The OnePlus Nord 2 is the latest mid-ranger from OnePlus. It is arguably the most important mid-range handset the company will announce all year. Having said that, in this article, we’ve decided to compare the OnePlus Nord 2 vs Google Pixel 4a 5G. These two phones are not only in the same category, but they’re also in the same price bracket. On top of that, they’re somewhat similar in size, and are aiming for a similar user base.
All of that should make this comparison interesting, to say the least. They do have different approaches to consumers, from both hardware and software standpoints. We’ll kick things off by comparing their spec sheets, and will then move to the design, display, performance, battery, camera, and audio sections. That being said, let’s kick off the OnePlus Nord 2 vs Google Pixel 4a 5G comparison, shall we.
|OnePlus Nord 2||Google Pixel 4a 5G|
|Screen size||6.43-inch fullHD+ Fluid AMOLED flat display (90Hz refresh rate)||6.2-inch fullHD+ OLED display (60Hz)|
|Screen resolution||2400 x 1080||2340 x 1080|
|SoC||MediaTek Dimensity 1200||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G|
|RAM||8GB/12GB (LPDDR4X)||6GB (LPDDR4X)|
|Storage||128GB/256GB (UFS 3.1); non-expandable||128GB, non-expandable|
|Rear cameras||50MP (f/1.9 aperture, wide lens, 1.0um pixel size, PDAF, OIS)|
8MP (f/2.3 aperture, 119-degree lens)
2MP (f/2.4 aperture, monochrome)
|12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS)|
16MP (ultra-wide, f/2.2 aperture, 1.0um pixel size, 107-degree FoV)
|Front cameras||32MP (f/2.5 aperture, 0.8um pixel size)||8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)|
|Battery||4,500mAh, non-removable, 65W wired charging||3,800mAh, non-removable, 18W fast battery charging|
|Dimensions||158.9 x 73.2 x 8.3mm||153.9 x 74 x 8.2mm|
|Weight||189 grams||168 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)||Rear-facing fingerprint scanner|
OnePlus Nord 2 vs Google Pixel 4a 5G: Design
These two phones do look considerably different, even though there are some similarities. From the front, they do look somewhat similar, mainly due to the positioning of the punch hole. Both of them have a display camera hole in the top-left corner. They also have very thin bezels, and a flat display. The bottom bezel on both phones is noticeably thicker than the rest of them. That’s pretty much it as far as similarities go.
The OnePlus Nord 2 comes with a plastic frame, and a glass back. The Pixel 4a 5G, on the other hand, utilizes a plastic (polycarbonate) build all around. The Pixel 4a 5G is a bit wider and shorter than the OnePlus Nord 2. The two devices are almost identical in terms of thickness, while the Pixel 4a 5G is lighter. It weighs 168 grams, while the OnePlus Nord 2 weighs 189 grams.
Their rear camera modules are located in the top-left corner. They do look fairly different, though, and OnePlus is using larger sensors. More on that in the camera department. You’ll notice logos from both companies on the back. Both of these phones do feel good in the hand. The OnePlus Nord 2 does feel more premium, mainly due to the glass back, but it’s also more slippery than the Pixel 4a 5G. The Pixel 4a 5G is a bit easier to use with one hand because of it, even though it’s a bit wider.
OnePlus Nord 2 vs Google Pixel 4a 5G: Display
The OnePlus Nord 2 features a 6.43-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Fluid AMOLED display. This panel offers a 90Hz refresh rate, and it does support HDR10+ content. It is protected by the Gorilla Glass 5, and we’re looking at a 20:9 display aspect ratio here. This is the same panel that OnePlus has been using on other phones for a while now, and it has proven to be quite a good display.
The Pixel 4a 5G, on the flip side, includes a 6.2-inch fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) OLED display. This panel also supports HDR content, though it is protected by the Gorilla Glass 3. We’re looking at a 19.5:9 display aspect ratio here. This panel is a bit smaller in comparison, and due to its display aspect ratio, it’s a bit shorter and wider.
Both of these displays are actually quite good. The OnePlus Nord 2’s panel does look better on paper, and it’s a bit more impressive in real life as well. On top of that, it does offer a high refresh rate which does make it stand out. The Pixel 4a 5G panel is limited to 60Hz. That is not something that will bother the vast majority of people, but if you’ve used a high refresh rate display before, you’ll notice the difference. Both panels are bright enough, and they do offer punchy colors.
OnePlus Nord 2 vs Google Pixel 4a 5G: Performance
The performance is good on both devices, though they do offer considerably different internals. The OnePlus Nord 2 is fueled by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200. That is the company’s most powerful processor to date. It is actually quite a bit more powerful than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G included in the Pixel 4a 5G. That is a mid-range chip from Qualcomm. The OnePlus Nord 2 also offers faster flash storage, UFS 3.1 compared to UFS 2.1. Both phones do offer LPDDR4X RAM, though, but the OnePlus Nord 2 ships with more of it (8GB or 12GB compared to 6GB).
As you can see, the OnePlus Nord 2 is more powerful on paper. Does that translate into real-life performance? Well, no, not really, at least not at this point in time. Both phones are quite zippy. They can handle your regular everyday tasks without a problem. Stuff like browsing, multitasking, consuming multimedia, and so on. You won’t notice one is more powerful than the other. You may notice a difference while gaming, though, as the OnePlus Nord 2 does offer more in that regard. Hiccups could be more visible on the Pixel 4a 5G in time, though, as it’s not as future-proof as the OnePlus Nord 2. For the time being, though, both phones do perform really great.
OnePlus Nord 2 vs Google Pixel 4a 5G: Battery
The OnePlus Nord 2 features a 4,500mAh battery, while the Pixel 4a 5G has a 3,885mAh battery. We’d say that the battery life is good on both, though the OnePlus Nord 2 does have an edge. Presuming you’re not a gamer, and don’t really fire up processor-intensive tasks on your phones, you should be able to get around 6 hours of screen-on-time on the OnePlus Nord 2, on most days. The Pixel 4a 5G is not far from it, to be quite honest, though it does feel to be a bit inferior in that regard.
Do note that this will depend on a lot of factors, of course. First and foremost, your usage. Each of us uses our phones differently, so that will impact battery life. On the other hand, your cell service. If you have great cell service, that will boost your battery, if you don’t, it will suffer from it. These are only some examples, there are a lot of factors to consider here, so your mileage may vary.
Both of these phones include fast charging. Neither of them includes wireless charging, though. The OnePlus Nord 2 comes with 65W fast wired charging, while the Pixel 4a 5G offers 18W wired charging. Needless to say, OnePlus’ solution is much faster. It can get your phones from 1 to 100-percent in only 30 minutes. It will take the Pixel 4a 5G considerably more time to do the same thing.
OnePlus Nord 2 vs Google Pixel 4a 5G: Cameras
The camera situation is really interesting when it comes to these two smartphones. The OnePlus Nord 2 does have a newer, and larger main sensor, while the Pixel 4a 5G has a rather old 12.2-megapixel unit. The thing is, Google’s software is doing great things for the Pixel 4a 5G camera, as it has for years. More on that soon. Both phones do have an ultrawide camera as well, while the OnePlus Nord 2 also boasts a monochrome camera on the back.
Now, when it comes to images with the main camera, both phones do a really good job in good lighting. The Pixel 4a 5G can still do a better job when it comes to sunsets, and scenes that require really good HDR performance. It is also more consistent than the OnePlus Nord 2. The OnePlus Nord 2 can capture some great shots in all scenarios, but is not nearly as consistent as the Pixel 4a 5G.
In low light, both phones can do a really good job. They can pull out a great level of detail from the shadows, and keep noise at bay. The thing is, due to the Pixel 4a 5G’s consistency, it tends to do a better job from scene to scene. All in all, both cameras do offer really good performance, and chances are you’ll be happy with either one.
Both of these phones do offer stereo speakers. Both of them are good, but the OnePlus Nord 2 does have an edge here. Its speakers do get louder in comparison, while they do sound a bit richer as well, though the sound is not that different. The Pixel 4a 5G does have a 3.5mm headphone jack, though, which is something we cannot say for the OnePlus Nord 2. So, if that’s something you need… the Pixel 4a 5G is your only option.
When you hook up a good pair of headphones, you’ll be able to get good output. Don’t expect miracles, though, as these are only smartphones. If you’re not an audiophile, chances are you won’t have many complaints. The sound is well-balanced, and we didn’t notice any major issues with it.