August 4, 2020

Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord: Which is better?

Our Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord comparison takes a closer look at two competing budget smartphones.

After months of leaks and teases, the Google’s Pixel 4a is official. The latest attempt by the makers of Android to release a mid-range phone has lots of potential buyers excited. However, if you live in Europe or India, you may wonder how the Pixel 4a compares to the recently announced OnePlus Nord. Both phones use Android 10, and both have a mid-range price tag. But which phone is right for you? Find out in our Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord comparison.

Our verdict: Google Pixel 4a review: Google’s best phone in years


Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord


Specs

 Google Pixel 4aOnePlus Nord
Display5.81-inch OLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
19.5:9 aspect ratio
Gorilla Glass 3
6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080
20:9 aspect ratio
90Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 730G
2x Cortex-A76
6x Cortex-A55
Adreno 618
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Adreno 620
RAM6GB RAM8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB
No microSD slot
128GB / 256GB UFS 2.1
CamerasRear:
12.2MP, f/1.7, 1.4µm pixels, optical + electronic image stabilization

Front:
8MP sensor, f/2.0, 1.12µm pixels, fixed focus, 84-degree field-of-view
Rear:
- 48MP main (f/1.75, 0.8µm)
- 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.25, 119 degrees)
- 5MP depth (f/2.4)
- 2MP macro (f/2.4)

Front:
- 32MP main (f/2.45, 0.8µm)
- 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.45, 105 degrees)
Battery3,140mAh
18W charging
No wireless charging
4,115mAh
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
No wireless charging
IP RatingNo IP ratingNone
SoftwareAndroid 10OxygenOS 10.5
Android 10
ColorsJust BlackGray Onyx
Blue Marble
Dimensions and weight144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm
143g
158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm
184g

Features

The Google Pixel 4a has a 5.81-inch OLED display with a solid 2,340 x 1,080 resolution. However, the display only goes up to a 60Hz refresh rate and is protected by the much older Gorilla Glass 3. The display on the OnePlus Nord has a slightly higher resolution of 2,400 x 1,080, but with a much bigger 6.44-inch AMOLED display. Its refresh rate goes up to 90Hz, and it’s protected by the much better Gorilla Glass 5.

Our verdict: OnePlus Nord review: Get it for OxygenOS and value for money, not the hardware

The OnePlus Nord has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G processor inside. It’s not the fastest mobile chip available, but it’s plenty powerful for most tasks, plus you get 5G support. The Pixel 4a has the slower Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G inside. Unfortunately, you are not getting any 5G support from the Pixel 4a.

All Pixel 4a models come with 6GB of RAM. You can also purchase the Nord with 8GB or 12GB of RAM (or 6GB in India). OnePlus offers the Nord with 64GB (India only), 128GB, or 256GB of onboard storage. The OnePlus Nord also comes with a dual-SIM card slot. The Pixel 4a only has the 128GB storage option, with no microSD card expansion. Both the Pixel 4a and the Nord lack an IP rating for water and dust resistance.

Google Pixel 4a in hand close to chest tight

Credit: David Imel/ Android Authority

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.

See also: The best budget phones you can currently buy

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 OnePlus Nord has a big 4,115mAh battery and supports fast 30W charging. Our testing has shown that you’ll get all-day battery life on a single charge. The Pixel 4a has a smaller 3,140mAh battery, and only supports 18W charging. The phone’s smaller display and efficient processor mean you’ll still get a single day’s use of on a single charge on average. Neither phone supports wireless charging.

Both phones have Android 10 installed, although the OnePlus Nord has the OxygenOS skin on top. The Pixel 4a integrates the new version of Google Assistant, although it does not have the Active Edge feature found on the Pixel 4 phones. You can expect to see at least two, and perhaps more, major Android OS updates for the Pixel 4a.


Price

The OnePlus Nord will be sold in India, Europe, and the UK. Unfortunately, OnePlus has no plans to bring it to the US. Here’s a quick look at the prices for the three versions of the phone:

  • OnePlus Nord with 6GB RAM+64GB storage: 24,999 rupees (India exclusive)
  • OnePlus Nord with 8GB RAM+128GB storage: £379/€399/27,999 rupees
  • OnePlus Nord with 12GB RAM+256GB storage: £469/€499/29,999 rupees

Meanwhile, the Pixel 4a comes in just one model, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Pixel 4a will be available with a price tag of $349 in the US with shipping starting from August 20.

UK buyers will be able to buy the Pixel 4a for £349. It’ll be available for pre-order September 10 and on sale starting October 1. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Pixel 4a will retail for €349.

Google has yet to announce an India release date or pricing for the Pixel 4a.

$349 .00
Google Pixel 4a
Buy it Now
Google Pixel 4a Buy it Now
$349 .00
£379 .00
OnePlus Nord
Buy it Now
OnePlus Nord Buy it Now
£379 .00

Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord: Which should you buy?

OnePlus Nord Oneplus text at the bottom of the phone at an angle

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw/ Android Authority

If you were judging the Pixel 4a and the OnePlus Nord purely on spec sheets, there’s no doubt the latter comes out on top.

While its hardware is not exactly flagship phone level, its Snapdragon 765G SoC has so far proved plenty fast for most takes, except for graphics-intensive games. We also expect OnePlus has done some fine-tuning to get the best out of the Qualcomm processor.

Likewise, the battery and charging, storage options, 1080p AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, and the six total cameras all round out what is a comprehensive package for a sub-$500 phone.

On the other hand, the Pixel 4a has a slower processor, a smaller display and battery, and no 5G support. The Pixel 4a’s main rear camera, however, is capable of producing images that slap the Nord. We’ll have a shootout coming very soon, so watch out for that.

In addition, the Pixel 4a not only runs a stock version of Android, but it also has some features like the improved Google Assistant. Google will also likely keep updates fresh for the phone for a few years, and it will likely be longer than the software support for the Nord.

Google Pixel 4a display standing stright 2

Credit: David Imel/ Android Authority

The Google Pixel 4a is also a little bit cheaper than the OnePlus Nord in the UK and Europe. It’ll be interesting to see how it fares against the Nord’s India exclusive 64GB variant when Google eventually announces pricing for the region.

Of course, if you’re in the US, the Pixel 4a is the only one of the two that’s officially available. While you can import the OnePlus Nord, you’ll be taking risks with warranty and carrier compatibility.

We’ll revisit this comparison once we’ve had more time with the Pixel 4a and the Nord together to see which phone truly comes out on top!


That’s our early look at the Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord. Which one are you considering?

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