Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Smart Phones

Google Pixel 5a preview – PhoneArena

This preview of the Pixel 5a is based on leaks and rumors about the upcoming phone. Once the phone is announced, we will update it with official information.
Currently, Google’s midrange segment is one interesting place: we have the Pixel 4a, the Pixel 4a 5G, released a bit later, and the upper-midrange Pixel 5 (which is not exactly a flagship). And now, we are likely going to see Google add the Pixel 5a to the group in the first half of the year, possibly, according to rumors, in May, or later, in August. In this article, we discuss what we can expect from the upcoming Pixel 5a in terms of design, display, camera, and other key features.

Will the new upcoming phone be able to take on the great value for money Pixel 4a 5G will depend also on where Google decides to place it price-wise. Packing a Snapdragon 650G or a Snapdragon 732G, it will most likely have solid performance and of course, let’s not forget the cameras: Google’s exceptional image processing capabilities will be here as well, to give us gorgeous-looking photos. Let’s explore in detail what we expect from the phone and its performance.

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Design and Display

The most recent leak concerning the Pixel 5a reveals that little (if anything) is changed in the design of the upcoming budget-friendly phone. The Pixel 5a retains the possibly plastic unibody look the 4a 5G has, and its’ 6.2-inch OLED display, surrounded by thin bezels. We can see, based on the renders, the chin of the phone is slightly more visible. Complementing the Pixel look we’re quite used to is the punch hole selfie camera at the top left corner and a rectangular camera bump, housing two sensors, on the back. The accented power button and the Google logo are also present, reminiscent of previous Pixels, as well as the fingerprint sensor on the back.

The 6.2-inch OLED screen reportedly features an FHD+ resolution, meaning 2340 x 1080 pixels, which seems identical to the Pixel 4a 5G’s display. That means the phone should rock the same 19:9 ratio and around 416PPI. The resolution is the same as in the smaller Pixel 4a, and the screen size being larger might, at least on paper, mean the Pixel 4a should give us a more crisp image than its bigger sibling. However, we are talking here about several pixels, so the difference should not be visible with the naked eye. At least, we saw no difference when we tested the Pixel 4a 5G (which has the same screen as the Pixel 5a reportedly) for our Pixel 4a 5G review.

There’s one important thing we hope the Pixel 5a will bring to the Google budget-friendly table: and yes, it’s a 90Hz display refresh rate. For the moment, we hear no leaks about it, just rumors hoping it will be present. If it ends up being there, that will definitely be a reason for people, interested in buying an affordable Pixel, to go for the 5a.

For now, we can expect the Pixel 5a’s display to provide punchy and vivid colors, without being unnatural.

Camera and Audio

As we all probably know, Pixel phones are really good at taking photos. Like, seriously good for the specs they usually have, and that’s thanks to Google’s exceptional image processing software. We expect this to be true for the upcoming Pixel 5a.

First off, leaks state the phone will have the same camera system seen in the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5, which means there will be two cameras on the back: a 12.2MP main camera and a 16MP ultra-wide camera. Additionally, the phone might have a PDAF sensor (Phase Detection Autofocus), although this is still speculation at this point. The PDAF sensor is, as you can tell by the name, tech that helps with the autofocus and therefore provides clear and crisp images.

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The Pixel 4a 5G has the same two cameras as the rumored Pixel 5a. That means we can safely expect the Pixel 5a’s cameras to perform excellently in almost any lighting, to produce clear and natural photos with excellent dynamic range. Additionally, we expect the software that processes the images to be updated for the new Pixel 5a, maybe bringing some exclusive features (that we haven’t heard anything about just yet), so that it can improve the photo-taking capabilities of the Pixel 4a 5G. As for selfies, the phone is expected to rock the usual 8MP selfie cam that Google phones have been featuring recently.

When the phone is released, we will make sure to take it out for a spin to test its cameras. Meanwhile, you can look at some Pixel 4a 5G samples, taken for our Pixel 4a 5G review, that showcase the camera capabilities of the mid-range Pixel.

As far as audio performance is concerned, the Pixel 5a reportedly retains the 3.5mm headphone jack and should come with stereo speakers. It’s reasonable to expect the Pixel 5a will have a similar sound to the Pixel 4a 5G, which means the phone will offer the possibility for a quite high volume level with well-managed distortion and clean sound.

Software and Performance

The Pixel 5a will most likely come with a clean version of Android 11, providing us with a snappy and fluid clean Android experience, as well as embedded Google services, so that’s not going to change from previous Pixels.

There’s one aspect that leaks haven’t addressed yet and it’s the processor that will most likely power the Pixel 5a. The Pixel 4a features Snapdragon 730 and Qualcomm has then released its successor, the Snapdragon 732… but this chip doesn’t support 5G, and we doubt Google will release the Pixel 5a without 5G in 2021. That leaves us with the Snapdragon 690G as an option for the Pixel 5a. For reference, the same processor is found in the OnePlus Nord N10.
Another option Google might go for is a better processor, like the upcoming Snapdragon 775. However, that is also speculation at this point.

Whatever option Google has decided to go for, we can rest assured that the Pixel 5a should still manage to offer us a stutter-free experience with everyday scrolling, app usage, and multitasking, as did the Pixel 4a 5G. Of course, as the Pixel 5a is a mid-range device, some heavier games might need medium settings to run well.

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Battery life

There are no leaks on the battery cell of the Pixel 5a right now. For reference, the Pixel 4a 5G rocks a decently sized 3,385mAh battery that lasts for a comfortable day with moderate usage, with some juice left. We can expect the Pixel 5a is not going to be a disappointment in this area. As for charging, we will most likely get 18W wired fast charging. At the moment, we don’t know if the upcoming device will have wireless charging, so that remains to be seen.


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