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Home News Google Pixel 4a has ushered in a new era of excellent cheap...

Google Pixel 4a has ushered in a new era of excellent cheap phones

The iPhone SE sells for just $399. The OnePlus Nord will be sold outside the U.S. for around the same price. Now, Google has returned to form and launched the new Pixel 4a at just $349. 

It’s never been clearer that we’ve entered the next great era of amazing cheap phones. It’s come at an important time too. In the past couple of years, flagships have increased in price and Apple has resorted to selling older models at slightly lower prices. Even the once-venerated bargain phone maker OnePlus had lost its midrange mojo and started to only sell phones that cost well over $500. 

But in 2020, all that has changed. Those who might have scoured used phone sites for a worthy purchase can now happily spend that $300 to $400 on a new phone that won’t disappoint. The Pixel 4a, in particular, once again raises the standard for what we can expect from affordable phones.

A bargain with a flagship feature


When you buy a phone for $350, you aren’t expecting a perfect phone with every feature under the sun. You’re probably wondering what you could get for $500 more — and just how good $350 can be.

Pretty great, it turns out, in all the right ways, especially in the way that matters most. After basic texting and calls, taking pictures remains one of our favorite things we all do with our smartphones. The Pixel 4a does not just give you a good camera, it gives you a flagship camera. It takes the exact same photos you’d take on the twice-as-expensive Google Pixel 4. 

In the past, the camera was the biggest reason to buy the most expensive flagship phones. The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Ultra, for example, is the only phone in the family with 100x zoom capability. But with the Pixel 4a, Google hands over the most important feature of the flagship to bargain shoppers. Almost every other compromise is acceptable with that Pixel camera in hand.

It may scare you that the Google Pixel 4a uses the same 12.2-megapixel camera sensor as the last couple of Pixel phones. But in this case, it’s a feature, not a bug. Google has proven there’s actually a benefit from a product development team becoming so intimately familiar with a component. The Pixel 4a flexes the muscle of Google’s machine learning ingenuity to use the raw data from shots taken with the Pixel 4a sensor and create images that rival those taken using the best camera hardware. That software processing is just as good on the Pixel 4a as it was on the Pixel 4.

In practical terms, Google is able to dramatically improve the way a mobile camera handles low-light exposures. When you take photos in the dark, you’ll see more detail and color than you would with other cameras. When you take pictures on a bright day, you’ll get a snappy and dynamic image with clean bright spots and moody dark areas. If you aim the Pixel 4a at the night sky, you might capture an arm of the Milky Way. Even the best iPhone can’t pull off such a feat.

It’s time for budget phones to shine

It would be easy to credit the global pandemic for the boom in excellent budget phones. But remember: The planning required to design, source, manufacture, and sell a smartphone takes more than a year. Even if Apple and Google wanted to cut prices to match everyone’s current economic reality, it would be hard to trim much due to sharp margins and existing bulk sales agreements.

Still, the pandemic will surely accelerate this process. Samsung has a hangar full of phones you can buy for more than $1,000, but it is easy to see the bargain phones taking a resounding sales lead in the foreseeable locked-in future. Once that happens, expect a new race to the rung below the middle. Manufacturers will experiment to decide what features they can cut before buyers believe a phone is missing too much more than a high price. Regardless of which phone comes out on top, we’re all winners when the competition is this tight.


Take your Linux skills to the next level with this 12-course training bundle, just $69

Linux is by far the most popular open source operating system kernel on the planet. It’s found nearly everywhere, and is the heart of many desktops, smart devices, routers, TVs, Chromebooks, and Android phones.How much do you know about Linux? Not just from a deep technical standpoint, but from a casual user. Do you know there are open source alternatives to many of the popular paid programs you use on your Windows or Mac computers?RELATED: How to enable Linux apps on Chrome OSLinux-based operating systems are increasingly used in commercial computing environments, and that means demand for system administrators is at a constant high. Whether it’s Google, Amazon, Facebook, or someone else, companies are paying top dollar for experts in the field of Linux.If you’d like to get a better grasp on Linux for yourself, and maybe make a career out of it, you’ll definitely want to check out the Complete 2020 Learn Linux Bundle.Available for only $69 right now in the AndroidGuys Deals Store, it’s a 12-course online training bundle that’s valued in the thousands.The Complete 2020 Learn Linux Bundle is comprised of 110 hours of expert-led instruction. Broken into 12 specialized learning segments, each is designed to teach everyone, even a complete novice, with 279 helpful, step-by-step tutorials and hands-on examples.The Complete 2020 Learn Linux Bundle:Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8Linux Shell Scripting: BasicsLinux Security TechniquesLinux in the CloudLinux Command LineLinux for BeginnersCompTIA Linux+ (XK0-004)Getting Started with Linux (CompTIA Micro Course)Becoming a Linux System AdminBecoming a Linux Server AdminBecoming a Linux Power UserLinux Shell Scripting: AdvancedAvailabilityYou can purchase a lifetime license to the Complete 2020 Learn Linux Bundle for just $69, but only for a limited time. At less than 50 cents per hour, it’s the sort of investment that pays off at home and potentially work.Best SellersSave even more!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Galaxy Tab S7 5G, S7+ 5G now available at T-Mobile

T-Mobile on Thursday confirmed it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Galaxy Tab S7 5G, and S7+ 5G starting from September 18.Each of the devices can use T-Mobile’s 600Mhz, 2.5GHz, and mmWave 5G spectrum. In fact, the tablets mark the first to support 5G connectivity.T-Mobile will offer the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G online, over the phone, and in retail stores for $58.34/month for 24 months with a $599.99 down payment. The all-in full retail price of the unique folding smartphone is $1,999.99.As for the new tablets, customers can purchase both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 5G and Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G for $30.00/month. The difference being that the former requires $129.99 down while the later requires $329.99 down. The full retail prices are $849.99 and $1049.99, respectively.Multiple Ways to SaveT-Mobile is offering a number of promotions around its new devices, giving subscribers ways to save on both the phone and tablets.Pick up one Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G and get a second for half off with 24 monthly bill credits when you activate a new line.Get $500 off the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G with 24 monthly bill credits and eligible device trade in.Learn more about the Galaxy Tab S7 5G and Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G at T-Mobile’s website.

Ampere Cell Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer review

If you’re like us, you take your phone everywhere. Like, everywhere.We tend to get our handset out while eating, traveling, and even in the bathroom. Indeed, the more you think about it, the more gross it seems. And in a world impacted by a global pandemic, it’s even dangerous.If you are one of those people who takes their phone with them and never bothers to clean it — and let’s face it, that’s you — Ampere has a device that will change your life. While that sounds a tad drastic, it’s not really a reach.The Ampere Cell Phone Sanitizer, available for pre-order at just $79.95, is actually two devices in one. Part wireless charger, part phone sanitizer, it’s 100% vital in today’s world.What is the Ampere Cell?An expandable UV santizer and wireless charger hybrid device, it has four UVC LEDs inside and two 15W Qi charging coils on the outside.Open it up and place your phone inside and the Cell uses UV rays to kill bacteria off the surface of your phone. It kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in only one minute. Or, place your phone on top of it and it will wireless charge any modern handset.UsageThere’s practically zero setup to consider with the Ampere Cell. All you have to do to get started is separate the base from the cover, place your item on the base, and press the red circle.When it turns green, it’s sanitizing, and after a minute when it turns red again, it’s done. It’s extremely quick and easy.We appreciate that the cover itself can be expanded and shaped to provide an angle. Whether portrait or landscape, it can be used as a prop to watch streaming video or keep an eye on notifications.Our only complaint is a minor one and that it does not actually come with the USB Type-C cable needed to power it. Understanding it was likely going to replace the charger we had on the desk, we were fine using our existing one. Ampere Cell 1 of 8 The Cell is slick, thin and small, so it is easy to carry around in a purse or bag. If you’re feeling stylish it comes in different colors, too. Because of its size and expandability we’ve used the Cell to sanitize jewelry, wearables, and other small items.The Ampere Cell is available to pre-order from Ampere’s website and is expected to ship in late October/November. Choose from red, black, and glow-in-the-dark.

LG Wing hands-on: A new kind of dual-screen (Video!)

The LG Wing is a new dual-screen device from LG. Can this take on dual-screen devices make it to the