Google offers several Pixel smartphones, from the Pixel 4 to the Pixel 5, and other alterations in between such as the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 4XL. With multiple options, it’s difficult to narrow the choices down to make a final decision. So how do you know what phone is the best fit for your lifestyle? Whether you make a living taking inspirational, Insta-worthy photos as you travel the world or use it to play online games, it’s important to find the right phone.
In this article, we discuss two of the more popular phones Google offers. If you’re on the fence between the Pixel 4a vs. Pixel 4XL, we’re here to steer you straight. Below is an outline of what sets each phone apart and even what their similarities are. Once you choose the right phone for you, discover Pela’s compostable phone cases to keep it protected and cut down on your e-waste.
Before we dive into the differences between the Pixel 4a vs. 4XL, let’s talk about their similarities.
While their size and footprint are different, the Google Pixel 4a and 4XL feature a very similar design, both featuring a black frame with a contrasting power button and a few color options from which you can choose. There’s glass in both the front and rear, as well as a rear camera in a square housing. In addition, both the Pixel 4a vs. 4XL feature a top bezel.
That’s the exterior facade of these Google devices. Now let’s discuss what the Pixel 4a vs. 4XL share internally. For example, they both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 platform and launch Android 10 software. Both phones can also run the latest Android 12 platform, and both are likely to receive Android 13 support when it launches. Likewise, both devices provide all of the connectivity capabilities expected on any modern smartphone, including Bluetooth, USB-C, LTE and Wi-Fi. (The Pixel 4a 5G, as you might expect, is an upgraded version with 5G capability.)
Another similarity is that they have Google’s Soli Motions-sensing radar chip, which offers convenient gesture controls and Face unlock. Even the cameras are relatively similar, with a 12.2-megapixel main camera sensor that’s capable of all kinds of sensational shots and a not-too-shabby 8-megapixel front camera sensor that will make your selfies sparkle.
The two phones also have some omitted features in common. Both Pixel phones lack microSD support and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Users in search of an SD card slot should check out the Samsung Galaxy S20 models, while those unwilling to give up their headphone jack should consider getting the newer Pixel 5A instead.
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Key Differences Between the Pixel 4a vs. 4XL
Okay, so when comparing the Pixel 4a vs. 4XL, what do you need to know? While many features remain the same, there are a few key differences that might sway you toward your decision.
As mentioned, their sizes and weights are different. One is extra-large, after all. But what exactly do you get?
Pixel 4a: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2mm | 162g
Pixel 4XL: 160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2mm | 193g
Since the footprint size is different, so is the screen. And with that comes some variation in the HD quality, too. While both devices offer a beautiful OLED panel display made with scratch- and crack-resistant Gorilla Glass, the larger Pixel 4XL has a Quad HD+ resolution, a 90 Hz refresh rate and a sharper screen.
Pixel 4a: 5.7 inches | OLED Full HD+ | 60 Hz
Pixel 4XL: 6.3 inches | OLED Quad HD+ | 90 Hz
Battery capacity is a big concern for today’s large-screened, ultra-HD smartphones and power-intensive apps. Luckily, Google added a more powerful battery life for their Pixel XL at 3700 mAh to account for the bigger screen display and Quad HD.
Pixel 4a: 2800 mAh
Pixel 4XL: 3700 mAh
Both phones also support fast charging, so there’s less chance you’ll be stuck waiting around for your phone to charge when you’ve got somewhere to be.
Despite the similar camera specs of the 4A and 4XL, there’s one big difference between the two: an extra telephoto lens on the 4XL. While most side-by-side tests of the two phone cameras are hard to tell apart, the 4XL’s more sophisticated zoom puts in work when it comes to capturing fine detail on telephoto shots. While these cameras obviously don’t pack the same punch as those you’ll find in new-gen models like the iPhone Pro Max 13 or OnePlus 9, they’re still extremely impressive for their generation and budget range.
If you like having a color choice, the Pixel XL might be your pick. Unlike the Pixel 4a which only comes in “Just Black,” the XL offers two additional hues – “Clearly White” and “Oh So Orange” – for a unique alternative to the standard smartphone tones you typically see. You can also find the Pixel 4a in “Barely Blue,” but it’s a Google Store exclusive.
If you need a reliable phone at a fair cost, the Pixel 4a is a nice option. However, if you need more power, Google does offer a step up with a 5G version that is comparable to the Pixel 4XL.
Pixel 4a: $349
Pixel 4a 5G: $499
Pixel 4XL: $500
Choosing a Phone Case
Overall, the Google Pixel 4a and 4XL offer very similar design aesthetics, as well as hardware and software. The choice really comes down to their key differences in footprint size, screen display, battery life, colors and, of course, price.
Even though both these Google Pixel models have been succeeded by the Pixel 5 and Pixel 6, which include features like a water-resistant metal body and wireless charging, these older models are still fantastic options. They also offer a more affordable price tag, by comparison, and they’re a downright bargain when stacked up against most iPhone models.
Still, whatever Pixel phone you choose, protect your investment and ensure it can stand up to everyday use – from scuffs to dings and the occasional accidental drop – with Pela’s Pixel 4a Case. Good for the environment and beautifully designed, all our phone cases are compostable and offer a smooth and soft feel.