At $350, the Pixel 4a is a decently affordable phone – far from the best value-for-money, but competitive with the iPhone SE (2020). But will you really shell out $500/€500/£500 for the Pixel 4a 5G?
Despite what the name makes it sound like, 5G is only one of the upgrades – the new model has a more powerful chipset (Snapdragon 765G vs. 730G), a larger screen (6.2” vs. 5.81”), an extra camera (16 MP ultra wide) and a larger battery (3,885 mAh vs. 3,140 mAh).
Does the $150 surcharge feel worth it now? And what if we told you that in some (not all, but some) countries you will get a free pair of Bose QC 35 II headphones (those are easily worth $250) when you pre-order the phone?.
Also, the Pixel 4a 5G has the exact same chipset and camera hardware as the Pixel 5, so you’ll get the same photos and videos out of both phones. Notably, this includes 4K video at 60 fps, something even the Pixel 4 with its S855 chip didn’t do.
Google’s algorithms – the ones processing images, the ones handling annoying phone calls for you and other algorithms – are exclusive to the Pixel line. These phones are more software products than they are hardware as it is the software what sets them apart from other phones.
What about the Pixel 5? It too will be paired with the Bose QC35 II in some regions, but does that do enough to offset the hefty $700/€630/£600 price tag? We should make an important note here: in select countries the phones have mmWave connectivity (which increases the price), in others they only do sub-6 GHz 5G.
The 5 is the more premium Pixel of the two, hands down. It has an aluminum body (made out of recycled materials). Plus, it is IP68 dust and water resistant, also it has wireless charging (the battery is slightly larger to boot). Those are two things lacking on the 4a 5G.
Moreover, the Pixel 5 has a 90 Hz HDR10+ display and 2 extra gigs of RAM. You do lose the 3.5 mm headphone jack, though. In both cases you’ll be using a rear-mounted fingerprint reader instead of the advanced face recognition system of the Pixel 4, no Soli radar either.
Okay, the explanation of the differences between the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G (and regular 4a) sounded a bit convoluted, which is bound to make the choice between the two models harder.
Unless you think that the price makes the choice very easy instead. So, which Pixel is the one for you?