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Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE


macrumors 68000
Feb 5, 2017
Glasgow, Scotland
The Pixel actually costs more than twice as much as the iPhone.

Annual Cost of Ownership

iPhone SE 2 = $66.50 year
Pixel 4A = $139.60 year

(A budget shopper will not likely be upgrading from the base model, so the upfront savings remain at $50. Further, a true budget shopper looks at the annual cost of ownership. With the iPhone 6+ receiving 6 full years of system and security updates, the SE 2 with it's flagship A13 chip will likely receive 6 years too. The Pixel 4A will get 2 years of system updates and 3 years of security updates, so let's call it 2.5 years.)

Not really, the upgrade cycle for consumers is around 2.5 years, so it makes no difference how long Apple provides support for, in the main, consumers won't keep it that long.

in the budget marketplace, the upgrade cycle tends to be closer to 2 years as it's affordable for more and allows them to upgrade more often.
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macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2007
This is no brainer Google Pixel 4a wins but I think OnePlus Nord wins outright between the two though USA market doesn’t get the same version that we get here. Bigger, Far better, AMOLED FHD Screen, Bigger RAM(12 GB), Storage, OIS Cameras from & back far better than these two, 5G, nice colours, in screen fingerprint scanning(optical though), no dust or water resistant but splash resistant....yet $150 cheaper in my place than 64 GB iPhone SE!🤣🤣


macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2007
Agreed - this review is sloppy.

"You might think the Pixel 4a would be leagues better with the OLED panel, but both are close in quality. The 4a wins out, but the iPhone SE is not too far off."​
"Touch ID beats out most other fingerprint sensors when it comes to accuracy and phone unlocking time, and there's no exception here. Google's fingerprint sensor is fine, but Touch ID is better."​

These are almost meaningless statements. How is it better? Give us some examples to qualify these statements.
I thought I was the only one finding the review kind of odd batting heavily in favour of SE!!


macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2009
Honestly this is a great phone! I wish this was the iPhone SE.
This is all I want from an iPhone, Big new 1080p OLED, finger reader, and thats it.
If this thing was running IOS and the A13 it would be perfect for me.
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macrumors 6502
May 3, 2011
Google spyware and garbage OS is the major issue here, not hardware.

Still, Apple beats the Pixel in hardware, easily - but that's still not the point. I will never use Android again or Google's garbage OS and services. I'm done with them. For good.


macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2010
i decided ip se is better than pixel just 3 min into the video - deal breaker is cheap plastic that bends easy
would not feel safe in back pocket of my levis
though wishing aapl would make edge to edge display ip se
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Aaron from KY

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2010
Northern Kentucky
I’m sure google will sell tens of them.
The Pixel 3a sold over 4 million devices. The 4a is cheaper, has 50% more RAM and double the storage. I’m sure it’ll be a hit. I’m even considering one to replace my iPhone SE 1st gen. Apple wasted an opportunity to make its entry level device on the same level as its flagship by leaving off the Night mode and by retaining an older design, not to mention charging an arm and a leg for storage.
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macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
Over the Reignbough
I don’t. But I use google for search because it’s better enough than the alternatives to offset this cost. Since I use google for search already it really doesn’t matter if I use android or an iPhone.

YouTube is actually the most difficult google product to avoid and I can expect that within three videos or searches within the same session even if I use google or YouTube anonymously google is like “hello it’s bob smith” let’s add this activity to the dataset.

I also use a credit card, amazon, non-vpn internet, tesla 3, Siri, Facebook, and a Safeway card, Verizon mobile. I have not perceived adverse effects to companies tracking my behavior so far. Maybe because I’m on the right side of economic privilege.

The flip side is don’t think people are as homogeneous as marketers would lead people to believe. It’s also ironic to me that many Mac enthusiasts dislike google when it appears many Mac enthusiasts are perhaps a marketers dream target customer.

You have a very different tolerance for privacy than I, that’s for certain. I get your point: tracking is pervasive, especially if you are using tech.

But it’s not a foregone conclusion. Everything you list — including your voluntary donation of information through things like Facebook and loyalty cards — is easily avoided.
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macrumors member
Jan 8, 2011
This is like comparing a rock to a smartphone, only giving the plus'es..

A rock vs a Pixel phone

+ Never needs charging
+ Survives 1000s drops
+ No overheating
+ Water resistance
+ Always a new design
+ Many colors

Comparison, now with + and -

+ modern design vs rehash
+ better hardware future proofing with 6GB DRAM and 128GB base storage vs iPhone SE 3GB/64GB
+ 1080p OLED vs iPhone SE 750p LCD
+ mask friendly fingerprint unlock vs pulling down mask with Face ID on iPhone SE
+ Night Mode vs none
+ Built in Titan M 2FA security key
+ better smarts and more advance features like Duplex AI, live transcription, split screen multitasking, etc.
+ longer battery life

- No Wireless charging
- No water resistance
- Old CPU
- Upgrades, only 2-3 years
- Video recording, only 30fps
- Needing 6GB DRAM to function ;o)


Apr 6, 2010
People are writing off the SE a bit too quickly here.

The SE has a much better CPU/GPU, water resistance, build quality, software lifecycle and wireless charging.

People then forget that iPhones have always had less RAM because they don't need as much RAM as they are more efficient. The cameras are really no different that I could see, certainly not enough to sway a purchasing decision.

The Pixel does have a better battery life, more storage and much better screen which looks more modern.

I have no problem with people making comparisons but be sensible, both are great budget phones with compromises so pick the one with the compromises you are happiest to live with.


macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2014
Pixel phones do not sell more because they are not available in most of the coutries in the world. Some pixel models are not available in India and China, the two biggest market. Here the Pixel 4A is a better choice for people on budget. It has better battery, better camera, better screen, and the performance is comparable in everyday use.


macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2009
Would much rather have a phone with a design from 2014 (iPhone SE) vs. one that has a processor on par with a 2016 Apple A10 in the 4a...

I owned the 3a and it was a great phone but there was very noticeable stutter in daily tasks and delay opening some apps compared to the Pixel flagships (owned 3 XL and 4 XL). The user experiences were not even close, for me.

Compare that to the user experience of my 11 Pro Max vs. iPhone SE, they are both - identical - except for screen size and Face ID / Touch ID. Couldn't care less about the camera, which is no slouch on the SE. That Apple has provided virtually the same user experience in a $450 phone vs. $1100 phone is remarkable. Sure the SE is very dated, but you have to give some credit where credit is due.

HAHAHAHA i was close!

"Less than a year after its unveiling"

Google canceled its Pixel 4 and 4 XL.

Wow, I can't believe they killed off the Pixel 4 this quickly. I don't think I've ever seen a phone get killed off in less than a year, aside from maybe OnePlus with its 6 month release cycle? Despite its flaws, the 4 XL is a fantastic phone. I got it over Thanksgiving for $500 at Best Buy, at that price it was a steal.
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macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2013
Probably boils down to whether you want to buy into the Google Android ecosystem or the Apple ecosystem. I'll choose the Apple ecosystem every time. Not because it has the best hardware, but because it is more secure and safe and tends to be reliable. I've got friends who buy cheaper Android phones in the $400+ range, and then have to replace them within a year because they self destruct. I've never had an iPhone break down--ever! There are some reliable Android phone brands, but there are a lot of garbage brands with awful quality. And trying to get Android phones updated with newer FW is a joke.
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macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2020
Sorry if this is coming off as rough, but you need to grow up.

I’m aware of everything you describe. Except I haven’t been “screwed” nor expect to be when there have been or will be data breaches. Duck duck go just does not give as good results as it relates to my professional work and i have tried it. My credit score is good, and I’ve suffered no financial losses, which so far in society would be the canary in coal mine for privacy related matters.

It’s amusing that you’re telling me to “grow up” when what I described was living as a “grown up” in today’s society. I’m not an outlier and I’m not going to live like man child Richard Stallman. I value the relationships more than I value than a theoretical privacy.

Also if Apple has a breach, it’s all there too. Based on what devices I use they are the only people actively recording me.

I also live in California which means if I want to obtain “things” that certain privacy outliers like to own I’m on a list of owners of said “things”.

And again any Apple user who is logged into google/YouTube may as well use a google device if they wish because google knows everything there is to know. And if you aren’t logged in who you are takes a minimum of activity if you use google services at all.


macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2020
Everything you list — including your voluntary donation of information through things like Facebook and loyalty cards — is easily avoided.

No, those two things are the only things easily avoided. Using a credit card, driving a safe car and having a cell phone are not so easy to avoid.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2015
Gimme a good Android tablet, and Affinity, ProCreate for the Android Tablet and I’m gone from Apple eco system. Somehow Apple hardware is nothing special anymore. Minor differences... that’s moaning on high level.
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