Oct 9th, 2020

The retail launch of the Pixel 4a 5G is about a week away, but Google was kind enough to send over a review unit to start testing. Naturally, we thought you’d be interested to see what the unboxing experience is like for the Pixel 4a 5G.

The white box is fairly simple with an image of the phone on the front, Google logos on the sides, and #teampixel on the back. On the plus side, Google’s one of the few manufacturers that give you easy pull tabs to remove the security seal tape and so that you can open the box without needing a knife or having to pull out your keys to cut through the tape. Google has never been known for including many extras with its phones and the Pixel 4a 5G doesn’t deviate from the rule. Inside the box, you’ll find the phone right on top, a quick start guide, SIM ejection tool, USB C cable, data transfer adaptor, and an 18W quick charger.

While it may not be Google’s fault that the included charger that comes with the phone is labeled as a quick charger, I’d like to point out that 18W is the slowest charging I’ve used on any smartphone in 2020. With companies offering 25W, 45W and even 65W charging these days, 18W should be labeled as slow charging since that’s really what it is by today’s standards.

The design of the Pixel 4a 5G will look quite familiar if you’ve seen or used the Pixel 4a already. The phone is built with a polycarbonate finish that wraps around the back and sides of the phone. The soft-touch feel of the material is a bit surprising in an era where metal frames and glass back panels have become the norm. The choice to go with polycarbonate also means that the Pixel 4a 5G is surprisingly light considering that the phone has a 6.2-inch display. The OLED panel Google is using has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels with a 60Hz refresh rate and a hole-punch cutout for the 8MP front-facing camera.

The matt black finish of the phone is accented by a white power button on the side, flanked by the volume rocker below it. Rather than using an in-display fingerprint sensor, Google’s opted for a rear-mounted sensor on the back of the phone. The only other feature on the back is the square camera mobile that houses the 12MP main camera sensor and the new 16MP ultrawide camera which replaces the 2X telephoto camera that Google introduced last year on the Pixel 4.

Since the Pixel 4a 5G is a “budget” device, it’s allowed to have a 3.5mm headphone jack, but it also features stereo speakers (one built into the earpiece and the other on the bottom edge), something that’s been a mainstay on Pixel devices for years.

For now, we’re not yet able to share any details regarding the phone’s software, performance, or its cameras, but we’ve already started working on our Pixel 4a G5 review and camera comparisons and will have a lot more to share next week. If you have any questions about the phone, feel free to drop them in the comment below and we’ll answer them the best we can.

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