If you’re a smartphone enthusiast, which phones come to mind in the sub Rs 30,000 price point? Probably OnePlus’ most recent star performer, the OnePlus Nord 2, or Poco’s new flagship killer, the Poco F3 GT?
No doubt, both are great devices, but there’s another great phone that we don’t see people recommending in the same segment — a phone that disrupted the American smartphone market in 2020. We’re talking about the Pixel 4a.
With a ton of phone launches this year, it has become increasingly difficult to make the right call when buying smartphones. Narrowing your choice down to one becomes even more difficult when choosing among three devices in the same price segment. In this article, let’s look at the areas where the Pixel 4a still puts up a good fight versus the Nord 2 and F3 GT.
Google Pixel 4a In 2021: Still Pixelicious!
One of the best things about Pixel devices is the software. One cannot ignore that Google’s vanilla Android provides one of the cleanest Android experiences you can get. Of course, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Google’s software experience doesn’t make this phone feel like it’s running a two-year-old processor, the Snapdragon 730G. If I had to sum up the experience in one word, it’d be “blissful.”
Since it’s a Google phone, it will always be the first to receive two more major Android updates. Meanwhile, the Nord 2 and the F3 GT will also be updated to Android 12 or even Android 13, but then you’ll have to wait for almost half a year or even one year.
That said, although Android 12 adds a lot of customization options, if you’re someone who’s coming from MIUI, ColorOS, or any Android skin, you might not like the experience on 4a.
The Pixel 4a is no monster when it comes to specifications compared to the OnePlus Nord 2 or the Poco F3 GT. Thanks to the Mediatek Dimensity 1200 AI chipset and higher refresh rate AMOLED panels (90Hz on the Nord 2 and 120Hz on the F3 GT), the overall user experience will be smoother.
But again, I can’t stress the fact that Google’s UI does such a great job of delivering on the smoothness and cleanliness unlike any other Android skin in the market.
Specs Don’t Matter; Experience Does
I know that I sound like a Pixel fanboy, but believe me when I say this — what I learned by using the 4a for over a week is, for many people, on-paper specs don’t matter; experience does, and the Pixel 4a handsomely delivers just that.
The camera is yet another area where it shines. Sure, the hardware isn’t stuffed with megapixels, but Google compensates the same with great software processing, which, even to this day, competes again with most flagship devices, including the latest iPhone. We’ll have to see how it stacks up with the Nord 2’s and F3 GT’s cameras.
The software combined with an almost edge-to-edge front display with a hole-punch cutout and the small form factor feels refreshing to use. Even though the phone is made of plastic, at no point did it feel like I’m using a plastic phone. The build quality and the finishing are just that good.
Phones in the budget segment either try to imitate glass backs by making the back plastics too reflective. The glass back, on the other hand, is fragile. With the Pixel 4a, Google has fully embraced plastic, and they’re not shy about it. Due to this, the phone might sustain cracks and scratches better than the glass backs.
Cons And Things To Worry About
Yes, just like any other smartphone, there are several things to worry about when choosing the Pixel 4a in 2021 –
- The Snapdragon 730G is still a capable SoC, but if you plan to use the 4a for a long period, say, at least three years, the chipset might bottleneck due to the increase in size and memory requirements of apps as time progresses.
- While the phone is primarily loved due to its small form factor, people coming from bigger phones might not like it.
- The battery is 3140 mAh which isn’t quite as per the 2021 standards, but it can easily last for a day. The 18W fast charger included in the box fully charges the phone in an hour and twenty minutes. If you’re a heavy user, you might need to charge the phone twice a day.
- The Pixel 4a is not meant for heavy gaming. The Adreno 618 is an okay GPU for average gaming, but the Dimensity 1200 is better performing of the two.
Should You Still Buy The Pixel 4a in 2021?
At Rs 30,000, the Pixel 4a might look overpriced, but the software experience is definitely well worth the same. If I had to sum up in one line, if you need a device that works and works very well and if you’re not a hardcore gamer, the Pixel 4a is still worth giving a shot.
However, if performance and UI customization features are your top-most priority, you might want to “settle” with the OnePlus Nord 2 or Poco F3 GT.