Another top option launches for your next smartphone journey - the Pixel 4a

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I've written several times of my top picks for an onward journey from Symbian (AAS) and Lumia (AAWP) smartphones, most recently here. And today comes a slightly (COVID-19?) delayed great option from Google. I've been looking forward to the pure-Google Pixel 4a for some time and it's now official, with everything most of us need apart from Qi charging, yet with many years of guaranteed updates, all at a low price of £349 (in the UK).

The specifications for this much-delayed budget Pixel are (in case you've been living under a rock):

  • Polycarbonate unibody
  • 5.8"display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 60Hz OLED — including Always-on Display options and the popular Now Playing features from previous Pixel devices
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB of internal storage
  • 3,140mAh battery
  • 18W fast charging
  • Loud stereo speakers, although this will be a downward-firing tweeter and earpiece, so quieter and less balanced than on many previous Pixels
  • The usual Pixel main camera, 12.2MP, f/1.7 with Dual Pixel a/f, with OIS and the usual software trickery(!)
  • Capacitive fingerprint reader on the back
  • Ships with Android 10 and Android 11 arriving in September, in parallel with other Pixels

The obvious omissions (from flagships) are an IP rating for water/dust and Qi charging. Both unfortunate, but understandable at the price.

Pixel 4a

See also the Pixel 4a product page (UK).

The good news is that - even if you want to go from the purest OS sources, i.e. maximum support and maximum brand - the iPhone SE (2020) and the Pixel 4a (ditto) provide a pretty great smartphone experience with super imaging at significantly under £500. i.e. The barrier to entry to a decent top-brand smartphone is lower than it has ever been. And that's before you delve off into third party offerings like the recently covered Redmi Note 9 Pro, for two thirds the price of even this Pixel 4a...