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Pixel 4a – First impressions and things that you need to know

(Image credit: Future)
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So, finally, Google announced the pricing of its only smartphone that will be officially available in India this year - the Pixel 4a. And though the announcement came as a pleasant surprise, the biggest complaint we’ve had with Google till now has been mostly around the pricing of the Pixel phones.

To remind the Pixel 3a - with probably the biggest notch among its contemporaries - was launched at Rs. 37,999 in India. A year later, its successor, the Pixel 4a is officially available to purchase at Rs. 29,999. To be honest, if you’d put your bet-on Google pricing its Pixel under Rs. 30,000 in India, you’d have become a millionaire (if only there were enough bets).

In case you’re interested in an unboxing video, we were probably the first ones in India to bring Pixel 4a Hindi unboxing thanks to our colleagues in the UK providing us with the raw video feed. Here’s the video in case you’re still interested.

That said, I’ve been using the Pixel 4a for over a day and have played some games, shot some random pictures made some calls and did probably almost everything that a normal human being would do (and yeah thanks for agreeing that I’m indeed one of the normal ones). Let’s dive right into my first impressions of the phone:

Pixel 4a – First impressions

Right from the moment you take the phone out of the box, you’d feel the weightlessness of the device. It feels so light that at times you’d think that this is a dummy without real hardware in it. And I’m sure your jeans or shorts pockets can’t thank you enough. But then, it isn’t and the weight or rather lack of it grows on you and almost all other phones in the world will feel heavy.

At 5.8-inches, the display seems small. Compared to the 6.39-inches no notch display of the Redmi K20 Pro, the difference in the display seems massive when you use both the devices side by side. This primarily because we’ve been served phones with massive displays over the last few years. During the limited time I’ve spent with the phone, the small display has not impacted my usage in any manner.

This display comes with a 60Hz refresh rate only. The reason I added only is because of late almost all the phones in this price range or even lesser come equipped with higher refresh rate, at least 90Hz. You also get a front-facing camera housed in a punch-hole display and this has allowed Google to trim down the bezels on three sides with the chin only marginally thicker.

While the phone comes with a polycarbonate build, it doesn’t feel plasticky. You get an extremely smooth finish and thanks to the curved sides, the phone is a delight to hold on to. Even the physical fingerprint sensor at the back is housed in a slightly dimpled cavity. The fingerprint sensor is easily reachable and unlocks the phone quickly. The power button and volume rocker offer solid and satisfying feedback.

Coming to the most important part, the cameras. While on paper, the Pixel 4a has a mediocre camera setup, however, the magic lies in Google’s post-processing algorithm. Thanks to this, the images shot on Pixel 4a come out really good. More on this in my detailed review though.

The all-day battery promise from Google also somewhat holds true here. The phone turned off after over a day and a few hours extra. As mentioned above, my usage included calls, games, listening to music apart from endless tinkering with the phone like an enthusiastic kid would do when they get their favourite toy.

With Pixel 4a, Google has tried to cover the basics and has been able to achieve it without a fuss. The phone boots with Android 10 out of the box but you can install Android 11 right away. Thanks to the purest form of Android, you do not get any third-party apps preinstalled and that's the reason the phone response is buttery smooth. Apps open quickly and gesture-based navigation responds every time without any hiccups.

With Pixel 4a, what you get is a pure smartphone experience, a fingerprint sensor that works every time, there’s a headphone jack, you get stereo speakers that make gaming and multimedia consumption pure delight.

That said these are my initial impressions though I’ll be using the phone for an extended period to see how it performs and will try to see where it stands in front of the competition. Also, I’m attaching a few FAQ’s around the Pixel 4a that can help you decide if it is worth your money during the upcoming Big Billion Days sale on Flipkart

Pixel 4a on Flipkart

Check out the Pixel 4a on Flipkart

6GB | 128 GB

Android 11

Google Pixel 4a

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Google Pixel 4a FAQs 

What are the key specs of Google Pixel 4a?

The phone is powered by Snapdragon 730G chipset along with 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. The memory though is not expandable. It has a single camera at the back and front and is powered by a 3,140 mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging over a USB Type C port. It comes in a single colour option - Just Black

Is the Pixel 4a display really small?

Pixel 4a’s display isn’t tiny at all. It measures 5.8-inches diagonally and since the phone fits in your palm easily, a single-hand operation is actually possible. It might feel smaller initially if you switch from a larger display, however, it is not a compromise of any sorts.

Will the battery hold up for a day?

Agreed that you have phones with 7000 mAh battery pack and Pixel’s 3140 mAh battery pack may seem puny, however, in my case the battery has actually lasted for over a day and the phone only turned off next day morning around 8 am offering me over 24 hours of backup.

Does it have a headphone jack?

Yes, Pixel 4a retains the headphone jack and you also get stereo speakers on the phone.

What are the box contents?

The box has the phone, some manuals, a charging brick, a USB Type-A to Type-A charging cable and a USB A to USB C adapter to connect your pen-drives.

Does the Pixel 4a support dual sim?

The Pixel 4a has a single sim slot that only accepts one Micro Sim card and you can’t even add a micro SD card. Though you have an option to add the secondary connection as an e-Sim.

Am I future proof? Does it support 5G?

The phone boots on Android 10 out of the box. The moment I set the phone up, I got an alert for Android 11 availability that I installed right away. Additionally, you’d get more than a couple of Android updates. In terms of connectivity, you do not get 5G connectivity 

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.