Monday, November 29, 2021
Smart Phones

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 5: what to expect

The information about the Pixel 5a in this article is based on leaks and rumors. When the phone gets released, we will update it with the official information.

With the latest leaks surrounding the yet-unannounced midranger, Google Pixel 5a, the Pixel lineup is starting to look in some ways very confusing: we have the Pixel 4a, the Pixel 4a 5G, the Pixel 5, and now, the Pixel 5a is probably coming soon. All of them have similar design and subtle differences, and you may be wondering which one of these Pixel phones is the one you should get. In order to help you find the answer, we have already explored the differences between the Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G, and with this article, we will discuss today the situation of the Pixel 5a and Pixel 5. Is the Pixel 5a going to impress us with the same level of camera quality and performance we see in the Pixel 5? How is the Pixel 5a different from the Pixel 5? Read on to find out the key differences between these two phones in terms of design, specs, performance, camera, and battery life.  You can also check out:

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 5: design and display

  • 6.0-inch vs 6.2-inch (rumored)
  • 90Hz refresh rate for the Pixel 5

In the design department, the major difference between the Pixel 5a and the Pixel 5 is the size. The Pixel 5 rocks a 6.0-inch display and is overall a bit smaller than the Pixel 5a, which is rumored to sport a 6.2-inch display. According to the latest leak, the Pixel 5a’s size and dimensions are almost identical to those of the Pixel 4a 5G.

Apart from the size, the two phones are quite similar in terms of appearance: the minimalistic design Google usually goes for in Pixel phones is present here: the minimal number of ports and buttons gives both phones a simple look. The display on both is surrounded by thin bezels. One difference to note here is that the Pixel 5a’s chin is slightly larger than the bezels, at least according to leaks.

In terms of material, the Pixel 5, being an upper midranger (if not a flagship per se) rocks a metal build with a tiny cutout, invisible to the eye, on the back, that allows the phone to charge wirelessly despite its metal body. The Pixel 5a will most likely have an entirely plastic back.

As for the displays, both phones have OLED displays with FullHD+ resolutions. That alone assures a great viewing experience on both phones, with great colors and crisp image. The important thing to note is that the Pixel 5 rocks a 90Hz display refresh rate, an important aspect of the overall experience with the phone. As for the Pixel 5a, we certainly do hope it will have it, but rumors and leaks have not confirmed the feature as of now.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 5: hardware and performance

Well, comparing these two phones’ hardware and performance seems a bit of a challenge when no leaks have detailed the Pixel 5a’s processor. Generally, from rumors and experience-backed estimations, we have two possible processors Google might go for for the Pixel 5a: the Snapdragon 732, and the Snapdragon 690. The former comes without 5G, but we certainly doubt Google will release the Pixel 5a with no 5G. That leaves us the Snapdragon 690: a midrange processor seen in the OnePlus Nord N10. On the other hand, we have the Pixel 5 with an upper-midrange processor, the Snapdragon 765G. Both processors perform similarly in benchmarks, as you can see down below.

We should point out that both phones will give us an overall snappy and responsive performance, powered by the clean, stock Android Pixel phones come with. The Pixel 5 has 8GB of RAM, while we expect the Pixel 5a to come with at least 6GB of RAM, both of which quite sufficient for everyday usage. Overall, everyday performance on both phones should be excellent. That being said, for gamers, these two phones may not be the best option as both processors score a lot lower than the flagships in graphics processing.

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Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 5: cameras

  • 12.2 MP main, 16MP ultrawide, 8MP selfie

We all know camera performance and photo quality is a place with a lot of competition, where Google manages to keep its position among the best, thanks to its excellent AI-powered image processing. The Pixel 5 comes with an unassuming 12.2MP main sensor and a 16MP ultrawide camera, but the photos it produces are close to perfect. The Pixel 5 delivers sharp details, realistic colors, and excellent dynamic range.

Rumors claim the Pixel 5a will have the same camera as the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5, at least in terms of specs, meaning a 12.2MP main cam and a 16MP ultrawide sensor. Well, even without having the Pixel 5a to test just yet, we can safely say that photos will turn out to be at least as good as the Pixel 4a 5G’s. This means the phone won’t struggle in difficult lighting situations and should give us gorgeous-looking, realistic and detailed photos.

One area that both phones will have a harder time matching the competition is the zoom: neither of them has any telephoto lens and the maximum zoom level both can go is 7x.

As for selfies, the Pixel 5a is expected to come with the same 8MP selfie cam that the Pixel 5 rocks. Luckily, Google’s image processing software does wonders in the selfie department as well.

While we wait for the Pixel 5a to be announced and released, you can look at some images from our Pixel 4a 5G review, so you can get some idea of the photo quality that we expect from the Pixel 5a.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 5: battery life

The Pixel 5 comes with a 4,000mAh battery cell, which is an upgrade over the previous Google Pixel flagships and comfortably lasts up to a day and a half with moderate usage. Light users may even get up to 48h on one single charge, which is pretty admirable. On the other hand, we have no info on the Pixel 5a’s battery capacity yet. We can expect it will be something in the likes of 3,800-4,000mAh (Pixel 4a 5G’s battery is 3,885, for reference), so it should be able to go for a comfortable day with moderate usage, with some juice left in the evening.

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To give you an idea, here’s how the Pixel 5 fared against the competition in our browsing test.

The Pixel 5a will likely support the same wired charging speeds as the Pixel 5: 18W fast charging. However, the Pixel 5 sports wireless charging, a feature becoming more and more important these days, but we don’t know at the moment whether the Pixel 5a will have it.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 5: price and availability

The Pixel 5a’s price isn’t clear yet. We believe it should be around $450 or $490, depending on where exactly Google decides to place the phone. The Pixel 5 comes in slightly more expensive at $699. As for availability, we expect the Pixel 5a to grace us with its presence on the phone market around May 2021, if no unexpected changes delay it.


For now, based on leaks and rumors, the Pixel 5a is shaping like a promising budget-friendly phone in 2021 and has most of the necessary features you might expect from a midranger. The Pixel 5, on the other hand, is what should have been a flagship, and it may reserve some features, such as wireless charging and the metal, sturdy build, for itself. A big part of the Pixel 5a’s value will be determined by what processor Google decides to go for and where the tech giant decides to place it price-wise. Until we have that info, the question remains open.


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