Google Pixel 5a: Everything we know so far
Eight 'Google Pixel 5a' stories
July 2020 - April 2021
Google’s working on yet another mid-range smartphone for 2021, and it’s likely going to be called Google Pixel 5a 5G. The very first evidence of the Google Pixel 5a 5G appeared in AOSP and later a leaked Android document in 2020, but at the time, its existence was all we could confirm. After some slightly off-the-mark rumors that proposed the device was outright canceled, Google offiically confirmed that the Pixel 5a will be released. Leaks have not yet kicked into full gear but we are beginning to learn more every day as we approach the Pixel 5a 5G release date.
Table of contents
Features: What features and specs will Google Pixel 5a have?
Pixel 5a design and dimensions
The Pixel 5a’s design is a very simple look — and one you might be familiar with already. There’s an edge-to-edge display on the front, a likely plastic unibody, and a hole-punch camera on the top of the display. There’s the usual squircle camera housing seen on other Pixel devices, rounded off edges around the sides.
It’s not known for certain but we could even see a ridged or textured power button to help differentiate. Let’s also hope that Google adds a bit of color here as it’s always a nice little “playful” design touch.
Early leaks suggest the dimensions of the Google Pixel 5a (156.2 x 73.2 x 8.8mm) will mean a device that is more or less identical to the Pixel 4a 5G, which is a trend you’ll notice throughout this roundup of Pixel 5a details. However, this latest affordable Made by Google device will be 2.3mm taller, around 0.8mm narrower, and 9to5Google 0.6mm thicker.
Pixel 5a display
The Pixel 5a 5G will have a 6.2-inch OLED FHD+ display, according to leaks. There’s a slightly thicker bottom bezel on this model than its lookalike Pixel 4a, renders suggest. It’s very likely the display’s finer specs and performance will be very much in line with its sibling Pixel 5 or 4a models.
These early renders suggest that the upper-left display cutout will be retained, too. There’s no word on the display refresh rate, though but we do hope that it will be of the high refresh rate variety.
Pixel 5a cameras
Pixel 5a 5G will have the “same configuration as seen on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5,” OnLeaks writes. It’s unclear at this point what the exact details of these cameras are, but if the phone is otherwise comparable to the Pixel 4a, its addition of a dual-lens setup will be a notable improvement.
The camera system is a notable improvement over the Pixel 4a by jumping to a dual-lens setup, but, again, as its is said to be the same configuration as seen on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, that means it will come with a 12.2-megapixel dual-pixel main sensor and 16-megapixel ultrawide.
Other potential specs
Leaks have shown that the Google Pixel 5a will indeed feature many things you’d expect from a mid-range phone. It’s going to have a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a rear Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor.
Let’s start with the potential chipset, there are a number of options here and we can probably get a fairly good idea of minimum performance levels on this upcoming mid-ranger. This is all heavily dependent on the usage of a Qualcomm chipset. If the Pixel 5a 5G does stick with Qualcomm, there are exactly 4 Snapdragon chipsets that this smartphone could utilize:
- Snapdragon 480
- Snapdragon 690
- Snapdragon 765G
- Snapdragon 768G
It’s highly, highly unlikely that the Google Pixel 5a 5G will use the entry-level Snapdragon 480, so it’s probably safe to disregard this chip. Expect to see it come in real entry-level devices from the likes of Nokia. However, it’s less clear if this mid-ranger may utilize the Snapdragon 690 or the 768G. Some will undoubtedly suggest the 765G found in the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G will be used, confusing things further. Google has proven that the 765G is more than powerful enough to run their flagship devices, so it would be a welcome choice for the 5a.
Note: It’s very unlikely that the recently announced Snapdragon 780G will be utilized simply due to the release timeframes mentioned by Google officially. However, it would be a very nice surprise.
At this stage, we’re simply not sure. No evidence has been forthcoming from Google either — naturally. Now logically, if the Google Pixel 5a 5G does come with a Qualcomm chipset it will be the last Pixel device to include one. With the Pixel 6 set to pack Google co-developed silicon, then it could be worthwhile holding out, although the Pixel 5a will be targeted toward a completely different market to the flagship Pixel 6.
Other details about the Pixel 5a are as yet unclear. We don’t yet have solid information on the RAM or storage capacities that will be offered, but it’s likely the phone will have 6GB of RAM and start at 128GB of storage. We’ll update this post when we have more clarity on that front. We also don’t know about battery capacity or 5G connectivity yet, although the latter is definitely a likely inclusion.
Android 12 Preview hints about future Google phones
The Android 12 Preview released in March 2021, and with it came some interesting tidbits about Google’s forthcoming smartphone launches. Google Camera modder and Android community member cstark27 found that the Pixel 5a name will indeed be the name of the future phone and that GR0M2 would be its model number.
Further, while we exclusively told you about the Pixel 5a codename being “barbette” last year, our Dylan Roussel discovered in Android 12 that the name has been changed to “barbet.”
Price: How much will the Google Pixel 5a cost?
We don’t yet know pricing on the Pixel 5a.
Release date: When will Pixel 5a come out?
Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a both launched in the middle part of the year. The Google Pixel 3a launched at Google I/O 2019, but the Pixel 4a was delay until August because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Because of global chip shortages, it looked very much like we might not even see a follow-up this year. But after the initial claims to the contrary, Google has confirmed that the Pixel 5a 5G is set to hit shelves around the same time as the Pixel 4a. That would put the official launch sometime in August 2021. Let’s break that down, though, as on the one hand, this is good for spacing but also it’s fairly close to any late-2021 launch for the Pixel 6 series.
The only upside to this nearby launch is that Google has only confirmed the US and Japan as markets for the Pixel 5a. Global chip shortages are playing havoc with almost all areas of the technology sector, so until hardware availability increases, it’s unlikely other regions will get the latest affordable Pixel smartphones. This might not be too big a deal with the proposed Pixel 6 set to launch in late 2021.