Thoughts on the Pixel 4a 5g

Since the Android 11 update bricked my Pixel 3 in September, I have been in a weird place with my phone.  For two months, I was using the iPhone 8.  For one month, I was using the Moto G Fast.  I didn’t like either phone as much as I liked my Pixel 3.  I finally received the Pixel 4a 5g not too long ago and I am pretty happy with it.

I use Google Fi for cellular service and too be honest, if it wasn’t for that fact, I would have bought a OnePlus 8 a while ago.  The Pixel is able to switch between T-mobile, Sprint (not a thing anymore?), and US Cellular based upon which one has the better signal at any one time.  You can use a non-pixel phone with Google Fi but functionally, it’s just a T-mobile phone if you do that.

I really love the camera on this phone.  I miss the wide-angle selfie camera that the Pixel 3 had but what the Pixel 4a 5g has is light years better than what the Moto G Fast and the iPhone 8 have.  You can see some examples of what the camera can do by checking out my photo blog or my instagram account.

It is nice using pure android again, but I do miss having soft buttons on the bottom of the phone.  This whole thing where you swipe in different directions and in different ways is something that I am still trying to get used to.  Being able to double tap the power button to bring up the camera app is nice as well.

The physical size of the phone is hard to get used to.  It is so big that I can’t hold it in one hand and reach the top corner of the screen.  This is an issue that I also had with the Moto G Fast.  The larger screen means that they can cram more battery in there, so I guess it is a bit of a mixed blessing?  I can very easily last a day with the 4a 5g which is nice because it lacks the wireless charging that my Pixel 3 (and the iPhone 8) have.

The phone has 5g (as you would assume from the model name).  I am glad that it has it but I would never buy the thing for it’s 5g radio.  5g is only marginally faster than LTE and more often than not, when I am out in the world, the thing only finds an LTE connection (despite it’s fancy network switching magic).

To sum up, I guess I would recommend the Pixel 4a 5g if you are using Google Fi and need a new phone.  It gets complicated, beyond that.  The camera is a better selling point than the 5g.  The price ($350 after carrier rebate) is really good.  Folks like OnePlus are putting out some solid options, though.

Have any questions, comments, etc?  Feel free to drop a comment, below.

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