Google has just launched the Pixel 5a, a 5G smartphone that takes some of the best features of the Pixel 4a combined with a few from the Pixel 5 as well as some unique additions. With a pre-order price of $449 (£327/AU$619) it is only available in the US and Japan at present, but it could be the perfect smartphone for many users.
For those wanting the very latest features, Google’s Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are just around the corner. However, for users that just need a fast and reliable smartphone, the Pixel 5a might just have what you need at a sub-$500 price point.
With such a push to the adoption of 5G right now, especially in the US, the 5a makes sense. It also offers a great screen and an impressive battery that can last up to two days. Compared to the $699 Pixel 5 – which now appears to be out of stock on Google’s home store – the Pixel 5a offers great value for money, especially once the various network deals come into play.
- Android gets 5 huge WhatsApp upgrades – here's how to use them
- The DJI Mini SE is the new budget drone for everyone
- Best phones 2021: the very best smartphones, ranked
The Pixel 5a features a brand-new aluminum body that is IP67 water-resistant, so it can survive being dropped in water up to one meter deep for 30 minutes and still survive. And while it looks almost identical to the 4a and 5, it’s slightly larger than both, with a 6.34-inch OLED display.
You still get 128GB storage here but while the internal RAM is the same 6GB as the Pixel 4a, the processor is the Snapdragon 765G model from the Pixel 5. The camera modules – a 12MP dual-pixel and 16MP ultra-wide – are also straight from the Pixel 5.
There’s no wireless charging here, which seems a slight miss, but those wired headphone fans will appreciate that you still get a 3.5mm jack on the Pixel 5a. That 5G connection includes both Sub-6 and mmWave. While I expect the Pixel 6 may also come with the new C-band 5G, it’s not available on the 5a.
The phone only comes in black but there are four colors of case available. For Pixel 4 and 4a users, this probably doesn’t make sense as an upgrade. But, for anyone looking for a new and affordable 5G smartphone, the Pixel 5a makes its case.