A $350 Pixel 4a could be better than the OnePlus Nord


Google hasn’t had much luck delivering a flagship smartphone with great performance and battery life, but the company has managed to deliver impeccable cameras on its flagship and mid-range devices. Sure, Google missed the memo that smartphones should have a standard, telephoto AND an ultrawide camera, but the images that Pixel phones manage to capture are always one step ahead of what the competition has to offer.

The new Pixel 4a is set to make its debut this week and the last leak suggests that the phone will be selling for $349. No, that’s not a typo. If the rumor is true, the new Pixel 4a will be $50 cheaper than last year’s Pixel 3a.

Based on what we know so far, the Pixel 4a will use  Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, the 3,140mAh battery with 18W fast charging quite enough to keep the phone’s 60Hz, 5.8-inch display lit up for hours on end on a single charge. But of course, the highlight is the phone’s 12.2MP sensor which is the same one Google featured on the Pixel 4. The front-facing camera will offer an 8-megapixel sensor with an 84-degree field of view lens which will be peeking through the display with Google’s first hole-punch cutout. 

OnePlus 8 Pro destroys the OnePlus Nord in camera comparison

Now, the Pixel 4a may not sound quite as exciting as the new mid-range OnePlus Nord since it has a smaller display, battery and far fewer cameras. The Snapdragon 730G doesn’t even have 5G support! That being said, the Pixel 4a may be as good or even better than the Oneplus Nord. For a mid-range phone, 6GB of RAM is more than enough and the Snapdragon 730G is only about 5% off from the performance offered by the Snapdragon 765G. And once you remove 5G fro the equation (it’s not like 5G has a lot to offer these days), the Pixel 4a’s small-ish battery could be enough to get most people through a full day.

Though there may seem to be a large discrepancy between the two phones when comparing their specs, the Pixel 4a’s performance should only be slightly behind that of the OnePlus Nord. Where the Pixel 4a comes out on top is in camera performance and price. As we’ve already shown, the Nord simply can’t compete with the Pixel 4’s camera. It seems OnePlus is worried more about slapping as many camera sensors on the Nord as possible rather than focusing on the image quality those cameras deliver. The price difference between 400 Euro and $350 USD may not be significant for those buying flagship-tied devices, but when your buying decision is based on all you can afford, that 12.5% difference is quite significant.

Based on the success GOogle has last year with the Pixel 3a, I’m expecting the new Pixel 4a will be Google’s best-selling smartphone yet.

Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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