Its 2020 and people don’t have much money lying around to spend on a $1400 flagship. So, the race to the middle is on, with more and more brands launching $400 mid range phones and they’re quite good.
So far, we have OnePlus going back to its roots with the Nord, Google, after a billion years of leaks, coming with the Pixel 4a and, in all weirdness, Apple with the new 2020 iPhone SE. Now, let’s dive into specs.
So, first up we have the Nord, deriving it name from the direction North, it’s pretty great. It has a great display, many cameras, fast charging and a great packaging. Talking about numbers, for the display we have a 6.44″ FullHD+ 408 PPI 90hz AMOLED screen with a pill shaped hole punch camera in the top left corner. It has edge-to-edge display which is on par with 2020 standards. The screen resolution is 2400×1080 with 20:9 aspect ratio with HDR10+ support.
Now, the cameras, six, that’s right, it has six cameras in total, four on the back and two on the front. The main shooter is 48mp(f/1.8) with OIS, an 8mp(f/2.3) 119° ultrawide, 5mp(f/2.4) depth sensor and 2mp(f/2.4) macro lens, the front has a 32mp(f/2.5) main lens and a 8mp(f/2.5) 105° ultrawide. I said many cameras and not great ’cause they aren’t. The main lens is good, when you give it well lit conditions, it will give you a good and sharp images. Things go south when we check out the other lenses, the ultrawide is good at capturing more into the shot without making you go further back but the sharpness takes a hit, the images are a bit too soft shifting from the main lens and the depth camera is absolutely useless because even if you cover the depth sensor with your finger or anything else, it will still the portrait shot and the macro lens is just bad. Coming at just 2mp, even if you shoot in sunlight, it will struggle to focus and because of that low rez camera, the photos does not have any sharpness.
So what if the cameras not as good but it still has many great stuff. The Warp Charging 30T is fastest charging in its competition. It has on-screen fingerprint sensor which is really fast to unlock along with face unlock which also very fast. Its future-proof with 5g. It does not a official IP rating but it has rubber rings on every opening of the phone. With the 4115 mAh battery, it should last you a whole day but if it doesn’t then the Warp Charge can give it 70% juice in 30 minutes. It is a Corning Gorilla 5 sandwich with metal buttons but plastic frame. It is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G which is a pretty good processor for mid range phone and it starts from €399 or ₹27,999 for 8GB+128GB.
Google Pixel 4a
After months and months of leaks and rumors, its finally here and it checks all the boxes while costing $50 less than iPhone SE at $349(~₹25,914). First let’s look at the thing you will look at the most, the display, it is a 5.8″ OLED panel 60hz with 443 PPI and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Pixel’s display is also very 2020 with minimum bezels and a single hole on top left corner of the screen and 2340×1080 screen resolution.
Google’s Pixel is known for it’s still and low light photography even in the budget range and the 4a keeps tradition going with exceptional camera. It has only two cameras, one on the back and one in the front. The rear has a 12.2mp(f/1.7) with OIS and a 8mp(f/2.0) front camera. You expect a ultrawide angle lens but that really, really good camera makes up for it. I shoot many stills and low light photos and it’s really good at that. The front camera is, although a not very high rez but clicks decent shots.
It comes Google’s stock android with a promise of at least 3 years of software updates. It has stereo speakers who quite loud. This time Google kept the Pixel extremely simple with no XL version and only one color, Just Black, and only one storage option at 128GB of ROM and 6GB of RAM. It get a mid range processor I.E. Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, which might not be 5g or a gaming processor but snappy in day-to-day tasks and would not give you trouble. It comes with an 18w fast charger out-of-the-box *Coughs*Apple.
iPhone SE 2020
Apple finally went to the drawing boards and designed an iPhone and 3 years later, we have the iPhone SE. I won’t go in-depth ’cause I already wrote a whole blog on that. If you wanna read that just Click here.
Now, stacking them up against each other, which will come out on top?
The OnePlus Nord is the only phone with a high refresh rate at 90hz, the other two are maxed out at 60hz. Both the Nord and Pixel has a OLED screen but the iPhone has a LCD, sorry, Super Retina Display, but the highest pixel density is in the Pixel, but it is very difficult to pick out pixels on the trio. iPhone might be LCD but has Apple has the LCD panels in the industry, you see the difference in high contrast content and blacks of the content. For me, the winner in the display department is the OnePlus Nord, because the OLED display and a high refresh rate.
Breaking down each of the phones, not literally, the Pixel 4a is all plastic build and Google didn’t tried to hide it, which is good, it will not break if it falls off your hand and much more durable than glass. The OnePlus Nord is a glass sandwich with metal buttons but a plastic frame, so it feels more premium than the Pixel but then iPhone SE enters the room with most premium in-hand feel among these, it is a metal and glass sandwich with full metal front and back with aluminium frame. So, the iPhone SE takes this one.
Even with the most numbers of cameras, the Nord lags behind the Pixel and the iPhone. First, lemme give you the video specs, the OnePlus Nord can shoot upto 4k@30fps at the rear and 4k@fps on the front. The Pixel 4a can also shoot 4k@30fps at the rear but only 1080p@30fps at the front. The iPhone SE is the only phone which can shoot 4k@60fps from the rear but only 1080p@30fps from the front. Now, iPhone is the only one who does not have a night mode, there’s Night Sight and Nightscape on Pixel and Nord, respectively. Pixel has one more trick up its sleeve, that is the Astrophotography, if you don’t know what that is, if you put it on a tripod and click the shutter button then it captures light in most darkest areas and can shoot the stars clearly. So, in stills and low light, the Pixel wins, but when it comes to video, iPhone takes it home with highest resolution and high dynamic range. The Nord is still not lost, it has the most versatility.
When it comes to performance, I don’t even have to say who is the winner ’cause the iPhone SE has the chip which runs ahead of both OnePlus and Google flagship, the A13 Bionic is world’s most powerful processor. The Nord has the Snapdragon 765G which is a upper mid range chip and the Pixel has the Snapdragon 730G which totally mid range and should able to handle your daily tasks with ease.
While winning by miles in performance the iPhone lags way behind in battery with just 1821mAh which is lot smaller than Pixel’s 3140mAh and Nord’s 4115mAh, now even though the A13 Bionic is very power efficient processor but the battery is just too small even for that and Apple bundles a whopping 5w ultra fast charger*sarcasm*. The Pixel gets a 18w fast charger and the Nord has the 30w Warp Charger. So, among these Nord wins.
Each of these phones has unique to themselves. Like the Astrophotography in the Pixel, 90hz refresh rate in the Nord. So, the SE is only one who has an official IP rating and wireless charging. Both the Pixel and iPhone has stereo speakers. Only the Nord has a in-screen fingerprint sensor.
Now, you wouldn’t be wrong going with any of these devices. Like, if you want OLED screen but not too big, you got the Pixel 4a. You want an iPhone and the A13 Bionic but wanna spend a $1000, get the iPhone SE. You want good value for money phone, get the OnePlus Nord.
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