Technology

The Pixel 4a is the iPhone SE you're looking for

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Looking at the build materials, the phone on the left looks to have the same side finish as the Pixel 4 and 4XL, yet is smaller. With lower prices clearly being the driving force, here, there's a chance that Google is ready to completely up-end their status-quo October release here in 2020 and simply shock everyone with a full unveiling of all the Pixels for this year today. There are no dates on this leak and there is nothing confirming that Google will even acknowledge these other two phones, but there's a chance that they could.

The Pixel 4a at $349 for the 128GB model shoots many birds with one stone.

Nonetheless, the early announcement could stop those coming to the end of their contract in the next few weeks from buying a rival smartphone from Samsung, OnePlus or Apple - and waiting for the 5G-enabled Pixel 5 to make an appearance.

While the Pixel 4a's display has a standard 1,080p screen resolution, it looks about as bright as the one on the Pixel 4.

Since the recycled fabric case is the only official one that Google makes for the Pixel 4a, you'd have to look elsewhere for anything more orthodox, like a thin and affordable clear case.

Since it's a Pixel phone, the Pixel 4a also comes with Google features like Live Caption for captioning media and the company's Personal Safety app.

The aggressively priced Pixel 4a could be an effort by Google to grab a bigger slice of the market, particularly as spending habits are changing in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It's a nice step up from the 3a, making the 4a a surprisingly competitive phone even for people who care about specs.

The Pixel 4, though, has a secondary telephoto camera, but I do not really miss its absence here. Photos have that distinctive Pixel look where shadows are accentuated. It's the price that perhaps impresses the most: just US$349. When Android 11 drops, you'll see improved privacy options, a new chat feature, and an updated notification shade. This includes features like Night Sight with astrophotography, Live HD+, portrait blur and Super Res Zoom, Live Caption and a new feature Live Caption for Calls. Powered by a Snapdragon 730G system-on-chip, it also has 6 gigabytes of memory, 128 gigabytes of storage, and a 3,140mAh battery.

From what little we can tell in the image, this is a photo of the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, presumably. In fact, barring some unforeseen launch mishaps due to the coronavirus production delays, the Pixel 4a may be the budget phone to reach for if you are looking for a more compact device, alongside the OnePlus Nord that is not coming to the U.S. any time soon. This is 2.5hr longer than the Pixel 4, though last year's Pixel 3a XL was still better (13hr 15 mins).

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