Google Pixel 4a vs. Moto G Power: Which should you buy?

Google Pixel 4a
Google Pixel 4a (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a

The Pixel 4a has taken the Android world by storm, and rightfully so. It all starts with that rear camera, which takes pictures that are every bit as good as much more expensive flagships. If you aren't much of a shutterbug, you'll still benefit from the OLED display, solid battery life, and clean software that's backed by three years of updates.

Google Pixel 4a

Outstanding camera

Takes stunning photos
Very good OLED display
Excellent one-handed use
Clean and intuitive software
Guaranteed updates through August 2023
Boring design
$100 more expensive
Battery not as good as Moto G Power

Moto G Power

Moto G Power

You make a few compromises with the Moto G Power compared to the Pixel 4a, but if you have an especially tight budget, it stands out as a great low-cost option. The big draw to the phone is its 5,000 mAh battery, which allows for up to three days on a single charge. Also offered is a great set of exclusive software features, expandable storage, and some waterproofing.

Moto G Power

Battery champ

Up to three days of battery life
Ultra-wide and macro cameras
Motorola's Android interface
Water-repellent coating
Expandable storage
Doesn't have NFC
Only promised one software update
Weaker internal specs
Cameras not as good as Pixel 4a

If you want the best value currently available in the Android smartphone space, buy the Google Pixel 4a. Virtually everything about the phone works better than it should, whether we're talking about the camera, performance, or any other aspect. That said, if its price tag is a bit higher than you're comfortable with, the Moto G Power is a wonderful alternative. It offers a great user experience for the price, not to mention its legendary battery life.

Google Pixel 4a vs. Moto G Power Price and availability

Moto G Power 2020 Hands On

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

While we consider both the Pixel 4a and the Moto G Power to be affordable smartphones, there is a pretty considerable price difference between the two. The Pixel 4a sells for $350 while the G Power has a retail cost of $250. That's a $100 divide between these handsets, which is especially noteworthy when we're dealing with lower-cost options like this.

As for where you can buy the phones, both are available universally unlocked for all U.S. carriers. You can get them at places like Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers.

Motorola and Pixel phones also tend to be discounted fairly often, meaning if you keep your eyes on them, you can likely make your purchase for less than the regular MSRP.

Google Pixel 4a vs. Moto G Power Why the Pixel is the better overall deal

Pixel 4a Alex Home Launcher

Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

The Pixel 4a and Moto G Power both earn our recommendation in their own right, but if we had to crown one of the phones as the best overall, it'd be the Pixel. So much about this phone is pure excellence, with its strongest suit being the camera experience.

So much of the Pixel 4a is pure excellence, with its strongest suit being the camera experience.

A single 12MP camera may not look all that impressive compared to the Moto G Power's triple camera setup, but the spec sheet doesn't tell the entire story. Pixels take great photos because of Google's unmatched software and image processing, not necessarily because of the sensor itself. All you need to know is that the Google Pixel 4a takes amazing pictures, even when compared to much more expensive devices like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and iPhone 11 Pro. Hands down, this is the best camera you can get on a phone within this price range.

The Pixel 4a's camera deserves a lot of praise, but if you're someone that doesn't care all that much about taking pictures, there's still plenty to like about this phone. It delivers fast performance, a battery that easily lasts for a full day of use, a good-looking OLED display, and it has a form factor that's perfect for using with one-hand (something we don't see enough of in 2020).

Then there's the software experience, which is one of the best you'll find in the Android landscape. The Pixel 4a ships with a clean build of Android 10, and because it's a Pixel, you're promised three years of major software updates and monthly security patches. It's the best level of software support of any Android phone company, and if you plan on keeping your device for a few years, is a big reason to get the Pixel 4a over the Moto G Power.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Google Pixel 4aMoto G Power
Operating SystemAndroid 10Android 10
Display5.81-inchOLED2340 x 1080HDR6.4-inchLCD2300 x 1080
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 730Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
GraphicsAdreno 618Adreno 610
Expandable Storage✔️
Rear Camera 112.2 MP primary cameraf/1.7OIS16MP primary cameraf/1.7
Rear Camera 28MP ultra-wide cameraf/2.2
Rear Camera 32MP macro cameraf/2.2
Front Camera8MPf/2.016MPf/2.0
Battery3,140 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging18W wired charging10W wired charging
PortsUSB-C3.5mm headphone jackUSB-C3.5mm headphone jack
SecurityFingerprint sensorFingerprint sensor
Dimensions144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm159.9 x 75.8 x 9.6mm
Carrier CompatibilityAT&TT-Mobile/SprintVerizonAT&TT-Mobile/SprintVerizon

Google Pixel 4a vs. Moto G Power Motorola's phone is still a great deal

Moto G Power Review

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

You get a lot of phone for the small price Google is asking for the Pixel 4a, but with that said, we understand that $350 may be more than some folks are looking to spend. If you need a new phone and have to keep your spending to a minimum, the Moto G Power is an excellent alternative that you should 100% consider.

Being able to go multiple days without needing to charge up is a special treat that only the G Power can deliver.

Right off the bat, we want to make it clear that the G Power isn't as polished or feature-rich as the Pixel 4a. It has a weaker processor, less RAM and storage, worse cameras, slower charging, and lacks NFC for Google Pay. Those are a lot of compromises to put up with, but at the end of the day, you still get a thoroughly enjoyable handset. The Moto G Power is plenty fast for most tasks, you can expand the 64GB of storage with a microSD card if you want to, and while overall image quality is nowhere near as good as the Pixel, having ultra-wide and macro secondary cameras is a lot of fun.

Perhaps the biggest win for the Moto G Power is its battery, which comes in at a massive 5,000 mAh capacity. Depending on how you use your phone, this means you can expect anywhere from two to three days of use on a single charge. The Pixel 4a's day-long battery life is good, but being able to go multiple days without needing to charge up is a special treat that only the G Power can deliver.

On the software front, the Moto G Power is a mix of good and bad. The out-of-the-box Android 10 experience is outstanding, with Motorola offering a clean interface and exclusive features through its Moto app that add tremendous value. Unfortunately, software support is seriously lacking. Motorola only promises one major update for the phone, meaning it'll get Android 11 and nothing beyond that. That may not matter to some buyers, but if you want to ensure you always have the latest features and security patches, the G Power just can't match the Pixel 4a.

Google Pixel 4a vs. Moto G Power All about your budget

The ultimate conclusion to this comparison comes down to your budget. If you can afford the Pixel 4a, it's the phone to buy. Whether you're excited about it because of the cameras, software, compact design, or anything else, it's a package that punches above its price tag in virtually every single way, which is why it's one of the best cheap Android phones on the market right now.

It's easy to see that the Moto G Power trails behind the Pixel 4a in more ways than one, but it's important that we remember the price difference between the two phones. Some people just won't be able to afford the Pixel 4a, and that's exactly where the G Power comes in. You still get a great smartphone, the battery life is unmatched, and it's considerably cheaper. If $250 is the max of your budget, you can get the Moto G Power and rest assured that you're buying a quality gadget.

No matter which phone you finally decide on, we think you'll be immensely happy.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.