The Google Pixel 5a is nowhere, and it looks and performs similarly to the Google Pixel 4a 5G that came before it. There are a few improvements this time around, but it still feels like a minor update from last year’s model.
Google Pixel 5a Review in Brief
The Google Pixel 5a 5G smartphone was released on August 17, 2021. The phone has a 6.34-inch touchscreen display with a 1080×2400 pixel resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. An octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor powers the Google Pixel 5a 5G. It has a total of 6GB of RAM. The Google Pixel 5a 5G is powered by a 4680mAh battery and runs Android 11. Fast charging is supported by the Google Pixel 5a 5G.
The Google Pixel 5a 5G has a 12.2-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.7 aperture on the back and a 16-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture on the front. Autofocus is available on the back camera. It has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture for selfies.
The Google Pixel 5a 5G runs Android 11 and comes with 128GB of internal storage. The Google Pixel 5a 5G weighs 183.00 grams and measures 154.90 x 73.70 x 7.60mm (height x width x thickness). It was released in the color Mostly Black.
Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth v5.00, NFC, and USB Type-C are among the Google Pixel 5a 5G’s connectivity choices. Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, compass/ magnetometer, proximity sensor, and fingerprint sensor are among the phone’s sensors.
At the very least, the Pixel 5a’s price hasn’t increased since the 4a 5G, and there’s plenty of reason for owners of last year’s Google Pixel 4a (without 5G) – and much more so if you have an older Pixel phone – to upgrade to the new Pixel 5a. It’s a fantastic mid-range phone at a fair price.
Features of Google Pixel 5a
The Pixel 5a features the same Snapdragon 765G CPU, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage as the Pixel 4a 5G, therefore its specs are unchanged. The Pixel 5a has the same cameras as its predecessor: a 12MP main camera and a 16MP ultra-wide shooter on the back, as well as an 8MP selfie camera on the front.
What’s the difference? For starters, the Pixel 5a’s battery has a higher capacity (4,680mAh) than the Pixel 4a’s (3,140mAh) or the Pixel 4a 5G’s (3,140mAh) (4,080mAh). The phone is also slightly larger, with a 6.34-inch Full HD Plus OLED display (compared to the 4a 5G’s 6.2-inch screen), and it boasts dust and water-resistant rating, which is a first for Google’s inexpensive “a”-series phones (IP67, so your phone will be safe submerged up to one meter of water for 30 minutes).
In short, the phone isn’t much better than its predecessor, but it’s still one of the best mid-range phones available. It’s unlikely to impress anyone expecting for actual innovation, but it’s likely that Google is saving the significant advancements for the Google Pixel 6 with Tensor chipset, which will be released later this year.
Price and release date for the Google Pixel 5a 5G
The Google Pixel 5a will be available for preorder starting August 17, 2021, and will be released on August 26 in the United States and Japan. There is presently no reason to believe that this phone will be released in the United Kingdom or Australia.
The phone is only available in one configuration: 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for $449 (about £325/AU$610).
That’s a little less expensive than the Google Pixel 4a 5G, which costs $499/£499/AU$799. And, considering that the Google Pixel 6 is expected to be a more premium phone, you might not be able to acquire the company’s next flagship for as low as the Google Pixel 5’s $699/£599/AU$999 – meaning the Pixel 5a will likely pale in comparison when it releases.
The Google Pixel 5a is available in a single color: mostly black with “forest green undertones,” as the promotional literature puts it – and that’s a pretty accurate description, with the green hues only visible in certain light.
Design of Google Pixel 5a 5G
You’d be mainly correct if you assumed the Google Pixel 5a’s design was unchanged from the Google Pixel 4a’s. Apart from the aforementioned new color and the Pixel 5a’s gray, ridged lock button, the new phone looks remarkably identical to the old; theoretically, it’s slightly taller, slightly narrower, and slightly thicker, but nobody would be able to identify the difference between the two (the 4a 5G only comes in a solid black color with a flat gray lock button).
The phone has a punch-hole in the top-left corner and a glass front. A matte-textured plastic wraps around the sides, top, and bottom of the back. It has a nice feel to it, not cheap but not luxurious, with a simplistic design that hasn’t changed much since the Pixel 3a. The glossy glass-covered camera block in the top-left stands out on the back, and there’s a circular indent in the back-center for the fingerprint sensor that’s just a hair deeper than the one on the Pixel 4a 5G – otherwise, both elements feel very similar to last year’s phone.
The aforementioned lock button is on the right side, with a volume rocker beneath it. A SIM card slot is located on the left side of the phone towards the bottom, while the microphone and 3.5mm headphone port is located on the right and left, respectively, on the Pixel 4a. The USB-C connector is in the middle of the bottom panel, with speaker grilles on either side.
The Pixel 5a boasts dust and water resistance with an IP67 rating, which means it can be submerged in up to one meter of water for half an hour for the first time in the a-series phones. It’s a minor improvement, but it will soothe individuals who are concerned about weather resistance.
Google Pixel 5a 5G: Display
The Google Pixel 5a features a 6.34-inch Full HD Plus (2400 x 1080) OLED display that is nearly identical to, but somewhat larger than, the Pixel 4a 5G’s (6.2-inch, 2340 x 1080).
The display is bright and colorful, making it ideal for watching videos and playing games. It lacks the faster refresh rates (beyond 60Hz) of some quicker phones, although this isn’t a major flaw because few mid-range cellphones offer 90Hz or 120Hz screens.
The display features the aforementioned punch-hole in the top-left corner, which is slightly smaller than the one on the Pixel 4a 5G, but the display’s obvious but minimal bezels remain largely intact.
The camera of Google Pixel 5a 5G
The cameras on the Pixel 5a are the same as on the Pixel 4a 5G: a 12.2MP f/1.7 dual-pixel main camera with autofocus and both optical and electronic image stabilization, as well as a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera.
There’s no telephoto lens (though the main camera can digitally zoom up to 7x), but the Pixel 5a’s camera system is just as impressive as its predecessor’s and the rest of the Pixel line, capturing images with astonishing clarity and accurate colors. And, owing to Google’s near-magic photo software, you can snap decently-lit images without much noise even in pitch darkness. The Pixel 5a maintains the position of its predecessor as one of the cheapest phones with a good night camera.
There’s also an 8MP selfie camera, which, because of Google’s excellent picture algorithms, delivers reasonably detailed photos for a front-facing camera.
Specifications and Performance of Google Pixel 5a 5G
The Snapdragon 765G chipset, which also powered the Google Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 4a 5G last year, lies at the heart of the Pixel 5a’s specifications. In other words, it may not be able to compete with premium phones equipped with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 chipset, but with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, you’ll have no issue browsing, playing games, watching videos, and more.
The Pixel 5a comes with Android 11 pre-installed, and as a Google phone, it comes with the least amount of bloatware of any Android phone – simply the Google suite of apps, as you’d expect. As a result, the phone is simple and straightforward to operate, with few frills. The Pixel 5a will also be one of the first phones to receive Android 12, which is expected to launch in September or October.
The phone supports sub-6 5G connectivity and that’s it — unlike certain Pixel 4a 5G models, it doesn’t include mmWave 5G support. Outside of the US, this won’t affect many people, and only Verizon and T-Mobile subscribers will be affected. They’ll still get faster speeds on each carrier’s sub-6 5G networks, just not the blindingly fast rates mmWave is theoretically (but not usually physically) capable of.
The Pixel 5a’s 4,680mAh battery is one of the most visible upgrades, with a capacity that is substantially higher than the batteries in the Pixel 4a 5G (3,885mAh) and Pixel 4a (3,885mAh) (3,140mAh). A larger battery capacity usually means a longer battery life, and this is the case here.
The Pixel 5a lasted more than a day in practice. Gaming or watching media depleted the battery at a usual pace for phones — a 10-minute match of Wild Rift used up 4% of the battery, while a 30-minute Netflix show used up only 3%.
The phone comes with an 18W fast charging adaptor, which isn’t particularly spectacular, recharging 33 percent in 30 minutes — considering the increased capacity, this may be less of an issue, but it’s still far from the fastest-charging phone. The Pixel 5a, like its predecessor, lacks wireless charging, much alone reverse wireless charging.
At a Glance Google Pixel 5a 5G Full Specifications:
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|CDMA2000 1xEV-DO – region dependent|
|4G bands||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48, 66, 71|
|5G bands||1, 2, 5, 12, 25, 28, 41, 66, 71, 77, 78 Sub6|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (CA), 5G|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2021, August 17|
|Status||Coming soon. Exp. release 2021, August 26|
|BODY||Dimensions||154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6 mm (6.10 x 2.90 x 0.30 in)|
|Weight||183 g (6.46 oz)|
|Build||Glass front (Gorilla Glass 3), metal frame, metal back|
|SIM||Nano-SIM and/or eSIM|
|IP67 dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins)|
|Size||6.34 inches, 97.0 cm2 (~85.0% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~415 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 765G 5G (7 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (1×2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1×2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver)|
|Internal||128GB 6GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Dual||12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm, 77˚ (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
16 MP, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide), 1.0µm
|Features||LED flash, Pixel Shift, Auto-HDR, panorama|
|Video||4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; gyro-EIS|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm, 83˚ (wide), 1.12µm|
|SOUND||Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, LDAC|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, BDS|
|USB||USB Type-C 3.1|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Po 4680 mAh, non-removable|
|Charging||Fast charging 18W
USB Power Delivery 2.0
|Price||About 390 EUR|
Google Pixel 5a 5G Smartphone’s Specifications’ Info Credit: GSMARENA.com