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Budget phone competes with $2000 rivals

Even with all our incredible technological advancements, when buying a big-name brand smart phone we’re expected to fork out upwards of $1000 to $2000. Don’t get me wrong, expensive phones can be worth every cent, but what if you just want a good all-rounder without all the added bells and whistles? Enter the Google Pixel 4a smartphone.

I’ve been using the Google Pixel 4 for the past six months, which is a $1000 premium smartphone. So, when I saw the Google Pixel 4a was announced for only $599, with similar features, it immediately caught my attention. In fact, I think my exact exclamation was, “excuse me!?”

It seems like Google really zoned in on delivering some excellent key features with this phone and they may have picked my favourite feature toppings from the ‘pick and mix bar’.

Firstly, the battery life. The battery capacity is bigger than my more expensive Pixel 4 coming in at 3140mAh compared to 2800mAh. I know – “what?!”

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The phone even has technology that adapts to the way you use your device, reducing its power output to apps you barely use. This is meant to allow the Pixel 4a battery to last up to 24 hours. I haven’t got that far yet, but it certainly gives you all-day battery life, which I think is non-negotiable on smart phones.

On the other hand, in terms of processing power, you are taking a bit of hit. The Pixel 4a has Snapdragon 730G, which is a one-year old chip set. It’s nothing to be concerned about as it does the job well enough. However, if you know you need a really powerful phone, this would be one of the main reasons you’d pass on the Pixel 4a.

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Everything else the Pixel 4a provides does the job quite well. Even though the front (wide angle) selfie camera is only 8MP and the back camera is only 12MP they both produce bright and high quality photos, which is good to see considering excellent mobile phone photography is one of Google’s selling points.

The main compromises made on this device to keep the price down is not including ‘active edge’ (which is where you squeeze your device to activate Google Assistant), waterproofing, wireless charging and face unlock.

What makes up for all of this, however, is a job well done on the basics. You get fingerprint recognition on the back of the phone, housed within its durable polycarbonate body, USB-C 18W fast charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which most phone companies don’t include anymore.

It even has a 5.8” bezel-less OLED display (the screen stretches edge to edge, meaning no black bars take up any screen real estate, which is seen on the Pixel 4).

With the Pixel 4a, Google hoped to strike a balance between performance, quality and price and I think they’ve nailed it here. Picking the most important features to include and less important ones to remove, to keep the price down.

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Where I see the Pixel 4a being the most successful is with parents who are buying a phone for their teenagers. Great battery life, a camera that makes them happy, durable and a bonus headphone jack.

The Google Pixel 4a will provide any user with an awesome all-round phone that “just works” and won’t break the budget.

Elly Awesome is an Aussie tech and lifestyle vlogger | @ellyawwesome | YouTube


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