Today, Google has officially unveiled the Pixel 5a and in the simplest terms, it is here to replace the generally-unavailable Pixel 4a 5G. If you remember back to just under a year ago, Google announced the Pixel 4a a bit later than expected, teased the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, and then proceeded to release those phones later in October. This meant we had 3 very similar phones on the market with slight variations in price, specs, and build quality. It also meant there was no legit flagship phone from Google last year. Oh, and it also meant things became really confusing for the assumed launch of this latest phone, the Pixel 5a.
As we pointed out back in April, Google’s plan to put out yet another A-series Pixel that looks like all the other current Pixels and has the same processor inside was an odd one. Yet here we are. With the Pixel 5a, you’re getting the same Snapdragon 765G, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage you had in the Pixel 4a 5G. Sure, the OLED screen gets a bump up to 6.34-inches (up from the 6.2-inch screen on the 4a 5G), but it’s hardly noticeable and the overall aesthetic is quite difficult to differentiate as well. The front-facing camera is the same setup as well with an 8MP sensor and 83-degree wide angle lens.
But it’s not all the same old news, here, either. Google gave this phone the same camera tricks as the Pixel 5 and even expanded the rear-mounted wide-angle lens to 117-degrees (up from 107-degrees on the Pixel 5). The same Night Site, Cinematic Pan, and Portrait Light tricks all work on this phone just like we had on the Pixel 5. Additionally, the battery gets an upgrade to 4680 mAh (up from the 3800 mAh cell in the Pixel 4a 5G) and they’ve added IP67-rated dust and water resistance for the first time in an A-series Pixel. It’s a far more full-featured handset when you take all this into consideration, espcially when the $449 price tag is $50 less than the Pixel 4a 5G.
With these upgrades and the Pixel 4a 5G’s recently acquired out-of-stock status, the Pixel 5a has a nice place to slot itself in Google’s current/upcoming phone lineup. In fact, I’d wager this phone makes far more sense than the Pixel 4a 5G ever did. And, perhaps more importantly, it will serve as a current option this fall for users that are after the Pixel experience but not the likely-$1000+ budget the newest Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will demand.
Google Pixel 5a with 5G Key Specs
- Snapdragon 765G
- 6GB of RAM
- 128GB of internal storage
- 4680 mAh battery
- IP67 dust and water resistance
- 6.34-inch FHD OLED screen (2400×1080)
- 12MP + 16MP Ultrawide cameras
- Titan M security with Pixel Imprint
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Sub-6 5G
Pricing and Availability
The Pixel 5a is available for pre-order right now at the Google Store and via Google Fi for $449. With Fi, you can opt for a payment arrangement to divide the payments up over a 24 month billing cycle if you so choose. Google is extending the same $15/mo. deal currently in place for the Pixel 4a that includes device protection and the ability to upgrade to a new Pixel after 24 months. As an added bonus, this means you only pay $360 (over 24 months) for this $449 phone, you have drop/spill protection included, and you get to keep the phone once your 24-month period is finished.
Additionally, there is a nice collection of colorful cases made by Google that will accompany this new phone, too. Google has dubbed the four options Black Moss, Maybe Moon, Likely Lime and Partially Pink. Extra points have been awarded for the alliteration. We have a few of them with our review unit and I feel like they compliment the single color option of the Pixel 5a quite well. The cases are a tad bit bulky for my taste, but it’s nice to know that you’ll have a few official options right out of the gate that fit perfectly, have precise cutouts, and nice clicky buttons.
Thought pre-orders start today, the Pixel 5a won’t ship until August 26th. In the grand scheme of things, 9 days isn’t very long to wait and if you are in the market for an affordable, solid phone with the pure Pixel experience on board, this could be the one for you. For me, using this phone has just been a great reminder of why I’m so excited for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro this fall. No one can match Google’s software and UI/UX on Android phones, and I’m incredibly eager to see what that experience feels like on hardware that can finally live up to the software for once.