Last year, the Google Pixel 4a (and its bigger brother, the Google Pixel 4a 5G) became one of our top-five smartphones of 2020. While it didn’t take the top crown overall, it certainly took the crown for value. Now, in 2021, all eyes are on the follow-up, tentatively known as the Google Pixel 5a.
Related: Google Pixel 4a review: Google’s best phone in years
We expect this new entry in the “a” series to fit into the same mold as previous models. That means it should have a similar camera system to the Pixel 4a/Pixel 5 and should be very inexpensive.
Below, you’ll find all the credible rumors we have so far on the Google Pixel 5a. Be sure to bookmark this page so you can stay up-to-date, as we’ll be adding new rumors here as they land!
Name and release date
Although we don’t have direct confirmation as such, we are quite sure the next “a” series phone would be the Google Pixel 5a. Google hasn’t changed up its naming scheme for the Pixel line since the very first Pixel dropped in 2016. As such, there’s every reason to believe the Pixel 5a would follow the Pixel 4a.
The release date for the phone is much more ambiguous. The first “a” series phone — the Google Pixel 3a — dropped in May 2019. We fully expected the follow-up to that phone to land in May 2020. However, that didn’t come to pass. This is very likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which at that point was making business difficult for pretty much every industry.
See also: All Google Pixel phones released so far
Eventually, the Pixel 4a landed in August 2020. With such a disparity between those two launch dates, it’s hard to pinpoint when the Google Pixel 5a could launch.
According to one source, the launch date could be in early June — June 11 to be precise. That’s certainly possible, but we’ll need supporting evidence of that from more sources before we run with it. For now, a late Spring or early Summer launch seems to be a good bet.
Google Pixel 5a: Design
Thanks to frequent and reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @OnLeaks), we already have a good idea of how the Google Pixel 5a could look. According to the leaked renders, the Pixel 5a could be a near-clone of the Pixel 4a 5G.
The renders show a phone that carries the same design elements as the Pixel 4a 5G, including a dual-lens rear camera. If this comes to pass, it would be a nice upgrade over both the Pixel 4a and Pixel 3a, which both only had single-lens rear cameras. It’s also nice to see that the 3.5mm port doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
What will be most interesting to see is whether or not the internals of the Pixel 5a would match those of the Pixel 4a 5G. If they do, that would make the Google Pixel 5a capable of connecting to 5G networks. Of course, this seems like a big stretch, as this would essentially negate the reason for the Pixel 4a 5G to even exist.
The one thing we can conclude, though, is that the camera system of the Pixel 5a will almost certainly be better than the Pixel 4a’s simply due to the presence of that secondary lens. This alone could be enough of a reason for Pixel 4a owners to upgrade, to say nothing of Pixel 3a owners.
Google Pixel 5a: Specs
As mentioned in the previous section, the Google Pixel 5a is expected to be a near-clone of the Pixel 4a 5G. This puts the internal specs of the phone into question. After all, if Google makes the Pixel 5a too similar in specs and features to the Pixel 4a 5G, what’s even the point of the Pixel 4a 5G existing?
Additionally, the Pixel 5a would need to be much weaker in comparison to the Google Pixel 5. This kind of paints Google into a corner, as there are already so few differences between the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. Somehow, it needs to wedge this Pixel 5a in there.
If the Google Pixel 5a looks just like the Pixel 4a 5G, does that mean it will have the same specs, too?
It’s possible that the Pixel 5a could just be a 4G LTE-only version of the Pixel 4a 5G. If that’s the case, then it would render the Pixel 4a obsolete while the Pixel 4a 5G could carry on as the 5G-enabled alternative to the Pixel 5a.
Whatever the case, we can expect the Google Pixel 5a to not have lower-grade specs than its predecessor. That means it should have at least 128GB of internal storage, at least 6GB of RAM, a 1080p or better display, 18W wired charging or better, etc. It is highly unlikely wireless charging or an IP rating are in the cards. It is also unlikely that it would have a high refresh rate display, as Google appears to be locking that out of the “a” series.
Price and release date
Google wowed us last year when it announced that the Pixel 4a would actually be $50 cheaper than its predecessor. Considering the bevy of upgrades the Pixel 4a offered over the Pixel 3a, this was a true bargain.
It is highly unlikely that we’ll see a repeat of that this year. Although we don’t have any solid rumors on pricing yet, we can’t imagine Google dropping the Google Pixel 5a price even lower than the Pixel 4a’s $349. If anything, we should expect the price to stay the same or even go back up to the $399 price of the Pixel 3a.
Related: How Google Pixel prices for phones changed over the years
That being said, it is also very unlikely that Google would go much higher than $399. The Pixel 4a 5G starts at $499 and was sold as a more premium version of the Pixel 4a (or a weaker version of the $699 Pixel 5, take your pick). As such, the Pixel 5a would need to come in at a much lower price, and $399 seems like the appropriate price ceiling.
As far as availability goes, we do have information to suggest that Google could be planning to bring the Google Pixel 5a to India in increased numbers as compared to the Pixel 4a. That suggests the same countries that saw the Pixel 4a could see the Pixel 5a. It also heavily suggests that the pricing won’t go higher than $399, because smartphone value is so important to the Indian market.
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