Google Pixel 5a (5G): Everything you need to know about Google’s affordable smartphone!

Google Pixel 5a (5G): Everything you need to know about Google’s affordable smartphone!

Google’s Pixel ‘a’ series has gained a fair share of popularity over the years thanks to its competitive pricing. Consumers can get a taste of what stock Android should feel like directly from Google and also receive extended software support without breaking the bank. The Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G were both well-received all over the world. The 4a had decent specifications packed into a compact form factor that appealed to a lot of people. The 5G variant was slightly bigger and had a more powerful SoC along with an extra camera. This time though, there’s just one phone in the ‘A’ lineup and Google has got rid of the smaller sibling. The Pixel 6 series is also here now but the Pixel 5a (5G) is an affordable option that still has a good set of cameras.

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Google Pixel 5a (5G): Specifications

SpecificationGoogle Pixel 5a (5G)
Body
  • 156.2 x 73.2 x 8.8mm
  • 183g
  • Metal unibody
  • IP67 dust and water resistance
Display
  • 6.34″ OLED
  • 2400 x 1080 resolution
  • HDR
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Hole-punch display
  • Up to 700 nits
  • Gorilla Glass 3
SoC
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G:
    • CPU
      • 1x Kryo 475 (ARM Cortex-A76-based) Prime core @ 2.4GHz
      • 1x Kryo 475 (ARM Cortex-A76-based) Performance core @ 2.2GHz
      • 6x (ARM Cortex-A55-based) Efficiency cores @ 1.8GHz
    • GPU
      • Adreno 620
  • 7nm EUV process
Memory6GB LPDDR4X RAM+ 128GB internal storage
Battery & Charging
  • 4,680mAh
  • 18W fast charging
  • No wireless charging
Rear Cameras
  • Primary: 12.2MP Sony IMX363, f/1.7, 1.4µm pixel size, Dual Pixel AF
  • Secondary: 16MP ultra-wide, Sony IMX481, f/2.2, 1.0µm pixel size, 107° FoV
Front Camera8MP, f/2.0, 1.12µm pixel size
Ports
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Security
  • Rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner
  • Titan M security module
Audio
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dual microphones
Connectivity
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X52 5G modem
    • sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G
  • Single nanoSIM card slot + integrated eSIM for 5G + 4G or 4G + 4G DSDS (dual SIM, dual standby)
  • Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • GNSS:
    • GPS
    • GLONASS
    • Galileo
    • QZSS
    • BeiDou
SensorsProximity sensor, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer
Software
  • Android 11
  • 3 years of Android OS upgrades
  • 3 years of monthly Android security patch updates

Build and Design

Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a side by side

The Pixel 5a (5G) retains the same look as the Pixel 4a 5G barring a few minor changes. The chassis is now aluminum instead of polycarbonate on the Pixel 4a 5G and the colored power button now has a texture. The only color the Pixel 5a (5G) is available in – Mostly Black – is slightly less black than the Pixel 4a 5G if that makes any sense. Apart from these changes, the Pixel 5a (5G) looks identical to the Pixel 4a 5G from last year. Oh yes, there’s an ever-so-slight increase in the overall size of the device thanks to a 0.1 inch larger display. The Pixel 5a (5G) is IP67 dust and water-resistant which is a welcome addition.

Display

Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a side by side

As we mentioned, the size of the display has been increased by 0.1 inches on the Pixel 5a (5G) which to be honest is insignificant. It almost seems like Google had to change something in order to market it as a newer phone so they just decided to stretch the display by the least possible value the vendor provided. The panel itself remains the same though. It’s a 6.34 inch OLED display with a hole-punch cutout. The resolution is Full HD+ and while all this sounds like standard specs, the refresh rate is still capped at just 60Hz. At a time when most manufacturers are offering 90 or even 120Hz displays on budget and mid-range phones, the Pixel 5a (5G) feels dated in this regard.

Performance

Google Pixel 5a with grassy background

This is another area where Google didn’t have to put in a lot of effort. The Pixel 5a (5G) comes with the same Snapdragon 765G chipset that was used in both the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5 from last year. It’s a capable mid-range chipset that has support for 5G. The SD 765G should be able to handle most day-to-day tasks with ease. Most casual games should also run just fine on the Pixel 5a (5G). You get 6GB of RAM along with 128GB of internal storage.

Given it’s a Pixel device, the software is made directly by Google and you get a clean Android experience. Google also ensures 3 years of Android version upgrades as well as security patches so if you’re looking for longevity and a phone that can last you a long time, the Pixel 5a (5G) might be a good option to consider. The Pixel 5a will be one of the first devices to receive the Android 12 update. In fact, you can already install the Android 12 Beta on the Pixel 5a if you want an early glimpse of the new UI.

Cameras

Closeup of hole-punch camera on Pixel 5a

Pixel phones have always aced one aspect, and that’s the cameras. The Pixel 5a (5G) has the same camera setup as last year’s Pixel 4a 5G. Given the same optics and processing, you can expect the image output to also be similar to last year’s phone. If you’re looking for a reliable point-and-shoot camera without spending too much, the Pixel 5a (5G) should be on top of your wishlist. The 12MP primary shooter coupled with the 16MP ultra-wide camera is a great combo thanks to Google’s computational algorithms. The 8MP selfie camera can also shoot some good pictures.

Battery and Charging

Google Pixel 5 on top of Pixel 5a

Here’s one area where Google has actually made a significant improvement over the Pixel 4a 5G. The battery capacity has been increased to 4,680mAh which would make the Pixel 5a (5G) an endurance champ. The Pixel 4a 5G already had an excellent battery life with a much smaller cell, and it’s only got better this time around. The phone supports 18W fast charging via USB-PD and unfortunately misses out on wireless charging just like its predecessor.

Miscellaneous

Close up of headphone jack on Google Pixel 5a

You get one physical SIM slot along with eSIM support on the Pixel 5a (5G) and needless to say, there’s support for 5G networks. It’s literally in the name. There’s NFC for contactless payments and for all of you still sticking to your good ol’ wired headphones, the Pixel 5a (5G) retains the 3.5mm headphone jack. Stereo speakers are also present for those who don’t prefer headphones, and the rear houses a fingerprint scanner for security that works alongside the Titan M security module.

Google Pixel 5a 5G: Pricing and Availability

Google Pixel 5a with grassy background

Unlike the Pixel 4a from last year, the Pixel 5a is only launching in two countries — the U.S. and Japan. This can probably be attributed to the global chip shortage but is surely disappointing for consumers outside these two nations. The Pixel 4a was well-received even in countries like India where the market is highly spec-driven, thanks to its clean software and a no-frills experience. However, the Pixel 5a won’t make its way to the country or to other parts of the world, at least through official channels.

In the U.S., the Pixel 5a (5G) can be purchased in a “Mostly Black” color for $449 unlocked via the Google Store which is $100 more than the vanilla Pixel 4a from last year, but $50 lower than the launch price of the Pixel 4a 5G. Given there’s just one Pixel ‘a’ series device this year and the Pixel 5a is a better version of the Pixel 4a 5G, the price seems okay. in Japan, the Pixel 5a (5G) can be purchased for ¥51,700.

Pre-orders have begun, and the phone is expected to arrive on August 26th. You can also pick up the Pixel 5a through a Google Fi subscription and save a few extra bucks with device protection and upgrade plans starting at $15 per month. If you plan on buying this device, make sure you check out our Pixel 5a review to make a better decision and know about the pros and cons of the device. If you don’t plan on buying the device but you like the stock wallpapers, you can download the Pixel 5a wallpapers.

Pixel 5a (5G) Forums

Google Pixel 5a (5G) Deals

If you’re planning to buy the new Pixel 5a and want to know the best place to get it from and save a few extra bucks for some accessories or get a good trade-in value for your old device, make sure you check out our best Google Pixel 5a (5G) deals article.

Google Pixel 5a (5G): Cases and Accessories

Once you’ve bought the Pixel 5a, it might be a good idea to protect it with a case so as to make sure it doesn’t get scratched up or the display doesn’t shatter when you drop the phone. We have a list of the best cases for the Google Pixel 5a that you can check out along with the best Pixel 5a screen protectors for added protection.


    Google Pixel 5a (5G)
    The Pixel 5a (5G) is the successor to the Pixel 4a 5G from last year with some minor changes that make it a great mid-range offering.

Let us know what you think about the Pixel 5a (5G) and if you would like to see it in your country.

About author

Sumukh Rao
Sumukh Rao

A tech fanatic with a hunger for knowledge in the ever-growing field of science and technology. An avid quizzer and a gadget critic who loves simplifying tech for the masses has a keen interest in modding Android devices.