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Google Pixel 4a review: Great performance at an even better price

By Hoots the Owl - 9 Aug 2020
Launch SRP: S$499

Camera and sample images

Camera and sample images

Unlike the Pixel 4, the Pixel 4a has no telephoto lens, so you get just a single rear camera. This is the same 12.2-megapixel main camera on the Pixel 4, complete with Google staples like Night Sight (and more reading here), a dedicated astrophotography mode, Live HDR+ with dual exposure controls, Portrait Mode, Super Res Zoom, and of course, Google Lens. 

When it comes to video recording, the rear camera supports up to 4K capture at 30FPS or 720p video at 240FPS. In the meantime, the front camera can do up to 1080p at 30FPS. 

Here's an overview of the camera specifications:

Rear camera

  • 12.2MP dual-pixel
  • 1.4μm pixel width
  • Autofocus with dual pixel phase detection
  • Optical + electronic image stabilization
  • ƒ/1.7 aperture 77° field of view

Front camera

  • 8MP
  • 1.12μm pixel width
  • ƒ/2.0 aperture
  • Fixed focus
  • 84° field of view

 

Sample images

The Pixel 4a produces pictures with good detail and contrast even in the evening light and is capable of holding its own against the Pixel 4. I should point out that this phone costs only S$499, so what you're getting is really pretty impressive. It may only have just one main camera and no fancy wide-angle or telephoto lenses, but taking a good picture is remarkably hassle-free. Check out some of our comparison photos taken with Pixel 4a and Pixel 4 on the same scene:-

Pixel 4a.

Pixel 4.

 

Night Sight

The Pixel 4a demonstrates impressive low light capabilities, particularly with Night Sight on. The image does still seem unnaturally bright, as if someone were shining a spotlight on the trees, but it does its job of lifting the shadows and revealing the leaves in greater detail.  

Pixel 4a, Night Sight off.

Pixel 4a, Night Sight on.

Pixel 4, Night Sight off.

Pixel 4, Night Sight on.

 

Super Res Zoom

Like the Pixel 4, the Pixel 4a supports Super Res Zoom, which was first introduced on the Pixel 3. It offers up to 7x zoom, compared to the 8x on the Pixel 4, but it lacks the dedicated telephoto lens so some loss of detail is to be expected. That's immediately apparent at maximum zoom in the photos below, and the Pixel 4 was able to capture greater detail and produce crisper lines. 

Pixel 4a, no zoom.

Pixel 4a, 7x zoom.

Pixel 4, 8x zoom.

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8.5
  • Design 8
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 8.5
  • Performance 8
  • Value 9
The Good
Good battery life
Great camera
128GB storage
Pure Android experience
Pixel exclusive features
Optional washable cover
NFC available
The Bad
No water resistance
No wireless charging
No zoom or telephoto lens
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