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Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE – Who’s The Real Winner!

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The mid-range segment of smartphones was very limited until recent times and was mostly filled with offerings form Chinese manufacturers and other small companies. Until recent times there was no real competitor in the mid-range segment that was worth our suggestion, however, this has taken a massive turn in recent years with Google releasing a cheaper version of their Pixel flagship smartphone and Apple releasing a similar offering at a budget price. In the year 2020, we now have at least 3 major competitors – the Google Pixel 4a, iPhone SE, and the OnePlus Nord. Here’s how they compete against each other.

By Akhil Taneja - 
28th Aug 2020
Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE

Highlights of the Story

  • The Google Pixel 4a is a budget version Pixel 4 smartphone, the device offers an amazing camera experience
  • The OnePlus Nord is a much cheaper OnePlus device compared to their higher-end brothers such as the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro
  • The iPhone SE is perhaps one of the cheapest iPhones in the past few years but offers an amazing camera experience at a budget

Until just a few years ago budget and mid-range smartphones were plagued with issues such as a bad camera, low-end processors, and a bad software experience. Luckily, we now have brands that show more focus in these budget and mid-range segments as devices start getting better and better. The Google Pixel 4a brings all the important stuff from its elder brother the Google Pixel 4, the smartphone has an amazing camera and offers an excellent software experience with the guarantee of getting the latest software updates for a considerable period of time. 

Also read: Google Mobile Phone Price List In India

The OnePlus Nord smartphone tries to replicate the same experience in the OnePlus family. The Nord is a much cheaper alternative to the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro without compromising too much on things that matter. The smartphone still has a very good camera and a very decent processor allowing you to throw all your favorite apps and games at it without having to worry about the lag and other issues. This is a massive shift from just a couple of years ago when mid-range devices had no competition. 

Also read: OnePlus Mobile Price List In India

The iPhone SE is one of the best contenders in the mid-range smartphone segment, especially if you want to buy an iPhone. The device is powered by the latest Apple A13 Bionic chipset, the same one that powers the more expensive iPhone 11 series. The device also comes with some amazing optic performance and records some of the best videos in the price segment. The iPhone SE offers the cheapest and the finest iOS experience at a budget that a lot more people can afford. 

Also read: Apple Mobile Price List In India

Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE – How to they Compare – Design

In terms of the design, the Google Pixel 4a comes with a plastic back and a fingerprint sensor in the center of the back. There is a square camera block to the top left corner with a single rear camera, the front of the device comes with a small punch-hole camera in the top left of the screen for the selfie camera. The device comes in black color and is pretty light as the construction is mostly of plastic. 

The OnePlus Nord has a slightly better design with a glass back and a metal frame, the display is large and has a cut-out for the dual-lens front camera. The rear of the smartphone opts for a traditional vertical triple camera setup and there is no fingerprint sensor in the rear as it is integrated into the display itself. The smartphone is significantly heavier than the Pixel 4a as it opts for a premium glass back constructions, the mid-range OnePlus smartphone is available in Gray Onyx and Blue Marble Colors. 

The iPhone SE (2020) also has a glass back and a metal frame, the front of this smartphone looks more old fashioned compared to the other devices in this article, there are large bezels on the top and below the display. The smartphone is thinner and weighs in just about as much as the Pixel 4a despite the glass back construction.

Also Read: Top 5 Wallpaper Apps for Apple iPhone

The iPhone SE 2020 has a single camera setup on the rear and the front, the fingerprint sensor is integrated into the front home button as TouchID making it one of the only modern iPhones with a TouchID. The device comes in black, white, and red colors and is the only device of the three to have IP67 water and dust resistance rating. 

Also Read: Comparison: Apple iPhone 11 vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE – How to they Compare – Display

The Pixel 4a has a 5.81-inch display with a FullHD+ resolution OLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. This is a really good display for a mid-range smartphone, the OnePlus Nord however, takes a lead here with a larger 6.44-inch display with a FullHD+ resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio.

While the display on the OnePlus Nord is larger, the Pixel 4a comes with a slightly higher pixel density making it a slightly sharper display. The OnePlus Nord has a higher refresh rate at 90Hz compared to the 60Hz refresh rate on the other two smartphones, the Nord also comes with support for HDR10+. 

Also Read: OnePlus Nord Quick Review in 2 Minutes

The iPhone SE comes with a much smaller 4.7-inch display with a 750 x 1334 resolution, the pixel density on this device is the lowest of the three and it also uses an LCD display which is generally inferior compared to the OLED displays on offer in the other two devices.

The iPhone SE 2020 also uses a 16:9 aspect ratio display and is less widescreen when compared to the rivals here. While the iPhone SE is smaller and has a lower resolution than the other two devices, this compact size will appeal to some as it makes the phone much easier to use one-handed. 

Also Read: Apple Releases Overhauled macOS “Big Sur” At WWDC 2020

Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE – How to they Compare – Camera

The Google Pixel 4a comes with a single 12.2MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. The camera here supports OIS and can record in up to 4K resolution at 30FPS. While this might not seem like a great deal as there is only a single rear camera, this camera is the same one that is found on the Pixel 4 so we can conveniently assume that it will perform well. The Google Pixel 4a is not the only mid-range smartphone here with a single camera setup on the rear. 

The iPhone SE also uses a single 12MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture on the rear, even this camera supports OIS and can record 4K resolution videos in 60FPS. The iPhone SE records videos very well and offers a pretty decent camera experience.

The OnePlus Nord spoils us with a choice as it comes with a quad-camera setup on the rear with a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro sensor. The smartphone also has OIS on the primary camera lens and can record 4K videos at up to 30FPS. 

Also Read: Why Do Apple iPhones Overheat And What Can Be Done To Prevent This!

Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE – How to they Compare -Specifications and Benchmarks

The Google Pixel 4a comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset and has 6GB of RAM, the iPhone SE is powered by the top-notch Apple A13 Bionic Chipset but only has 3GB of RAM.

The OnePlus Nord sits in between with the Snapdragon 765G chipset but has 8GB and 12GB RAM options making it a beast. While Google Pixel 4a is the worst performer of the three and the iPhone SE is perhaps the best performer as it carries the same chipset that powers the flagship iPhone devices of 2020.

In terms of the benchmark scores, the Google Pixel 4a scores 268714 in the AnTuTu benchmark and 1626 in Geekbench. The GFXBench score on the Pixel 4a returned a rating of 17FPS. The OnePlus Nord performed much better with a score of 315641 on AnTuTu and about 1953 on GeekBench. The device also returned a better result at 19FPS on the GFXBench test. The iPhone SE got a massive 462253 score on AnTuTu and 3237 on GeekBench.

Also Read: Snapdragon 730g vs Snapdragon 765g (Pixel 4a vs OnePlus Nord Processors)



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