Pixel 4A review: If you want a budget phone, this is the one for you

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Update, Aug. 17, 2021: Google has unveiled the , which we have reviewed. Original story follows.


 earlier this month, a new budget phone that will sit alongside the  and the . Though the latter two will be available at a later date, you can already preorder the Pixel 4A for $349, £349 and AU$599. Unlike in previous years, the phone only comes in one color (black) and one size (there’s no Pixel 4A XL). Only a few days after the Pixel 4A unveiling, , only nine months after their release. For its price, the Pixel 4A has one of the you can get on a phone.

(For more, see . And here’s .)

8.4

Google Pixel 4A

Like

  • Affordable
  • Excellent camera
  • Has a headphone jack
  • Great battery life so far

Don’t Like

  • No wireless charging
  • Not water-resistant

Amid the abundance of $400 that are out now, which include the and the , the Pixel 4A’s two standout features are hard to dismiss. The fact that it has the same excellent main camera as the (unfortunately, it doesn’t have the Pixel 4’s second telephoto lens) makes it the ideal phone for someone who wants to take great photos without much effort. Especially if that person doesn’t care about having a sleek design or a huge screen, both of which the Pixel 4A doesn’t have.

The Pixel 4A is about $50 cheaper than its closest competitors and has 128GB of storage, , so it really is a solid value. And these days, any amount of money that can be saved is crucial.

So does the Pixel 4A have the best camera on any phone? Which is to say does the Pixel 4 still have the best camera? Not necessarily, not like previous years. When the came out in 2017, the delta between Google’s camera and other Android phones at the time felt pretty wide. And when the introduced Night Sight, it was witchcraft-levels of impressive. But rivals such as , and have shrunk the gap when it comes to important camera features like low-light photos and zoom. 

The better question to ask then, is: Is this the phone with the best camera you can get for $350? Considering that the Pixel 4A also receives prompt software updates from Google, has a long-lasting battery life (so far) and — all on top of its stellar camera — I’d venture to say the answer is yes.

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