Google unveils cheaper Pixel smartphone as virus curbs spending

Yolanda Curtis
August 4, 2020

Looking at the press render, these phones look basically ready to roll out and their inclusion in whatever it is Google is ready to announce today could be the reasoning behind the massive delays we've seen with the Pixel 4a unveiling. The OLED display measures 5.81 inches corner to corner, with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels and a small punch hole notch for the 8-MP selfie camera.

For the most part, the Pixel 4a looks very similar to its predecessor, the Pixel 3a.

Inside, the Pixel 4a has a Snapdragon 730G ARM chip, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Unfortunately, Google did not mention anything about pricing for the Pixel 5, though based on the price of previous Google flagship devices and recent rumours regarding its specs, we expect the Pixel 5 will start at somewhere between $US600 ($843) and $US800 ($1,124). We've all heard plenty about the fact that Google doesn't look primed to release a proper flagship phone this year and that their efforts would circle around mid-range chips like the Snapdragon 765G for the Pixel 5.

We've been consistently impressed with the camera capabilities in the Pixel line, and the rear sensor here is the same one used in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a. This will also be the fate of the Google Pixel 5. It's also worth noting that apps have the option to opt out of sharing audio streams with the operating system, so third-party apps that support calling may not support live captions. The iPhone has a slightly more pocketable size going for it, but the Pixel has a larger, sharper screen. This 60Hz display is a bit bigger than on the predecessor but the reduction in bezels (mostly top and bottom) means that the overall dimensions are reduced, especially the length at 144mm, compared to 151.3mm for the 3a. India is the second-largest smartphone market in the world, so that's a rather odd decision by Google.

Unlike previous devices - including the Pixel 3a series past year - there's no XL model. Google, meanwhile, wasn't noted in the report and has been lumped into the IDC's "Others" category. Presently, you can pre-order this device from Amazon, Google Store, and Best Buy.

It's not entirely surprising that the successor to the 4a is in progress before the phone is even out.

If you need further evidence that people are willing to compromise on certain features and technologies to save money when it comes to smartphones, market research firm Omdia reported that Apple's $US600 iPhone XR from 2018 was the top-selling phone of 2019 - not the flashy new $US1,000 iPhone 11 Pro.

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