Google Pixel 5A 5G: In the most mundane meaning of the word, the Google Pixel 5a is a revelation. After last year’s excellent Pixel 4a, some of us were left wondering how the Mountain View-based business could improve on it. While we adored the Pixel 4a and included it in many of our best phone lists, it was not without blemishes.
But the Google Pixel 5a impresses me even more than the 4a. This new phone is just a cheaper Pixel 4a 5G with a larger battery. We enjoyed that phone a lot, so you won’t hear me grumble about receiving a $50 discount on what’s practically an improved version of that phone. To see if a hypothetical Goggle Pixel 6a changes the existing Pixel a’s winning recipe, we’ll have to wait and see.
Google Pixel 5A Price
The Google Pixel 5a is priced at $449. You get 5G connectivity (although at sub-6GHz) and the largest battery we’ve yet seen in a Pixel for that price. This translates to real-world advantages, as the Pixel 5a outlasts practically every other Google phone we’ve tested. It’s also the first A-series Pixel to be water-resistant, a trait Google has always reserved for its flagship products.
In fact, I’m having a hard time finding anything wrong with the Google Pixel 5a. It isn’t the most powerful phone, and the display isn’t particularly impressive. While budget-conscious shoppers will be unhappy with the price hike over the Google Pixel 4a, I don’t believe these criticisms detract from the phone’s strengths.
Google Pixel 5A Released Date
On August 17, 2021, Google released the Google Pixel 5a. The business didn’t organize a large streaming event or give much publicity for the introduction of the Google Pixel 4a in 2020, as it did for the launch of the Google Pixel 4a in 2020. Instead, a simple press release was used to announce the phone.
Google Pixel 5A Features
For the price, the Google Pixel 5a is a good phone. This is a good option if you’ve never purchased a Pixel phone before and are seeking a low-cost entry point.
There’s no incentive to upgrade if you already own a current Pixel device, such as the Pixel 5 or Pixel 4a 5G. In many aspects, your Pixel 5 will be superior to this, while your Pixel 4a 5G will be so comparable that upgrading would be pointless. The newer Pixel 6 series is a better alternative if you currently possess one of those phones.
The phone’s largest stumbling issue, though, is its restricted availability. Because it’s only available in two countries, there are likely a lot of people reading this who want to buy the phone but can’t. Unfortunately, those customers would be better off buying another Pixel.
The final result is that shoppers in the United States and Japan who don’t already own a recent Pixel and want something affordable should consider the Google Pixel 5a. This isn’t the phone for you if you don’t meet those requirements.
Google’s design language has been fairly simple, with the exception of the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. In many ways, I’d say it’s extremely minimalist, yet it’s also quite functional. The Pixel 5a is similar in appearance, with a large, unassuming plastic handset. The only thing that strikes out about the phone is its mint-colored power button.
The Pixel 5a’s build quality is excellent, and it has an IP67 water-resistance designation, which is a first for the A-series Pixel phones. The 5a features a smooth, soft-touch feel despite being a huge polycarbonate slab. Regrettably, this draws fingerprint oils, which show up vividly on the black plastic. These oils can be tough to remove with simply your shirt or a microfiber towel, unlike fingerprints on glass phones.
The Pixel 5a’s display is the largest ever on a bezel-less Pixel, according to Google, which also covers the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and 5. The Pixel 5a’s full-HD OLED screen measures 6.34 inches and is brilliant and bright. Although it isn’t the most amazing panel we’ve ever seen, it is still extremely nice, especially at this price.
The 16MP, 117-degree ultrawide camera, which accompanies the basic 12.2MP snapper, is the Pixel 5a’s major boast this year. The Pixel 4a had only a single 12.2MP camera last year. The Pixel 5a’s 8MP selfie camera is housed in a hole-punch notch in the upper left corner of the display.
The Google Pixel 5a is capable of recording 4K video at 60 frames per second. Google also has a feature called Cinematic Pan that allows you to capture video snippets without sound. This effectively slows down your video clip’s panning, giving it a more artistic, cinematic feel.
Although it lacks the Google-built Tensor chip included in the Pixel 6 series, the Pixel 5a is a significant upgrade over its predecessor in terms of hardware. With a Snapdragon 765G processor (the same as the $699 Pixel 5 and $499 Pixel 4a 5G from last year) and 6GB of RAM, this is a capable phone for a variety of tasks. When it comes to Android phones, the Pixel 5a is in the center of the pack.
The Pixel 5a has the largest battery of any Google Pixel so far, albeit the Pixel 6 Pro now beats it. Nonetheless, the Pixel 5a’s 4,680 mAh battery helps it achieve one of the best battery test times we’ve seen from a Pixel phone. That’s not a particularly high bar to overcome, as Pixels frequently fail in our test of web browsing over a cellular connection.
Android 12 is officially available, and it includes the Pixel 5a. One of the perks of owning a Google phone is that you get access to the latest Android versions on the day they’re published, just like Apple. If only the Pixel 5a had the same level of support as the iPhone.
Google Pixel 5A Specifications
- Price: $449
- OS: Android 11
- Display: 6.34-inch OLED (2400 x 1080)
- CPU: Snapdragon 765G
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage / Expandable: 128GB / No
- Rear cameras: 12.2MP (f/1.7), 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawide
- Front camera: 8MP (f/2.0)
- Battery: 4,680mAh
- Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:45
- Charging: 18W
- 5G: Sub-6Ghz
- Size: 6.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches
- Weight: 6.5 ounces
- Color: Black
The Googel Pixel 5a‘s claim to fame is its cameras, which deliver in spades. This phone outperforms everything else in this price range, even the iPhone SE. By no means is Apple’s budget iPhone a bad camera phone, but the 5a is simply superior in every way. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows how frequently Pixels appear in our top camera phone lists.
There are better phones that cost $1,000 or more, but none of them compare to the Pixel 5a in terms of value.