The time has come to compare two popular budget smartphones, the Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51. Both of those devices cost less than $400, and are solid options if you’re on a budget, or simply don’t want to spend more. How do they compare, though, and what is the better choice? Well, that’s the question we’ll try to answer in this article. Before we get started, there are a couple of things you need to note.
First and foremost, we’re comparing the Pixel 4a with the 4G Galaxy A51, not the 5G model of Samsung’s handset. For one simple reason, the Pixel 4a is also a budget phone, and the price tags between these two phones are more similar than with the 5G Galaxy A51. Well, at least usually, if you managed to catch the Galaxy A51 5G on sale, it’s about the same price as the 4G model.
Having said that, we’ll compare the two phones across a number of sections. We’ll start by listing their specifications, and then move to the design, display, performance, battery, camera, and audio sections. Having said that, let’s kick off the Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51 comparison.
|Google Pixel 4a||Samsung Galaxy A51|
|Screen size||5.81-inch fullHD+ OLED display (60Hz)||6.5-inch fullHD+ Super AMOLED display (60Hz)|
|Screen resolution||2340 x 1080||2400 x 1080|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G||Samsung Exynos 9611|
|RAM||6GB (LPDDR4X)||4GB/6GB/8GB of RAM|
|Storage||128GB, non-expandable||64GB/128GB, expandable|
|Rear cameras||12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS)||48MP (f/2.0 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, PDAF, 26mm lens)|
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 123-degree FoV)
5MP (f/2.4 aperture, macro camera)
5MP (f/2.2 aperture, depth camera)
|Front cameras||8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)||32MP (f/2.2 aperture, 26mm lens, 0.8um pixel size)|
|Battery||3,140mAh, non-removable, 18W fast battery charging||4,000mAh, non-removable, 15W battery charging|
|Dimensions||144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm||158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9mm|
|Weight||143 grams||172 grams|
|Connectivity||LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||Rear-facing fingerprint scanner||In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)|
|OS||Android 10 (upgradeable)||Android 10|
One UI 2.5
Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51: Design
Regarding the design, well, both are built well enough. Do note that you’ll be getting a plastic build on both sides, but the build is a bit different. The Samsung Galaxy A51 offers more curves than the Pixel 4a. It also doesn’t deliver a unibody plastic build like the Pixel 4a. For that reason, the Pixel 4a does feel a bit thicker (and it is, barely), while it also feels a bit more sturdy. Both phones offer rather thin bezels, and flat displays.
Another thing they have in common is the display camera hole. Both have a single display camera hole, but its placement is different. The Pixel 4a’s display camera hole is placed in the top-left corner. The Galaxy A51 keeps things centered. Rear cameras on these two phones are also included in the same spot, the top-left corner. Both camera housings protrude a bit, but not by much.
The Google Pixel 4a includes one camera inside that camera housing, while the Galaxy A51 includes four. That doesn’t have to mean that the Galaxy A51 is better in that regard, more on that later. The Samsung Galaxy A51 is considerably taller and wider than the Pixel 4a, while it’s also heavier. It is slightly thinner, though. That is to be expected, though, as the Galaxy A51 has a much larger display. Neither phone is as slippery as their glass-made cousins, but they’re not exactly grippy either.
Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51: Display
Both of these phones offer flat displays, and those are also OLED panels. They are somewhat different, though. The Google Pixel 4a comes with a 5.81-inch fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) OLED display. The Samsung Galaxy A51 features a 6.5-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Super AMOLED display. The Galaxy A51 has a slightly higher aspect ratio, as you can see, it also offers a higher screen-to-body ratio.
Both of those displays are protected in the same way. They’re protected by a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. These displays are aimed at different consumers, needless to say. The panel on the Galaxy A51 is much larger than the one on the Pixel 4a. Some people prefer compact phones, while others love to have as much screen real estate as possible. It all depends on your preference. The Pixel 4a sure is easier to use with one hand, though.
Having said that, are these displays any good? Well, yes, they are. The thing is, not many people will have complaints here. Do note that these panels are not the best fullHD+ displays on the market, far from it. Do note that the Galaxy A51 display does look a bit better in comparison, though. If you compare either display to some other panels on higher-end devices, you’ll surely notice the difference. The colors are punchy, though, and viewing angles are also good. Both of these displays are 60Hz panels, by the way, though that is to be expected at this price range.
Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51: Performance
When it comes to phones in this price range, it’s not difficult to make a mistake and get a phone that won’t perform well. Is that the case with the Pixel 4a and Galaxy A51? Well, no, it’s not, though more so when it comes to the Pixel 4a, than the Galaxy A51. The Google Pixel 4a is equipped with the Snapdragon 730G SoC, while the Galaxy A51 comes with the Exynos 9611 processor from Samsung.
Both of those chips are quite capable, though they’re far from being flagship-grade. They are more than enough to fuel these two phones, though. Do note that we did notice less stutters on the Pixel 4a, barely any, while the Galaxy A51 did stutter from time to time, and is inferior when it comes to performance compared to the Pixel 4a. The performance of both smartphones will probably satisfy the vast majority of people, though, but do note the Pixel 4a does offer more in that regard.
Both phones can do everyday smartphone things without a problem. Ranging from launching and switching apps, to consuming multimedia, and even some light gaming. If you’re planning on playing graphically-intensive games frequently, chances are you’re not even considering these two devices.
Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51: Battery
Spoiler alert, both of these phones offer really good battery life. The Google Pixel 4a does come with a significantly smaller battery, as it includes a 3,140mAh unit in comparison to a 4,000mAh unit inside the Galaxy A51. The thing is, the Pixel 4a’s display is considerably smaller, and the Snapdragon 730G is more power efficient. So, don’t let the battery capacity full you, both phones offer really good battery life.
If you’re not playing graphically-intensive games, or doing other tasks that heavily consume the battery, you should be able to get over 6 hours of screen-on-time on both phones. You may even go beyond that, especially on the Galaxy A51. Battery life won’t be an issue for you, unless you’re an absolutely heavy user, in which case you probably don’t even consider buying either of these devices.
Now, when it comes to charging, you’re getting fast charging here. The Google Pixel 4a offers 18W fast wired charging. The Galaxy A51, on the other hand, supports 15W fast wired charging. Neither of the two phones offer wireless charging, reverse charging, or reverse wireless charging.
Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51: Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy A51 comes with four cameras, compared to a single camera on the Pixel 4a. The thing is, the Pixel 4a’s camera is better, period. The Pixel 4a is actually one of the best camera smartphones out there, despite the fact it has a single camera. It performs great in basically all conditions, and that includes night shots. Video recording is also good on the phone, more than good, even.
The Galaxy A51 is not a slouch when it comes to camera performance, though. It does generally capture good images, though it tends to underexpose shots. We’re talking about the main camera, of course. The ultra-wide camera is decent, but the macro one is forgettable, and you probably won’t use them. The Galaxy A51 cannot compete in low light with the Pixel 4a, though. All in all, if you’re looking for a great point-and-shoot camera, the Pixel 4a is probably the way to go.
What about the audio? The Google Pixel 4a has an advantage in this regard as well. Why? Well, the device comes with stereo speakers, unlike the Galaxy A51. Those stereo speakers are far from the best we’ve heard on a phone, but they are stereo speakers. The sound is good enough to satisfy most people, and noticeably better than what the Galaxy A51 offers. That mono speaker is not bad, per se, but it cannot compete here.
Both smartphones do offer a 3.5mm headphone jack, though. If you do hook up a good pair of headphones to both phones, you’ll get solid audio through them. Don’t expect miracles here, and you’ll be just fine. The point is, neither of these phones are made for audiophiles, but they both perform well enough in the audio department.