Studio711

Google Pixel 4a Review

If you look through my history of cell phones, you’ll see that that my last purchase was a Samsung S7 in October of 2016. That was our first Android phone and I went for a top of the line experience. I wanted to see the best of Android as I switched platforms.

Fast forward almost FOUR YEARS and those phones are still chugging along, but they’re getting pretty sluggish and the batteries are annoyingly week. By lunch time I’m lucky to have a 30-40% charge. Last fall when we hit the three year point, I decided to push the purchase out a bit longer and wait for the Pixel 4a. That announcement usually happens in May but COVID. Yada yada yada, we finally got our new phones! After having them for a couple weeks, here are some thoughts:

Pros

  • Google gave us $58 each for our old S7’s. That brought the total with tax to $636.44 for two phones. That’s less than we paid for one of the S7’s. With many flagship phones over $1000, I’m ready to give a mid-range phone a chance and see how that goes. If we got 4 years out of a flagship and we get 2 years out of these, I’ll be happy and ready to upgrade.
  • The camera is gorgeous. I don’t have experience with other modern phones, but the reviews seem to indicate that this is a really solid camera. The Night Sight feature is incredible and really does work as well as the reviews say.
  • The phone doesn’t have expandable storage, but it comes with 128GB. We were living with 32GB internal + 64 SD storage on our own phones and never came close to filling that up so I expect this will be fine for us.
  • MORE POWER! While I’m sure a flagship phone would still trounce the 4a, these are way faster than the S7. For example, I’ve been playing with some autonomous drone software (Dronelink) and it didn’t work at all with the S7. It’s not flawless with the 4a but it’s plenty good. And when Elijah and I play Mario Kart Tour together, I don’t have to think about how his cheapo tablet is so much faster than my phone. Android Auto in my truck is much snappier too.

Cons

  • There’s no water resistance rating on these phones. While we’re careful and wouldn’t expect to take our phones into a pool, it’s nice to not worry about the phone if you’re out in a drizzle.
  • I really loved the wireless charging on my S7. I used it a lot especially as my battery was dying off. I can’t imagine that’s a super expensive part given that the tech has been around for so long, but they left it out of the 4a.
  • The screens are only 1080p. I did enjoy the WQHD (2560 × 1440) resolution on the S7’s but most of the time I don’t notice.

All in all we’re thrilled with these new phones. They’re so much faster than our old ones and the photos are amazing. They’re a perfect fit for us and since they were on the cheaper end of the phone spectrum, I won’t feel as bad about replacing them in a couple years when (hopefully) 5g is more prevalent.

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