While most Pixel fans are waiting for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google isn’t giving up on the low-end of the smartphone market. Today, it finally announced the Pixel 5a with 5G, which replaces the Pixel 4a 5G and will temporarily sit alongside the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a as Google’s most desirable handset. Yes, it’s a low bar.
“Introducing Pixel 5a with 5G, the latest A-series Pixel phone from Google with many of the helpful features users have grown to love (and a few new hardware additions) all at a more affordable price,” Google vice president Brian Rakowski writes. “The phone arrives on August 26 and includes IP67 water resistance, a powerful battery, Pixel’s impressive dual-camera system, and a whole lot more — you can pre-order it now for $449.”
The Pixel 5a with 5G is almost identical to the Pixel 4a with 5G, which launched in late 2020 and was a tremendous value this past year. For example, it shares the same middling Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, reasonable 6 GB of RAM, and aging dual-camera system.
But there are some important upgrades, too. The Pixel 5a with 5G features IP67 water and dust resistance, has a larger 4680 mAh battery that Google says will last for up to 48 hours, and it includes a bigger 6.34-inch Full HD+ OLED display. It’s also $50 cheaper; the Pixel 4a with 5G launched at $499.
The Pixel 5a with 5G is available now for preorder from the Google Store in the U.S. and Japan, and it will be available in a single new color, Mostly Black, with forest green undertones and an olive-colored Power button. There are also four new Pixel cases at $29 in Black Moss, Maybe Moon, Likely Lime, and Partially Pink; unlike with previous cases, which I found hurt my hands, these new cases are made from new shock-absorbing materials that can be easily cleaned.