For a lot of smartphone users, large displays are a big selling point when choosing a device. Phones like the Galaxy Z Fold have shown that tech enthusiasts will be willing to spend considerable amounts of cash for display real estate, and the continued trend of large-screened flagships have only proven that point further.
However, there’s still a portion of the market that prefers their smartphones to be a bit more compact. Phones like the iPhone 13 Mini and SE for example are proof that there’s a market for compact handsets – which is why in some regards, it’s a shame that most Android manufacturers have decided to go all-in in giving us large displays. This isn’t a terrible thing per se, but it would be nice to have pocket-friendly options, as far as flagship Android phones are concerned.
if you’re in need of a compact smartphone but are likewise looking for an option with decent specs, then the Google Pixel 4a is a great consideration. We’ve listed a number of reasons why we think it’s still a competent Android phone, even in 2022 – let’s take a look!
Let’s talk about one of the most obvious aspects of the Pixel 4a, and by that, I mean its size. Since the first generation Pixel back in 2016, google has always given us the option of having two different sizes for its Pixel devices, and that was also the same case for its more affordable Pixel A models.
With the arrival of the Pixel 5a, Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, however, it looks like Google will be moving away from compact smartphones and will instead focus on larger displays. This means that if you are after a Pixel with a compact size, the only option right now is to grab the Pixel 4a. With a display size of 5.8 inches, it’s a very compact size compared to the rest of the current Pixel line-up, and people looking for a small Android phone with good specs should definitely look into this phone.
By comparison, it’s a bit smaller then the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the iPhone 13 Pro, which both come with 6.1-inch displays. The Pixel 4a is also lighter since it’s made with a polycarbonate design. It is sturdy though, and the matte finish on the back doesn’t evoke the same feeling you’d get from a cheap $99 handset.
Specs and Software
Speaking of specs, the Pixel 4a comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730G alongside 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. The OLED display is no slouch and comes with a resolution of 1080 x 2340, good color reproduction, and a layer of Gorilla Glass for good measure. The 730G is still a capable chipset in this day and age and even manages to run graphically-intensive games like Call of Duty Mobile and Genshin Impact.
Likewise, Google’s optimized Android OS runs seamlessly on the Pixel 4a. In a nutshell, it offers what some like to call the “Pixel Experience” – this means regular software and security updates (it’s already on Android 12), some special software features, and of course great camera performance thanks to Google’s computational photography.
While the Pixel 4a does lack the ultrawide and telephoto lenses found on more expensive Pixel devices, I think that it can still get you some terrific-looking photos. Special camera modes like portrait mode, night sight, and impressive video stabilization make sure that you get the shots that you want. It’s a solid camera, and you can’t go wrong with it.
Another reason that someone might want to get a Pixel 4a in this day and age is because of its price. With the Pixel 5a coming in at 450 bucks, the Pixel 4a costs less than 400 dollars making it a tempting offer, at least at the time of this video. Do keep in mind though that Google no longer sells the Pixel 4a on its online store, so you’ll have to head on over to third-party retailers, or even second-hand markets if you want to buy it for yourself.
Stuff to Consider
Every smartphone has its downsides though, and the Pixel 4a does miss out on some stuff. For example, the phone only comes with a snapdragon 730G chipset, and while it isn’t exactly a slow performer, it lacks 5G connectivity which is present on all the Pixel devices that Google currently sells. Now there are still some discussions regarding the practicality and importance of 5G, but if you’re someone who needs 5G in their life, then this is something to consider.
Another issue that people may have is that you get a smaller 3100 mAh battery compared to the 3800 and 4600 mAh batteries on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5a, respectively. This is of course a factor to take note of if you are a power user and are after a larger capacity battery. On the other hand, casual users who mostly use their phone for social media, web browsing and maybe a bit of music and video streaming should have no trouble with the battery capacity on the 4a.
Should You Still Get It?
For people looking for a compact, no-nonsense Android smartphone, the Pixel 4a is certainly a great option that gets the job done. On its own, it is a perfectly serviceable device, a great point-and-shoot camera, and the constant software updates from Google no doubt keep the phone from feeling like an “older” device. There’s an obvious lack of variety when it comes to great compact smartphones on the market, and for what it’s worth, the Pixel 4a still remains a viable option in this category.