Before the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro this fall, the Pixel 5a with 5G is launching as Google’s next affordable phone. There are, of course, similarities to the Pixel 4a line, but this 2021 device ends up being much closer to the Pixel 5.
Visually, the Pixel 5a with 5G is almost identical to the Pixel 4a 5G save for a ridged power button (in olive) and color. It’s only available in “Mostly Black,” with the descriptor referring to the subtle sage nature. Seeing this darker hue literally depends on the lighting condition.
In terms of size, today’s phone (156.2mm x 73.2 x 8.8 and 183 grams) is only 2.3mm taller, .8 narrower, .6 thicker, and 15g heavier than the 4a 5G.
One key upgrade is a metal unibody that replaces last year’s polycarbonate. It’s coated in plastic (“bio-resin”), like the Pixel 5, and five layers of forrest green paint, but you’ll appreciate the added heft. Notably, this is the first A-series phone with IP67 water resistance. That rating — along with a 3.5mm headphone jack — will hopefully continue in the future.
Gorilla Glass 3 is used (Google has since confirmed to us it’s not Gorilla Glass 6) to protect the slightly larger 6.34-inch 2400×1080 (at 413 PPI) OLED screen with 60Hz refresh rate — no Smooth Display is found here.