Two of the best phones of 2020, face to face: comparison between the OnePlus Nord and the Google Pixel 4a.
If you want to share a mobile of less than 400 euros, the Google Pixel 4a and the OnePlus Nord they are, most likely, your two best options. But, Which of the two is better?
Now that we have been able to thoroughly test both terminals, we have decided face them to check which is the best mid-range terminal in the 300-400 euro segment of these two heavyweights launched in 2020.
Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord, feature comparison
|specs||Pixel 4a||OnePlus Nord|
|Dimensions||144.2 x 69.5 x 8.2 mm
|158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm
|screen||5.81-inch 19.5: 9 OLED
Gorilla Glass 3
Always on Display
|6.44-inch 20: 9 Fluid AMOLED
SRGB and Display P3 support
Gorilla Glass 5
|Resolution and density||Full HD + (2340 x 1080 pixels) 443 dpi||Full HD + (2400 x 1080 pixels)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G|
|RAM||6 GB LPDDR4x||8/12 GB LPDDR4X|
|Operating system||Android 10
System and security updates assured for three years
|OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10
System updates secured for two years, and security updates for three
|Storage||128 GB UFS 2.1||128/256 GB UFS 2.1|
|Cameras||Rear: 12.2 MP ƒ / 1.7 main, 1.4 μm pixel, Dual Pixel autofocus and phase detection, OIS + EIS. LED flash | Video up to 4K at 30 FPS
Frontal: 8 MP ƒ / 2.0 with fixed focus and 1.12 μm pixel size | Video up to 1080p at 30 FPS
|Rear: 48 MP f / 1.75 Sony IMX586 with OIS / EIS + Ultrawide 8 MP f / 2.25 + Macro 2 MP f / 2.4 + Depth Sensor 5 MP f / 2.4
Frontal:32 MP f / 2.45 + Ultrawide 8 MP f / 2.45 Sony IMX616 (105º FOV)
|Battery||3,140 mAh with 18W fast charge (USB Power Delivery)||4,115 mAh with fast charge Warp Charge 30T|
|Others||Rear Pixel Imprint Fingerprint Reader with Gesture Support, 3.5mm Headphone Port, Stereo Speakers, Google Lens, USB 3.1 Type C, Double Tap To Wake, Now Playing, Titan M Chip||Alert Slider, on-screen optical fingerprint reader, face unlock, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, USB 2.0 Type C|
|Starting price||389 euros||399/499 euros|
Design and display: two ways of understanding the mid-range
Say the Pixel 4a and OnePlus Nord are mobile very different would be an understatement. The reality is that the two terminals, despite sharing a range and having a similar price, they have rather little to do in terms of physical appearance.
The Pixel, for its part, bets on a extremely compact format, only 14 centimeters tall which makes it one of the most comfortable mobiles at hand that we have tried in a long time. In addition, it is built in plastic with a smooth matte finish.
OnePlus, on the other hand, opts to bring its mid-range device closer to the “premium” segment, giving it a somewhat more striking appearance through a glossy glass back. The edges, yes, are made of plastic.
There are also similarities: neither of the two terminals have resistance to water and dust –Or, at least, they do not include a certification that supports it–, and both lack wireless charging.
Two points in favor of the Pixel in this regard are the inclusion of 3.5 mm audio jack and a stereo speaker system capable of producing far superior audio in terms of quality to the North.
One of the main differences between the two terminals is present in your screen. Following in the footsteps of the previous models of the brand, the Nord integrates a Fluid AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Google, for its part, remains somewhat more conservative with its 60 Hz.
The difference in this regard is remarkable: the fluidity provided by the extra 30 hertz of the OnePlus they are certainly difficult to ignore, and once the tests are hard to go back. Those of you who haven’t tried a panel with a 90Hz refresh rate are probably not going to miss it.
But the smoothness of the panel is not everything. Although the screen is one of the strong points of each of the models, I have to say that the panel of the Pixel 4a seems to me of a better quality, and it beats the OnePlus in terms of color rendering. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that the Nord suffers from some issues on your screen which is worth keeping in mind.
For the rest, we are before two panels with the same resolution, but a very different pixel density given the disparity in size. The Pixel 4a exceeds 440 pixels per inch, while the Nord narrowly exceeds 405 points.
In any case, We are talking about AMOLED screens with a hole in the upper left part –Double in the OnePlus–, and surrounded by narrow margins. On the Pixel, all the margins are similarly thick, giving the device a somewhat more symmetrical appearance than in the case of the Chinese model.
It is also necessary to talk about the different biometric systems from the terminals. Both have fingerprint reader. On the Nord, it’s built into the screen and it’s quite fast and accurate. But it still does not reach the level of the integrated on the back of the Pixel 4, extremely fast when unlocking the device.
Performance and autonomy: numbers are not everything
Yes, the OnePlus Nord works – a bit – faster than the Pixel 4a. The sum of a more powerful processor such as the Snapdragon 765G and software developed with the aim of offering the highest possible speed, make the Nord fly, in the same way that the rest of the brand’s phones do.
But the reality is that the differences in performance are not very noticeable. Both terminals they work in an exquisite way, on the OnePlus for its raw power and on the Pixel for Google’s work in developing its own version of Android.
In other words: if you were planning to opt for one or the other based on their day-to-day performance, i’m afraid you’re wrong. The two are going to offer you a very good performance from day one, which will most likely continue over the years.
Where there are notable differences is in the field of software. As usual, Google advocates offer an Android experience as simple as possible, seasoned with its own additions that promise to make life easier for us on a daily basis. The Pixel also has a minimum of three years of guaranteed Android updates, and it will be among the first to update to Android 11.
The OnePlus Nord, on the other hand, maintains the OxygenOS version 10.5 which debuted alongside the OnePlus 8, based on Android 10. And although it is a layer whose appearance does not stray too far from Android lines stock, the reality is that it is still a software with not very useful add-ons that lead to problems such as its aggressive battery optimization system, or the fact that include Facebook app installer, services and app manager. Additions that we complained so much about when it was Samsung who included them.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that The OnePlus Nord has two years of guaranteed system updates –One less than the Pixel–, and three years of security updates.
With the numbers in front of you, many would dare to say that the autonomy of the OnePlus Nord will be much higher than that of the Pixel 4a. But, once again you have to remember that sometimes numbers are not everything.
The fact of having a display with a higher refresh rate and software not as well tuned as Google’s, make both terminals offer a fairly similar autonomy, capable of reaching day of use and a little more, and touching 6 or even 7 hours of screen on on a good day. Where the OnePlus is clearly superior It is in terms of support for fast charging, as it maintains the 30W system that was already present in the OnePlus 8.
Photography: fewer differences than you imagine
When comparing the photographic systems of both telephones, we find two totally different approaches – never better said.
OnePlus is based on the philosophy of more is better, and gives its mid-range terminal a total of six cameras, four on the rear and two on the front. Google, on the other hand, goes back to basics with a rear camera and a front camera.
In their corresponding analyzes, we already go into a more detailed assessment of the photographic performance of both the OnePlus Nord and the Pixel 4a. But when comparing them, we find that the differences are not as obvious as you might expect.
When scene conditions are on our side, both phones are capable of capturing extremely high quality images. And even when faced with more difficult scenes, the processing in the case of the Pixel and the larger sensor of the OnePlus do your part to save the furniture and offer a pleasant experience in most cases.
Both terminals fail in certain aspects, of course, being the most obvious portrait mode and the dubious usefulness of the two additional sensors in the case of the OnePlus, and the lack of versatility that an extra sensor would provide in the case of the Pixel.
Be that as it may, the bottom line is that both phones are capable of offering a very good photography experience. If I had to choose, the Pixel would be my choice for a mere matter of consistency and “reliability”, in addition to the value provided by the Google add-ons –night vision, astrophotography and dual exposure control, mainly–.
Which one should you buy?
Yes you need a mobile right now and you have 400 euros to spend on it, there is no doubt: the OnePlus Nord is your mobile. And it is that for some reason – most likely related to the bad moment that the technology industry is going through – Pixel 4a cannot be reserved until September, and its sale to the public will not open until October.
The Pixel, on the other hand, may be the best option for you if you value the extras in terms of software and photography What does the Google experience, with which no other manufacturer can compete today. And if, in addition, what you are looking for is a handy terminal thanks to its compact size, I’m afraid the terminal of the big G It should be first on your list of candidates… if you have enough patience to wait until October.
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