Google Pixel 5a 5G release date, rumours, features and specs

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(Pocket-lint) - Google announced the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 in October 2020, and there are already rumours circulating about the next Pixel smartphones, one of which Google has confirmed to be called the Pixel 5a 5G.

Expected to be a mid-range offering of the Pixel 5, here is everything we have heard so far, though we expect there is still a lot more to learn. We have a separate feature on the Pixel 6 and another feature for the Pixel 6 Pro if you want to learn about what has been rumoured and confirmed for those devices.

Release date and price

  • 17 August release?
  • 26 August 2021 on sale?
  • US and Japan only

Google has said that the Pixel 5a 5G "will be available later this year in the US and Japan and announced in line with when last year's a-series phone was introduced."

That suggests August 2020 - which is when the Pixel 4a was revealed - and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has claimed will be the case, with availability starting the same month.

More specifically, it's been said the Pixel 5a 5G will be announced on 17 August, with availability starting 26 August 2021, and it is said the device will be sold online or physically in Google Stores only, though nothing is confirmed as yet.

Google could have meant in line with the Pixel 4a 5G too though, which was revealed in October 2020. On stage at Google I/O, Google mentioned "fall" when talking about the Pixels, but it didn't offer any further details.

In terms of price, the Pixel 4a 5G cost £499 in the UK and $499 in the US when it launched. We'd expect the Pixel 5a 5G to sit around the same ballpark, though it looks like it will only be available in the US and Japan and rumours suggest it could be cheaper. There's been claims of $450 in the US. 

Design

  • Polycarbonate
  • Rear fingerprint sensor, punch hole front camera
  • Just Black

Based on the first leaks, it looks like the Google Pixel 5a 5G could follow a very similar design to the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 rather than offering a redesign like the Pixel 6 devices.

It's thought it will offer a polycarbonate body, with a square camera housing in the top left corner, much like the Pixel 4a 5G. This has been supported with a component leak for the Pixel 5a, which also presented a ribbed coloured power button.

A physical fingerprint sensor is expected to be positioned on the rear - like the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G - and a punch hole camera is rumoured to sit in the top left corner of the Pixel 5a's display, again like the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5.

Other design aspects are said to include a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers and IPX7 water and dust resistance. Colour options are said to be Just Black only, like the Pixel 4a and 4a 5G.

Measurements are claimed to be 156.2 x 73.2 x 8.8mm (9.4mm with the rear camera bump). This would put the Pixel 5a 5G at a similar size to the Pixel 4a 5G, albeit a little taller, narrower and thicker.

Display

  • 6.4-inch, Full HD+
  • OLED

Early reports claimed the Google Pixel 5a 5G would feature a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display, which is the same as the Pixel 4a 5G, though more recent reports have said a 6.4-inch screen. It's likely this will be a Full HD+ resolution, though this hasn't been detailed as yet.

An OLED panel is likely, and rumours say the Pixel 5a 5G will have a 60Hz refresh rate with forced 90Hz. The Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G both offer a standard 60Hz refresh rate, while the Pixel 5 has a 90Hz refresh rate

There should be support for HDR as this is something offered on the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G and Pixel 5.

Cameras

  • Dual rear camera
  • Likely same as Pixel 5

Based on the early rumours, the Google Pixel 5a 5G will come with a dual rear camera, coupled with an additional sensor and flash within the square camera housing. Google typically offers the same camera in the "a" device, as the more premium handset, and this is said to be the same for the Pixel 5a.

The Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G have a main 12.2-megapixel sensor with 1.4µm and an f/1.7 aperture, as well as an ultra-wide 16-megapixel with an f/2.2 aperture. Their front camera is 8-megapixels with an f/2.0 aperture. 

We'd expect to see this on the Pixel 5a 5G, along with the same features including the great video stabilisation features and features like Night Sight. An image claimed to have been taken by the Pixel 5a was revealed by Google in a separate blog post about the HDR+ bracketing feature, but it's since been removed.

Hardware and specs

  • At least 6GB RAM likely
  • At least 128GB storage likely
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

According to reports, the Google Pixel 5a 5G will feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, which is the same chipset as the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. There is said to be 6GB of RAM, which again is the same as the Pixel 4a 5G and 4a offer. We'd also expect at least 128GB of storage.

Battery capacity is said to be 4650mAh, which is quite a bit bigger than the Pixel 4a 5G offers with its 3800mAh cell. Apparently, it won't offer wireless charging.

Given the Pixel 5a is confimed to be called the Pixel 5a 5G, it will offer 5G connectivity.

Google Pixel 5a rumours: What's happened so far?

Here's everything we have heard so far about the Google Pixel 5a.

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16 August 2021: Google Pixel 5a components leak, launch 17 August

Android Police published some images sent to the site via a source that presented components claimed to be for the Pixel 5a, supporting previous design rumours. The report also said the source said the device would be announced on 17 August. 

6 August 2021: Google Pixel 5a pricing, release date and specs leak

Jon Prosser claimed the Pixel 5a would launch on 26 August for $450 in the US. He also revealed a number of specifications, including the processor and display.

9 July 2021: Google Pixel 5a lands at the FCC, launch imminent?

Three variants of the Pixel 5a appeared at the FCC, which suggests strongly that it won't be long before it's released to market. 

28 June 2021: Google might announce and release its Pixel 5a mid-ranger in August

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claimed the Google Pixel 5a would be released sometime in August 2021 and made available the same month.

25 May 2021: More Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro and 5a 5G details revealed in leak

Max Weinbach claimed the Pixel 5a 5G will be more expensive than the Pixel 4a in a podcast.

18 May 2021: Google announce Android 12 

Google revealed Android 12 during its I/O developer conference, showing off a complete redesign. It also mentioned "fall" when talking about the next Pixels.

29 April 2021: Pixel 5a could be one of the "significant products" announced during I/O

Although evidence points to the contrary, Tomsguide susggests that the Google Pixel 5a 5G could still appear at Google I/O in May. Google boss, Sundar Pichai, said in the company's earnings report that the online event will play host to "significant product updates and announcements". That has lead the site to believe the Pixel 5a will one of them.

26 April 2021: Image sample from Pixel 5a camera leaked by Google

Google seemingly revealed an image taken by the unannounced Pixel 5a 5G's camera in a blog post, giving some indication of its capabilities when it eventually launches.

9to5Google

Google Pixel 5a release date, rumours, features and specs photo 2

22 April 2021: Pixel 5a to feature Snapdragon 765 processor, just like the Pixel 5

Code in the latest Android Developer Preview suggests the Pixel 5a will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chipset, like the Pixel 5.

9 April 2021: Google: No, the Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled, it's coming later this year

Google released a statement following reports of the Pixel 5a being cancelled, saying: "Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled. It will be available later this year in the US and Japan and announced in line with when last year's a-series phone was introduced."

9 April 2021: Google Pixel 5a cancelled in some regions

Android Central reported that the Google Pixel 5a 5G has been affected by the global chip shortage. It initially claimed the device was being cancelled, before updating the report to say it will be cancelled in some regions and its release would be limited to the US and Japan.

5 April 2021: Google working on its own 'GS101' processor 

9to5Google claimed Google is developing two phones with an Arm-based "GS101" processor, codenamed "Whitechapel".

10 March 2021: Google Pixel 5a could arrive 11 June, leak claims

Jon Prosser claimed his source tells him Google will reveal the Pixel 5a on 11 June. He also said new Pixel Buds were coming mid-April.

8 March 2021: Qualcomm Snapdragon 775 could power the next generation sub-flagship phones

XDA spotted a leak suggesting Qualcomm is working on a Snapdragon 775 - the successor to the excellent Snapdragon 765G that is found in mamny sub-flagship devices.

23 February 2021: Google Pixel 5a renders and specs revealed in huge leak

Well-known leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer - also known as @OnLeaks - shared some renders of the Pixel 5a, along with the specifications it is claimed to offer.

7 August 2020: Leaked document suggests Pixel 5a 

A leaked internal Android document suggested the Google Pixel 5a exists.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 23 February 2021.

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