This is your budget Pixel for 2021.
While it may have taken longer to be released than we initially hoped, last year’s Pixel 4a proved to be one of 2020’s best Android phones. Between its OLED display, reliable performance, amazing camera, and $349 asking price, it’s a phone that still remains a killer value here in 2021.
As good as the Pixel 4a continues to be, though, it’s time to start looking ahead to what’s next — specifically, the Google Pixel 5a. Whether you’re interested in the latest spec rumors, want to see design leaks, or anything else, here’s everything you need to know about Google’s upcoming Pixel!
Tiny but mighty
Google Pixel 4a
$349 at Amazon
$350 at Best Buy
$349 at B&H
The best camera under $400
Simply put, the Pixel 4a is one of the best values the smartphone market has to offer today. The camera is better than ever, performance is plenty fast, the battery is reliable, and there’s even a headphone jack. Assuming you’re a fan of smaller phones and don’t mind the boring design, the Pixel 4a is one of the best deals out there.
Google Pixel 5a:
Google Pixel 5a Price
One of the biggest selling points of the Pixel 4a was its price, and with the Pixel 5a, we expect Google to remain committed to making it as affordable as possible. The Pixel 3a debuted in 2019 with a $399 MSRP, and a year later, the 4a hit the scene with an even cheaper $349 price. With the Pixel 5a, Google has a couple of options.
On the one hand, Google could try lowering the price even more — possibly all the way down to $299. Another $50 price reduction would mean very few year-over-year upgrades over the Pixel 4a, but if Google is able to retain that core Pixel experience while making the 5a even more accessible, that could be huge for the company.
Another option is to remain at the $349 price point for another year while offering subtle improvements where possible. As you can see in the leaked renders throughout this article, it already looks like Google will offer two rear cameras on the Pixel 5a where the 4a only had one.
Sticking at $349 seems more likely, but at this point, it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing until we hear something else.
Google Pixel 5a Availability
In addition to price, another big question surrounding the Pixel 5a is when we’ll be able to buy it. The Pixel 3a was unveiled on May 7, 2019, at Google I/O, and following months of delays, the Pixel 4a was officially announced on August 3, 2020.
We first thought that the Pixel 5a would get back to the May release window, but given how there’s still such little information about the device, it seems likely that’ll get pushed back to June or July. Similar to the uncertainty around price, the Pixel 5a’s release is anyone’s best guess at this point.
Google Pixel 5a Design
Here’s where things start to get interesting. We saw our first Pixel 5a renders on February 22, 2021 — and as you can see — it sure does look a lot like the Pixel 4a 5G. In fact, it looks pretty much identical.
Just like the 4a 5G, this Pixel 5a render features a 6.2-inch display with a hole-punch cutout, two rear cameras, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. We’re also treated to the exact same camera design, what appears to be a plastic construction, and another boring black paint job.
Reusing the hardware of the Pixel 4a 5G would make it a lot less costly for Google to produce the Pixel 5a, and if that’s what’s happening here, a lower price may not be out of the question. It certainly would have been nice to have some visual difference between the 5a and its predecessor, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening this year.
Google Pixel 5a Specs
We’ve talked about the Pixel 5a’s price, availability, and design — but what about its specs? While the rumor mill hasn’t revealed a lot of info yet, there are some things we can look forward to and speculate about.
That render leak of the Pixel 5a also revealed a couple of small specs, suggesting that the phone will have a 6.2-inch OLED display with a Full HD+ resolution and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Outside of that, the rest is up to the imagination.
From our end, we think it’s pretty likely that the Pixel 5a will feature something in the Snapdragon 700-series for its processor. The Snapdragon 750G would be a nice upgrade over the Pixel 4a’s Snapdragon 730G chipset, and that would also allow for 5G connectivity.
We can also probably expect another year of 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, along with a 60Hz refresh rate for the display. It would be amazing to see Google step up to 90Hz for the Pixel 5a, but as of right now, nothing hints at that happening.
As for the camera situation, it’ll more than likely be the exact same setup found on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 — that means a 12.2MP primary camera and 16MP ultra-wide sensor.
Google Pixel 5a FAQ
Will there be a Pixel 5a XL?
While we haven’t heard anything about a Pixel 5a XL, the rumored 6.2-inch screen size for the regular Pixel 5a means it’ll be considerably larger than last year’s model. The 5.8-inch display on the Pixel 4a made it a really compelling option for fans of smaller phones, so going up to 6.2-inches will be quite the difference.
Is the Pixel 5a going to have 5G support?
It’s difficult to have a solid answer for this being so early on in the rumor cycle, but if we were to guess, we’d say 5G is a likely feature for the Pixel 5a. We’ve seen plenty of other manufacturers release budget handsets that allow 5G connectivity, and if Google wants to be taken seriously by carriers and consumers alike, 5G is a must even for its cheapest phone of the year.