The dinky Pixel 4a was one of our favourite cheap phones in 2020, and it looks like there could be a follow-up on the way from Google very soon. Here’s what we know about the Pixel 5a including a possible release date so far.
You don’t often get a best cheap phone that also compares to some of the best camera phones on the market, but the Pixel 4a achieved that during our in-depth testing. Which is why we’re very please to hear it may be arriving sooner rather than later, according to the latest industry rumblings.
Google Pixel 5a Release Date and Price – Signs point to a summer launch
The Pixel 4a was expected to launch in early summer 2020, however last year didn’t turn out how anyone had planned. The device was finally made official in August, with the phone shipping out the same month in the US.
The latest reports suggest a slightly earlier release date for the follow-up, with the usually Apple-centric leaker Jon Prosser tweeting out that we’ll see the Pixel 5a launched on June 11.
This could change though, and nothing is confirmed until Google makes it official. The same tweet also teases an updated pair of Google Pixel Buds, set to arrive in April.
In terms of cost, nothing is known at this stage. We can gauge a general pricing strategy by looking at the Pixel 4a, though.
This phone launched in a single colour/storage combo at £349/$349, which was £50/$50 cheaper than the Pixel 3a. Launching the Pixel 5a at a similar price would make sense but the addition of 5G might push it up slightly.
If you’re not keen on waiting for the Pixel 5a, you can see the best deals for the Pixel 4a below.
Google Pixel 5a Specs and Features – There’s little to go on so far
- No free unlimited Google Photos uploads
- Dual cameras on the back
- 5G and a new Snapdragon chipset?
One slightly disappointing thing we do know about the Pixel 5a is that it won’t have unlimited free uploads to Google Photos, as this is being restricted from Pixel 2 to Pixel 5 and won’t be available on future Pixel devices. Instead, you’ll have to use your own Google Drive storage if you want to keep on storing your snaps in the cloud.
The Pixel 4a isn’t the most feature-rich device around, however it does have a few high-end components. We’d hope the 5a sticks with the FHD+ OLED panel with HDR support, possibly upping the 60Hz refresh rate to a smoother 90Hz. Phones like the Moto G30 have already offered 90Hz on a budget, so hopefully Google won’t keep this feature restricted to the Pixel 6.
The camera is the other shining star of the Pixel 4a and, again, it will surely be the standout feature of the 5a.
We haven’t seen any leaks surrounding the camera yet, but the renders below show a dual camera array on the back. If Google follows the blueprint of the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5, expect one of these to a typical wide sensor and the other an ultra wide. This will hopefully radically improve things like landscape photography.
In terms of chipset, we’d expect Google to once again pluck a mid-range option from Qualcomm. One possibility could be the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to the Snapdragon 765G, a chip found in many of the best mid-range phones around. The addition of 5G would seem like an obvious upgrade, as the Pixel 4a remains stuck on 4G networks.
We’d expect the Pixel 5a to match the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage offered by the 4a, hopefully with a heftier storage option available at a premium.
Google Pixel 5a Design – Looking familiar
- Renders show off a familiar look
- Fingerprint sensor remains
- Model shown here in black
If you were hoping to see a radical redesign for Google’s next attempt at a cheap phone then prepare to be a little bit disappointed. Early renders show a phone that looks very familiar, with a circular fingerprint sensor on the back and a very simple design.
The renders, which come from @onleaks, show a black device with a small cutout for the front camera and a duo of cameras (along with a flash) on the back. At least the power button seems to be keeping its trademark pop of contrasting colour.
Google also looks to be keeping the polycarbonate body, which isn’t much of a surprise as we expect this device to hit a low price-point.
Google only released one full-time colour for the Pixel 4a and we would like to see a little more variety with this followup. There was no XL (a version with a larger screen) option for the Pixel 4a either, something we had with the 3a. Whether or not Google would bring this back this year remains to be seen.