By Nishant Arora
New Delhi, Oct 17 | Indian smartphone users have not seen much of Google Pixel (there was no Pixel 4 or 4 XL arrival in the country last year owing to certain constraints) and what they have missed out is a no-frill, no-nonsense and a seamless Android with super-smooth camera experience.
Google was not able to sell the Pixel 4 and 4 XL devices in India due to its ‘Soli Radar chip’ on the front, which utilised the 60GHz frequency band banned for commercial use in India. That hurdle has now been removed and Google’s all-new Pixel 4a is now available for a special launch price of Rs 29,999 (original cost Rs 31,999) in the country.
This time, the pricing is aggressive for a 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage device which puts it in the league of OnePlus Nord and a couple of Vivo/OPPO/Samsung devices in the mid-price segment which is brimming with action.
For someone who has not experienced a Pixel device in India, Pixel 4a is like fresh air amid polluted skies for two simple reasons: camera and Android.
The device takes you to an era when we used to witness a smartphone sans gimmicks and incremental specifications around the camera and rest of the hardware.
With 12.2MP dual-pixel rear camera, Pixel 4a in ‘Just Black’ colour brings the same incredible camera experiences from Pixel 4, with a new re-designed hole punch design, with features like HDR+ with dual exposure controls, Portrait Mode, Top Shot, Night Sight with astrophotography capabilities and fused video stabilisation.
The Pixel 4a camera proves that all those high mega-pixel with super zoom AI capabilities are actually plain marketing strategies and you can achieve more with the simple yet powerful camera configuration on the Google device.
You have finally got a camera to capture your best self, selfies and memories. The HDR+ feature made photos look even better by automatically adjusting the colour and lighting.
The Night Sight feature will help you tTake clear pictures in low-light conditions.
You can focus on subjects by adding an artistic blur to the background in Portrait Mode.
What’s more, you can also add a blur effect to portraits not shot on a Pixel later with Portrait Blur in Google Photos.
At front is an 8MP (1.12 µm pixel size with ƒ/2.0 aperture) sensor with Fixed focus feature.
Pixel phones have always been known for their photos and 4a is no exception, clicking images with least effort.
The overall app experience is another beauty on the device. The user interface and navigation is just so simple and free-flowing, and the credit goes to the latest Android 11 and new Google Assistant with Lens. The company also offers a minimum of three years of OS and security updates.
In addition to features like Recorder, which now connects with Google Docs to seamlessly save and share transcriptions and recordings (English only), Pixel 4a has the Personal Safety app for real-time emergency notifications.
Pixel 4a also has Live Caption, which provides real-time captioning (English only) for the video and audio content.
Introduced last year in Pixel 4, the new Google Assistant is also available in Pixel 4a to help with getting things done fast, like controlling apps, using it contextually within apps and quickly searching within Google Photos using only voice.
While these new Assistant capabilities are currently only available for English, all of the other Assistant features continue to be available in nine Indian languages.
Basically, use the new Google Assistant to control your phone and apps, send texts and multitask on the go.
On internals, the Pixel 4a houses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G mobile platform and has the Titan M security module for on-device security and a bigger 3140mAh battery with fast charging technology.
The ‘adaptive’ battery learns which apps are your favourite and reduces power to the ones that you rarely use.
The device comes in Just Black with a 5.8-inch OLED display and has a matte finish that feels secure and comfortable, and features the signature colour pop power button in mint.
Conclusion: Touted long back as ‘the best Android that you can buy,’ Google Pixel 4a brings to you an unparalleled experience on camera and app navigation. As it disappeared off the shelves on the first day of the festive sale proves that Pixel lovers in the country know what it has in it.
For those who are on Android and are not in love with large-screen smartphones, Pixel 4a is something that makes Android a true OS encounter. For photo enthusiasts, camera is an out-of-this-world experience, not available even with the heavyweights.
(Nishant Arora can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)