The budget smartphone market haas become incredibly competitive over the past year so thanks to ever-climbing flagship prices. Two of the hottest on the block are the Google Pixel 4a and the OnePlus Nord.
The former utilizes software to the fullest to get the most out of its limited hardware, while the latter relies more on specs to get the job done. Two completely different approaches to a mid-range smartphone, but which one comes out on top?
Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord
Design and display
The designs of these smartphones differ greatly. The OnePlus Nord has Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back with a plastic rail around the outside. The power button is on the right and the volume rocker is on the left. OnePlus’ signature mute toggle switch also resides on the right-hand side. The USB-C port is rated at 2.0 speeds and the optical in-display is faster than most other mid-range phones.
The most striking part of the design of the model I’ve been using is the Blue Marble colorway, which really pops in certain lighting conditions. It looks even more dramatic in person, though there’s also a far more muted Gray Onyx option too. The phone feels premium in the hand and a lot like a flagship thanks to its tapered glass back and large size.
Comparatively, the Pixel 4a feels “cheaper” with its full polycarbonate build. However, its buttons — which are all on the right-hand side — feel crisper and more tactile. The single black color is a bit boring but isn’t offensive to look at by any means. The Pixel 4a’s USB-C port is rated at 3.1 speeds and there’s even a headphone jack at the top.
The device’s haptics is also more impressive than the Nord’s. The rear capacitive fingerprint scanner is faster and more accurate than the Nord’s in-display reader and can be used to pull down the notification shade. Its single punch hole is also smaller than the Nord’s double punch hole as it’s only housing a single camera. However, the bezels are ever so slightly thicker on the Pixel 4a.
On paper, the Pixel 4a’s 5.81-inch 60Hz display shouldn’t be as impressive as the Nord’s 6.44-inch 90Hz panel.
However, the Pixel 4a’s panel came out as the better of the two in our display testing. It has better color accuracy and is more precisely calibrated than the Nord’s panel. In everyday use, it doesn’t make a major difference to the user experience, but holding both devices side by side shows the discrepancies in image quality between the two.
What does make a difference is the OnePlus Nord’s higher refresh rate display which, when combined with the increased screen real estate, helps the device feel smoother, snappier, and more like a flagship phone.
The form factor is the biggest difference between these two phones. Even if you’re not so concerned with aesthetics, the OnePlus Nord is a significantly larger device than the Pixel 4a. Those after a more compact phone may want to opt for Google’s budget handset.
Performance, battery life, and software
Unsurprisingly, the OnePlus Nord’s more powerful Snapdragon 765G handily beat out the Pixel 4a’s 730G in our testing. Between the impressive raw performance, the faster display, and the snappier animations in OxygenOS, the OnePlus Nord feels a lot quicker under the finger than the Pixel 4a. Just flicking between apps, the Nord is noticeably faster.
The story continues for gaming. The Snapdragon 765G’s more powerful Adreno 620 GPU makes short work of 2D games and runs some 3D titles at 90fps. The Nord struggles with more graphically intensive games such as Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, though the games are still playable. The Pixel 4a doesn’t cope as well. The gameplay is less immersive with hangs and lagging being more frequent due to its weaker chipset.
With all that said, the Pixel 4a is still a very capable performer and a significant upgrade over its predecessor. Check out our Pixel 4a performance deep dive below for more.
For software, picking between the Nord’s OxygenOS and Google’s Pixel Experience will come down to personal preference. Both are very clean versions of Android 10. Similarly, both companies support have impressive track records with updates and version upgrades. You would expect this from Google, of course, but OnePlus is one of the best out there for long-term software support. OxygenOS is the more feature-rich of the two with a wide variety of customization options that look set to expand further when OxygenOS 11 rolls out.
However, Pixel Experience does more with the hardware that it’s running on. It manages to make a Snapdragon 730G feel almost as smooth as the more powerful 765G in basic tasks. The Pixel 4a also processes images faster than the OnePlus Nord in our testing while also besting it in image quality thanks to Google’s celebrated computational photography smarts (more on this later). Pixel Experience also maximizes battery life by culling background tasks and adds in handy features like Now Playing, which detects ambient music and displays the title and artist on the lock screen.
The OnePlus Nord’s battery may be larger than the Pixel 4a’s cell, but Google’s budget phone wasn’t far behind the Nord in our Speed Test G battery tests. This is likely due to the Pixel 4a’s less power-hungry chipset and Google’s battery software optimizations. Thankfully, both devices will give you all-day battery life as long as you’re not a power user.
The Pixel 4a can’t compete with the OnePlus Nord on charging, however. The Warp Charge 30T standard took the Nord from 0-100% in just 57 minutes in our tests vs the 87 minutes it took to recharge the Pixel 4a with its maximum supported 18W charger.
We’ve been testing the Pixel 4a against the OnePlus Nord for a full shootout contest (coming soon) and it’s perhaps not all that surprising that the Pixel 4a came out on top overall. Despite having only a single rear sensor, there’s no denying that the Pixel 4a’s main shooter takes the best photos of any mid-ranger, let alone just the OnePlus Nord.
When compared to the Nord, the Pixel 4a camera is sharper, captures a much more dynamic range, and produces much more accurate colors.
The OnePlus Nord tends to add a lot of contrast to its images and doesn’t gather much detail in the shadows. The Pixel 4a, on the other hand, gathers that shadow detail and captures an excellent dynamic range. You’ll notice that the Pixel 4a leans towards a cooler white balance which is more realistic of the actual test conditions. The Nord’s images pop more, but the Pixel 4a’s images are the most lifelike.
Indoors, the OnePlus Nord captures more light which makes sense given its larger sensor. The Pixel 4a in photo mode does a better job of denoising images, however. Again, the Pixel’s colors look far more true to life than the Nord’s which are rather washed out by comparison. Moving to outdoor light, the OnePlus Nord now captures more saturated colors at the expense of realism. The Pixel 4a’s images, while more “bland” are closer to what you’d see in real life. The shot of the leaves is a perfect example of this.
Neither device takes amazing selfies. As you can see here, the OnePlus Nord does a lot of skin smoothing and its overall exposure is very dark in low-light. The Pixel does more with the amount of light that is given. In selfie portrait mode, Pixel 4a’s edge detection is far better than the Nord and the focus roll-off is more realistic. In both good light and low light, the Pixel 4a better handles shadows and highlight roll-off.
Both devices support portrait mode on both humans and objects. In portrait mode, the Pixel 4a crops in more than the Nord in order to emulate a true portrait lens. This results in a more pleasing and realistic bokeh mode but means that you have to step further back to get the same framing. Its focus roll-off is rather harsh compared to the OnePlus Nord, though. Both phones do a good job with these fairly complex scenes, though I’d call the Pixel 4a the winner in this category.
Neither device has any kind of dedicated zoom lens, but that didn’t stop us from trying the zoom function anyway! When zooming in 5x, both are surprisingly sharp. However, the OnePlus Nord adds a lot of sharpening when processing the image which results in too much contrast around the detailed areas.
The Pixel 4a remains sharp in a more natural way without any kind of harsh jagged lines in the wood on this telegraph pole. The Pixel 4a also captures a more dynamic range, as illustrated in the shot of the telegraph pole. The OnePlus Nord is doing something strange with the colors and white balance as it tries to focus on the pole itself. whereas the Pixel 4a’s shot looks more natural.
Both smartphones have their own versions of night mode. The Pixel has Night Sight, and the OnePlus has Night Shot. In these early morning photos of the side of my house, the Pixel 4a captures far more detail in the pebble dashing and the sky. The OnePlus Nord’s Night Shot image has more noise reduction applied which results in a smeary final product. In the shots of the salt and pepper shakers and the Lego minifig, the Pixel 4a manages to capture a lot more detail in the shadows. You can read almost every word on those shakers in the Pixel 4a’s image, whereas the OnePlus Nord’s image has too much contrast. The Pixel 4a takes the win, no question.
The OnePlus Nord has the ability to zoom out to an ultra-wide where the 4a doesn’t. However, the quality of that ultrawide camera is rather questionable. The OnePlus Nord also has a 2MP macro camera which whilst handy for a handful of moments, is very soft and doesn’t capture much dynamic range. The Nord’s rear depth camera doesn’t seem to aid much in portrait mode, either.
The Nord is also able to shoot in more modes with its far more comprehensive camera app. However, its image processing is slower and not as high quality as the Pixel 4a’s more simplistic app. Overall, Google Pixel 4a has a much better camera.
Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord: Which should you buy?
The Google Pixel 4a and OnePlus Nord are both great smartphones, so your purchase decision is going to be down to personal preference.
If you judge a phone on a specs sheet or the number of things it can do, the OnePlus Nord certainly gives you the most for your money. You get six cameras, a faster user experience, smoother gaming, faster charging, and a bigger battery. OxygenOS is fantastic and runs just as well on OnePlus’ mid-ranger as it does on the OnePlus 8 series.
However, if you want a simple phone that nails the basics, the Google Pixel 4a is a masterpiece of essential smartphone design. It’s also far more widely available, which may be the biggest deciding factor!
The final choice between the Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord is down to you. Which budget phone would you buy?
Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale; Google Pixel 4a goes on sale in India
- The Pixel 4A has gone on sale in India via Flipkart. Here’s what makes it special.
- Google Pixel 4a is available for Rs 29,999 in India.
- The Pixel 4a brings a Snapdragon 730G SoC under the hood.
- The phone gets a single camera set-up at the back.
Google Pixel 4a is now on sale in India. The Google phone was launched in the country last week as the latest Pixel model. The Pixel 4a comes as the successor to the Pixel 3a and comes in a new design that includes a hole-punch display as well as a square-shaped camera module. Additionally, the smartphone comes preloaded with features including HDR+ Portrait Mode, and Top Shot among others to deliver an enhanced photography experience.
Google Pixel 4a price in India, sale offers
Google Pixel 4a price in India is set at Rs. 31,999 for the lone 6GB + 128GB storage variant. The phone comes in a single, Just Black colour option and is available for purchase through Flipkart. Sale offers on the Pixel 4a include a Rs. 2,000 discount for a limited period that brings down its price to Rs. 29,999 as well as a 10 percent additional instant discount specifically for SBI customers.
Pixel 4a: What’s under the hood?
As for the hardware, the Pixel 4a is set to bring the same configuration as the international variant. As such, at the core of the phone will be a strictly mid-range Snapdragon 730G chipset that is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and for the display, the phone will use a 5.81-inch Full-HD+ punch-hole OLED panel with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display is HDR+ compliant and should be great for watching movies and TV shows on the go. Being an OLED screen, the panel will support Always On Display and Now Playing features, and also bring support for Titan M Security Module.
Like the previous Pixel phones, the Pixel 4a will also focus heavily on the cameras. However, it will do so by keeping the hardware to the minimum. The phone gets a square camera module on the back, but only with a single lens fitted inside it, The module features a 12.2-megapixel dual pixel phase detection rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, OIS, and a 77-degree field of view. This has been sat next to an LED flash.
On the front, the display’s punch-hole houses an 8-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture and an 84-degree field of view. Camera features are tipped to include 4K 30fps video recording and 1080p 120fps recording. For battery, the phone has been announced to get a 3,140mAh battery pack for keeping the lights on. All this hardware is wrapped inside a body measures 144×69.4×8.2mm and weighs about 143 grams only.
Oppo F17 Pro Diwali edition Pre-order Started
Oppo F17 Pro Diwali Edition has officially launched in India. This special edition by Oppo flaunts a Matte Gold finish and is up for pre-orders on Amazon India. The Oppo F17 series was launched on September 2 in India as a contender in the mid-range smartphone segment, going up against the likes of the OnePlus Nord.
Oppo F17 Pro is one of the sleekest Android phones available in the market today measuring 7.4 millimeters in thickness and features quad cameras on the back. Let’s take a look pricing, specifications and availability of the F17 Pro Diwali Edition.
Oppo F17 Pro Diwali Edition Pricing and Availability
Oppo F17 Pro Diwali Edition is priced at Rs 23,999 in India and is available to pre-order from Amazon India starting October 19. There’s also a special gift box that Oppo is offering with the F17 Pro. Do note, however, this special edition is priced Rs 1,000 more than the regular variant.
Oppo F17 Pro Diwali Edition Specifications
Oppo F17 Pro Diwali Edition has a matte finish on the back with gold and aqua gradient. As for the hardware, the F17 Pro Diwali Edition is the same as the regular variant that’s offered in three colors– Matte Black, Magic Blue and Metallic White.
Oppo F17 Pro has a plastic built that measures 7.4 millimeters in thickness and weighs 164 grams. The F17 Pro features a 6.4-inch Full HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) resolution display that uses an AMOLED panel. The screen has a dual punch-hole cutout for the front-facing cameras that gives it a 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen is topped with a layer of Gorilla Glass 3+ for protection against regular drops.
The F17 Pro is powered by MediaTek Helio P95 processor with an octa-core CPU and Power VR GPU. This is paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and the phone runs on Color OS 7.2 which is based on Android 10. There’s a dedicated microSD card slot that can be used to expand the storage further.
The phone comes with a quad-camera setup on the back that consists of a primary 48MP camera with f/1.8 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera with 119-degree field-of-view, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there is a 16MP primary selfie camera followed by a 2MP depth sensor. The rear cameras can do 4K UHD videos at 30FPS.
The F17 Pro comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, under-display fingerprint sensor and more. It is equipped with a 4,000mAh battery with support for 30W fast charging. Oppo claims that the phone can go from 0-100% in 53 minutes courtesy of VOOC 4.0.
Xiaomi Mi 10, Mi 10 T Pro lunched in India with 6.7-inch 144Hz Display, Price starts at 39,999
- Mi 10, Mi 10 T Pro launched in India.
- New Mi 10 T with 5G connectivity.
Xiaomi has launched the Mi 10T series of smartphones in India. This includes the Mi 10T and the Mi 10T Pro.
Mi 10 Price and Offers
The Mi 10 is available in two variants. The 6/128GB is priced at INR 35,999 and the 8/128GB variant is priced at INR 37,999. The Mi 10T Pro is only available in a single 8/128GB version for INR 39,999.
Xiaomi is also offering additional offers, including an INR 3,000 cashback, up to INR 2,000 off on exchange, up to 12 months no-cost EMI, and up to INR 500 off using Flipkart Super coins. Both phones will be available on Flipkart, Mi.com, Mi Home and Mi Studio stores, along with other retail outlets. Both phones will be up for pre-order starting October 15, 11:59PM IST.
The Mi 10T and the Mi 10T Pro are nearly identical phones. The main and only difference between the two is that the Mi 10T has a 64MP Sony IMX682 main camera while the Mi 10T Pro has a 108MP Samsung HMX camera. You can read our review of the Mi 10T Pro.
Xiaomi also launched a pair of affordable wireless earbuds. The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2C are priced at INR 2,499 and are available starting today.
The Mi 10T vs Mi 10T Pro
One of the biggest differences between the two phones is the camera module. While both phones feature a triple-camera setup, the Mi 10T Pro gets a 108MP primary unit compared to a 64MP unit on the Mi 10T.
Mi 10, Mi 10 T Pro Specifications
Both Mi 10T and Mi 10T pro feature a 6.67-inch display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The phone comes with an adaptive frequency which ranges from 30Hz to 144Hz. The display is also covered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5.
The devices are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset which also makes it a 5G phone. The phones use LPDDR5 RAM with UFS 3.1 fast storage. Both versions get a 5000mAh battery unit and support fast charging of up to 33W. The company claims the battery supports dual-split fast charge.
In terms of optics, the Mi 10T gets a 64MP Sony IMX Sensor with f/1.89 aperture, a 13MP Ultra-wide Angle Camera with up to 123-degree field of vision (FOV) and a 5MP Macro Lens with a focus range of 2cm – 10cm
The Mi 10T Pro gets a 108MP HMX Sensor with OIS, f/1.69 aperture paired with a 13MP Ultra-wide Angle Camera with up to 123-degree FOV and a 5MP Macro Lens with a focus range of 2cm – 10cm.
- Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale; Google Pixel 4a goes on sale in India October 20, 2020
- Oppo F17 Pro Diwali edition Pre-order Started October 20, 2020
- Xiaomi Mi 10, Mi 10 T Pro lunched in India with 6.7-inch 144Hz Display, Price starts at 39,999 October 19, 2020
- Oppo A15 Launched in India at Rs.10,990: Specifications and Avialability October 19, 2020
- Is It Safe to Sleep with High Blood pressure? October 18, 2020
On the go
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