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Google Pixel 4a Smartphone Review - Performance

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Google Pixel 4a Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


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Google Pixel 4a Sample Photos

Sample Photos - For a smartphone that does a lot of clever thinking and algorithm crunching, the results are impressive if you don't zoom in too far. Colours are accurate, dynamic range is good and there's plenty of sharpness. There's very little thinking involved, you can simply 'point, focus and shoot'.

Portrait mode adds bokeh to your backgrounds which can be adjusted with a slider and results are generally good with only the odd shot having clipping issues and Night Sight works incredibly well but you will need a support for the best results as you will have to stay still for several seconds. You can compare a low light shot taken with and without the Night Sight mode in the sample photos above. There's also an astrophotography mode but you need to follow several steps in order for it to work successfully.  


Google Pixel 4a Lens test images

Lens Performance - The Google Pixel 4a doesn't offer digital or hybrid zoom so you're relying on digital zoom and up to 2X, it does a pretty good job but after this point, detail falls off and starts to look a little smudgy, almost canvas-on-paint like so if you can, avoid 3-7X and use your feet to move closer/further away instead. 


Google Pixel 4a ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - There is no direct control over the ISO speed used by the camera. For the most part, you don't really need to worry about it, as the camera will deliver good results for the majority of the time. To take these shots we adjusted the light levels. When it was too dark, the camera suggested we use the Night Sight mode. Higher ISO levels do result in more noise which is particularly obvious in the 'ISO4331' shot. 


Google Pixel 4a White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting, under mixed lighting, and under fluorescent lighting, meaning you should rarely have to worry about white balance settings.


Google Pixel 4a Digital filters

Digital Filters - Various digital filters are available which you can apply after you've captured your images via the Photo Gallery. Some of the digital filters available are shown above. 



Panorama mode - Colours are accurate and stitching isn't an issue but look closely and detail is lacking with smudginess creeping in. 



Video - The Google Pixel 4a captures video, with the rear camera, at 4K, 1080p and 720p at the following frame rates: 1080p @ 30 FPS, 60 FPS, 120 FPS, 720p @ 30 FPS, 60 FPS, 240 FPS, 4K @ 30 FPS. The front-facing camera captured video at 1080p @ 20 FPS, 720p @ 30 FPS and 480p @ 30 FPS. 

The video mode is very basic but produces decent footage which is steady and smooth but focus did struggle sometimes. 


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