabric case from Google and a myriad of third-party ones. Whether you want something slim and discrete or protective and bulky, there's a case out there for you.

Similarly, you also need a screen protector. Whether it's TPU film or tempered glass, a screen protector is the best way to keep your Pixel 4a'a display looking as good as can be. No one likes a shattered or scratched screen, and a screen protector keeps those things at bay.

Does the Pixel 4a support 5G?

Google Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 teaserSource: Google

5G is a big talking point in the tech space right now, with more phones than ever supporting the new wireless standard. If you're eager to get your hands on a 5G-capable handset for yourself, the Pixel 4a isn't a good fit — at least not right now.

The Pixel 4a that's currently available only connects to 4G LTE networks, and while that certainly isn't a deal-breaker or anything, it is something you should keep in mind if you like being an early adopter for new technologies.

Thankfully, another handset is coming soon to remedy this. Alongside the launch of the Pixel 4a, Google also teased that the Pixel 4a 5G is coming later this fall for $499. According to the latest leaks, the Pixel 4a 5G will offer a Snapdragon 765G, larger overall body, a second rear camera, and no headphone jack. The phone will launch on September 30, and it looks like it will be available for €499, suggesting it may be available for $499 in the U.S. as well.

Should I wait for the Pixel 5?

Google Pixel 5 Leaked RendersSource: @OnLeaks / Pricebaba

Speaking of upcoming Pixel phones, this fall is also when we'll see the Pixel 5. The Pixel 5 will be the highest-end Pixel that's offered for 2020, though it should have a lot in common with the Pixel 4a 5G — namely the Snapdragon 765G processor.

We think Google could differentiate the phone with things like a glass/metal design and wireless charging, but it remains unclear how much of an impact that'll have on the Pixel 5's price.

2020 has proved to be a bizarre year for a lot of the tech industry, but especially so for Google. The Pixel 4a is just the start of more to come, so if it's not catching your fancy, rest assured that Google isn't done quite yet. The Pixel 5 will be announced on September 30, meaning we don't have too much longer to wait to see what it's packing.

Latest Pixel

Google Pixel 4a

An outstanding camera, and then some

The Pixel 3a was hailed as one of the best affordable phones of 2019, and for 2020, we have its successor in the form of the Pixel 4a. The camera is better than ever, performance is plenty fast, the battery is reliable, and there's even a headphone jack. Assuming you're a fan of smaller phones and don't mind the boring design, the Pixel 4a is one of the best deals out there.

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