Barely Blue Pixel 4a gives Google's value phone a brighter finish

Google has released a new color version of the Pixel 4a, adding a Barely Blue finish for those who want something more striking than the sober black it originally launched in. Priced the same as the regular Just Black Pixel 4a, the new powder blue variant is functionally the same, but it gives the affordable Android smartphone the looks to live up to its value.

Indeed, it's hard to argue that the Pixel 4a isn't one of the best-value smartphones launched in 2020. When it hit shelves back in August, its $349 price tag belied just what the phone was capable of, particularly given it enjoyed the same computational photography talents as handsets significantly more expensive.

One of our biggest complaints – and one shared by others at the time – was that it looked a little dreary in comparison. Whereas previous Pixel models had been offered in at choice of colors, the Pixel 4a was only available in black. The pale power button lifted that aesthetic slightly, but the overall affect was a fairly nondescript phone.

Google is addressing that criticism today. The Pixel 4a Barely Blue has the same 5.8-inch display, Snapdragon 730G processor, and single rear camera as its Just Back brethren, but wraps it all in a more playful shell. The power button is finished in a splash of orange.

Regardless of which finish you go for, the price is the same. Google is offering the Barely Blue Pixel 4a as an unlocked device only – the Verizon and Google Fi versions are still Just Black only – for $349, though the company says it will only be available "while supplies last" which implies this might only be a temporary option.

Sadly, if you want the more colorful phone in its 5G flavor, you're still out of luck. The Pixel 4a 5G is still only being offered in Just Black, while the Pixel 5 comes in that finish along with the slightly brighter Sorta Sage.