Google’s own smartphone strategy for this year is a bit confusing to say the least. It’s not just its Pixel phones that came out late, mainly because of the COVID-19, their specs, features, and prices seem to be everywhere. For those who don’t even want to bother with 5G, the Pixel 4a launched just three months ago could be the bright spot when it comes to features and pricing. The latter, however, could raise some concerns about its durability, which JerryRigEverything’s Zack Nelson offers for testing.
The Pixel 4a is almost like a return from previous years in the mobile market. In addition to a polycarbonate plastic body, Google’s mid-range phones also return or retain the headphone jack and rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Even the Gorilla Glass it uses on the front is version 3 from 2013.
Ironically, it’s precisely because of those seemingly outdated materials and technologies that the Pixel 4a has become something of a hard to break. The glass is glass, and Gorilla Glass 3 is still only scratched at Mohs 6. Scratches the rest of the phone case as you’d expect, and some people may want to invest in skin to keep them looking original.
The Pixel 4a also doesn’t bend or break, though it did bend a bit before locking. The fingerprint scanner, while old, is still more reliable, more accurate, and faster than today’s new under-screen sensors.
At $ 350, the Pixel 4a is almost the perfect Android phone, especially for Android or Google purists. Of course, you only get a single camera and a slower processor, but it’s not that far from the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G.