Pixel 4a: The $350 Google Phone With Flagship Camera!

I have been using Google’s $350 Pixel 4a for a few weeks now instead of my daily driver, the $1100 iPhone 11 Pro Max, and here I am going to compare its camera to iPhone 11 Pro Max because frankly, it’s that good!

Google announced Pixel 4a in August 2020 without any virtual event or usual fanfare, which is kind of a bummer because this phone probably deserved that.

Undercutting Apple’s budget iPhone SE by $50, Google’s Pixel 4a is a solid phone which packs a camera that can go head-to-head with any $1000+ flagship phone out there, and in some cases it can outperform them, too!

Now before we come to camera, lets get other things out of the way. Yes it has a plastic body, and kind of boring looks. It only comes in one matte black color, the front design though makes up for it by having a modern design with no bezel or notch and just a punch hole for selfie camera.

When it comes to performance, stock Android 11+Snapdragon 730G processor means it performs decent enough for day to day tasks but not up to par compared to flagship phones, especially when gaming. In my 3 weeks of testing, i haven’t noticed any slow downs when it comes to casual usage.

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Screen is AMOLED but doesn’t get as bright, especially during outdoor use in day time. Stereo speakers though are surprisingly loud and very good for a $350 phone.

Battery life is decent and can almost make through the day for me on a single charge. I wish it had wireless charging, though fast charging via USB-C is supported.

Google has promised software updates for up to 3 years, which is great, but still can’t match Apple’s 5+ years support on iPhone. It’s still great when compared to other Android phones though.

The phone comes in only one storage configuration, which is 128GB. Now 128GB base storage in a $350 is a great value to have, though it’s important to note that it has no microSD card slot for expandable storage.

Lets talk about the cameras now. As you know my daily driver is an iPhone 11 Pro Max, and while the camera system on that is more versatile thanks to 3-lens camera system it has got, in my testing of Pixel 4a side by side, I have found that Google’s budget phone is better when it comes to casual shots where you dont have to think too much. You just point and shoot and more often then not you don’t have to do anything. It just works. The color reproduction, photo quality, dynamic range, everything seems to be just on point with little to no editing or effort required.

While day time photos are hard to distinguish between Pixel 4a and iPhone 11 Pro Max, it’s challenging situations where the difference shows up.

Starting with night mode, both take great photos at night and you can see them side by side in the video embedded, but I tend to prefer the natural colors and vibrance in iPhone 11 Pro Max shots compared to Pixel’s.

Portrait mode is another story though where Pixel takes the win even with its single lens camera and no telephoto lens mainly thanks to Google’s excellent AI and machine learning algorithms. The edge detection, sharpness, overall photo quality is just better, and this applies to both front facing and rear cameras.

When it comes to video, it is fine – though nowhere near iPhone quality as can be seen in side by side comparison. You can see that iPhone video is more stabilized and produces better and more natural colors. The dynamic range is also better on the iPhone, as can be seen when comparing the sky on both videos.

All in all, Pixel is a great value. Its camera is flagship quality and there is no question about it. If you buy this phone today, you can be assure that the Camera and design of the phone will remain competitive for at least another 3 years.

If you are on a budget and looking to buy a phone with great camera, this is the phone to get!

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Buy: Google Pixel 4a UNLOCKED 128 from Amazon: $349

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