Samsung has a grip on the mid-range and upper-mid-range smartphone segments in India and the company’s online retail business in the country is booming. However, Samsung’s sub-$500 smartphone portfolio was threatened today by a new mid-range device that was developed by the same people who are responsible for Android OS. The Google Pixel 4a was released in India today for a price similar to the Galaxy A71, but can it challenge Samsung’s mid-range device that was brought to India nearly eight months ago?
The short answer is no, it cannot, but let’s explore why Samsung’s Galaxy A71 is a better option for customers in India who may be looking to buy a new mid-range device for under INR 30,000 ($410). We don’t usually compare Samsung devices with other brands but as a smartphone developed by Google and sold in India through Flipkart, the Pixel 4a makes for an interesting albeit surprisingly weak rival.
Looking at the Pixel 4a next to the Galaxy A71, it’s difficult if not impossible to justify the former’s price tag. Google’s supposed rival to the Galaxy A71 has a smaller 5.81-inch display, no expandable storage, no 8GB RAM variant, only a single rear-facing camera instead of four, an 8MP selfie sensor as opposed to a 32MP one, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and not an under-display solution, and an underwhelming 3,140mAh battery with 18W fast charging.
The only advantage the Pixel 4a seemingly has over the Galaxy A71 is that it ships with the Snapdragon 730G chipset instead of the Snapdragon 730 SoC. The former chipset has a higher GPU clock rate but the difference in 3D performance is relatively negligible, or at least not enough to paint the Pixel 4a in a brighter light. And since the Galaxy A71 is eligible for Samsung’s new policy regarding Android OS updates, it will benefit from three years of support just like Google’s device.
Of course, not every smartphone on the market is or should be identical, and it’s obvious that the Pixel 4a is not in the same league as the Galaxy A71. But the cherry on top is the launch price that pushes Google’s mid-range phone directly into Galaxy A71 territory. Google’s phone has a launch price of INR 31,999 ($437) but it is available through Flipkart for 6% off, or INR 29,999 ($410). Meanwhile, you can buy the Galaxy A71 with 8GB of RAM instead of 6GB for INR 29,499 ($403) and you’ll take advantage of better specs while being able to choose from additional color options.
Can you find a reason why you would buy the Google Pixel 4a instead of the Galaxy A71 in India? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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