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Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE: Battle of The Mid-rangers!

Prologue

Google has recently announced the launch of Google Pixel 4a which comes with a flagship camera in a budget phone. OnePlus once again proved that they have not yet shifted their gears from being the flagship killer and introduced the budget-friendly OnePlus Nord. On the other hand, Apple launched one of their surprises for 2020, the iPhone SE in April which features a flagship processor in an affordable Apple product.

All of these phones are to be placed in the mid-budget section. So, let’s dive in and get you to know which one is really your type by browsing the full content of Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE. 

Design & Build

From the front, iPhone SE looks like the most outdated one among these three mid-rangers as it has got noticeable bezels around the display. But in this case, the Pixel 4a and OnePlus are very similar to each other. They both have extremely thin bezels where the Pixel 4a comes with a single camera punch-hole cutout on the left and the OnePlus with a dual camera cutout at the same corner.

Credit: Fully Compare

Now, if we take a look at the build quality of these phones, Pixel 4a lags behind as it has got a plastic build. But you do not get that cheap feeling from this device since it has got a matte finish to it. Then we have the OnePlus Nord which uses a glass back but a plastic frame. And finally, the iPhone SE features a glass back too but a full metal frame as well in order to provide you that premium feel. 

All the three phones have a very good display panel but they too come with few differences in the display quality, size and features. If you are looking for something small and compact, then the iPhone SE and Pixel 4a are the best options where the iPhone has the smallest display of 4.7 inches and the Pixel 4a has a bit larger one of 5.8 inches.

So, you can use both of these phones easily with one hand where the OnePlus Nord is so much bigger because of that 6.44 inches display. The second difference among the displays is the technology that has been used in the panels of these phones. Both the phone, except for the iPhone, use an OLED display whereas the iPhone is still stuck with an LCD panel. That means you are going to have perfect black levels and essential infinite contrast in both of the phones, except for the iPhone. 

Now, the Pixel 4a has the highest pixel density of 443ppi; then comes the OnePlus with 408ppi and lastly the iPhone with 326ppi. Without any doubt, the Pixel 4a has the sharpest image among the three phones while the iPhone has the least. But when it comes to the brightness, iPhone actually turns out to be the brightest, then the Pixel 4a and finally the OnePlus Nord. However, iPhone SE and Pixel 4a both have a 60Hz refresh rate screen but for the OnePlus, it is 90Hz which means whatever you do on this phone, will feel significantly more responsive than the other two. 

DeviceGoogle Pixel 4aOnePlus NordiPhone SE
Form Factor5.67 x 2.73 x 0.32 in6.23 x 2.89 x 0.32 in5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in
Display Size 5.81 inches OLED, 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (443ppi density)6.44 inches Full AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (408ppi density)4.7 inches Retina IPS LCD, 750 x 1334 pixels, 16:9 ratio (326ppi density)
Weight & Color143 gBlack184 gBlue Marble, Gray Onyx148 gBlack, White, Red
Design FeaturesCorning Gorilla Glass 3, HDR, Always-on DisplayCorning Gorilla Glass 5, HDR10+Ion-strengthened Glass, Oleophobic Coating, Wide Color Gamut, True-tone, 625 nits max brightness

Hardware & Performance

When it comes to the performance, the iPhone SE has got the most powerful and latest processor, Apple’s A13 Bionic Chip, where Nord comes with Snapdragon 765G at the second place and the Pixel with 730G at the last; they are both mid-range processors.  

Credit: Fully Compare
DeviceGoogle Pixel 4aOnePlus NordiPhone SE
ChipsetQualcomm SDM730, Snapdragon 730 (8 nm)Qualcomm SDM765, Snapdragon 765G (7 nm)Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+)
GPUAdreno 618Adreno 620Apple GPU (4-core graphics
ProcessorOcta-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo470 Silver)Octa-core (1×2.4 GHz Kryo475 Prime & 1×2.2 GHz Kryo475 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo475 Silver)Hexa-core (2×2.65 GHz Lightning + 4×1.8 GHz Thunder)
OSAndroid 10Android 10, Oxygen OS10.5.4iOS 13
RAM6GB 6GB/8GB/12GB 3GB
ROM128GBUFS 2.164GB/128GB/256GBUFS 2.164GB/128GB/256GBNVMe
AnTuTu Benchmark268971 (v8)315641 (v8)462253 (v8)

Camera

Credit: Fully Compare

iPhone SE and Pixel 4a both have single camera modules on their back which are both flagship-level cameras. The OnePlus Nord, on the other hand, has got mid-range camera modules although it features four individual lenses differed by a wide-angle, a telephoto, and a macro lens on its back.  

Credit: iKnowReview
Credit: iKnowReview

When it comes to night time photography, iPhone SE is the only one missing the Night Mode. But for the video, iPhone SE is the one that can shoot 4K videos at 60fps while the other two caps out at just 4K 30fps. For front facing video, surprisingly the OnePlus Nord can actually record 4K videos at both 30fps and 60fps where the rest of the phones can only do 1080p at 30fps. 

While Apple’s phone certainly has a respectable camera for the money, the Pixel can simply do better. The 12.2 MP lens on the back of the Pixel 4a benefits from Google’s best post-processing technologies and iPhone SE has no answer to them. Apart from these, the Night Sight and the Astrophotography on Pixel 4a are just simply amazing. So, you cannot go wrong with the Pixel 4a if it is for the camera. 

Credit: iKnowReview
Credit: iKnowReview
DeviceGoogle Pixel 4aOnePlus NordiPhone SE
Main Camera12.2 MP Wide (f/1.7, 27mm, 1.4µm)Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS48 MP Wide (f/1.8, 26mm, 0.8µm) PDAF, OIS
8 MP Ultrawide (f/2.3, 119˚)
5 MP Depth (f/2.4)
2 MP Macro (f/2.4)
12 MP Wide (f/1.8)PDAF, OIS
FeaturesLED flash, Auto-HDR, PanoramaDual-LED flash, HDR, PanoramaQuad-LED Dual-tone flash, HDR, Panorama
Video Recording[email protected] (4K)[email protected]/60/120fps, gyro-EIS[email protected] (4K)[email protected]/60/240fps, gyro-EIS[email protected]/30/60fps (4K) [email protected]/60/120/240fps, HDR, OIS, Stereo Sound Recorder
Front Camera8 MP Wide (f/2.0, 24mm, 1.12µm)32 MP Wide (f/2.5, 0.8µm)
8 MP Ultrawide (f/2.5, 1.12µm, 105˚) 
7 MP (f/2.2)
FeaturesAuto HDRHDRFace Recognition, HDR, Panorama
Video Recording[email protected][email protected]/60fps (4K) [email protected]/60fps[email protected], gyro-EIS

Battery & Others

OnePlus simply aces at the battery section with its huge 4115mAh battery setup which leaves the battery endurance of this phone at about 100h. At the second place comes the Google Pixel 4a which can provide the battery endurance of 76h for its 3140mAh battery and as you have already expected, the iPhone SE comes with the lowest battery capacity of 1821mAh with an endurance rating of 59h. But this is to be noted that iPhone SE comes with Qi wireless charging facility which are lacked by the rest of the two devices. 

Credit: Fully Compare
DeviceGoogle Pixel 4aOnePlus NordiPhone SE
TypeLi-Po, Non-removable Li-Po, Non-removable Li-Ion, Non-removable 
Capacity3140mAh4115mAh1821mAh
Charging18W Fast charging30W Fast charging18W Fast charging Qi wireless charging

Not a huge deal of differences you can notice in other miscellaneous sectors except for the OnePlus Nord featuring dual standby in its SIM tray and the Google Pixel 4a having a 3.5mm headphone jack which are unlikely in the other two devices except for them. Other than that, all of the three phones run the same version of Wi-Fi but iPhone SE operates a lower version of Bluetooth comparing to the rest of the two and OnePlus Nord is missing the sensor for Barometer. 

DeviceGoogle Pixel 4aOnePlus NordiPhone SE
Bluetooth5.1 (A2DP, LE)5.1 (A2DP, LE, aptX HD)5.0 (A2DP, LE)
Wi-FiWi-Fi 802.11 (a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Hotspot)Wi-Fi 802.11 (a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot)Wi-Fi 802.11 (a/b/g/n/ac/6, Dual-band, Hotspot)
SensorsFingerprint (rear-mounted), Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass, BarometerFingerprint (under display, optical), Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, CompassFingerprint (front-mounted), Accelerometer, Proximity, Gyro, Compass, Barometer
USB3.1, Type-C (1.0 reversible connector)2.0, Type-C (1.0 reversible connector, USB on-the-go)2.0, Lightning Port (proprietary reversible connector)
SIMNano-SIM and/or eSIMNano-SIM, Dual Stand-byNano-SIM and/or eSIM
HeadphonesYes, 3.5mm Headphone JackNoNo
Price$349$399$399

Check Price of Google Pixel 4a on Amazon

Check Price of OnePlus Nord on Amazon

Check Price of iPhone SE on Amazon

Final Verdict

From Google Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE, if you are looking for the value against your money performance-wise or everything else balanced, then you should probably go for OnePlus Nord. But if you are looking for a flagship-level camera with a powerful processor and you are into the iPhone ecosystem then iPhone SE is the one to get for yourself because it assures the longevity far better than the other two devices. And finally, if you are an Android lover who wants the best camera while at the same time cares for the budget, you surely can get the Google Pixel 4a. 

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