Despite rumors this morning to the contrary, Google has just issued an on-the-record statement that the “Pixel 5a 5G” does indeed exist and will not be canceled.
“Pixel 5a 5G is not canceled. It will be available later this year in the US and Japan and announced in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced.” – A Google spokesperson
Google did acknowledge that global supply chain issues limited wider availability, but the next mid-range Pixel will be released. Besides the name, we learn today that it will feature 5G connectivity, though it’s unclear if this just means Sub-6 in the US or whether there will also be mmWave support.
The Pixel 4a was announced in August 2020 and immediately went on sale. Its successor should get a similar launch time frame, according to Google. This likely rules out an announcement at I/O 2021 next month.
It’s possible that Google will eventually offer the Pixel 5a 5G for more countries. For example, the Barely Blue Pixel 4a was announced in November three months after the $349 phone launched in Just Black. Similarly, an unlocked Clearly White Pixel 4a 5G came to market in late January after the initial November release.
Renders for the “Pixel 5a” emerged in February to show a design that’s near identical to the Pixel 4a 5G. It’s said to be slightly taller and thicker, but just a hair narrower. The only other difference is a ridged power button, but otherwise there’s still a hole-punch camera in the top-left corner, rear dual-lens array, and 6.2-inch display with a thicker bottom bezel. The Pixel 5a 5G will likely retain the same main cameras and presumably still use a Qualcomm processor, with Whitechapel reserved for this year’s flagship. While very similar to the 4a 5G, a cheap Pixel with a large screen and the latest cellular technology should be popular.
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