If You Are Excited About Spending Money On The New Google Pixel 4a, Think Again, Long & Hard
If the Google Pixel 4a is priced around Rs 30,000, it will be competing against the OnePlus Nord, which is most certainly more powerful. And if the pricing is any more, it has the likes of the OnePlus 8, the upcoming OnePlus 8T and the soon-to-be-launched Samsung Galaxy S20 FE to compete with.
- Last Updated: October 2, 2020, 15:30 IST
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Now that the dust has settled and we know the exact contours of the Google Pixel smartphone line-up for 2020, it is time to take a stock of what you can buy, and what you can’t. Even more so for buyers in India, who will just be able to buy only the Google Pixel 4a from the troika that sees the Pixel 4a with 5G and the Pixel 5 as the other phones. The Google Pixel 4a with 5G and the Pixel 5 are not making their way to India this year, just as last year’s Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. As things stand, Google has confirmed that the Pixel 4a will go on sale on October 17. And as in the times gone by, it’ll also be up for sale on Flipkart. Whether this sale coincides with the upcoming Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale remains to be seen. We also do not know the India price of the Google Pixel 4a just yet.
Before you get all too excited about being able to buy the new Google Pixel 4a claiming “it is a Google phone” and “it is the latest Pixel phone” or some such thing, it must be understood that the Google Pixel 4a sits at the very bottom of the latest line-up of Pixel phones. Let us look at the specifications, in order to understand the subtle differences between the Google Pixel 4a, Google Pixel 4a with 5G and the Pixel 5.
The Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a with 5G are both 5G network ready. Yes, we do not have 5G networks yet, but you don’t exactly buy a phone for now, do you? The Pixel 4a that you and I will be able to buy will not support 5G networks as and when available. That also means a big difference when it comes to the innards. While the Google Pixel 4a with 5G and the Pixel 5 are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, the Pixel 4a that we get will be powered by the lower spec Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor.
The Google Pixel 4a with 5G and the Pixel 4a will be available in the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage options while the Google Pixel 5 will get the 8GB RAM spec along with 128GB storage. While 6GB RAM is more than enough, it may just not be futureproof when phones such as the OnePlus Nord are doing quite a good job when it comes to the RAM and storage combinations, at less than Rs 30,000. Mind you, the OnePlus Nord also runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and supports 5G.
As far as the camera is concerned, one would expect the Pixel phones to really up the game. The Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a with 5G both get dual cameras at the back—a 12-megapixel dual-pixel and a 16-megapixel ultrawide. That means they can offer Night Sight, Live HDR+, Cinematic Pan, Ultrawide lens and Portrait Light. The Google Pixel 4a that you may spend your money on, gets just a 12-megapixel dual-pixel camera. I do remember the Apple iPhone XR get slated by a lot of people for having just one camera. That was 2018. This is 2020.
The display size of the Google Pixel 4a is also the smallest in the entire line-up. This is a 5.8-inch Full HD+ OLED display. The Google Pixel 5 gets a 6-inch OLED Smooth Display while the Pixel 4a with 5G makes do with a 6.2-inch OLED display. The Pixel 4a also has the smallest battery, at 3,140mAh capacity. The Pixel 5 has a 4,080mAh battery while the Pixel 4a with 5G has a 3,885mAh battery. The difference might be because of the lack of 5G capabilities and a smaller display in the Pixel 4a, thereby lesser strain on the battery.
The conservative approach to the Google Pixel 4a may well be borne out of the requirements of the time. It doesn’t have a high-resolution display, doesn’t have face unlock and instead relies on the good old fingerprint sensor, not the most powerful processor, and fairly limited camera hardware. From the outside, it seems they really wanted to keep costs down. Google may be anticipating limited appeal for an expensive phone in some markets, including India. And that may well be a masterstroke. That being said, will Google be able to price the Pixel 4a long enough to outshine its rivals.
A lot will depend on the pricing of the Google Pixel 4a, potentially for a lot of buyers. If Google does price it around the Rs 30,000 price point, the Pixel 4a will be competing against the OnePlus Nord, which on paper seems to be doing better in almost every respect on the spec sheet. Yet, there may be a strong chance still for the Pixel 4a. After all, a Pixel phone will still have its fans, and the appeal intact. And if the pricing is any more, it has the likes of the OnePlus 8, and potentially the upcoming OnePlus 8T and the soon-to-be-launched Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, all of which could offer significantly better specs and potentially even better performance. And in some cases, the 5G futureproofing as well. If that is the case, the spec sheet just doesn't favour the Google Pixel 4a.