Google has officially revealed the Pixel 5A 5G, a phone it kind of announced in April to contradict rumors that it had been canceled. It comes with a short list of updated features compared to its 4A 5G predecessor, including a slightly bigger screen, a much bigger battery, and an IP67 rating for water resistance.
Few though they may be, these are some important tweaks to an already good midrange phone, and the best part is that the price has gotten smaller: in the US it will cost $449, which is $50 less than the Pixel 4A 5G’s introductory price. The 5A goes on sale in the US and Japan on August 26th.
The Pixel 5A’s screen gets a slight boost to 6.34 inches, a small increase over the 4A 5G’s 6.2-inch display. It’s still a 1080p OLED with a standard 60Hz refresh rate, despite rumors of a faster 90Hz display. The battery gets an increase to 4,680mAh, up from 3,885mAh, which Google says will last through a full day of typical use or two days using Extreme Battery Saver mode.
The 5A is also the first A-series Pixel to get an official water resistance rating. With IP67 protection, the phone is able to withstand immersion in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. That’s an uncommon feature in the under-$500 class where IP ratings are scarce.
The Pixel 5A works on all major US carrier networks and continues to offer support for sub-6GHz 5G. Unlike last year, Google will not sell a mmWave-compatible version of the phone. That’s no great loss — mmWave 5G is very fast, but range is highly limited and hard to find. Unfortunately, the 5A is also missing support for C-band 5G frequencies, which Verizon and AT&T will start using at the end of this year to bolster their struggling nationwide 5G networks. Google says it could add the necessary software support later, but won’t commit to doing so at this point.
the Google Pixel 5 won’t be sold through any of the major wireless carriers in the US
Other specs remain unchanged from the previous model. It still uses a Snapdragon 765G chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The 12.2-megapixel main and 16-megapixel ultrawide rear cameras and 8-megapixel selfie camera are the same. There’s a rear fingerprint scanner for biometric unlock, an honest-to-god headphone jack, and an 18W charger included in the box (Google says this will be the last Pixel phone to offer one). The phone will ship with Android 11 and is guaranteed Google’s standard three years of OS platform updates and security patch support.
Unlike the 4A 5G, the Google Pixel 5 won’t be sold through any of the major wireless carriers in the US. Instead, it’ll be offered directly from the Google Store and through Google Fi. It will be sold in just one finish — “mostly black” — with four colorful case options available separately to spice things up.