Did Google's new Pixel 4a just smoke the iPhone SE?

Google Pixel 4a
The Pixel 4a has just been announced (Image credit: Google)

While iPhone fans have just learned they'll have to wait a few weeks longer than normal for the upcoming iPhone 12, there's better news for Android users: Google has today announced three brand new Pixel smartphones – and one is available to preorder right now.

All Google is telling us about the the 5G-enabled Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G is their names (and that they're "coming soon"), but the Pixel 4a has been revealed in all its glory. And while Google talks up its "jaw-dropping camera" (could it join our best camera phones list?) and all-day battery life, the phone's best feature might just be its price.

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At $349/£349, the Pixel 4a is one of the cheapest smartphones on the market, and as some high-end devices smash the quadruple-figure price barrier, it's refreshing to see the mid-range market get some attention. The Pixel 4a's most obvious competitor is the 2020 iPhone SE, and Google's latest is a whole $50 cheaper than Apple's most basic iPhone. But which is the better option for creatives?

As well a slightly cheaper price, the Pixel 4a boasts a larger screen than the iPhone SE. The 5.81-inch screen offers over an inch more real estate than the SE's, and being OLED as opposed to the iPhone's LCD, should appear brighter and crisper. For digital creatives on the go, a larger and brighter digital canvas could be a deal-breaker.

Pixel 4a

The Pixel 4a is only $349/£349 (Image credit: Google)

Camera-wise, the two phones feature similar tech. The iPhone SE's 12MP camera is close in specs to the Pixel 4a's 12.2MP, and both feature a single lens. The iPhone can only take portrait photos of people though, whereas the Pixel's can capture any subject in portrait mode. Neither are likely to give your DSLR a run for its money (check out the best cameras for creatives), but the Pixel could be the better option if you're looking to do a photoshoot with your dog, for example.

iPhone SE

The Pixel 4a's most obvious rival is the similarly priced iPhone SE (Image credit: Apple)

Ultimately, it all boils down to software. If you're already a fan of the Apple ecosystem with its unrivalled myriad of photo apps and more, the iPhone could be the option for you. But if it's raw tech you're interested in, the Pixel's better screen could be a head-turner. One thing's for sure, they're both very attractively priced devices for creatives.

If you can wait a little longer, there are some pretty exciting rumours about the iPhone 12 flying around – especially if you prefer a smaller phone. But with that phone delayed, if you want a great, cheap phone this summer, you can preorder the Pixel 4a on Google's website or check out the best iPhone SE deals below. Also, don't forget to drop by the Apple Back to School sale

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.