Pixel 4a durability test brings back the good old days

Google's own smartphone strategy this year is a bit perplexing to say the least. Not only are its Pixel phones late, mostly blamed on COVID-19, their specs, features, and prices seemed to be all over the place. For those who don't even want to bother with 5G, the Pixel 4a launched just three months ago may be the sweet spot when it comes to features and price. The latter, however, might raise some concerns over its durability, something that JerryRigEverything's Zack Nelson puts to the test.

The Pixel 4a is almost like a throwback to the mobile market's yesteryears. Beyond the polycarbonate plastic body, the mid-range Google phone also brings back or retains a headphone jack and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Even the kind of Gorilla Glass it uses on the front is version 3 from way back in 2013.

It is, ironically, exactly because of those seemingly obsolete materials and technologies that the Pixel 4a turned out to be one tough nut to crack. Glass is glass and Gorilla Glass 3 still only scratches at a Mohs Level 6. The scratchiness of the rest of the phone's housing is as you'd expect, and some might want to invest in skins to keep theirs looking pristine.

The Pixel 4a doesn't bend nor break either, although it did flex just a bit before locking out. The fingerprint scanner, despite being old school, is still more reliable, more accurate, and faster than fancy new under-display sensors these days.

With a $350 price tag, the Pixel 4a is almost the perfect Android phone, especially for Android or Google purists. Of course, you do get a single camera only and a slower processor but it isn't really that far from the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G either.