Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A51 5G

So I've been looking forward to buying a new phone after 3 years with a Moto g5+. My budget is a bit better this time, and I've assumed Pixel 4a would be my choice, ever since it launched with a price well below last year's Pixel 3a. I figured based on where 3a was last November ($275) it would be a slam dunk. But a strange thing happened. Pixel 4a's price is not going down, but Samsung Galaxy A51 5G is, and has already matched Pixel 4a at $350.
So now I'm facing a dilemma. On paper Galaxy A51 5G is better than, or as good as, Pixel 4a in every way, even promising the same three major software upgrades. My phone plan doesn't offer 5G, so that in itself is not a big selling point, but Exynos 980 still runs circles around the Snapdragon 730. Assuming the price is going to stay comparable (and hopefully drop a little) is there any reason I should still look at Pixel 4a?


Spacecorp test pilot
Depends whether you prefer a more standard Android or the Samsung flavour, more frequent security updates/earlier access to OS updates (my guess is that you'll get those "major software updates" many months later from Samsung), whether you've any interest in root (the Pixel will be easier for that), whether you prefer Google's or Samsung's style of image processing, whether you prefer the extra stuff Samsung will load in their ROM or would rather have less of that. Basically which you'd prefer.

Incidentally the Pixel 4a is reduced this week in the UK. Don't know about US prices though.


Elite Recognized Moderator
Last I checked, Samsung's skin was still somewhat of a resource hog. It may have better specs but how much of that is used up just running the Samsung stuff that they cram into their experience?

For overall user experience here in the real world, I think the 4a is pretty damn hard to beat.

Boris Zakharin

Thread starter
I've never used either flavor (as I said, I'm coming from a budget Motorola phone), so I don't have a pre-existing preference, though I hear that One UI has improved greatly in both performance and usability in recent updates. My needs aren't too great. I want a phone with good performance (the lag on the Moto g5+ is terrible) and a decent camera. I am not a heavy phone user. As long as the common apps (phone, browser, music, fit, maps, messenger) are responsive, and remain so over time, especially after OS updates, I'm happy.