Google’s second mid-range phone, the Pixel 4a, made its first public appearance last week, and the reaction has been generally positive.
Both as a successor to last year’s Pixel 3a, and as a cheaper, more cheerful version of the Pixel 4, the 4a seems to be ticking the right boxes.
However, there is one notable change about the 4a’s release compared to those of past Google phones (besides the fact that it is getting a 5G version later this year): the lack of an XL version. For all its past releases, Google has shipped an XL version that offers a larger screen and battery. For the 4a, however, it decided not to.
The reason? The 4a is its first all-screen phone, so despite the smaller size, there’s more screen-to-body ratio. The Pixel 4a has a punch-hole camera in the top left that allows for a full-screen experience.
As a Google spokesperson explained to TechRadar: “without bezels on the display, we’re now able to fit more display in a compact form factor.
“We think 5.8 inches is the perfect size for our Pixel 4a customer. The screen size increased 4.5 per cent [vs the Pixel 3a] while the overall device size decreased 5.8%, with a more polished industrial design.”
It’s not clear whether or not this means that the Pixel 5 will ship without an XL version. The Pixel 4’s small battery was one of its most negatively-received attributes – an attribute that the 4XL avoided by being bigger, and thus able to house a bigger cell. Unless Google seriously overhauls the Pixel 5’s battery, it’ll likely retain the XL variant for its flagship devices.