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Google Pixel 5a smartphone displayed on a white background, highlighting its sleek black design, rear dual-camera setup, and fingerprint sensor

Google Pixel 5a

The Google Pixel 5a emerges as a compelling continuation of Google’s mid-range smartphone lineup, building on the legacy of its predecessors with enhanced features and capabilities. Launched with the intent to offer a premium smartphone experience at a more accessible price point, the Pixel 5a boasts significant improvements in battery life, camera performance, and overall build quality. With its sleek design, the device embodies Google’s commitment to combining aesthetic appeal with practical functionality. The Pixel 5a’s standout features include a robust water-resistant construction, an impressive dual-camera system that leverages Google’s advanced image processing algorithms, and a battery that promises all-day endurance. Additionally, it maintains the tradition of offering a pure Android experience, with timely updates directly from Google. This introduction sets the stage for a deeper exploration of the Pixel 5a’s specifications, performance, and how it fits within the broader smartphone market.

Two people engaging in a video chat on a Google Pixel 5a, showcasing the phone's clear display and camera quality

What is a Google Pixel 5a

The Google Pixel 5a is a smartphone developed by Google, part of the Pixel series of devices that are known for their integration of Google’s software and hardware capabilities. Released in August 2021, the Pixel 5a is designed as a mid-range option, offering a suite of high-quality features at a more accessible price point compared to flagship models. It builds upon the foundation set by its predecessors, focusing on areas like camera quality, battery life, and software experience, which are core aspects of the Pixel brand.

Key features of the Google Pixel 5a include:

  • 5G Connectivity: The device supports 5G networks, enabling faster download and streaming speeds where available.
  • Camera System: It boasts a highly capable dual-camera setup on the back, including a standard wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens. The camera system leverages Google’s advanced computational photography for features like Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and HDR+.
  • Battery Life: The Pixel 5a features a long-lasting battery that Google claims can last up to 48 hours with its Extreme Battery Saver mode.
  • Water and Dust Resistance: It comes with an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance, making it more durable against the elements.
  • Display: The device features a 6.34-inch OLED display, offering vibrant colors and deep blacks.
  • Software: Running on Android, the Pixel 5a offers a clean, bloatware-free experience with guaranteed updates and security patches directly from Google.

The Pixel 5a is designed for users who prioritize camera quality and software experience without the need for the high-end specifications of flagship devices. It represents Google’s effort to make the core Pixel experience accessible to a broader audience, maintaining a balance between performance, quality, and price.

Open Chromebook on a desk, displaying its sleek design and keyboard, highlighting the versatility and simplicity of using Google's Chrome OS for productivity and learning

Technicial Specs

The Google Pixel 5a, with its focus on delivering a high-quality smartphone experience at a mid-range price point, boasts several notable technical specifications that contribute to its performance and appeal. Here are the key technical specifications of the Google Pixel 5a:

  • Display: 6.34-inch OLED screen with Full HD+ resolution (2400 x 1080 pixels), offering a 20:9 aspect ratio and HDR support.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, an octa-core processor that includes two high-performance cores and six efficiency cores, paired with the Adreno 620 GPU. This chipset supports 5G connectivity.
  • RAM: 6GB LPDDR4x.
  • Storage: 128GB of internal storage, not expandable as it lacks a microSD card slot.
  • Rear Cameras: Dual-camera system comprising a 12.2 MP dual-pixel primary sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, optical and electronic image stabilization, and a 16 MP ultra-wide sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. The camera setup supports features like Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and HDR+.
  • Front Camera: 8 MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, capable of capturing high-quality selfies and supporting video calls.
  • Battery: 4680 mAh non-removable battery, supporting 18W fast charging. Google advertises it as capable of up to 48 hours of use with the Extreme Battery Saver mode.
  • Operating System: Android 11 out of the box, with a promise of at least three years of OS and security updates directly from Google.
  • Connectivity: 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Water and Dust Resistance: IP67 rating, indicating water and dust resistance.
  • Dimensions and Weight: 156.2 x 73.2 x 8.8 mm, weighing approximately 183 grams.
  • Build: Metal frame with a bio-resin cover.

These specifications make the Google Pixel 5a a strong contender in the mid-range smartphone market, particularly for users who value photography, long battery life, and a pure Android experience with timely updates.

Group of people engaged in a lively conversation, illustrating the exchange of ideas and emotions through facial expressions and gestures

What people are Saying

The Google Pixel 5a has garnered positive feedback for its camera capabilities and battery life, though it does have some areas where users and reviewers have noted room for improvement. The device’s photography strengths are highlighted by its 12.2-megapixel main shooter and 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, praised for their “moody” vibe and ability to produce detailed images with accurate colors and exposure, particularly in low light conditions thanks to features like HDR+ and Night Sight. Video capabilities are solid, supporting up to 4k 60fps recording with the main camera, though the quality is described as fine rather than spectacular​​.

However, there are some criticisms regarding the 8-megapixel front-facing camera, which is said to perform adequately in perfect lighting but struggles with soft details and noise in low light. The portrait mode, while adjustable, is considered a bit too aggressive by default​​. Additionally, a persistent bug has been reported where the camera app takes an unusually long time to open, potentially causing users to miss quick photo opportunities. This issue, combined with the device’s weaker processor, makes video editing tasks slow and cumbersome​​.

Audio quality is generally well-received, with a 2-speaker configuration that delivers surprisingly loud output. The presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack is also appreciated. While the Pixel 5a’s performance is deemed adequate for daily tasks, the unchanged hardware from the previous model, including the Snapdragon 765G processor and 6GB of RAM, may disappoint those looking for an upgrade. This lack of new processing power is particularly noticeable in more demanding applications and games​​.

In summary, the Google Pixel 5a is praised for its camera performance and battery life, offering great value in these areas at its price point. However, its performance and some aspects of its camera system, particularly the front-facing camera and the responsiveness of the camera app, have drawn criticism.

Customers exploring smartphones at the Google Store, engaging with a salesperson while considering the features of a new phone on display

How much dies it cost?

The Google Pixel 5a, with its launch price of $449, positions itself competitively within the mid-range smartphone market, offering a blend of high-quality camera capabilities, solid performance, and Google’s clean Android experience. Here’s a brief comparison to other popular smartphones available around the same time, to give you an idea of how the Pixel 5a’s price stacks up:

  1. iPhone SE (2020): Apple’s budget-friendly iPhone SE (2020) started at $399 for the base model with 64GB of storage. It offered a powerful A13 Bionic chip, a single rear camera, and water resistance but with an older iPhone 8 design and smaller display.

  2. Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Samsung’s mid-range contender, the Galaxy A52 5G, was priced around $499 at launch. It featured a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, quad rear cameras, and an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance.

  3. OnePlus Nord: The OnePlus Nord, not available in the US market but priced at around €399 in Europe, offered a 90Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 765G processor (like the Pixel 5a), and a more versatile camera setup with a dual front camera and quad rear cameras.

  4. Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G: Priced at around €399 for the base model, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G offered a lightweight design, a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, and a triple rear camera setup.

Comparatively, the Google Pixel 5a’s price point offered a compelling option for users prioritizing photography and software updates. Its strengths lay in its camera performance, bolstered by Google’s computational photography, and a clean, stock Android experience with prompt updates. While it may not have boasted the high refresh rate screens or the multiple camera setups of some competitors, its balance of features, battery life, and Google’s software expertise made it a strong contender in its price range.


Shoppers evaluating different cellphone models in a store, comparing features and prices to make an informed purchase decision

Who is selling it?

As of now, the Google Pixel 5a can primarily be found through secondary marketplaces and refurbished electronics sellers. One such place is Back Market, which specializes in selling used and refurbished electronics, including the Google Pixel 5a. They offer up to 70% off compared to new prices, with benefits like free shipping, a 1-year warranty, and a 30-day return policy.

For those looking to purchase a new or used Google Pixel 5a, it’s advisable to check reputable online retailers, Google’s own store (depending on stock availability), or carrier stores. Additionally, platforms like eBay and Amazon may also have listings from third-party sellers. It’s important to consider the warranty and return policy when purchasing through secondary marketplaces to ensure support in case of any issues.

If you’re looking to purchase the Google Pixel 5a, there are several retailers where you might find it, although availability can vary, especially for new models. Some of the places where the Pixel 5a has been available include:

  • Back Market: Specializes in selling refurbished and used electronics, including the Google Pixel 5a. They offer competitive prices and include benefits like a 1-year warranty, 30-day returns, and free shipping.
  • Best Buy: Known for carrying a wide range of electronics, including new and possibly refurbished Google Pixel models. While their focus might shift towards newer models over time, it’s worth checking their website or physical stores for Pixel 5a availability.
  • Target: Also stocks Google Pixel phones, and while their online inventory will vary, they might carry the Pixel 5a or newer Pixel models. It’s a good idea to explore their electronics section, either online or in-store.
  • Yourexperttech.net: Your Expert Tech Inc is has a team of computer consultants that has the resources to get the Google Pixel 5A. They also provide data services as well. 

Given the Pixel 5a’s position in Google’s phone lineup, availability can fluctuate, and it may be more challenging to find new units as time goes on and newer models are released. Checking these retailers and considering refurbished options can be a good strategy to find the device at a competitive price. 5A

Three Google Pixel 5a smartphones side by side, showcasing their identical sleek designs, camera setups, and the vibrant display of the interface

Conclusion

The Google Pixel 5a stands out as a solid mid-range smartphone that offers an excellent balance of performance, camera quality, and battery life, all at a competitive price point. It continues Google’s tradition of providing a clean, bloatware-free Android experience with the added benefit of regular updates directly from Google. With its water and dust resistance, alongside the headphone jack, the Pixel 5a appeals to a wide range of users looking for durability and practicality.

Critics and users alike have praised its camera system, which, despite using hardware similar to previous models, still manages to capture stunning photos thanks to Google’s computational photography. The battery life is another highlight, with the device capable of lasting through two days under moderate use. However, there are areas for improvement, notably the performance of the front-facing camera in low-light conditions and the occasional sluggishness in more demanding tasks due to the processor limitations.

While newer models may have been released since the Pixel 5a’s launch, its offerings remain compelling for those in the market for a mid-range phone that doesn’t compromise on camera quality or software experience. The availability of the Pixel 5a through various retailers, including refurbished options, makes it accessible to a broad audience seeking value and quality.

In conclusion, the Google Pixel 5a is a testament to Google’s ability to produce a phone that meets the needs of the everyday user without the premium price tag. Its strengths in camera performance, battery life, and software support make it a worthy consideration for those prioritizing these features in a smartphone.