Google’s Friendliest Smartphone – Pixel 4a
– Hey, better late than never. That’s what I always say, ladies and gentlemen, this is it. The one and only Google Pixel 4a launching in Canada on Septemberthe whatevereth who cares because everyone else hasalready made videos about this. So we’re just going for ithere ladies and gentlemen. The Pixel 4a is part ofan overall industry trend that honestly I’m surpriseddidn’t take off sooner. Being hands on with it, I do wonder if thingsmight’ve gone a little bit too far here. It’s really plasticky feeling.
You know what it reminds me of is like the old Nexus 5, tops back like really good hardware, but with an unapologeticallyplastic build quality that helped to justify the low price. And a low price it does have at just $350. The Pixel 4a on paper looks like the best bang for the buck for someone who cares aboutthe photos they can take with their smartphone,but not necessarily, the raw gaming horsepower.
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Let’s have a look at theaccessories real quick here. Got your SIM removal tool, got your wall wart. Let’s see, is this a fastcharger, nine volt two amp, fast but not super fast. Woopsie daisies, Type-C to Type-C. And then I believe this puppyis for transferring data or something like that. You know how it feels inthe hand though Brandon, friendly, it’s one handable, that’s something that honestly I, as someone with smallerhands have really missed about flagship devices,but it’s not too small, just like you’ve seen on someof Apple’s lower end devices. I wouldn’t describe it as a thick bezel, but you’ve got like a midsized bezel all the way around, as opposed to, what we used to see as thesort of the trendier move, which was kind of yourwraparound display on the side, and then a bigger forehead or chin.
I still absolutely hatehole punch displays. And I can’t wait for this atrociousindustry trend to go away. But, on a $350 device, I’m a lot more willing to overlook, why they couldn’t engineerand under screen display or, a popup or a flip around orwhatever else the case may be. I’m already really coming around to it. So it’s got a rear fingerprint sensor, which it’s not state-of-the-art. There’s no face dot scanning thing. There’s no under screenedfingerprint sensor or anything like that.
But as a daily driver Note 9 user, I, the vast majority of the time just use my rear fingerprint scanner, even though I do have an Iris scanner. Anyway, like it is something that I’ve reallygotten used to over the years. Wow that was a reallyfast fingerprint setup. Okay, so it’s coaching me on gestures. This is not a good initial setup gesture coaching thing though, because I’ve seen better ones that force you to actuallyperform the gestures before allowing you to move on. There’s no squeeze, that’s something that’smissing on this Pixel device compared to previous ones.
Honestly there’s gonna be quite a few Pixel experience things thatyou’re not gonna enjoy here. So for one thing, that is a single camera setup, it’s actually still gotthis gigantic camera bump as though it did have multiple cameras, which has led to somespeculation about the upcoming 5G version of the Pixel 4a. Maybe having more thanjust 5G added to it. ‘Cause it’s going to be 150 more dollars, compared to what we might expect from an upcoming flagship Pixel device, like a non a variant, there’s no high refresh rate display. And the hardware is quite pedestrian.
So even compared to a Pixel 3, the Pixel 4a is not asuper fast performer. It’s 730G chipset is evenslower than what you’d find in similar concept deviceslike the LG Velvet, and the OnePlus Nord. It’s got just six gigs of Ram, and is only availablewith 128 gigs of storage. Even though there’s no micro SD expansion, it’s got just a 3140 mAh battery. And even the camera, which Pixel devices are famous for is just a 12 megapixel single lens affair. But, what I’m expecting Googleto get right with this device is of course, the little things, the haptic feedback on this phone, in spite of it being, (murmur)a mid tier to entry-level device is really good.
I don’t know that otherthan the iPhone SE, I have ever seen that before. Because that’s the kind of little touch that manufacturers whofocus too much on specs and not enough onexperience, tend to overlook. Another big one is software, starting with display calibration. This is something that Google and Apple both take very seriously. Whereas a lot of othersmartphone brands are all about, pumping up the vibrancy at the expense of true to life colors. We actually shoot our videos at 18:9, and you can see that Googleappears to have positioned their hole punch, so that16:9 content won’t cut off. But if you’re watching videos that are in a more cinematic aspect ratio, it looks like the defaultbehavior is to just have a hole in your content.
Something that just is always going to bother me unfortunately. I will say though that, if you had told me I wasgonna see an OLED display of this quality on a $350 mobile device, just three short years ago, I’d have told you you were freaking nuts. Wow this is even on adaptive mode, but there’s hardly any difference between natural and adaptive. Thank you Google. I would even leave this adaptive mode on, it’s really not bad. So on the bottom you’vegot your Type-C port as well as speaker ports.
On the left you got a whole lot of not muchother than a SIM tray. on the top, hey, you got a noise canceling microphone and a headphone jack. And then over on the right, you got your lock button as well as your volume up and volume down. Quick double click there, it’s gonna launch the camera. Let’s just take a couple quick snaps. I’m just, I’m idly curious. Man, they just get it like so close to what your eyeactually sees don’t they? That looks way too sharpto just be 12 megapixels. You got to love all their AI nonsense. So far this is Pixel exclusive, although I wouldn’t be too surprised to see it rolled out toothers in the future.
But you can actuallyuse the same AI nonsense that Google uses to take asingle lens shooter like this one and apply a background bokeh in post and use that on your old photos as well. Like previous Google Pixel devices, there’s unlimited high quality now, not unlimited quality, but high quality storagefor both photos and videos, which It’ll help a little bitat least with the fact that it’s only got 128 gigsof storage on board.
I wanna know if it has anamplified earpiece speaker. That’s a really big one for me. – Introducing the products thatwe are both reviewing today, – It’s goblin. – And creating today’s video. – Not bad, the speakers aren’t great And there’s a fair bitof device vibration. It doesn’t feel premium when you’ve got the volume turned up. – And support for HDR 10. HLG, and Dolby Vision,all on a whopping… – Little bit of distortion But, it gets loud, it’sstereo, it sounds not bad. This thing is gonna be popular you guys, it’s all about delivering, that premium experience, but selectively in the places where peopleactually care about it.
Three years of committed software updates, you get that Pixelquality camera processing, but you get it for $350 because you don’t need like a, crazy multi-camera set up, a giant screen, all that other fancy stuff. There’s no wireless charging, nothing like that, butit’s responsive enough. As long as you’ve never experienced a high refresh rate display. I don’t think you wouldlook at this and go, 730G I simply cannot use it to, call my acquaintances. I don’t have a SIM in it, so that’s why, I was trying to call you Brandon. Gift my brother or my aunt or whatever.
Not enthusiasts but, obviously they want a device that just freaking works. I was like, hey, what phone should I get? This or the iPhone SE arelooking pretty compelling. The one area where thisfalls behind the SE is that I would expect Apple, especially given thatthey’ve got a flagship level SOC in that thing, to provide support for it for longer. So it’s gonna come down to kind of how long you wanna use your device for. The iPhone SE is reallya very compelling option right now actually.
Manufacturers are startingto really bang that drum and you’ve got Appleand Google onboard now. Maybe we’re gonna see the end of the, $1,200 phone or maybe we won’t, then they just will be a little bit better and you can pay it a lot more. I guess that’s fine too.