The Pixel 4a is back, but 5G support isn’t the only new addition
The Pixel 4a 5G is finally official. Google first teased its existence during the launch of the Pixel 4a two months ago but at long last, we have the first proper details. The news comes in the wake of the firm’s ‘Launch Night In’ virtual event, where it also announced a new Chromecast streamer and Nest Audio smart speaker, alongside its other new smartphone, the Pixel 5.
Google didn’t just flip the Pixel 4a’s 5G switch to ‘on’, though. Like the Pixel 5, it can connect to the Sub-6GHz 5G network in the UK (provided you’re in a 5G area), but that isn’t really the key part of the Pixel 4a 5G’s appeal.
£499.00 Buy now
The Pixel 4a 5G offers much more than 5G connectivity. To begin with, its screen stretches out across 6.24in, instead of the Pixel 4a’s 5.81in. Like the Pixel 5, this is an HDR-certified OLED panel with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080, although it doesn’t have the same buttery smooth 90Hz refresh rate – instead, you have to make do with a bog-standard 60Hz.
In an obvious attempt to keep costs to a minimum, the Pixel 4a 5G also has a simple, polycarbonate plastic body, instead of an aluminium frame like the one found on the Pixel 5. It doesn’t have any official IP rating for dust and water protection, either, although the screen is protected from drops and scrapes with a layer of Gorilla Glass 3.
Arguably the biggest upgrade, however, can be found on the inside. Instead of using the Snapdragon 730G (found inside the regular Pixel 4a), the 5G model uses a Snapdragon 765G for processing duties and 5G connectivity, which is the same CPU that powers the more expensive Pixel 5. We’ve reviewed many 765G-powered smartphones in the last few months, including the Nokia 8.3 5G and OnePlus Nord, and both phones achieved slightly higher benchmark figures than the Pixel 4a in our tests.
The Pixel 4a 5G doesn’t just share the Pixel 5’s innards, either. The Pixel 4a 5G also has a dual-camera array, which consists of a 12.2MP (f/1.7) primary camera, alongside an 8MP ultra-wide unit. The regular Pixel 4a keeps things simple, of course, with only a single camera on the back. All three phones share the same 8MP (f/2.0) selfie camera, though, which is punched into a small hole in the top-left corner of the display.
Mopping things up, the Pixel 4a 5G has a larger 3,885mAh battery, although unlike the Pixel 5 it doesn’t support wireless charging. It also has 6GB of RAM as well as 128GB of internal storage, which sadly can’t be expanded via microSD. Some good news, though, is that the Pixel 4a 5G, as well as the Pixel 5, is also the first phone to launch with Android 11 preinstalled – other phones will have to wait at least a few months for the update.
£499.00 Buy now
As for price, Google announced that the Pixel 4a 5G will cost £499 when it arrives in the UK on 19 November. By comparison, that’s £150 more expensive than the Pixel 4a, but £100 cheaper than the upcoming Pixel 5.