Pixel 4a 5G Early Adopters Feedback

(This topic is publicly visible, but only those participating in our Pixel 4a 5G Early Adopters beta can respond.)

Hi @pixel_4a_5g_beta testers!

As you activate and use your phones, please let us know what you think. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. How did activation go? Any problems?
  2. Are calling and texting working as intended on both WiFi and cell?
  3. How is the phone performing? How does it compare to your previous phone (and what were you using before?)
  4. What do you think of the cameras? (If you have photos you’d be willing to share, let me know and I’ll create a topic for you in our #reviews:photos category.
  5. Have you tried any Bluetooth connectivity? Calls over Bluetooth in the car? How does everything sound?
  6. Have you tried any biometrics security feature? Is it consistent?
  7. Any other thoughts you might want to share?
  8. Having tried it, would you want to keep using this phone on Republic’s service?
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How did activation go? Any problems?
Activation was pretty smooth. As part of the first-time setup, I opted to copy everything from my old phone using the supplied USB cable. This process was relatively easy, but it took me a few minutes to get the process started. For some reason, after connecting the USB cable, I had to disable the feature to charge the other device. Once that was disabled, the process started and completed without issue. This process automatically installed the Republic Wireless app as well. I eventually noticed a notification indicating that my phone needed to be restarted for the activation process to be complete. After the restart, I was able to make/receive calls without issue.

Are calling and texting working as intended on both Wi-Fi and cell?
Calls were placed and received on both cellular and Wi-Fi without issue. I was also able to manually switch from cellular to Wi-Fi and vice versa. I cannot speak for texting though, as I use Google Voice for that.

How is the phone performing? How does it compare to your previous phone (and what were you using before?)
The phone is performing well. My previous phone was a Google Pixel 2 XL, which has a faster CPU, but it also has less memory. To be honest, if the battery on my Pixel 2 XL were in better shape, I would continue to use that phone. The Pixel 4a 5G seems like a good mid-range phone though. I was always running out of memory on the Pixel 2 XL, so the extra memory on the Pixel 4a 5G seems to improve day-to-day multitasking.

What do you think of the cameras? (If you have photos you’d be willing to share, let me know and I’ll create a topic for you in our #reviews:photos category.
The camera seems a bit better than the Pixel 2 XL, especially for photos in the dark. Photos taken in the dark take several seconds to process though, which I’ve read is just to be expected of the mid-range CPU. I’ll have to take more photos to get a better feel for how it handles though. I’d be willing to share some photos.

Have you tried any Bluetooth connectivity? Calls over Bluetooth in the car? How does everything sound?
I’ll update my post when I’ve had an opportunity to test the Bluetooth.

Have you tried any biometrics security feature? Is it consistent?
Yes, I’ve been using the fingerprint reader and it works just as well as the Pixel 2 XL.

Any other thoughts you might want to share?
The only quirky thing about the phone is the way it handles the traditional home, back, and overview/recent apps. There’s no longer a dedicated physical or on-screen button for those. You have to use gestures. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though.

Edit: Looks like you can change the system navigation from “gesture” to “3-button” under settings.

Having tried it, would you want to keep using this phone on Republic’s service?
So far, so good. I haven’t noticed any issues at all. I’ll keep using it and report back with any updates though.

3 Likes

1. How did activation go? Any problems?
Smooth and easy. Inserted SIM and restarted as requested. Test call on wireless worked perfectly.

2. Are calling and texting working as intended on both Wi-Fi and cell?
Yes. No problems or glitches found.

3. How is the phone performing? How does it compare to your previous phone (and what were you using before?)
Moved from Pixel 3XL on same OS. Works just as well with better battery performance.

4. What do you think of the cameras? (If you have photos you’d be willing to share, let me know and I’ll create a topic for you in our #reviews:photos category.
It is a Pixel camera… Works as expected great photos as on the 3XL.

5. Have you tried any Bluetooth connectivity? Calls over Bluetooth in the car? How does everything sound?
Connected easily. Sounds as good as or better than 3XL. Inbound and outbound calls working well.

6. Have you tried any biometrics security feature? Is it consistent?
Fingerprint scanner works great. Seems to be faster that 3XL slightly.

7. Any other thoughts you might want to share?
Have not intentionally tried the cell to wifi handover either way. If I encounter issues I will let you know.

The Wi-Fi calling volume on the 3XL was lower than cell. Also people I called on Wi-Fi had trouble hearing me sometimes. On the 4a (5G) the call volume is better (maybe it is the phone itself) and other end can hear me better.

Used Google Pay and it went off without a hitch.

The 5G symbol shows up on the phone but the speed is LTE - ish. ( I read the 5G info on the other post.) Hopefully as 5G rolls out this phone will help give RW an edge in offering 5G service. Almost all of my data is Wi-Fi so it is not critical for me, but for the high data usage people this would be a great selling point for RW. **UPDATE: speed test of 80.8 down and 22 up!

8. Having tried it, would you want to keep using this phone on Republic’s service?
Absolutely keeping it! So far it has been a seamless transition and I am super happy. I left my old phone at home yesterday and did not live to regret it. I have been with RW since the Defy XT and Beta days and this has been another flawless phone upgrade so far. I had the Defy XT, Nexus 6p, Pixel 2XL and Pixel 3XL each work better than the last. This seems to be another in the line…

I feared that I was going to have to go to Google Fi since the Pixel 4a(5G) was not supported. Hopefully we can get this phone on the compatible list and get more people on Republic Wireless!

2 Likes

How did activation go? Any problems? No problems whatsoever…super smooth process!

Are calling and texting working as intended on both WiFi and cell? Yes and yes and yes and yes :slight_smile:

How is the phone performing? How does it compare to your previous phone (and what were you using before?) Definitely an upgrade over my previous phone (moto g7) Everything feels smoother and faster on this device!

What do you think of the cameras? (If you have photos you’d be willing to share, let me know and I’ll create a topic for you in our #reviews:photos category. So far so good. I haven’t tried shooting anything super exciting yet, but will see if I get any good snapshots in the next few days and will share!

Have you tried any Bluetooth connectivity? Calls over Bluetooth in the car? How does everything sound? Yes. Bluetooth working great in my car as well as with earbuds (WearOS watch too!)

Have you tried any biometrics security feature? Is it consistent? Yes. Super responsive. As good if not better (probably better) than on the moto g7

Any other thoughts you might want to share? I also set up my work profile as required by my business - working exactly as expected

Having tried it, would you want to keep using this phone on Republic’s service? Absolutely! I am a loyal Republic customer and would love for this to be my long term device now. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Finally had a chance to test Bluetooth in the car. Once again, no issues. My only complaints at this point are in comparison to the Pixel 2 XL. The 4a 5G has the following shortcomings when compared to the 2 XL:

  • The speakers are not as loud or as clear as the Pixel 2 XL. The loudness may have something to do with the placement of the speakers though. The 4a 5G has “stereo” speakers, but one side is placed on the bottom of the phone. The 2 XL has a better stereo speaker setup with both speakers placed on the front of the phone.
  • The lowest brightness setting on the 4a 5G is not as low as the Pixel 2 XL, so it can be a bit too bright in total darkness.

The main advantage to the 4a 5G for me, at this point, is that the battery life is much better now. Other than that, I see very little difference in performance or usability between the 4a 5G and the 2 XL, especially with respect to Republic Wireless.

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5 posts were split to a new topic: Pixel 4a 5G update release already!

Just got my replacement 4a5g today, set up went smooth, Downloaded The December update . Call quality was solid on WiFi and cell, texts are working good, email is fine. Biometrics are working and fast. I will test Bluetooth in the car tomorrow.

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