Fans of Google’s smartphone series were in for a rude awakening when none of its models had any of the higher-end chipsets in them. None of the Pixel models had any flagship chipsets in them causing users to wonder why they would consider buying it. The Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a face a similar problem. They both have the Snapdragon series 700 processor, which is a midrange chipset. Interestingly, the Pixel 5 even costs $200 more than the Pixel 4a. So what makes these two smartphones viable and what are there differences? This is exactly what we will be looking through.
Both the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5 have a similar shape. As they both have the standard roundish design found in Pixel phones. Both the models have the camera bump as a traditional square, with the front having its punch-hole selfie camera.
The Pixel 5 is very similar to the Pixel 4a with the only difference being its size. The Pixel 4a has a greater tendency to feel more like a budget smartphone. When we mean budget, we do not mean that the phone feels cheap. The Pixel 4a is very well made for its price, but there are certain features that cause its value to degrade. For example, the plastic body is matte black, it does feel great but it does not have that luxurious feel you find in high end smartphones.
When you look at the Pixel 5 on the other hand, even though it does have flagship components, it certainly looks high-end. The phone looks gorgeous and feels amazing. The Pixel 5s aluminum body is sturdy unlike the plastic of the Pixel 4a. This gives the phone a feeling of elegance. Couple that with the bioresin finish that is gentle to the touch, the result is an aesthetic phone that looks very much more expensive than it actually is.
Both the phones lack the earpiece which is found on the standard smartphone. This is due to its being placed under the display. While this does seem like it would cause complications with the sound, caller quality is not hugely affected. The Pixel 5 has a IP68 waterproof rating, which is something that trumps over the Pixel 4a. This is why the phone does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack.
When you look at the two models at a glance, it is visible that the Pixel 4a looks slightly bigger than the Pixel 5. This is actually true, but the Pixel 5 has a better ratio of Screen-to-body.
Both the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a contain the same chipset. The Snapdragon 765G SoC is a decent chip that is moderately powerful. The chip has inbuilt X52 modem for 5G connections.
When you are comparing raw power, there really is not much of a difference. The Pixel 5 does have a 8GB RAM which is more than the 6GB provided in the Pixel 4a. But this difference in RAM does not bring forth any significant difference in speed or performance. Maybe, when you are running several massive applications together, switching between them, the Pixel 5 might be a tad bit faster.
For daily use and for the average joe the two phones are very similar in performance. The Snapdragon 765G is not a monster chip but we’d be surprised if the phone showed any signs of slowing down.
Another area where the two models share the same specifications. Both the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a have the same camera and processing software.
The main camera of the two phones consist of a 12.2 MegaPixel sensor with 1.4 micrometer Pixels. It uses the same lens that is found in the Pixel 2(aperture lens f/1.7) but the wide-angle lenses are quite different(Field of view 107 degrees and f/2.2).
The telephoto lens that were present in the Pixel 4 is not found in these models. It took us by surprise when we realised that it does not have ultrawide lenses.
We do not need to talk about how good Google’s computational photography software is right? The processing of photos is very much more efficient when compared to a standard smartphone. The photos manage to bring out the best colours, lighting and details especially in still photographs. The Bobek processing is great as usual.
However, it should be noted that even though Google’s photography once made its smartphones the best at it, many top brands are already catching up in technology. Apple, Samsung and Oneplus all have way better hardware, with the software just a bit behind Google.
There were some issues with the battery life of the previous models but it looks like Google has listened to the complaints. The Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 both have increased longevity. As expected the Pixel 5 has a larger battery(4080mAh) whereas the Pixel 4a is a bit smaller(3800mAH). But these differences do not affect the phones in a linear manner. Let us explain why.
The Pixel 5 has a 90Hz display, which is quite power-hungry. But its screen is smaller than the Pixel 4a. Which means the Pixel 5 manages to top the Pixel 4a in this category with ease. Users can easily last more than an entire day’s worth of heavy use on the Pixel 5 whereas the Pixel 4a might struggle. The Pixel 4a might require a daily charge.
The Pixel 5 costs $200 more than the Pixel 4a. But the two phone’s do not have any major differences in performance. The most noticeable differences are the display refresh rate, waterproofing and battery life.
What this means is that the Pixel 5 is what you need to get if you are going for a higher end smartphone that looks like a flagship device. If you have the cash and you need the added features, go with the Pixel 5.
But, going with the Pixel 4a is the best option for budget users. The Pixel 4a is very similar to the Pixel 5 with only minor differences. Both the devices provide the same experience upon use, just that one offers a bit more luxury.
We give the Pixel 5: Five stars
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
We give the Pixel 4a: Four Stars
4.0 out of 5.0 stars