From 2019 to 2021 I used iPhone 11. Paired with him coexisted MacBook Pro 16, Apple Watch and AirPods Pro.

Despite the habit of changing my smartphone every year and a half, it seemed to me that I would use it for several years. The iPhone 12 family seemed insipid to me, there was no desire to buy a new iPhone, and at some point I got bored.

The same desktop, the same design, the same system structure began to bother me. The device performed its main functions perfectly, but I did not get any emotions from it.

Looking at the example of his friend who bought Google PixelI decided to try Androidto understand what this platform is like, because before I could not even look at smartphones controlled by a “green robot”. Now everything has changed.

At first I thought about Samsung. But changed my mind

Samsung on Exynos is evil in my experience.

To be honest, I looked at smartphones Samsungnamely on Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. This is an interesting device with a large screen, a cool camera and a stylus. Everything would be fine, but looking at him in life and feeling the shell One UIon which it works, I decided not to risk it and take a smartphone that I was confident in.

My friend in the fall of 2020 bought himself Google Pixel 4a. At first, the device seemed pretentious to me, but in life everything turned out to be not so bad. I will say this, the device impressed me.

In April of this year, I took myself exactly the same. Choosing between Pixel 4a and 4a 5G, despite the small difference in cost, I leaned more towards the first option purely because of its compactness.

I took a Google Pixel and was surprised. What are its advantages

I agree, the decision looks strange, but from my side it is absolutely justified.

The fact that the smartphone costs $ 349 dollars gives out its case: it is plastic, creaks in some places.

And also the specifications, the processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 according to dry characteristics, especially against the background A13 Bionic Looks so-so, but for the money – normal. I don’t know about games, but the system works just fine, just like on a $1,000 smartphone.

In the lens of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Vologda.

Seriously, the stability and speed of the interface is in no way inferior to the iPhone, even after several months of active use. Nothing slows down, the system is not littered, Optimization on the face.

Google Pixel is called the Android iPhone for a reason...

In addition, a handful of built-in chips makes the smartphone even more advantageous for me than the iPhone.

1. Google Lens

When two months have passed since the purchase, I experienced a permanent shock from the fact that Android behaves as if I had just taken my smartphone out of the box.

The device is running Android 11 (gets Android 12 in the fall), and no, it’s not pure Android. It uses a proprietary shell from Google with its own chips.

The first thing that caught my eye was the deep integration of Google Lens. Open the photo in the gallery, click on “Lens”and the magic happens.

As it turned out, a similar feature in iOS 15 will not work with the Russian language. Will have to wait some more.

If there is text in the picture, it can be translated or copied. You can even go to a web photo search. Apple brought a similar feature to itself in iOS 15, but we can only check it out in the fall. I hope everything will be no worse than Google’s.

2. Analog Split View

Multi-windowing is an important component in my work.

The iPad has had Split View for quite some time, a feature that allows you to work with two applications at the same time. The Google Pixel also has it, but the iPhone does not. I really hoped that it would appear in iOS 15, but this did not happen.

Given the fact that the iPhone line has Pro Max models with gigantic screen sizes, why Apple does not import this feature is a mystery to me.

Moreover, the iPhone of the Pro family is positioned as a device for professionals and those who fully work with a smartphone.

Google also has a great keyboard. Perfectly recognizes pressing and has input using swipes.

Due to the fact that this feature is in Pixel, I started working on a smartphone: I write articles and sometimes even news on it. From above I open the plan or the source, and from below I write the text in Google Docs. On the iPhone, I would have to frantically switch from one application to another.

I tried to do this, but nothing came of it. Thus, the smartphone more than paid for itself.

3. 128 GB in the cheapest configuration

Apple, well, understand already: in our time, 64 GB of memory is catastrophically small, put 128 already, do not regret it.

The direct competitor of the Pixel 4a is iPhone SE 2020 (it costs $399) and tears come to my eyes when I realize that it has a minimum memory size of 64 GB.

This is the minimum that is necessary to use a smartphone in our time, and after six months or a year it will not have free space.

But 128 GB is another story, it is enough with a margin, and if anything, then you won’t have to clean old pictures. In addition, Google provides unlimited cloud storage for high-quality photos (you have to pay for the original, but as practice shows, pictures almost do not lose detail.).

Apple is stricter: you have to pay for iCloud, and no “special offers” no storage for pictures.

4. Normal work with cloud storage

iOS works well only with iCloud Drive, Yandex.Disk passes by.

Working with third-party cloud storage from Apple is organized in a standard application “Files”and with “Disk” it only works on preview.

Taking into account the fact that I have files synchronized from my MacBook and other devices there, the inability to transfer something there from the iPhone or change it depresses me.

On Pixel, work with the storage is carried out through the native client from Yandex, and it is full-fledged! At least upload new files (and not just photos and videos, like on the iPhone), at least edit articles, in general, feel at home and do not deny yourself anything.

For a small amount, Yandex gives a lot of interesting things.

I didn’t even consider a full transition to iCloud, because the subscription “Mail 360” with 1 TB of storage in Yandex.Disk and a nice email address for just over 200 rubles, I’m more than satisfied.

5. Stunning portraits


It is better here than on the iPhone 11 and SE 2020. I have both of these smartphones on hand, and the iPhone, unfortunately, lose to the pixel.

See above how much worse portrait shots are on the iPhone compared to the Pixel 4a.

Worse blur, worse detail and wrong geometry. Snapshot on “googlephone” looks textured, and both iPhones, due to the nuances of optics, distort the shape of the hands and cannot cut out part of the glasses normally. Plus, for some reason, my hair is washed.

Despite one actual camera, digital 2x zoom is as good as optical through algorithms.

Pixel shoots better in this due to digital zoom, which compensates for spherization, but due to advanced algorithms, the photo does not lose quality. At all.

Of course, some iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max would have won in this test, only the Pixel 4a costs $349, and it gives odds to its main competitors (iPhone SE 2020, iPhone XR and iPhone 11). It’s even a shame for the iPhone in this.

At least work as a wedding photographer now 🙂

Portrait mode also does a great job with shots in motion. I took this photo at my brother’s wedding in just one second: I took out my phone, clicked it, and it turned out to be a masterpiece.

6. Astrophoto and night mode

A picture without processing, and with it the photo would be even more fabulous.

In the standard application “Camera” The Pixel 4a has a dedicated astro mode. Detailing is top notch.

Recently, Google also released an update to all current Pixels, which introduced the astrovideo function. Judging by the videos from the Internet, the smartphone makes astrovideo chic. I’ll definitely test it myself later, when I’m somewhere outside the city.


The iPhone can do astrophotos well only with third-party applications. to standard “Camera” the results are depressing. There is nothing to say about astrovideo.

Night mode is good on both phones, but I like photos on the Pixel a little better. Google Camera does a better job of retaining detail and getting the white balance right.

7. Easy navigation

It’s convenient, and no one will convince me otherwise.

Honestly, I was annoyed by the controls in the iPhone 11, the transition to the previous screen in iOS is carried out by swiping from the left side edge, given the size of the smartphone, when used with one hand, this is wildly inconvenient.

A trifle, but on Pixel 4a you can go to the previous screen with a swipe from any edge. If it’s inconvenient, you can turn on the standard navigation buttons in the settings.

I can’t even imagine how I lived without this on the iPhone.

8. Full NFC

There are a lot of accessories and equipment with NFC, you should use it.

The iPhone module NFC it is used mainly for Apple Pay, but in Pixel, the ability to work with NFC tags and accessories is added to contactless payment. So you can quickly connect headphones or synchronize your smartphone with the camera.

In my Canon EOS 77D there is an NFC module, and with one touch to the body, you can quickly install a client application for remote control of the camera.

You can argue with me, but I think it’s awesome, how convenient and useful. I hope that in the future the potential of NFC in the iPhone will be unleashed to its fullest.

Oh yeah, almost forgot about Nearby Share is an analogue of AirDrop from Google. When you send files, in order not to wait for the search for a neighboring device, you can simply attach smartphones to each other, and they will immediately connect without any extra hassle.

9. Functional Widgets

I’m waiting for the widgets on Android to be updated so that they all follow the same guidelines.

Widgets on the iPhone are certainly beautiful, they are perfectly integrated into the overall logic of the iOS interface, but all they can do is display information, they are never interactive. It’s not enough for me.

In Android, all widgets are full-fledged mini-apps, which is cool. For example, the Google Keep widget allows me not only to make a quick text note, but also a sketch or a voice recording.

Android 12 promises a massive update, so that in a year, widgets on Google phones will be designed in the same style. So far, the lack of a strict design code is taking its toll.

10. Dialer is good

The pixel’s speaker itself is loud – you can hear it well even on a busy street.

That’s something, but I never thought that I would evaluate this feature in the phone, because I mainly use instant messengers, but incoming calls come often. Sometimes I don’t have time to pick up the phone, missed calls accumulate, and then it becomes too lazy to google who called. Pixel can do it for me.

The standard dialer from Google has a built-in caller ID and integrated search.

You can enter the name of the institution of interest, and its number will instantly appear in the issue. Convenient, but if I switch back to iPhone, Google dialer will be missed.

11. Install apps from anywhere

After all, on macOS it is possible to install software from anywhere, and this does not make the system worse.

Yes, I know that installing applications only from the App Store is considered by many to be a plus for the iPhone. And for me this is a minus, because I am deprived of a huge variety of software that is not in the app store.

It’s not about piracy – I honestly buy toys and applications on Google Play. But there are softins that are not there.

For example, now I can’t live without Instander and catogram. The first is a modified Instagram client that allows you to post photos with minimal compression, and the second is a Telegram client that does not compress voice messages.

Pixel makes me feel like I own my smartphone. It seems to me that Apple needs to make iOS the same system as macOS: keep all the chips, an intuitive interface, but give more freedom in terms of working with content.

Then the iPhone will not turn into Android, but it will become much better. Mac has such an opportunity after all, and this does not make the platform bad.

12. Reliable software support

The main advantage of the iPhone is the release period for iOS updates. Even the dusty iPhone 6s and SE have been receiving updates for 6 years now, the only question is what they get from these updates.

The new interface and “little things” functions – yes. But some cool software features, like portraits or night shooting, are not. When I buy a Pixel, I know for sure that it will receive new versions of Android for three years.

Of these three years, security patches will be released every month and once every three months Feature Dropswhich add new features to the smartphone.

In addition, software (the same Google Camera) with new features is updated regardless of the operating system. So with even an old Pixel on hand, innovations will always come to you until support for the latest version of Android on which the device runs ends.

On the iPhone, many applications require the latest version of iOS after a couple of months.

Such reminders are needed in our time. A couple of times I saw people bump into each other, staring at the phone.

Just recently, the June Feauture Drop came, which introduced the function of astrovideo, creating password-protected albums in Google Photos and the Heads Up function, which recognizes when the smartphone is used while walking and notifies its owner so that he does not get distracted from the road.

13. Google Fabric Case, respect

It will be cool if Google releases Fabric Case for other smartphones.

This is the best case that I have had the pleasure of using, and not only on “pixel”, but in general. Silicone and leather cases from Apple are cool, of course, but compared to the fabric cover fabric case fade.

It is pleasant to hold in your hand, it is real fabric, the smartphone does not slip in it, does not creak (yes, the case compensates for assembly flaws), and it is more wear-resistant against the background of silicone and leather.

Fabric Case also has this coloring.

If you suddenly get dirty – it doesn’t matter, you can wash it in the washing machine, and the cover will be like new. The base of the case is solid, there are protrusions above the screen, so it will protect against falls with a bang.

In addition, Pixel looks much more elegant in it. Many acquaintances paid attention to him and were interested in what kind of smartphone it was.

There are also disadvantages. The plastic case is rubbed

I remembered Android smartphones of the early 2010s. They were also plastic and also scratched a lot.

For the ease of the device, you have to pay wear resistance. For about a month and a half, I wore a smartphone without a case, and during this time, scratches and scuffs appeared on the back in those places that were in contact with the table when I put the phone down.

In some places, the matte finish has worn off. If I wore it in a case right away, then there would be no problem, but I had to understand how it is – “from the box”.

Alas, Gorilla Glass 3 scratches

However, glass is impact resistant.

And almost the air. Despite the fact that I try to use the equipment carefully, the screen was covered with a bunch of small scratches in a week.

Two deep ones have recently appeared, and I still don’t understand where, because I never wore a phone with keys and other pocket change. Maybe there was some dust inside the jacket pocket, no other ideas.

There are scratches even on the camera

This is the critical shortcoming. So far, no artifacts appear in the pictures because of this, but there are chances.

The protective glass of the main camera has the same problem. None of the iPhones I have ever had a scratch on the camera and everything was great. And here is a real nightmare.

The camera sticks out and the bottom always touches the table. The nature of the damage in this case is clear, but it is not clear why Google chose to use such material. If you plan to resell the phone, immediately buy protective glasses and films. If not, then you can live.

There is no normal smartwatch for Android

I already miss my Apple Watch.

If I feel fine without an iPhone, I don’t feel fine without an Apple Watch. This is the best smartwatch on the market, and the best you can buy for an Android smartphone so far is Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. What can I say, I bought them and was disappointed.

Once I used the first generation Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, and even then it was clear that this was a fitness bracelet in a watch case.

There are no real applications on them, and those that are, work disgustingly. Tizen itself is also a very strange system – slowdowns and animation curves are everywhere.

The first generation Galaxy Watch Active is my very first smartwatch.

Nothing has changed in the current line of Samsung smartwatches. I hope that in the future the company will come to its senses and present something on Wear OS, especially since the collaboration with Google to finalize it was announced at the I / O 2021 conference.

Or maybe Apple will someday make it possible to use its smartwatches with Android.

Since the Pixels are so cool, why haven’t they taken over the market?

Due to the fact that not many people use the Pixel, there is a feeling of owning a unique smartphone. This cannot but rejoice!

Yes, these smartphones are not for the global market, Pixel cannot even be officially bought in Russia. Google is constantly changing the concept of its devices, changing the design, abandoning some technology or doing something that no one else is doing.

There is no continuity in Pixel, each next generation is not like the previous one, which is cool, because you don’t know what will happen in a year. Agree, everything is known about the iPhone in advance.

Pixel are great geeky devices that give you all the most important things that are in flagships for a small price. Well, they don’t imitate anyone else. There are no colorful colorings here, as in any Xiaomi, Huawei and Samsung.

This is the perfect smartphone. For me! I do not exclude the possibility that I can take it and switch back to the iPhone, I am such a gadget lover.

But so far I see no reason to return to “native penates”because Pixel suits me in everything. And Android in 2021 on the Pixel turned out to be a cool system that is in many ways not inferior to iOS.

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Now there are no other smartphones other than iPhone and Google Pixel for me.

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