Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord: Do you have the courage to take tough decisions?

pixel nord

Google has probably played a masterstroke with its much-anticipated launch of Pixel 4a. It seemed like every extension of the stay-at-home order was followed by an extension of the 4a’s launch date.

They were supposed to put out this model way back in March but it finally got launched on August 3. What’s interesting is that it was announced just one day before the OnePlus Nord goes live on sale.

Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord, what should you buy?

Let’s compare these smartphones in detail.

Design

design 1
Pixel 4AOnePlus Nord
Plastic back with a fingerprint scanner in the center and a square camera block in the top left corner.Glass back and a metal frame, with a slim plastic frame running between the two.
On the back, a punch-hole camera in the top left corner of the screenThe screen is flat with a large cut-out for the dual-lens camera in it, and minimal bezels. 
 It comes in black and has dimensions of
144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm
The phone is 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm and comes in Gray Onyx and Blue Marble variants.
Dust proof, water resistant
It weighs 143 g.It weighs 183 g.
design

OnePlus Nord may have a more modern design but Pixel 4a is lighter and smaller. If you want a phone that looks like a flagship, the Nord is what you should choose. But if you don’t care to look at the back of your phone so often or maybe even don’t care how it feels in your hand and just want to, well, use the phone; go for the Pixel 4a. You’ll save money.

Display

Pixel 4aOnePlus Nord
Display TypeOLEDFluid Amoled
Aspect Ratio18:5:90.83958
Bezeless Displaywith Punch hole displaywith Punch hole display
Pixel Density444 pi409 pi
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass v5Corning Gorilla Glass v5
Screen Size5.81 inches (14.76cm)6.44 inches (16.36cm)
Screen Resolution1080 x 2340 pixels
1080 x 2400 Pixels
Touch ScreenCapacitive TouchScreen, multi touchCapacitive TouchScreen, multi touch

On paper the OnePlus Nord arguably comes out on top, as not only is it the largest and highest resolution, it also has a 90Hz refresh rate, compared to just 60Hz on the other two, and it supports HDR10+.

Camera

Both smartphones have Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face Detection and Touch to Focus as key features. They also have continuous shooting and high dynamic range video as shooting modes but there are some notable differences when it comes to the cameras.

The Pixel 4a has the same 12.2MP main rear sensor found in last year’s Pixel 4 phone series. It lacks the ultrawide rear sensor found in the Pixel 4, however. The Pixel 4a also has an 8MP front-facing camera. Google has loaded the phone with some high-end camera software features, including support for Night Side with astrophotography, so you can take some great pictures of the night sky.

The OnePlus Nord blows away the Pixel 4a when it comes to the number of camera sensors. There are four in the back, starting with a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 119-degree field of view, a 2MP macro camera, and a 5MP depth sensor. This phone can take super slow-motion videos at 240fps. In the front, there’s a big 32MP main sensor and a secondary 8MP ultra-wide selfie camera 105-degree field of view. The onboard camera app supports several features, including a version of night mode.

The Image Resolution in Pixel 4a is 4000 x 3000 pixels and OnePlus Nord is 8000 x 6000 pixels.

Video recording in Pixel 4a

3840×2160 @ 30 fps,
1920×1080 @ 60 fps,
1280×720 @ 240 fps

Resolution

8 MP, Wide Angle Primary Camera

Video recording in OnePlus Nord

3840×2160 @ 30 fps,
1920×1080 @ 60 fps

Resolution

48 MP f/1.75 Primary Camera,
8 MP f/2.25, Wide Angle,
Ultra-Wide Angle Camera,
5 MP f/2.4, Depth Camera,
2 MP f/2.4, Depth Camera

Although Google is definitely a better option when it comes to the camera aspect, due to its brilliant software and quality as seen in previous Google phones, OnePlus Nord still seems more attractive to most customers due to the more cameras and better specs on paper.

Battery life

The Google Pixel 4a has a 3,140mAh battery with 18W fast charging. That’s not massive, but then neither is the phone. The OnePlus Nord meanwhile has a 4,115mAh battery, which is a lot bigger, but so is the phone’s screen. The Nord also supports faster 30W charging.

We don’t know how long the Google Pixel 4a’s battery will last yet, but in our tests the OnePlus Nord lasted around a day and not more.

Specs and Features

The Google Pixel 4a has a mid-range Snapdragon 730G chipset and 6GB of RAM and the OnePlus Nord has an upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset and a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM.

Based on these specs, Pixel looks like the worst performer of the two but we think it will still do alright due to its amazing software. Nord is the only one of them to support 5G.

Google has always proved that it can make any processor run fluidly thanks to it’s awesome software experience. Accordingly, the 730G should be able to help you get through almost everything.

Price and availability

The Google Pixel 4a costs $349 / £349 / AU$599 and will be available from August 20 in the US, September 10 in Australia, and October 1 in the UK.

As for the OnePlus Nord, that’s out now and starts at £379 (around $480, AU$680) for a version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, rising to £469 (around $590, AU$850) for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Notably the OnePlus Nord isn’t available in the US or Australia

While in India, OnePlus Nord is already available with its price ranging from Rs 25,000-30,000. Pixel 4a won’t be available in the Indian markets before October and it is said to be priced around Rs 30,000 roughly.

Which one should you buy?

While OnePlus Nord leads when it comes to hardware and majority of the specs, Pixel 4a is said to bring out best results with any specs due to its amazing software. Pixel 4a is your phone if you are looking for a pure Google experience.

According to moneycontrol, the biggest advantage for the Nord, other than its specs, is the price. The highest-end storage model is likely to be more affordable than the Pixel 4a. Considering how price sensitive the Indian smartphone consumer is, the Nord is likely to ‘OnePlus’ the Pixel 4a.

The price of Pixel 4a in India will be a key factor in deciding if it will be a flop or a hit in India. 

How different is the Pixel 4a from the 3a?

Google Pixel 4a vs Google Pixel 3a backs 1 1200x675 1

The Pixel 4a brings some notable visual changes, and a few spec upgrades, but not an overall change in philosophy for Google.

The Pixel 4a is undeniably a better overall phone than the 3a. It has a sleeker and more modern design, a slightly bigger display, and new specs that will run more intense apps for longer. But at the same time, it may not be enough of an upgrade to justify replacing a Pixel 3a.

Its cameras are unchanged, the battery is only slightly bigger, and there are no new hardware features. And remember the Pixel 3a has the same software as the 4a, and will get Android 11 this year too. But 4a has 3 years of upgrades that means it will get Android 13 and 3a won’t upgrade after Android 12.

Price

The Pixel 4a is available only at $350, which is $50 less than what 3a was available at when it launched. Also it is offering some great add on improvements in almost all areas at a cheaper price.

Display

The relocation of the selfie camera into a punch-hole means the new phone is slightly physically smaller than the older one, yet it fits more screen edge-to-edge in. the Pixel 4a’s screen is more modernly styled, extending edge to edge with just a punch-hole marring the picture. The Pixel 3a avoids obstructions by placing the front-facing camera in a black horizontal bar, with an equivalent bar at the bottom.

The Pixel 4a is also protected by Gorilla Glass 3 while the Pixel 3a opts for Dragon Trail glass protection.

While both phones are made of plastic, Google decided to give the Pixel 4a a bit of an upgrade in this area as well. It now has a matte texture finish that looks better and even feels better in the hands compared to the Pixel 3a.

Camera

3a camera

Sadly, Pixel 4a is not much of an upgrade to 3a when it comes to this aspect. Both phones have the same single 12.2MP f/1.8 camera on the back that can take 4K video at 30fps, as well as an 8MP f/2.0 front-facing camera.

However, the camera software and processing on the Pixel 4a has adopted some improvements from the premium Pixel 4a, including support for the Astrophotography mode.

4a

Battery

Google claims the Pixel 4a’s 3,140mAh battery lasts up to 24 hours, which is encouraging given the short battery life we experienced with the Pixel 4 series. In any case, the handset has the usual adaptive battery perks found in all Google phones, and like its predecessor, supports up to 18W fast charging. For comparison, the Pixel 3a has a 3,000mAh battery.

Final Thoughts

If you love your Pixel 3a, but it’s feeling a bit old, the Pixel 4a is a fine upgrade. It’s better than the 3a in terms of specs, storage, battery and screen size. But it’s still compact and easy to use one-handed, and has the same great camera quality. It’s also cheaper than your 3a was new.

Both Nord and Pixel 4a are out in International markets. Whether Pixel 4a beats the Nord or not, we will let you know soon. After all, the numbers Chico, they never lie.