Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A41: two top-rated small phones compared

We compare the Google Pixel 4a and Samsung Galaxy A41 to find out which is the better small phone buy

Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A41
(Image credit: Google)

Forget big smartphones. A lot of people still want something that can easily fit in hands and pockets and that's why we've spent hours finding the best small phones. Today, we're comparing Google Pixel 4a and Samsung Galaxy A41, two amazing examples, to find the undisputed small Android phone winner.

With the introduction of behemoth smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, both of which feature nearly 7-inch displays, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's impossible to get a great smaller smartphone. 

Google and Samsung are here to prove that notion wrong, offering the reasonably priced and well-specced Pixel 4a and Galaxy A41 as evidence. Both of these smartphones have the latest and greatest features, support Android 12, and have fantastic cameras. Oh, and they're both pretty cheap, too. 

Let's jump into our comparison between Google Pixel 4a and Samsung Galaxy A41.  

Samsung Galaxy A41

(Image credit: Samsung)

Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A41: design and specifications

Taking a leaf out of the high-end smartphone playbook, the Pixel 4a and Galaxy A41 both feature attractive all-screen designs, with small cut-outs for the front camera. They're both around 8mm thick and weigh in at 152g and 143g, respectively, making them pretty easy to hold and fit into pockets.

The Pixel 4a has the smaller screen of the two, at 5.81-inches, while the Galaxy A41 totes a 6.1-inch display, making it slightly larger but still a lot smaller than the high-end tablets smartphones that are so popular today. In fact, the A41 is the smallest smartphone Samsung currently sells.

The back of each is adorned with a powerful camera, although Samsung has spent a lot of time fitting in a triple camera array (48MP+8MP+5MP), while Google plumped for the single 12MP sensor. While this might seem like a big advantage to Samsung, Google has worked a lot of software magic and the Pixel 4a's camera more than competes. 

Samsung's A41 has a large 3,500mAh battery, compared to 3,140mAh on the 4a; the A41 has 4GB of RAM while the 4a has 6GB; and the A41 comes with 64GB internal storage, expandable via a microSD slot, compared to 128GB as standard on the 4a. 

Basically, these are two very similar smartphones in terms of dimensions, design, internal hardware, and cameras. They both also come with Android 11, upgradable to Android 12 when it arrives later this year. 

Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A41

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A41: features and software

As mentioned, both the Pixel 4a and Galaxy A41 run Android 11 but there are some key differences, the most notable being that Samsung attaches its One UI skin over the top, adding a range of Samsung-specific features. 

We're personally fans of the "pure" Android experience found on the Pixel 4a, but if you already have a Samsung device, or won a Samsung smartwatch, then the One UI does provide some useful features.

As mentioned, Google has also done a lot of work to make the camera software on the Pixel 4a absolutely exceptional, delivering photos and videos that look professional and well-balanced, despite coming from a single sensor. Pretty much everyone who takes photos on the 4a comes away impressed.

Both can make use of Google's huge array of apps and services, from productivity to social media to the Play Store's massive selection if games, and you're guaranteed security updates for several years.

If you currently use and like Android, you definitely won't be disappointed by the Pixel 4a and Galaxy A41. On balance, we prefer the cleaner Android experience on the 4a, but there's nothing wrong with One UI on the A41. 

Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A41

(Image credit: Samsung )

Google Pixel 4a vs Samsung Galaxy A41: verdict

Choosing between the Google Pixel 4a and Samsung Galaxy A41 is tough. They're both fantastic smartphones, available for reasonable prices with good amounts of data on most UK and US networks.

Since we have to choose, the Pixel 4a is the winner by a hair: the smaller display, clean version of Android, amazing camera, and larger internal storage make it the winner. But that isn't to say the Galaxy A41 is bad on these terms. 

If you're already locked into the Samsung ecosystem, or just don't mind One UI, then the A41 is a fantastic choice that will do you well for many years to come.