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(Pocket-lint) - The Google Pixel 4a is now official after what seems like many months of speculation about whether Google was actually going to launch this phone.

The Google Pixel 4a replaces the Pixel 3a - there's no XL model, so Google is just sticking to the smaller size of phone for 2020.

The Google Pixel 4a has a 5.81-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution, 2340 x 1080 pixels, for an impressive 443ppi. That makes for a compact phone, measuring 144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm and weighing 143g. It has a plastic body with a fingerprint sensor on the rear of the phone.

It's positioned in the competitive mid-range, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G with 6GB of RAM. That means it only offers 4G connectivity, not making the step to next-gen speeds, although this is still a powerful phone, with Snapdragon 700 series hardware providing a near-flagship experience.

There's 128GB of storage, doubling the capacity that was in the Pixel 3a, but there's no microSD card slot.

There's a 3.5mm headphone socket, with Google hanging onto a popular legacy feature, while the USB-C on the bottom of the phone allows charging of the 3140mAh battery, with an 18W charger in the box to make sure it's a quick charge. Google says that the battery will give you 24 hours of use. 

GoogleGoogle Pixel 4a photo 1


Turning to the important cameras and Pixel fans won't be surprised to hear that this phone offers just a single camera on the back, with Google choosing to avoid the oversell trap that many mid-range phones fall into.

With a single 12.2-megapixel f/1.7 camera on the rear, what this phone really brings to the fore is Google's computational photography skills, letting you take advantage of all those technologies that are lauded on the Pixel 4.

That means you get excellent portrait shooting on both the front and back camera, you get Night Sight for low light shooting as well as Google's astrophotography option that will let you take pictures of the stars. Yes - on a mid-range phone.

There's a single 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera, again, getting plenty of skills to make sure you get decent photos in all conditions, although it is fixed focus.

A big part of the story for any Pixel phone is what the software unlocks. You're front of the queue for any system updates; although the phone is announced running Android 10, we'd expect it to move to Android 11 as soon as that software is announced. 

You also get all those Google Assistant skills - although all Android phones do - but here you get some of those Pixel extras, like Playing Now that will identify music that the phone hears in the background, so you can easily find out what that catchy tune is.

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The Pixel 4a will be priced at £349 in the UK which sounds a little on the high side, considering that the OnePlus Nord - which is larger and more powerful - is only £30 more at £379. You can see how these two phones compare right here.

Writing by Chris Hall. Editing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 28 July 2020.