Pixel 4a review: The best $350 phone

Now that Google has launched the Pixel 4a (at last) for just $350, I might actually be convinced: the time for midrange phones to reign is When I picked up the Pixel 4a, my first thought was “Wait, does this thing have a case on?” The soft-touch coating on the back felt foreign, since I’m used to phones with glossier finishes. In fact, the Pixel 4a is as sturdy and well-made as the Pixel 4.

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In fact, the Pixel 4a is as sturdy and well-made as the Pixel 4. And at 5. 04 ounces it’s significantly lighter than the pricier phone (5. 71 ounces), which I’ve come to appreciate a lot more as I’ve been spending more time on my couch reading on my phone.

Despite a lack of style and the single rear camera, the Pixel 4a is the only sub-$500 phone I’d consider switching to.

Google’s software tends to make up for its basic hardware, and as usual, the company has some helpful tools that make the Pixel experience better than any other Android phone.

When I picked up the Pixel 4a, my first thought was “Wait, does this thing have a case on? ” The soft-touch coating on the back felt foreign, since I’m used to phones with glossier finishes.

Though it only comes in one color option and just a single rear camera, the Pixel 4a still manages to be the best phone for the price.

Now that Google has launched the Pixel 4a (at last) for just $350, I might actually be convinced: the time for midrange phones to reign is nigh.

Pixel 4a review: The best $350 phone Google owns the midrange.

With the Pixel 4a, though, Google is bringing its Live Caption feature to calls.

The camera module on the Pixel 4a’s rear is smaller than the 4’s, and I like that the power button and volume rockers feel a bit “clickier.

For now, though, features like Live Caption, Call Screening, Recorder and Personal Safety are what set the Pixel 4a apart from the competition.

The Pixel has always been a phone that felt a lot nicer than it looked — it’s not the most stylish.

One area Google tends to fall short of the competition is battery life, but the Pixel 4a has surprised me on that front.

Previously, Live Caption offered onscreen subtitles for all audio playing on your Pixel, except calls.

Yet, Google bucked that trend with the Pixel 3a’s fantastic camera and the 4a is no different.

But when you consider that the Pixel 4 costs $799 (though it frequently goes on sale for $450), it’s impressive that the $350 Pixel 4a can match it, even if the 4 is a year-old flagship.

Google’s software prowess makes its camera shine, helps its battery last longer and delivers unique features like Live Caption and on-device Recorder transcription.

Google proves it is the ruler of midrange phones with the Pixel 4a.

Plus, Google was able to keep the fingerprint sensor and the headphone jack on the Pixel 4a.

Google cooked up some software magic to make Android fly despite the slower CPU, and did the same with the Pixel 4a.

The fact that the Pixel 4a only has a single rear camera puts it at a disadvantage.

I miss the secondary wide angle lens that the Pixel 3 offered, but the solo sensor on the 4a isn’t bad.

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