The sub-$400 smartphone segment is going to be an interesting one to watch this year. We already have Apple’s contender in the form of the new iPhone SE. Samsung’s Galaxy A51 also seems like a promising candidate in the under $400 price range. Then there’s OnePlus which is rumored to be working on the mid-range OnePlus Z. But for now, all eyes are on the upcoming Pixel 4a.

We’ve been expecting the Google mid-ranger to be priced in the same ballpark as the Pixel 3a series which came in at exactly $399. Now, according to 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall, the Pixel 4a could be priced at $349 for a 128GB model (double the iPhone SE’s 64GB storage).

At that price, Google could definitely have a winner on its hands. The Pixel 3a series was great because of its amazing camera, software features, and of course timely Android updates. The Pixel 4a promises a similar experience.

It’s more or less confirmed to feature the same primary 12MP camera as the Pixel 4 and Pixel 3a. The selfie camera is also apparently borrowed from the Pixel 3 series. Recently leaked camera samples from the phone looked pretty good, and also showed that it gains some popular Pixel 4 imaging features like the astrophotography mode. The mode also trickled down to the Pixel 3a later, so it only makes sense for the Pixel 4a to get it.

It’s a shame that Marc Levoy, the architect of most of Google’s great camera features, is no longer with the company, but we’re pretty sure that the Pixel 4a benefited from his contributions before he left.

Nevertheless, the Pixel 4a is surely shaping up to be a hot contender for the best mid-range Android phone in 2020. Its timing and expected pricing is impeccable given how premium phones are crossing the $1,000 price mark. At a time like this, good, affordable phones could really make all the difference. The Pixel 4a is no flagship, but if Google plays its cards right, it could definitely outshine the competition.

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