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Google Pixel 4a launched with possibly best-in-class camera but you can’t buy it in India until October

Google has finally launched its so-called “budget” Pixel phone, aka Pixel 4a, though potential buyers in India will still have to wait longer to get their hands on it. In markets like the US, Google will start selling the Pixel 4a from August 20, but in India, the phone will only be available sometime in October. Google will announce the India price of the Pixel 4a closer to “launch.” In the US, the Pixel 4a will retail for $349 which roughly translates to Rs 26,250.

For that price, we’re possibly looking at the best-in-class camera phone since the Pixel 4a has the same main rear camera and software chops as the Pixel 4 (which sadly never made it to India). There’s a 12MP dual-pixel main camera (Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.7 aperture) with optical image stabilisation plus electronic image stabilisation. The Pixel 4’s hallmark smart HDR+ technology with dual exposure controls, Portrait Mode, Top Shot, Night Sight with astrophotography capabilities and fused video stabilisation are all carried forward in the Pixel 4a. On the front, the phone has an 8MP camera — same as the Pixel 4.

Rest of the hardware is a typical mid-tier affair to seemingly justify its low price. The Pixel 4a has a 5.81-inch OLED display with 1080p+ resolution and punch hole cutout. Under the hood, the phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage (non-expandable). The Pixel 4a is a 4G phone with single SIM connectivity and Android 10 software to boot. Like other Google Pixel phones, this one also gets a promise of 3-year software support (both main and security updates). Fueling the phone is a 3,140mAh battery with 18W fast charging via USB Type-C.

The Pixel 4a also gets stereo speakers and retains the headphone jack. The body is made of plastic and there’s a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication. The phone will be available in Just Black colourway.

Google has also “announced” a 5G variant of the Pixel 4a and even the next-generation Pixel 5 (yes, that’s right) alongside the Pixel 4a though their exact specs and availability remain a mystery for now. All we know is that the Pixel 5 is coming sometime this fall. And, by the way,  both the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are not coming to India due to a number of factors “including local market trends and product features” which are supposedly not in their favour.

But coming back to the Pixel 4a, this would have been an important phone for Google because of the product’s reach. An October availability could play spoilsport though. In India, the Pixel 4a would likely have taken on the recently launched OnePlus Nord, a phone that has been called by some reviewers as the phone that Google should have made. There’s also the iPhone SE 2020 to consider. While we still don’t know if the Pixel 4a will be up for the challenge, Google’s decision to delay the product in India surely gives OnePlus and Apple the edge to make their competing devices shine ahead of the holiday season.

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