Skip to content
Home » Google Pixel 5A evaluation: Snappy efficiency, acquainted design

Google Pixel 5A evaluation: Snappy efficiency, acquainted design


Google’s $449 Pixel 5A with 5G is the second main Pixel announcement this 12 months, scorching on the heels of the Pixel 6 teaser earlier this month. It includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor that powers a 6.34-inch OLED show. The cellphone additionally has IP67 water- and dust-resistance.

So whereas Google’s highest-end Pixel 6 and 6 Professional telephones will embrace the brand new in-house Tensor chip, the 5A (as I will name it any longer) could have extra in frequent with final 12 months’s Pixel 4A 5G. For Pixel followers with deeper pockets, the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional’s chip and redesign could possibly be thrilling, however this Pixel probably will likely be capturing for a extra budget-conscious crowd. 

For the worth, it is arduous to not like what Google has accomplished with the Pixel 5A. The one actual factor holding it again is Google’s lack of ability to decide to supporting upcoming 5G networks which can be set to begin coming on-line in just a few months. 


  • Good display
  • Speedy efficiency
  • IP67 waterproof
  • Reasonably priced worth

Do not Like

  • No wi-fi charging
  • 5G assist within the US is unclear

Should you’re in search of a less expensive Pixel, you will not have to attend for the Pixel 6’s launch date someday this fall, because the 5A will likely be launched on Aug. 26 and will be purchased within the US carrier-unlocked instantly from Google or with Google Fi. The cellphone may also be obtainable in Japan. (Whereas it isn’t coming to the UK or Australia, the value converts to roughly £320 or AU$630.)

I’ve spent the previous few days with Google’s new cellphone. Whereas it seems like a worthy successor to the Pixel 4A 5G to date, this is what you may need to bear in mind if you’d like a less expensive 5G Pixel or Android cellphone on a finances

Snappy efficiency, acquainted design

The 5A’s chip is identical because the one utilized in final 12 months’s 4A 5G: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor. The similarities do not finish there, as each telephones even have 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. They every have related entrance and rear cameras with a gap punch for the entrance digital camera, and each have a fingerprint reader on the again and a 3.5mm headphone jack on high. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

The digital camera system is sort of an identical to final 12 months’s Pixel 4A with 5G (and the Pixel 5). It has the identical lenses and all the identical options, together with a portrait mode, Evening Sight and an ultrawide lens. In my week with the cellphone, the cameras proved versatile and greater than able to taking crisp images through the day and at night time.

For extra on the Pixel’s cameras, see our Pixel 5 evaluation final 12 months.  

In daylight, the Pixel 5A does a pleasant job capturing particulars and colours. 

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Evening Sight is not the sharpest nevertheless it stays a formidable — and succesful — function for a $449 cellphone. 

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

The variations start with a bigger 6.34-inch OLED show with a 20:9 facet ratio that is much like the Galaxy S21. That is in comparison with a 6.2-inch show on the 4A 5G at a 19.5:9 facet ratio, which we have seen on gadgets such because the Pixel 5 and iPhone 12. 

The 5A is working Android 11 in my exams, but when previous Pixel tendencies maintain true the cellphone will probably be among the many first to get Android 12. The brand new OS will embrace the brand new Materials You design, refreshed notifications and even extra customizable choices that could possibly be unique to the Pixel sequence.

Watching movies on YouTube, Netflix or Disney Plus labored tremendous. Video games on Stadia or Xbox Sport Move additionally performed effectively, although some (notably these on Xbox) had been letterboxed and would not play in full display. I encountered an identical subject with YouTube TV (although not the common YouTube app). 

Pixel 5A with 5G YouTube TV

The Pixel 5A letterboxes sure apps like YouTube TV. 

Eli Blumenthal/CNET

Efficiency, nevertheless, was strong and it was actually playable with an excellent web connection. Extra intensive localized video games corresponding to Name of Responsibility: Cell additionally labored largely as anticipated. 

The stereo audio system, nevertheless, lack readability. Whereas they’ll get loud they are not as full or wealthy at most quantity as different gadgets. 

The cellphone’s IP67-rated water and mud resistance ought to assist face up to the weather and includes a considerably bigger battery (4,620 mAh in comparison with 3,800 mAh) that may be fast-charged utilizing the included 18-watt USB-C wall charger. 

The Pixel’s quick charging wasn’t notably speedy in my exams, going from empty to 21% in 20 minutes and needing round 47 minutes to hit 50%. The OnePlus Nord 2 can go from zero to 70% in an hour utilizing its 30-watt quick charger. 

Getting as much as an almost full cost took round two hours on the Pixel. I do like that the battery indicator within the notification tray continues to point out how a lot battery you have got left, versus a imprecise share. 

Google claims the battery ought to be capable of run a full day, and from my restricted testing these few days the cellphone appears to carry as much as that estimate even after I used to be taxing it with gaming, video watching, hotspotting and picture taking.

Affect of the chip scarcity

The worldwide chip scarcity seems to have affected the Pixel line’s custom of providing a bounty of colours, with the 5A simply coming in “largely black” (which to me appeared somewhat inexperienced in sure mild). Brian Rakowski, vp of product administration at Google, advised reporters that this was a results of “provide chain challenges.”

“It is an industry-wide scarcity,” he mentioned, noting that the restricted chips obtainable has additionally meant limiting the locations Google will promote the 5A versus providing a large distribution by way of quite a lot of carriers and retailers. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

“We undoubtedly couldn’t get as many chips as we wished for this.” 

As with final 12 months’s Pixel 4A 5G, there is not any wi-fi charging on this new mannequin. Google additionally seems to have dropped the “spectral and flicker sensor,” which might impression taking footage or movies of screens or capturing below synthetic lighting like fluorescent lights. (These adjustments could not essentially be associated to the chip scarcity.)

The excellent news is that the 5A retains most of Google’s Pixel software program options, together with name screening for preventing robocalls, automotive crash detection and a recorder app that may transcribe in actual time, in addition to pictures options like Evening Sight for improved photographs in low mild.  

Google is promising three years of Android software program and safety updates along with the function updates it has routinely provided for Pixel telephones. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

5G… with a catch 

5G assist is certainly a part of this cheaper Pixel, however the particulars of that assist get sophisticated. You need to be capable of hook up with low-band 5G networks from T-Cell, AT&T and Verizon. 

However whereas final 12 months’s Pixel 5 included assist for higher-frequency millimeter-wave 5G networks, the 5A doesn’t. This implies quicker speeds, from what Verizon calls Extremely Wideband and what AT&T calls 5G Plus, will not be supported. For a midrange cellphone this is not a deal-breaker, nevertheless it is not preferrred. 

Since Google Fi runs on T-Cell’s community, it really works tremendous on that provider’s low-band in addition to its quicker midband 5G providing, which it calls Extremely Capability 5G. 

Wanting into 5G’s future, the 5A’s assist will likely be much more sophisticated. The cellphone’s assist of 5G networks working on the C-band is unclear. That is wi-fi spectrum that Verizon, AT&T and T-Cell spent billions on earlier this 12 months. For Verizon and AT&T, that ought to present a big pace enhance past only a handful of metropolis blocks. 

The primary of those networks from AT&T and Verizon ought to arrive later this 12 months, with Verizon stating earlier this 12 months that this C-band community will enable it to supply peak obtain speeds of 1 gigabit per second. The Pixel 5, sarcastically, was introduced as one of many first telephones to assist Verizon’s C-band community

On a {hardware} stage, the 5A ought to assist these forthcoming networks because it has the correct band assist inside (what’s referred to as band N77 or N78). The problem is that Google will not decide to updating the software program on the Pixel 5A with 5G to allow it. 

“The {hardware} is succesful however there hasn’t been a number of deployment but within the US so the software program work would nonetheless must be accomplished,” Rakowski mentioned. “We haven’t any plans to announce on that entrance.” 

When pressed, Rakowski added that Google will “keep in contact with the carriers and consider” future assist however added that “we’re not going to commit, we’re not going to make an announcement now about future assist for what may are available in an replace.”

We already know that extra individuals are holding onto gadgets for longer, so the dearth of assist from Google for this upcoming community improve — particularly when the bodily {hardware} helps it — is regarding. 

Should you’re with T-Cell or a provider that runs on its community (like Google Fi) you have got much less to fret about on the subject of accessing a speedy midband 5G community. As for potential patrons who’ve AT&T or Verizon, that lack of future assist might muddy what’s in any other case a strong $449 cellphone.

Pixel 5A 5G specs

Pixel 5A 5G Pixel 4A 5G Pixel 3A
Show dimension, decision 6.34-inch OLED, 2,400×1,080 pixels 6.2-inch OLED, 2,340×1,080 pixels 5.6-inch OLED, 2,220×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 413ppi 413ppi 441ppi
Dimensions 156x73x8.8mm 154x74x8.2mm (Sub-6 solely); 154x74x8.5 mm (mmWave + Sub-6) 151x70x8.2mm
Weight 6.45 oz; 183g 5.93 oz; 168g (Sub-6 solely); 6.03 oz; 171g (mmWave + Sub-6) 5.19 oz; 147g
Software program Android 11 Android 11 Android 9.0
Digital camera 16-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (twin pixel) 12.2-megapixel (normal), 16-megapixel (ultrawide) 12.2-megapixel
Entrance digital camera 8-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video 4K 4K 4K
Chipsets Snapdragon 765G (processing energy chip), Titan M chipset (safety chip) Snapdragon 765G 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
Storage 128GB 128GB 64GB
Headphone Jack Sure Sure No
Battery 4,620 mAh 3,800 mAh 3,000 mAh
Particular options 5G, IP67 water resistance, twin SIM (nano-SIM and e-SIM), stereo audio system, 18W quick charging 5G, dual-SIM (nano-SIM and e-SIM), quick charging AR in Google Maps, time-lapse video capturing
Worth (USD) $449 $499 $399


Supply hyperlink