The Google Pixel 4a is finally official, coming almost three months after we first expected to see it unveiled. The Pixel 3a successor doesnâ€™t deliver a ton of upgrades on paper, but as we noted in our review, itâ€™s far more than the sum of its parts and is a steal for $349 (or Â£349 in the UK and â‚¬349-â‚¬389 across Europe).
But what if you donâ€™t like the look of the new Google phone? Maybe you want more bang for your buck or more impressive specs? Weâ€™ve got you covered with a breakdown of the best Google Pixel 4a alternatives on the global market.
1. OnePlus Nord
The first mid-range OnePlus phone in roughly five years looks like one of the best Android devices in 2020, ticking loads of boxes. 90Hz OLED screen? Yep. Powerful Snapdragon 765G processor with 5G? Indeed. A decently sized 4,115mAh battery with 30W wired charging? Of course.
OnePlus also delivered a grand total of six cameras, featuring two up-front (32MP+8MP ultra-wide) and four on the rear. These cameras include a 48MP main shooter, 8MP ultra-wide camera, 5MP depth sensor, and 2MP macro lens.
The biggest downside to the OnePlus Nord is that it isnâ€™t available in North America, which is a massive blow for budget phone fans in the West. The price also varies wildly in each region you can buy it. India gets a 64GB option for Rs 24,999 (~$335). Meanwhile, Europeans have to pay â‚¬399 (~$472) for the 128GB option, or Â£379 in the UK (just Â£30 more than the Pixel 4a).
2. Google Pixel 3a
The Pixel 4a is already $50 cheaper than the Pixel 3aâ€™s $400 launch price, but weâ€™d nevertheless suggest looking at the Pixel 3a if you can find a good deal for it. The biggest differences between the two phones are in the processor and storage fields, as the older phone has a less capable Snapdragon 670 SoC and 64GB of storage versus the new phoneâ€™s Snapdragon 730G chipset and 128GB of storage.
Otherwise, the first cheap Pixel phone gives you a virtually identical camera experience (bar Dual Exposure Controls and Live HDR), a similar-sized battery, a similar size in general, and the same 18W wired charging. Googleâ€™s older Pixel also offers Active Edge functionality which the Pixel 4a lacks, allowing you to squeeze the phone to activate Google Assistant or silence alarms.
3. Samsung Galaxy A51
Looking for a solid mid-range phone from Samsung? The Galaxy A51 is one of its better affordable phones and a decent Pixel 4a alternative. Youâ€™re getting a 6.5-inch FHD+ OLED screen, a 4,000mAh battery, and a 48MP quad-camera setup (including a 12MP ultra-wide snapper and two 5MP sensors).
Itâ€™s not all good though, as our own David Imel thought the phoneâ€™s performance was â€œslowâ€� and â€œsub-parâ€� in his review (see above). This was easily the worst thing about the device, and weâ€™d expect the Pixel 4aâ€™s Snapdragon 730G and 6GB RAM combo to deliver a smoother experience.
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4. Apple iPhone SE
Weâ€™d be remiss if we didnâ€™t mention the $400 iPhone SE. Itâ€™s wonâ€™t give you all that Android goodness, but it does offer plenty of features for just $50 more than the latest Pixel. More specifically, youâ€™re getting more raw power than just about every Android phone on the market. Then thereâ€™s the addition of IP67 water resistance and wireless charging, both of which are missing from the Pixel 4a.
The smaller iPhone is no slouch in other areas, packing a 12MP single rear camera and 7MP front-facing shooter. The majority of readers thought these cameras delivered better photos than the Nordâ€™s cameras. However, the iPhone SE lacks a night mode, while the 4a indeed features this handy option.
Googleâ€™s phone also offers double the storage, an FHD+ OLED screen versus the iPhone SEâ€™s LCD panel, and a headphone port. In any event, the iPhone SE is still worth a look if youâ€™re curious about the Apple ecosystem.
5. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
Xiaomi has long had a reputation for delivering great value for money, and the â‚¬279 (~$330) Redmi Note 9 Pro is no different. The Snapdragon 720G processor is slightly less powerful than the Snapdragon 730G on paper, but it should nevertheless deliver a smooth experience. However, the Redmi device one-ups the Pixel 4a by offering expandable storage, a massive battery (5,020mAh), and 30W fast charging.
Xiaomiâ€™s phone also delivers a more flexible rear camera setup, featuring a 64MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide snapper, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. The latter two cameras are traditionally there to bump up the numbers, but the addition of an ultra-wide camera means you can get shots the Pixel 4a simply canâ€™t take.
Other noteworthy Redmi Note 9 Pro specs include a 6.67-inch FHD+ LCD screen (no high refresh rate or OLED here), a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and NFC. All in all, its list of features and price tag makes it one of the better Pixel 4a alternatives.
Do note that the Redmi Note 9 Pro in India sees a few downgrades in India, such as a 48MP main camera and 18W fast charging. So you might want to get the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max if you want those features.
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6. Realme X50
The Realme X50 manages to tick loads of boxes for a smartphone in 2020, serving up a 120Hz screen, 5G (via the Snapdragon 765G SoC), and 30W charging for the 4,200mAh battery. Youâ€™re also getting a quad rear camera setup (48MP+8MP ultra-wide+2MP macro+2MP depth) and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner.
Itâ€™s not all perfect though as unlike the budget Pixel series, Realmeâ€™s 5G phone doesnâ€™t have an OLED screen or headphone port. Nevertheless, between the high refresh rate, fast charging, and ultra-wide rear camera, youâ€™re definitely getting a more packed spec sheet.
7. Poco X2
Xiaomiâ€™s first Poco device since 2018â€™s Poco F1 was the Poco X2, a mid-range phone that didnâ€™t quite have the flagship trappings of the original Poco phone. Nevertheless, this is definitely one of the more interesting propositions of 2020 for the India market and a great Pixel 4a alternative.
Our review: Poco X2 review: 120Hz on a budget
For roughly Rs 17,000 (~$234), you get a 6.67-inch 120Hz LCD screen, the same Snapdragon 730G processor as the Pixel 4a, and a 4,500mAh battery with 27W fast charging. The X2 also delivers a 64MP quad-camera setup thatâ€™s mostly similar to the Redmi Note 9 Pro, save for a 2MP macro camera rather than a 5MP sensor.
The only downside to the phone is that itâ€™s mostly limited to India, while the Redmi K30 that the phone is based on isnâ€™t easily available outside China.
Thatâ€™s it for our look at the best Google Pixel 4a alternatives! Are there any other similarly priced phones you can recommend? Let us know in the comments and check out other Pixel 4a content below: