Every premium brand in the world has realized the potential and market reach of budget devices and so launched a priced down variant of their flagships in order to cater to a wider range of the population. With the launch of OnePlus Nord and Pixel 4A we have the lineup of budget devices from the four top premium smartphone manufacturers in the world right now- OnePlus (OnePlus Nord), iPhone (iPhone SE), Google (Google Pixel 4A), and Samsung (Samsung Galaxy A71). Let’s have a look at their budget devices and see what each of them has to offer.
In terms of display, we have some great but pretty different displays here.
The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch IPS LCD capacitive display with a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. The aspect ratio of the device is 16:9 and has a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The screen to body ratio on the phone is 65.4%. The pixel density on the phone is 326 PPI and according to a test by the YouTuber ZONEofTECH, the top brightness recorded was 720 nits. The phone comes with an oleophobic coating for screen protection.
The Google Pixel 4A features a 5.81-inch OLED capacitive display having a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. The phone has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The screen to body ratio on the Pixel 4A is 83.3%. The Pixel density on the Pixel device is 443 PPI and the top brightness recorded was 710 nits. The phone has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
The OnePlus Nord flaunts a 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED capacitive display along with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. The aspect ratio of the phone is 20:9 and a refresh rate of 90 Hz with an option to use at 60 Hz as well. The screen to body ratio of the phone is 86.7%. The pixel density of the Nord is 408 PPI and the top brightness recorded was 560 nits. For the protection of the display, it has a Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 features a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive display having a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. The aspect ratio of the device is 20:9 while the refresh rate is 60 Hz. The screen to body ratio of the smartphone is 87.2%. The pixel density on the A71 is 393 PPI and the peak brightness is 550 nits. For screen protection, it comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
In terms of display, all the phones have a great display with minor shortcomings in all. But the one display that comes on top is the OnePlus Nord. The iPhone has an LCD panel that stands nowhere close to the OLED on the other three. Although the three have a very identical display with Pixel having marginally better top brightness and Pixel density, but thanks to the 90 Hz refresh rate on the OnePlus Nord, the experience of using the display is much better than any other of the three.
Software And Performance
The SE is the only device not on the Android ecosystem. The Pixel comes with stock android while the Galaxy A71 has OneUI on top and Nord has OxygenOS. But let’s have a closer look at how these four stack up in terms of performance.
The iPhone SE runs on the iOS 13 out of the box. The phone also has Apple’s proprietary Apple A13 Bionic Chip. The Hexa-Core processor on the phone has Apple’s GPU. The phone has 3 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of non-expandable storage.
The Google Pixel 4A runs on Android 10 out of the box with Stock Android. The phone has an Octa-Core Snapdragon 730G processor. The GPU in place is Adreno 618. The phone comes in a single variant with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of UFS 2.1 storage.
The OnePlus Nord runs on Android 10 out of the box with OxygenOS on top of it. The device is powered by the Octa-Core Snapdragon 765G processor with Adreno 620 GPU. The phone comes in several variants with up to 12 GB RAM and 256 GB UFS 2.1 storage.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 runs on Android 10 out of the box with Samsung’s OneUI on top of it. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 730G processor with Adreno 618 GPU. There are two RAM options in 6 and 8 GB while a single 128 GB storage option.
This is where the three Android devices make compromises than their flagship smartphones, but iPhone SE runs on the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 series devices. The A13 is arguably the fastest chip ever made for a smartphone and that is clearly visible when you make the four run adjacently. The iPhone SE certainly comes winner with scores almost twice as that of the nearest rival OnePlus Nord.
A deciding factor for many, let’s have a look at the camera in place the four devices. In budget range phones this is the place where we often see compromises being made by the manufacturers.
The iPhone SE comes with a single 12-Megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 The lens does come with PDAF and OIS. The front camera on the SE is a 7-Megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. Coming to videos, the camera can take up to 4K videos at 24/30/60 fps apart from 1080p videos with the back camera while using the selfie shooter, users can take 1080p video at 30 fps.
The Pixel 4A also has a single 12.2-Megapixel sensor having an aperture of f/1.7. It also has dual pixel PDAF and OIS. On the front, the 4A has an 8-Megapixel camera sensor with an aperture of f/2.0. In terms of video capability, the phone can take 4K video at 30 fps along with 1080 videos. Using the front camera you can take 1080p videos at 30 fps.
The OnePlus Nord has a Quad rear camera setup. The primary sensor is the 48-Megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 along with PDAF and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). The ultrawide camera is an 8-Megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.3 and 119˚ field of view. The phone also has a 5-Megapixel depth sensor for enhanced portraits having an aperture of f/2.4. And finally the 2-Megapixel macro camera with an f/2.4 aperture. On the front, the phone has a dual-camera setup. The primary front camera is a 32-Megapixel lens with an f/2.5 aperture. The additional camera is the 8-Megapixel ultrawide camera for taking group selfies. Coming to the video capability, the back camera can take 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p videos at 30/60/240fps. While the front camera has the capacity to take 4K video at 30/60fps while 1080p video at 30/60fps.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 has a Quad camera setup on the back. The primary camera is a 64-Megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8 with PDAF and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). The secondary is an ultrawide sensor with an 8-Megapixel lens an aperture of f/2.3 and a 123˚ field of view. The other cameras include 5-Megapixel Macro and Depth sensor with f/2.4 and f/2.2 aperture respectively. Comin to the front camera, the device has a 32-Megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. In terms of video capability, the A71 on the back can take 4K videos at 30 fps and 1080p videos at 30/240 fps. Using the front camera it can take 1080p videos at 30 fps.
Despite being budget phones, these devices have pretty good cameras. The Pixel 4A uses the same one as in Pixel 4XL and so certainly has the best primary camera than the others. But the lack of multiple cameras does harm the overall camera experience as the Nord and A71 have an Ultrawide and telephoto/ depth sensor which does come in handy. Although the macro on the Nord isn’t any good but as they say something is better than nothing. Difficult to pick a clear winner here as Pixel does take brilliant pictures overall. If you don’t use ultrawide or macro cameras then Pixel 4A is no brainer in terms of camera.
Coming to front cameras the OnePlus Nord with the dual-camera setup wins the battle. Pixel devices have a reputation of having a great back camera with a not-so-good front camera and the 4A is no different.
The iPhone SE packs a meager Li-ion 1,821 mAh non-removable battery. The phone does support 18W fast charging with which the phone can be charged to 50% in just 30 minutes. However, the device comes with a 5W regular charger.
The Google Pixel 4A packs a 3,140 mAh Li-Po non-removable battery. The phone supports 18W Fast Charging using which the Pixel 4A can be charged to 50% in just 30 minutes. The phone comes with the 18W charger in the box.
The OnePlus Nord has a 4,115 mAh Li-Po non-removable battery. OnePlus claims the phone can be charged to 70% in just 30 minutes using the 30W Fast Charging which comes in the box.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 features a 4,500 mAh Li-Po non-removable battery. The phone can be charged to 50% in just 30 minutes using the 25W Fast charger which comes in the box.
When it comes to battery all the three perform quite similar despite the significantly small battery in iPhone SE and Pixel 4A. But overall OnePlus can be charged faster than others. While Galaxy A71 has a larger battery life as compared to others thanks to the bigger battery.
The iPhone SE has quite a few of those. The smartphone is the only one of these to have IP67 water resistance and Wireless Charging. The phone also has stereo speakers for better audio output. It also has a fingerprint reader on the button present on the front.
The Google Pixel 4A also has stereo speakers. It also a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device.
The OnePlus Nord is the only one of these devices to be 5G compatible. It does have seals to prevent water from entering the phone but does lack any official rating. It also has an In-Display fingerprint sensor.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 is the only device of these 4 to have an external MicroSD card slot. The phone also has an In-Display fingerprint sensor.
The iPhone SE (2020) is priced in India for Rs. 35,999 for the 3 GB RAM + 64 GB variant while the 3 GB RAM + 128 GB is for Rs. 40,999.
The Google Pixel 4A hasn’t yet been launched in India yet but the pricing in the country will be Rs. 26,290.
The OnePlus Nord is priced in India for Rs. 24,999 for the base 6 GB RAM + 64 GB variants, while the 8 GB RAM + 128 GB variant is available for Rs. 27,999, and finally the 12 GB RAM + 256 GB variant is being sold for Rs. 29,999.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 has a single 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage variant priced in India for Rs. 30,999.
The four devices are all pretty good devices in their own terms. But the overall package offered by OnePlus Nord gives it a clear edge over the rest. In most departments, Nord either comes out as the best or second-best making it the better of the four. iPhone SE does come quite close but the small display and minor shortcomings like a single camera on the back and smaller battery make it tough to pick over Nord. The Pixel 4A does boost a great camera making it the better camera smartphone of the three but the other features offered are just below Nord. Samsung Galaxy A71 is a fine device having a huge display but other specifications just don’t stand out over the rest.
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