You know it’s fall when phones start dropping faster than the leaves in the park. This month Google is launching their Pixel 4a 5G in Canada which is an incredibly cheap (relatively speaking) phone that is surprisingly good. If you’re looking for a phone that is easy on the wallet, has a headphone jack and a solid camera, look no farther than the Google Pixel 4a 5G.
5G is a massive buzzword this holiday season despite most people not really understanding what it is and it not being available in most areas yet. Thankfully when it does launch everywhere you’ll be prepared with the Pixel 4a 5g, no tin foil hat required.
The Pixel 4a 5G’s has two dual rear cameras and all day battery life, which to me are the most important things when buying a phone. It also promises a robust software support from Google making it a safe bet for a long term phone. You can sleep easy knowing this device will feature a multitude of updates for the foreseeable future.
I don’t know how google did it, but they managed to put a 6.2-inch OLED screen on this device and still keep the cost down. This is the largest Pixel that Google is releasing this year. The screen is only 1080p and doesn’t have a massive refresh rate but it’s still good. The colors are vibrant and I had no problem seeing the screen when walking around outside in the cold fall sun.
The body of the phone is simple plastic, which is where Google is saving some dough. Thankfully they have created a number of fancy cases you can attach on to give it more of a personality and some flair. The fingerprint sensor is built into the back and while fast isn’t in the most convenient of locations. I’ve gotten so used to it being on the front it took me awhile to train my brain to stick my finger on the backside.
Google promised an all day battery life with this phone and it’s safe to say they delivered. I got about 6-7 hours of screen time on it before dying and had no problem keeping it alive throughout the day. A good battery is so important and just in case you need it, Google has a new battery-saver mode called “extreme battery saver”. It is for someone who might be away from a charger for 2-3 days and just need the essential apps. This is a pretty extreme option for most people but would be good if you plan on camping or living in a cabin alone this winter with minimal electricity.
The camera is the same camera you will find in the Pixel 5. The main camera is a 12-megapixel sensor, and a new 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor. The selfie camera is 8 megapixels and is decent enough. This is a really great camera considering the price. It’s not the best in night mode but I was impressed with what it did pull off in Night Sight mode. Pictures in the daylight look fantastic and I’m more than happy with the results. The videos are ok, but they don’t hold a candle to my Huawei or iPhone devices.
The stand out feature here is the 3.5mm headphone jack. I don’t remember the last time I reviewed a phone with a simple headphone jack. This takes me back to the good old days. I’ve since gotten accustomed to wireless earbuds but it is great having the option. Plenty of people love a wired experience and will get real use out of this simple add on. It’s truly not something you see everyday unfortunately.
Of course it’s not perfect and it does not have wireless charging. However, I’m not sure the person buying this phone would be all that interested in that feature anyway. If they love a headphone jack, I doubt they care how their phone charges. Now the big red flag is this isn’t a phone you can game regularly on. In my testing a game like Angry Birds works just fine, but I would avoid something like Microsoft’s XCloud or Fortnite. You’re going to experience some serious slowdown.
Let’s be real with each other valued reader. Most flagship phones on the market are just not worth it. They are overpriced and have more buzz words than they do features. We don’t all need top line phones. Most of us would be perfectly fine with a phone such as this. This has everything you could ever need, a beautiful display, a fantastic camera and solid performance. For the price I’m blown away. It’s not sexy, but it does the job. Did I mention it also has a headphone jack?!
My final suggestion when considering the Pixel 4a 5G this holiday is to make sure you get the 5G version. It might not be widely available, but it’s coming and you’re going to want it when it does. Might as well splurge a little extra now to stay ahead of the trend next year.