Pixel 4a review - this should have been named the 4u

Ya know... 'cuz this is the Pixel 4 U... for you... okay, enough with the dad-joke puns.

This review for the Pixel 4a took a lot longer as it was really hard to find something to say about it that was different from the Pixel 4 XL that I reviewed.

I could just wrap it up here ... too long; didn't read:  this is the 4 XL minus the size, the Qi, IP68, and a little bit of pep (but not much), and you get a fingerprint sensor and almost $700 in your pocket.

Essentially, that's the review right there.

So, for the $479CDN here's what you get:

  • 5.8" @ 2340x1080 (HDR)
  • Snapdragon 730G
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • 12.2MP (f/1.7, 77°, 1.4µm)
  • 8MP (f/2.0, 84°, 1.12µm)
  • 3140mAh
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Headphone jack

Here's what it doesn't have compared to the 4 XL:  Qi / IP68 / QuadHD @ 90Hz / SD855 / 2nd zoom lens Soli sensor / squeeze assistant ... seems like a lot, but really it's not.  Of all of those, I can deal with, except the Qi option.

I do like the QuadHD but I can live with that, especially knowing I now have a fingerprint sensor.  I've never really 'relied' on havinga  zoom lens.  If there was a photo that I wanted to get closer, I can live with digital zoom in those cases.  It's only 2x.

Soli was such a go-nowhere feature novelty.  The few times I tried to actually use made me look like a goof.

But here's what you do get if you want to believe in trade-offs.

First off, we can't ignore the $479 price point.  $700 cheaper than the XL (yes, I know I keep comparing it ot the XL, and there is a non-a, non-XL variant).

Then you also get a fingerprint sensor.  I love that.  I miss being to just tap it and bring it up super snappy like.  Nothing's faster than the back fingerprint sensor.  Plus, being able to just swipe on it and it brings my notifications..

It has all the same 'apps' and features that the Pixel has (minus being able to squeeze it or swipe the air for one or 2 apps).  It has the 'now playing' feature, which I find hard to live without these days, double tapping power to bring up the camera, and connects to my 'all things Google' like only a Pixel can.

It even still has stereo speakers.

Best of all for this price range you get the same camera as the bigger non-a variants.  

I do have to say I'm not a fan of the punch out for the camera, I don't know why, but it's just not me.

So in terms of features and performance there really isn't much you're going to notice.

I've played some PUBG and it handles super smoothly.  And with the smaller screen with FHD and a bigger battery it's going to be a long lasting device for you.

For me, and why I hadn't decided to put down my XL is that it's a tad small for me (but I can deal) but I need Qi.  I know I said it had a great battery, but I rarely ever... and I mean EVER charge my phones by a cable anymore.  Only in dire situations.

If this had that, well then I can see it being my daily driver.

But I think that with its price, it's a no-brainer. Almost no down side.