How the Google Pixel 4a Stacks Up Against the Pixel 4

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Image: Gizmodo/Sam Rutherford

Google has announced a new phone is on the way and it’ll appeal to those with a more modest phone budget. It’s called the Pixel 4a, another mid-range addition to Google’s lineup, and here’s how it compares to the flagship Pixel 4.

Google’s new Pixel 4a has finally been revealed after months of speculation and leaks.

The new model, like the Pixel 3a released in May 2019, offers much of the same features of the regular Pixel 4 models but for a considerably discounted price.

To help you decide whether it’s worth upgrading from your older Pixel or competitor device, let’s take a look at what you’re getting.

Pixel 4a and Pixel 4 specs compared

Pixel 4a Pixel 4 Pixel 4 XL
Display 5.81-inch OLED 1080×2340 display 5.7-inch 1080p+ with 90Hz refresh rate 6.3-inch 1440p+ with 90Hz refresh rate
Processor Snapdragon 730 Snapdragon 855 Snapdragon 855
RAM 6GB 6GB 6GB
Storage 128GB 64GB or 128GB 64GB or 128GB
Rear camera 12.2MP 12.2MP 12.2MP
Front (selfie) camera 8MP 8MP 8MP
Battery 3,140mAh with 18W fast charging 2,800mAH with 18W fast charging, wireless charging 3,700mAH with 18W fast charging, wireless charging
LTE 4G 4G 4G
Colours Just Black Clearly White, Just Black, Oh So Orange Clearly White, Just Black, Oh So Orange

Price

The price is probably the most crucial aspect for many, especially given the rollercoaster 2020 has been so far.

The Pixel 4a will retail for $599, which is an impressive price drop when you take into account the features are pretty great. It’s even cheaper than what the Pixel 3a went for last year. When the Pixel 4 was released in October 2019, it retailed from $1,049 with the Pixel 4 XL starting from $1,279.

It’s expected a 5G capable Pixel 4a will be released in the coming months with . It’s reportedly going to retail for just $799, which will make it one of the cheapest 5G-capable phones available in the country.

It’s also anticipated the Pixel 5 will be announced later this year but for now, the 4a is a worth addition to the Pixel gang.

Well played, Google.

Is it worth grabbing?

It’s hard to say without testing the new 4a model but on paper, it sounds like a great buy. The major differences between the budget Pixel 4a and its higher-range predecessors come down to three key areas — processor chips, camera quality and design.

That first aspect is important — the 4 and 4 XL come with the better performing Snapdragon 855 instead of the 4a’s mid-range Snapdragon 730. For casual users, the differences in speed and responsiveness might not be that noticeable but if you’ve got a sharp eye, you’ll likely see where that $450 difference comes in.

In terms of camera quality, the 4a offers the same line up as the Pixel 4 and Gizmodo’s review found it to be pretty damn similar to the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. Ultimately, you’ll be getting quality shots whichever model you decide to land on, which is where price will likely come into play.

Finally, there’s the aesthetic options. With the 4a, you’ll only get the option of a single size and colour. The single colour option is less likely to change your mind but for some, a larger display is preferred in order to enjoy better streaming experiences. Those extra few inches with the XL might be the selling point you’re looking for over the 4a if budget isn’t an issue.

Still, for the price, you’re getting a great mid-range phone with some pretty high-level specs. Considering how good last year’s model was, it’s worth seriously considering.