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Google announces Pixel 4a Android phone's release

Google announced Monday the release of the Pixel 4a with prices starting at $349 on Aug. 20 and pre-order now available. Photo courtesy of Google.
Google announced Monday the release of the Pixel 4a with prices starting at $349 on Aug. 20 and pre-order now available. Photo courtesy of Google.

Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Google announced Monday the release of its new Pixel 4a Android phone, priced under $400, similar to Apple's iPhone SE.

The Pixel 4a is about $350 compared to Apple's iPhone SE, with a starting price at $399, but both phones are much cheaper than other $1,000-plus smartphones on the market.

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CNBC reported that both are small phones with good cameras for the price, but the Pixel 4a is able to take portrait pictures that blur the background and keep the subject in focus better than the iPhone SE. The iPhone SE has a better processor, wireless charging and water resistance, the business channel noted.

Still, the launch of the Pixel 3a last year helped Android compete with Apple iPhones, which have been more popular in the United States, data shows.

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"With the launch of Pixel 3a in May, overall Pixel unit sales in Q2 grew more than two times year over year," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said last year during an earnings call for Google parent company, Alphabet.

The Pixel 4a builds on the strength of the Pixel 4a, Google Vice President of Product Management Brian Rakowski said in a blog post Monday.

"Last year, Pixel 3a gave people a chance to get the helpful features of Pixel at a more affordable price," Rakowski said in his blog. "This year, Pixel 4a -- which launches this month -- and the first 5G-enabled PIxels, Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 coming this fall, will continue to bring the features people love -- like an incredible camera and feature drops that make your phone better over time -- packaged in sleek new hardware at more affordable prices."

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Features include "HDR+ with dual exposure controls, Portrait Mode, Top Shot, Night Sight with astrophotography capabilities and fused video stabilization -- they're all there," Rakowski said in his blog.

The Google Assistant, which allows users to use their voice to text, call and get answers to various questions, is also built into the Pixel 4a, according to the blog.

The Pixel 4a is now available for pre-order and will be more widely available to customers on Aug. 20.

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