Skip to main content

Google Pixel 4a gets box-cutter treatment in extreme durability test

Google Pixel 4a Durability Test! – Simply Solid?

Google’s Pixel 4a smartphone launched in August 2020, and YouTuber Zack Nelson, well known for his methodical yet extreme smartphone durability tests at JerryRigEverything, recently got around to taking his trusty box cutter to the device (above).

Built with a cheap plastic casing, Nelson’s business-like assault on the $350 handset was always going to end badly for the Pixel 4a, and sure enough, the box cutter effortlessly carves large chunks off the side of the phone’s body.

“Of course, there’s nothing wrong with plastic; honestly I kind of like it,” Nelson ruminates as he continues to slice up the handset At the same time, he notes how the plastic housing means the Pixel 4a “will literally never have a shattered glass back to replace, unlike the $400 iPhone SE whose broken glass back costs $270 to fix.”

The box cutter is also let loose on the front screen and back of the Pixel 4a, scraping up and down while making the kind of noises that’ll leave more sensitive souls cringing. The fingerprint sensor on the back of the device is also scratched to bits by the blade, although — and here’s the impressive part — the sensor continues to work “even with substantial damage.”

Despite using an older version of Gorilla Glass for the Pixel 4a’s display, an enthusiastically administered scratch test leads Nelson to conclude that “keys, coins, and razor blades won’t have any effect” on the phone’s display.

Granted, it’s highly unlikely that the Pixel 4a — or any smartphone, for that matter — will ever have to face the sharp end of a box cutter during its lifetime, but Nelson nevertheless likes to see just how well a phone has been built by subjecting it to some pretty brutal scratching, cutting, and even burning (with a naked flame).

Having completed his battery of extreme tests, and with the Pixel 4a still able to function despite its pummeling, Nelson concludes that Google’s handset “might be the most durable budget phone 0f 2020,” adding, “Overall, I’m impressed with the Pixel 4a.”

In Digital Trends’ review of the Pixel 4a, the camera really stood out as something special. The software and battery life also impressed, though overall we found the device to be “desperately ordinary.”

Interested in seeing even more extreme durability tests? Then check out these brutal efforts meted out to different iPhones over the years.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
The Pixel 7 is Google’s iPhone, and it’s my favorite Android phone so far
Google Pixel 7 rainbow gradient home screen on a blue placemat

I’ve been a long-time user of Apple’s iPhone — since 2008, to be exact. I got my first iPhone as a birthday present, and it was the original one that started it all. Every year since, I’ve upgraded to the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer (most recently, the iPhone 14 Pro), and I don’t regret my decision one bit.

However, since I started at Digital Trends, I’ve been expanding my horizons by giving Android devices a try. There are a ton of different manufacturers, and each one has its own version of Android. But so far, my favorite has been Google’s own Pixel 7. To me, it’s just like Google’s version of an iPhone, and it’s quite lovely.
Android is to Google what iOS is to Apple

Read more
Rough durability test shows a dark side of the ROG Phone 6 Pro
Holding the Photo taken with the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro, seen from the back.

The ROG Phone 6 Pro is marketed as one of the most powerful smartphones available, and is specifically designed for gaming on the go. However, despite its technical prowess, the phone performed exceptionally poorly in a durability test. While no phone is indestructible, the ROG Phone 6 Pro walked away from a standard durability test done by YouTuber JerryRigEverything looking like it just barely survived an explosion.

The test looked to see how well the ROG Phone 6 Pro stood up to things like scratches to its display and cameras, where it performed similarly to other flagship devices. Where the test took a turn, however, was during the bend test. JerryRigEverything was able to crack the phone almost cleanly in half with ease straight down the center, rendering it completely destroyed in just a few seconds.

Read more
New Pixel 7 Pro durability test reveals two worrying problems
The Google Pixel 7's camera module.

When deciding to invest in a new smartphone, most people want to make sure that the device they're buying can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Unfortunately, it looks like the Google Pixel 7 Pro may not fare too well in the long run.

A recent durability test video posted by YouTuber JerryRigEverything showed that there are two major problems that Pixel 7 Pro owners might want to keep in mind over the device's lifespan: the poor durability of the camera bar, and how easily the phone's frame can bend.

Read more