Google's unreleased Pixel 4a gets a full camera review that looks... encouraging

Google's unreleased Pixel 4a gets a full camera review that looks... encouraging
If you've been keeping a close eye on the Pixel 4a rumor mill, you may remember Google's next big mid-range smartphone was manhandled on video almost two months ago. That's right, a Cuban vlogger somehow managed to get his hands on a fully working prototype of the highly anticipated stock Android-running 5.8-inch device before anyone else in the whole wide world, revealing all the key specifications that were then corroborated by multiple other rock-solid sources.

Incredibly enough, the Google Pixel 4a is still not official yet, although we expect a formal announcement to take place any day now and shipments to kick off by the end of the month. Until then, if you need a good reason to hold off on spending $400 (or even less) for Apple's crazy powerful iPhone SE (2020), you might want to check out the Pixel 4a's full camera review put together by the same Spanish-speaking YouTuber who completely blew the handset's cover back in March.

Encouraging is the word of the day

While the new video is also not in English, you obviously don't have to speak or understand a certain language to appreciate the quality of a bunch of objectively great photos taken by an affordable device that doesn't even run commercial software yet.

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Of course, you can't judge a phone's camera performance simply by viewing a number of sample shots in a YouTube video, but that's where the written TecnoLikePlus blog post (translated here) comes in, wrapping up with a link to a Google Photos gallery containing all the snapshots used for the purposes of the aforementioned review (and a few more for good measure) in their full, uncompressed quality.

For the most part, we'll let you draw your own conclusions from these pictures, as well as our in-depth review of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL last year, while keeping in mind the imaging performance of the Pixel 4a could be vastly superior to what you're seeing here thanks to last-minute pre-release software optimizations and improvements. 

But even when taking all variables into consideration, as well as the inherent subjective nature of any camera appraisal, it's hard not to look at these photographs and get excited. The single 12MP rear-facing camera seems to be doing an absolutely bang-up job already of processing portraits without losing focus or applying overly aggressive blur effects, with dynamic range and noise reduction shining in pretty much any scenario, and unsurprisingly, tremendous Night Sight results.

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Although image brightness is not exactly impressive, and the same goes for photos captured at 8x zoom, it definitely looks like Google has yet another winner on its hands in terms of (camera) value for money. Even the 8MP front-facing shooter seems largely competent at producing decent self-portraits, especially when thinking about the widely rumored price point of the impending Pixel 4a.

Can the Pixel 4a challenge the blazing fast new iPhone SE?

If all we've heard in the last few months pans out, which is more than likely, the 5.8-incher will go for $399 in a 64GB storage variant, packing a respectable Snapdragon 730 processor, 6 gigs of memory, and a battery capacity of a little over 3,000mAh.

Unfortunately for Google, "respectable" raw speed may not be enough for the Pixel 4a to stand out in the same price bracket as the Apple A13 Bionic-powered iPhone SE, although the modern hole punch design and headphone jack might help tip the balance in the search giant's favor... for some people. 

As far as camera performance is concerned, it's obviously too early to know which of the two affordable handsets will prevail in real-life comparisons, but something tells us you'll be more than satisfied from that standpoint whichever way you're leaning.

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