Google unveils the $349 Pixel 4A

After months of delays, Google on Monday unveiled the Pixel 4A, a budget phone carrying a $349 price tag that is less than half the cost of last year’s Pixel 4 flagship. 

The 4A is Google’s latest entry in the midtier phone market and comes as the company struggles to gain grip in the premium phone game. The lower price is unintentionally timely. The coronavirus pandemic has beaten economies and cost jobs. Consumers may well be looking to save money while still staying connected through new technology.

The 4A is available in just one size – a 5.81-inch display — and one color scheme, black with a pastel blue power button.

The device’s screen stretches across the front surface of the device, covering all but a small “hole punch” camera at the top left corner of the display. The phone also does away with some of the high-end bells and whistles of the $800 Pixel 4, like Google’s Soli chip, which uses radar to let people control apps by swiping and gesturing their hands through the air. (One retro thing the 4A does have, though, is a headphone jack.)

The 4A’s biggest draw, however, will likely be a feature shared with the Pixel 4: a premium camera that rivals those on Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S phones. (The 4A’s camera does not include a second telephoto lens for extreme zooms that the Pixel 4 has onboard.) The phone is available for preorder on Google’s online store, and will be sold on Aug. 20 through Verizon, US Cellular, Amazon and BestBuy.com.

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