Google Pixel 4a 5G review

More like the Pixel 5 Lite, the Google Pixel 4a 5G is a cracking, affordable camera phone

Google Pixel 4a 5G review
(Image: © Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Google Pixel 4a 5G is a pared-back Pixel 5. Its price reflects the fact, costing $499 / £499 - it isn’t cheap. For the money, you get the full Google Android experience and a reliable camera, all in a slightly bigger body than that of the Pixel 5. There’s no high-refresh-rate screen, telephoto camera, water resistance, or wireless charging - and the design is pure plastic. In turn, with no flagship features (other than the camera), it’s a tough sell, with stiff competition from OnePlus. Still, if you want pure Android and a cracking camera phone, the Pixel 4a 5G delivers on both fronts.


  • +

    Excellent point and shoot camera

  • +

    Great display quality

  • +

    Future-proofed stock Android


  • -

    No high-refresh-rate screen

  • -

    Plastic build

  • -

    Good, not great battery life

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The Google Pixel 4a 5G has a great pedigree. The Pixel 3a was the perfect tonic for a world in need of an excellent smartphone camera without a bank-breaking price. No gadgets or gizmos — one camera: point, shoot, bam; you’ve got a fine-looking picture. 

A year on and the need for affordable smartphones is greater than ever, and Google knows it. For the first time, its flagship phone, the Pixel 5 isn’t a turbocharged powerhouse. Instead, it combines curated flagship and midrange elements, hitting a lower price than last year’s Pixel 4. Meanwhile, the Pixel 4a 5G pares things back even more for a saving of $200 / £100.

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Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is a freelance technology journalist and content creator with a number of specialisms. He started his career at Canon Europe, before joining Phone Arena and Recombu as a tech writer and editor. From there, he headed up and runs Tech[edit], a technology YouTube channel, and has worked alongside this role at Future as a Senior Producer, sharpening his considerable video production skills. 

His technical expertise has been called on numerous times by mainstream media, with appearances and interviews on outlets like Sky News, and he provides Digital Camera World with insight and reviews on camera phones, video editing software and laptops, on-camera monitors, camera sliders, microphones and much more.