The Google Pixel 4a 5G is an interesting device. It is a cheaper version of last year’s Pixel 4 flagship, but it is much closer to this year’s Pixel 5 flagship. On paper, at least, it seems a no brainer to save a lot of money and buy the Pixel 4a 5G instead of the Pixel 5.
The guts of the Pixel 4a 5G is identical to that of the Pixel 5. They both run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset. It also has the same 128GB of internal storage. It also comes with a headphone jack, which the Pixel 5 doesn’t have. Of course, it has the same 5G capabilities as the flagship.
Most importantly, the Pixel 4a 5G has exactly the same camera setup as its more esteemed brother. It has the same 12MP main camera with an f/1.7 aperture, as well as the same 16MP wide-angle lens with 107-degree field of view.
It will have all the same camera software trickery as the Pixel 5 as well. The phone’s performance when taking those snaps should be just as good, albeit slightly slower with 2GB less of RAM than the Pixel 5.
The major cost cutting comes in two areas. Firstly, the display on the 4a 5G is slightly larger, yet doesn’t have the fast 90Jz refresh rate found on the 5’s display. The screen-to-body ratio is also slightly worse on the 4a 5G (a common occurrence once cheaper devices). Secondly, the Pixel 4a 5G doesn’t have the nice-to-have features that the Pixel 5 has; there is no wireless charging or waterproofing. It also has a slightly smaller battery.
Taking all of this into account, there is no reason the majority of people won’t be perfectly content with the 4a 5G over the Pixel 5. The main attractions for buying a Pixel device is the camera experience, and the clean, stock Android experience. These two experiences looks identical on the two devices.
The device is launching for $499, a full $200 less that the Pixel 5.