Google Quietly Launches the Pixel 5a with 5G

Posted on August 17, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 13 Comments

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.

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “Google Quietly Launches the Pixel 5a with 5G”

  1. leoaw

    I like that it has some water protection unlike the 4a5G. Hopefully Otterbox will come out with a Defender series case for this one.

  2. Pbike908

    New mid range Android Champ. Checks off all the right boxes. Fair price now. Will be a really good deal when it inevitably is discounted.

  3. djross95

    This is good value if you're coming from an older phone, but as a current 4a 5G owner there's nothing here to make me want to "upgrade". Google could have at least put in a slightly faster (but still midrange) processor to tempt people like me, but alas...

  4. crunchyfrog

    Not sure why but I just quietly ordered it. I have no plans to use it as my daily driver but I do keep a Pixel around to test Android versions and other work apps.

  5. yoshi

    For anyone watching/reading reviews today, they all seem to say the 5a has Gorilla Glass 6. But on Google's website, which I confirmed with them over Twitter, it has Gorilla Glass 3. The same as the 4a 5G. I'm not sure it makes that huge of a difference, just throwing that out there.

  6. rmlounsbury

    Count me in the group that will be picking up the Pixel 5a and have already pre-ordered it. With the 5a coming in $50 less than the 4a 5G while getting better water/dust resistance, a better battery, and a slightly larger screen made it the ideal device for me. I had used the Pixel 4a but I didn't like the single shooter and found (despite my desire for smaller phones) that the screen itself was too small. I returned the 4a and went back to my 4 until the 5a came out.

    My only complaint is that it would have been nice to have had 90hz instead of 60hz but it isn't that big a deal after you use the 60hz screen for a bit.

    I'm looking forward to the 5a.

  7. brettscoast

    The move away from the excellent polycarbonate body to premium metal is interesting given the excellent feel of the device and the light weight. Look forward to your full review in the near future but I think I will wait for the Pixel 6 models later this year.

  8. Pierre Masse

    Why launch any 5 something practically at the same time they launch the 6 series? That kind of crazyness kills me. Just throw all the 6 together for f*** sakes! 6, 6 Pro, 6a. Is that so difficult? That Osterloh guy stupidity is beyond words!

  9. jason_e

    Good grief Google. Was reading over on AndroidPolice that the 5a is overheating while recording video @ 4k60. Google seems to struggle with hardware. Hopefully the 6 doesn't have this issue.

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