Google Pixel 5a 5G vs Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a: What’s Different?

Google has finally unveiled the Pixel 5a 5G, but it is only available to buy in the United States and Japan. It is the company’s latest budget offering in the Pixel a-series. If you are wondering what has changed in comparison to the Pixel 4a 5G or the regular Pixel 4a from last year, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will compare the specifications of the Pixel 5a 5G vs Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a.

Google Pixel 5a 5G vs Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a: How Do the Budget Pixels Compare? (2021)

Google Pixel 5a’s launch comes at a time when the Pixel 6 flagship series with the in-house Google Tensor chip is right around the corner. Since these are in different price categories, Pixel 5a’s launch shouldn’t significantly affect the sales of the Pixel 6 series. If you are planning to purchase a budget Google phone, here are your options in 2021.

Design and Display

pixel 5a 5g design

Starting off with the design, all three of these Pixel a-series phones look similar to an extent. While the Pixel 4a and 4a 5G offers a soft touch polycarbonate finish, you get a metal unibody design on the newly-launched Pixel 5a 5G. All three phones offer a 60Hz refresh rate display and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on top. Thanks to the change in material, the Pixel 5a 5G also grabs the official IP67 water and dust resistance rating.

Coming to the display size, the new Pixel 5a 5G’s display is the largest of the bunch. It offers a 6.34-inch Full-HD+ OLED display with 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. The Pixel 4a 5G, on the other hand, comes with a 6.2-inch Full-HD+ OLED display with 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Lastly, the Pixel 4a has the smallest screen here, with a 5.8-inch Full-HD+ OLED display. Moreover, all three budget Pixel phones have a punch-hole selfie camera at the top left corner.

Hardware Specs

Under the hood, Google has used the same octa-core Snapdragon 765G on both Pixel 5a 5G and Pixel 4a 5G. This is disappointing if you consider the fact Snapdragon 778G, a successor to the Snapdragon 765G, is already available in the market. To recall, the regular Pixel 4a that lacks 5G connectivity launched with Snapdragon 730G chipset. For GPU, Adreno 620 is present in the 4a 5G and 5a 5G, while the regular one utilizes Adreno 618. You get 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of internal storage across all these devices.

The usual Pixel-centric Titan M security chip and a physical rear fingerprint scanner are present aboard all three a-series phones. You also get the 3.5mm headphone jack and a bundled charging brick, unlike the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro that will ship without a charging adapter in the box. According to Google, Pixel 5a will be the last Pixel phone to ship with a charger.

Camera

Pixel 5a Camera

In terms of optics, not a lot has changed with the new Pixel 5a 5G. For starters, you get the classic 12.2MP f/1.7 primary sensor across all the devices. In addition to that, you will find a 16MP ultrawide f/2.2 sensor aboard the Pixel 4a 5G and 5a 5G. The selfie camera is an 8MP f/2.0 sensor with an 83-degree field of view. Camera features include Night Sight, Top Shot, Portrait Mode, Super Res Zoom, Motion Auto Focus, Live HDR+, Frequent Faces, Dual Exposure Controls, Cinematic Pan, and Portrait Light.

Battery

One area where you will feel a noticeable improvement if you have used an old Pixel a-series phone is the battery. Unlike the 3,140mAh and 3,885mAh batteries seen on the 4a and 4a 5G, respectively, the new Pixel 5a 5G offers a bigger 4,680mAh battery. For charging the battery, you get 18W fast charging across all these phones. Unfortunately, none of these phones support wireless charging.

Software and Updates

A key reason why people opt for Pixel phones is timely software updates and security patches. While the Pixel 4a launched with Android 10, the 4a 5G and 5a 5G come with Android 11 out of the box.

So, for how long will you get Android updates on these budget phones from Google? You are guaranteed major Android and security updates until August 2023 if you are planning to get the Pixel 4a now (with Android 12 being available at launch next month). That will extends to November 2023 for the 4a 5G and August 2024 for the 5a 5G.

  • Google Pixel 4a Guaranteed Updates – August 2023
  • Pixel 4a 5G Guaranteed Updates – November 2023
  • Pixel 5a 5G Guaranteed Updates – August 2024

Oh, and before I forget, you will not get unlimited high-quality Google Photos backups with the Pixel 5a 5G. If you want that perk, you should be looking at the Pixel 4a 5G or 4a. To be clear, this refers to compressed high-quality images and not the original quality one that’s exclusive to the original Pixel now.

However, if you don’t mind paying for cloud storage, check out our list of the best Google Photos alternatives and pick a service that suits your needs. Or you could just subscribe to Google Photos for the added convenience.

Colors and Price

Pixel 4a comes in two colorways – Just Black and Barely Blue. The 4a 5G retails in Just Black and Clearly White color variants. The new 5a 5G is available in Mostly Black color option.

Coming to the pricing, the Pixel 4a is available to buy at $349, while the 4a 5G retails at $499. The new Pixel 5a 5G is $50 cheaper than the 4a 5G at $449.

Google Pixel 5a 5G vs Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a: Specs Comparison

To recap everything we have discussed above, check the specifications comparison table for the Pixel 5a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 4a:

 Pixel 5a 5GPixel 4a 5GPixel 4a
Dimensions154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6 mm153.9 x 74 x 8.5 mm144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm
Weight183 g171 g143 g
Display6.34-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) 60Hz OLED display6.2-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) 60Hz OLED display5.8-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) 60Hz OLED display
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 765GQualcomm Snapdragon 765GQualcomm Snapdragon 730G
GPUAdreno 620Adreno 620Adreno 618
RAM6 GB LPDDR4x RAM6 GB LPDDR4x RAM6 GB LPDDR4x RAM
Internal Storage128 GB storage128 GB storage with unlimited high quality Google Photos upload128 GB storage with unlimited high quality Google Photos upload
Rear Cameras12.2MP f/1.7 + 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide12.2MP f/1.7 + 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide12.2MP f/1.7 sensor
Front Camera8MP f/2.08MP f/2.08MP f/2.0
Headphone JackYesYesYes
Operating SystemAndroid 11Android 11Android 10 (Android 11 update available)
Software Updates DeadlineAugust 2024November 2023August 2023
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSSWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSSWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou
SensorsProximity/Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer/Gyrometer, Magnetometer, physical fingerprint scanner, BarometerProximity/Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer/Gyrometer, Magnetometer, physical fingerprint scanner, Barometer, Spectral and flicker sensorProximity/Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer/Gyrometer, Magnetometer, physical fingerprint scanner, Barometer, Android Sensor Hub
Battery4680 mAh3885 mAh3140 mAh
ChargerUSB-C 18W adapter with USB-PD 2.0USB-C 18W adapter with USB-PD 2.0USB-C 18W adapter with USB-PD 2.0
ColorsMostly BlackJust Black, Clearly WhiteJust Black, Barely Blue
Price$449$499$349

Will Pixel 5a Launch in India?

Thanks to Google’s poor smartphone launch strategies, no Pixel article is complete without the obvious question – Will this Pixel phone be available in one of the world’s biggest smartphone markets, India? Well, unfortunately, the company had already confirmed back in April that the Pixel 5a 5G will not launch in India. Moreover, with the 5a 5G, the availability is limited to the US and Japan.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a: Which One Should You Buy?

If you are in a region where Google officially sells Pixel 5a 5G, it is a no-brainer pick. It offers an official IP rating, larger battery, and a metal body – all while being $50 cheaper than its predecessor. Those outside these regions will have to look at the Pixel 4a 5G or the standard 4a based on their budget and availability of 5G networks. Are you planning to buy the Pixel 5a 5G? Or would you rather wait and pay the premium for Pixel 6? Tell us in the comments section below.

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