The amount of effort Google seems to put into its Pixel phones while simultaneously ensuring that they look and feel mundane never ceases to astonish me. The new Pixel 5 is the epitome of this trend, though it’s been present since the beginning.
The Pixel 5 is unassuming. Instead of pushing the state of the art forward, Google has seemingly retreated to simpler, more reliable, and less expensive technology. The Pixel 4 had face unlock, squeezable sides, and a literal radar chip. The Pixel 5 has a simple rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that harkens back to Android phones from 2018, not 2020.
And yet, it’s still a very good phone for $699. It’s not impressive or flashy. By spending just a little (or a lot) more money, you can get better specs, larger camera arrays, prettier screens, and fancier designs. The Pixel 5 is trying to sell something else, sometimes to a fault:
Pixel 5 hardware design
Here are words I’ve used to describe Pixel hardware in past reviews, all of which apply to the Pixel 5: utilitarian, humdrum, unassuming, and premium. That last one seems like it doesn’t fit, but once you hold the Pixel 5, you’ll feel it. There’s so little hardware flash that it can be easy to miss some of the design substance.
The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch OLED screen, rounded on the corners and interrupted only by a (somewhat large) hole punch for the selfie camera. There’s no XL version with a bigger screen, which might annoy some
Now that the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are official, we’ve got three different Pixels to choose from this year. There’s the Pixel 4a, which costs a cool $349, the 4a 5G, which adds some faster networking, a faster processor, and an extra camera for $499, and the Pixel 5, which adds a premium build, wireless charging, a 90Hz display, water resistance, and a bigger battery, for $699.
Between those three, the 4a 5G seems like the middle ground a lot of people are looking for. It has the biggest display of the three at 6.2-inches, the wide-angle camera everyone wanted last year, and a chip that’s perfectly future-proof with 5G connectivity. While it still lacks the extras like wireless charging and a 90Hz display sported on the Pixel 5, a lot of people won’t care about those things, and just want something that works for a good price.
Lucky for you guys, we’ve just got a 4a 5G in our hands. Let’s take a look, shall we?
See also: Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a: Which should you buy?
What’s in the box?
Inside the box for the Pixel 4a 5G, you’ll find the phone, alongside a quick start guide, an 18W power brick, a power cable, and a female USB-A to male USB-C adapter. This is pretty much the standard fare for Pixels these days, though some might be a bit bummed when other devices often come with extras like headphones.
We should note that while 18W is fine for charging speed, it’s beginning to lag behind compared to other devices. Even budget devices like the OnePlus Nord commonly see 25W, 30W or more, and it would be nice to see Google move to faster charging soon. Still, the fairly large 3,885mAh battery
It’s time for the Sunday giveaway, and we’re switching up the giveaway format. No longer will the Sunday giveaway be a weekly giveaway — it’s going monthly! There will be a new giveaway on the first Sunday of each month, but we’ll be giving away more prizes to multiple winners each giveaway, increasing your odds of winning. This month three lucky Android Authority readers having the chance to win some top tech!
A big congratulations to the winner of last week’s Samsung Galaxy S20 FE giveaway, Kyle G. from Colorado, USA.
This month we’re giving away a brand new Google Pixel 5, a Fitbit Sense, and a pair of Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds, brought to you by the DGiT Daily newsletter!
The DGiT Daily newsletter is a daily briefing focused on bringing you the best tech news and links to what’s happening all around the web. It doesn’t matter if it’s from The Wall Street Journal or the depths of a 41-tweet Twitter thread — we’ll find it, and tell you what it means.
The daily email arrives fresh at around 7 a.m. ET every day, and we’re committed to making sure it entertains with a brief, honest, authoritative, and never-too-serious look at the tech news of the day via our Senior Editor, Tristan Rayner.
The DGiT Daily also comes with a daily surprise segment you’ll have to read each day — you’ll get an idea by looking at our recent editions from this week: New budget Surface Laptop Go from Friday and TikTok escapes ban again from Monday.
First prize: A Google Pixel 5, $50 Amazon eGift Card, and an AA hoodie
Our grand prize for October is a no-brainer. The Google Pixel 5 is due for release at the end of the month, and you could be one
- Google will use the Pixel 4’s Soli radar and Motion Sense gestures in the future.
- The company hasn’t confirmed if the tech is headed to phones.
Google is not done with its Soli radar chip and Motion Sense feature, even though it skipped them both on the Pixel 5. In an interview with The Verge, Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said that Project Soli and Motion Sense gestures would return in the future.
Google introduced Motion Sense assisted by its Soli radar chip on the Pixel 4. The feature enables a bunch of hand gestures on the phone that allow you to control it without touching the screen. It may have seemed like a gimmick to some users, but our very own Jimmy Westenberg thought it a great addition.
The Soli chip also helped the Pixel 4 recognize your presence and quickly unlock the screen by engaging the necessary biometric sensors. Thanks to this, the Pixel 4 has one of the fastest face unlock systems in the market.
Also read: Soli on the Google Pixel 4: Here’s why it’s a good thing
The main problem was that the Pixel 4 could not be made available in many countries, including India, because of Soli. It requires access to the 60GHz mmWave frequency band which isn’t open for commercial use in many markets.
While Osterloh confirmed that the company would use the tech again in the future, he didn’t specify if it’ll appear on phones. However, a recent FCC filing suggests that Soli-based motion gestures could appear on an upcoming Nest Thermostat. Let’s wait and see what Google has in store.
- Google just gave away the India launch date for the Pixel 4a.
- The phone will land in India on October 17.
- It will go on sale through Flipkart.
Google has finally announced the India launch date for the Pixel 4a. The mid-range Google phone that debuted in the US back in August will reach Indian shores on October 17. Google confirmed the Pixel 4a India launch while replying to a query on Twitter.
It’s possible that Google’s Twitter account jumped the gun because we were initially expecting the company to announce the India availability of the Pixel 4a during the Pixel hardware event that concluded a few hours back. When that didn’t happen, we thought Google would put out an official Pixel 4a India launch announcement at a later date. Looks like the cat is finally out of the bag.
Where to buy the Google Pixel 4a in India and for how much?
The Google Pixel 4a will be made available in India through Flipkart. The e-commerce platform has already put up a dedicated page for the phone on its website. However, it doesn’t mention the October 17 launch date just yet.
The Pixel 4a is a mid-tier smartphone that features the Snapdragon 730 chipset. Unlike its recently launched successors — the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 — the phone does not support 5G connectivity. Not that India has any 5G networks to speak of. The good thing is that it comes with the same primary camera as the more premium Google phones so expect to take some quality photos with the device.
It’s also cheaper than the new Google phones at $349. This translates to somewhere around Rs. 25,000 in India. However, Google phones are usually marked up in India compared to their international counterparts, so the phone