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Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G: early comparison

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The Google Pixel 5a is to be released soon, likely around May, and will serve as Google’s 2021 “great camera on a budget” experience, much like the Pixel 4a 5G was in 2020. But just how much of an upgrade the Google Pixel 5a will be over the 4a, and which one should you buy (or stick with)?

Let’s try to answer those questions by comparing the two Google smartphones side-by-side and seeing how well last year’s Pixel 4a 5G holds up against its upcoming 2021 successor.


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Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G price

The Google Pixel 5a is expected to be released in Q2 of 2020, for close to the same price as the Pixel 4a 5G, likely somewhere between $400-450. The Pixel 4a 5G itself was released for $499.

Currently, it’s plausible that the Pixel 5a will be the better bargain, on top of being the more futureproof out of the two, as is to be expected from a newer phone.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G design

Based on a report by reputable leaker OnLeaks, the Google Pixel 5a will be very similar in design to the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5, as can be seen from the renders below.

Both the Pixel 5a and Pixel 4a 5G have an understated and modern design. Their displays are surrounded by minimal bezels, with only the “chin” being slightly larger. Both have a hole punch selfie camera embedded into the top left corner of the display.

Both share a lightweight body with rounded corners and plastic backs, where the two’s fingerprint sensor is also located, centered just below the camera module.

In terms of color options, the Pixel 4a 5G was made available in Just Black and Clearly White color variants, with the same limited options likely to return for the Google Pixel 5a. There’s no information on whether the 5a will be offered in more unique colors, but it’s not out of the question for a “budget” device.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G display

As for their displays, the Pixel 5a is to sport a 6.2-inch OLED Full HD+ screen and reportedly a “slightly more noticeable chin” underneath it. The Pixel 4a 5G itself also has a beautiful 6.2-inch OLED screen, but it’s 1080p (Full HD).

The Pixel 4a 5G’s display is covered with the fairly old Corning Gorilla Glass 3, while the Pixel 5g will likely use a newer Gorilla Glass iteration, possibly 5 or 6.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G camera

Google calls the Pixel 4a 5G “the essential 5G Google phone”, which would likely apply for the upcoming Pixel 5a also, as it too will have 5G. But 5G aside, the 4a 5G can aptly be called “essential” for its amazing camera performance, especially considering its price.

The Pixel 4a 5G has a 12MP main camera and a 16MP ultra-wide camera on the back. The phone can record 4K video at up to 60 FPS (frames per second), or 1080p at up to 240 FPS. Its front-facing selfie camera is 8MP.

Similarly, the Pixel 5a is to pack a 12MP main camera and 8MP selfie one, although its ultra-wide is rumored to have a slightly lower megapixel count from its predecessor, at 12MP.

For reference, we have Pixel 4a 5G camera samples below. The Pixel 5a is very likely to produce photos of equal quality, if not slightly better.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G speakers and headphone jack

Both phones have a headphone jack. According to leaks, the Pixel 5a is to feature improved stereo speakers, while the Pixel 4a 5G has a single bottom-firing speaker.

In our Pixel 4a 5G review, we found its speaker to produce clean bass, mids and highs with minimal distortion, but the sound quality doesn’t quite reach the depth and clarity of Google’s more expensive Pixel smartphones.

Google Pixel 5a vs Pixel 4a 5G specs comparison

Google Pixel 5a specs:

  • 6.2-inch OLED Full HD+ display
  • 12MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, 8MP front camera
  • Snapdragon 690 processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage (not expandable via microSD)
  • 5G connectivity
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Headphone jack
  • 4,200-4,400 mAh battery capacity

Google Pixel 4a 5G specs:

  • 6.2-inch OLED Full HD display
  • 12MP main camera, 16MP ultra-wide camera, 8MP front camera
  • Snapdragon 765G processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage (not expandable via microSD)
  • 5G connectivity
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Headphone jack
  • 3885 mAh battery capacity

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