Google Pixel 5A review: boring, but better than ever

Google this year takes all the gist and reveals a phone with a state-of-the-art self-designed SoC, upgraded camera specs, and a bold new look. That phone is not a Pixel 5A. If these kinds of amazing improvements are what you’re looking for, I’d like to recommend the Pixel 6, which will launch this fall. The new Pixel 5A, on the other hand, is a boring update by comparison. This time the screen is a bit bigger, it has an IP rating for water resistance, and the battery gets a significant boost. That’s it. But the problem is: The Pixel 4A and 4A ​​5G are already really good midrange phones, and Google has made some strategic adjustments to keep the 5A best in its class. Moreover, the 5A is $449, which is $50 less than the launch price of the 4A 5G. Good Stuff IP67 water resistance rating Much improved battery life Camera is still the best in its class Bad availability Limited availability Lack of software-level C-band 5G support Excellent but not best-in-class support policy Pixel 5A is good but not exactly slam dunk. There are a few downsides to be aware of. The security support policy is great, but not best-in-class. It’s also strangely missing software-level support for the C-band 5G frequencies that US carriers will start using over the next few years. It is only released in the United States and Japan, and it is not sold through major carriers in the United States either. But all things considered, Google has lowered the price while addressing some of the weaknesses of its previous A-series models. Not bad for boring updates. The 5A’s screen is 6.34 inches, which is slightly larger than the 4A 5G. Google Pixel 5A Screen, Performance, and Battery The Pixel 5A has a 6.34-inch 1080p OLED screen that is slightly larger than the 6.2-inch screen of the 4A 5G. In particular, compared to the 6.5-inch or larger panel commonly found in low-end Android phones, it is by no means large. It also uses a standard 60Hz refresh rate, so you won’t get a smooth scrolling experience at faster 90Hz or 120Hz speeds. From the 90Hz screen on the $300 OnePlus N10 5G to the 120Hz panel on the $500 Galaxy A52 5G, these are the features available on devices around the 5A price range. You don’t get the smoother scrolling experience of the faster 90Hz or 120Hz speeds. So while the 5A’s screen isn’t as noticeable, it’s big enough that it doesn’t look like it’s out of place next to the competition compared to the 4A. 4A 5G. It is also a good quality screen. OLED technology provides a rich contrast ratio and is bright enough to be seen outside in direct sunlight without being too bright. No matter how big your competitor’s screen is. There are no changes to the processing or memory specifications of the 4A 5G. The Pixel 5A uses the same Snapdragon 765G chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The app opened quickly and there were no major lags or hiccups in my day-to-day tasks and scrolling through social media. Even complex image processing takes place in a second or two, and it happens in the background, so you can continue taking portrait mode photos without having to wait for every frame to finish processing. As someone who takes too many portrait mode pictures of cats to get the right picture, I really appreciate it. Heavy users can comfortably spend a day on the battery. You get a 4,680mAh cell compared to the 3,885mAh of the 4A 5G. It’s much closer to the 5,000mAh battery you’re likely to see in its competitors. Google calls this “all day” performance, and with Extreme Battery Saver turned on, you can get up to 48 hours of stamina. I got better results in real tests. Including around 3 hours of screen time per day, it usually used up to 70%. Heavy users can comfortably use the battery all day long, and light users who spend more time on Wi-Fi can get up to 48 hours without battery saver enabled. One of this year’s case options, “probably lime”, features bright green accents. Google Pixel 5A IP rating and build quality The Pixel 5A includes an IP67 dust and water resistance rating, so it can be submerged in about 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Official IP ratings are rare in sub-$500 brackets other than the Samsung A52 5G and iPhone SE. So, this is one area where 5A rises to best in its class. The front panel has Gorilla Glass 3 for screen protection, and underneath that, the phone’s outer plastic shell is all-metal. The plastic panels have a matte finish that I appreciate. It’s less slippery than a glossy finish and doesn’t stain easily. There is only one color option this year: Black. Decorate your things with one of our colorful case options designed for added protection against drops and impacts. Some are more neutral, like “Black Moss” and “Maybe the Moon” (also does it sound like the title of a song by Neko Case?), but “probably a lime” was chosen by the review unit, and readers don’t like it. There’s a subtle nuance of 1990’s Nickelodeon. Please return the fabric case. At launch, the 5A is only available in black. Google Pixel 5A software and 5G connectivity 5A comes with Android 11 and is subject to Google’s usual 3-year OS and security update policy. They last longer than most low-end phones, but Samsung recently started offering four years of security updates with their low-end A-series devices, and Apple is set to offer the latest OS upgrade for the six-year-old iPhone 6S this fall. Of course, the Pixel 5A also has 5G connectivity. All major US carriers support sub-6GHz 5G, and unlike 4A 5G, it is not sold in mmWave-compatible variants. Verizon claims to sell phones that can connect to mmWave 5G networks that are very fast and hard to find, so, like many other device manufacturers, Google has come up with a more expensive version of the 4A 5G that is compatible with the Verizon retail shelf network. . That’s not going to happen this time, and nobody’s going to miss it. Although mmWave 5G is not a huge loss, I am more concerned about the lack of C-band support in 5A at launch. C-band is a good midband that carriers will gradually start adding later this year and over the next few years. The Pixel 5A has hardware support and FCC certification to use the C-band, but Google has not enabled software-level support for these frequencies. We may add support in the future, but we do not promise to do so. There are a number of low-end and mid-range phones on the market that start at $279 with full C-band support, so it’s odd that Google isn’t promising support. T-Mobile customers don’t have much to worry about as they don’t rely heavily on C-band. However, if you’re using Verizon or AT&T and plan to continue using your phone for the next two or three years, this could be a real downside, as those carriers support C-band and (in theory) boost their 5G networks. Pixel cameras are still the low-light champions of the budget class. Google Pixel 5A Camera The 5A’s camera hardware doesn’t look very interesting on paper, but it’s another place that adds more than the sum of the specs. The 12.2-megapixel main rear camera includes optical image stabilization, which is hard to find for under $500. This kind of lens-based stabilization helps you to shoot more scenes clearly, which is especially useful in low light conditions. It has a 16-megapixel ultrawide and an 8-megapixel selfie camera. This may seem like a no-brainer compared to the triple and quad rear camera arrays on other phones, but these 3rd and 4th cameras are usually low quality macro and depth sensors that aren’t really that useful anyway anyway. Grid View If these specs sound familiar, it’s because they’re the same hardware as the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G, and they actually fit this model. Even without new sensors or lenses, the 5A still delivers mid-range top-notch picture quality thanks to Google’s smart image processing. Many Pixel 5A competitors can take good pictures in bright outdoor lighting, but Google is still the budget champion. Naturally, the image function of 4A and 5 is the same in 5A. It handles high-contrast scenes well and the colors are rendered a bit more natural than you can get on a Samsung phone. Portraits and night mode photos are some of the best you can get on a mid-range phone, but for demanding subjects, the limits are clear. With the Pixel 6, Google has done more to stay competitive with Samsung and Apple flagships around the world. In the low-budget class, we got off to a good start, so we can hold on for another year. There is no wireless charging here, and the 5A will be the last Pixel sold with a charging brick in the box. There are $400 and $500 phones with more fancy features than the Google Pixel 5A. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G has a large 6.5-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. The TCL 20 Pro features a flagship-style curved display and wireless charging. The Motorola Moto G stylus includes a huge display and (of course) a stylus. But the Pixel 5A is a great all-rounder with a great UI, quick software updates, and all the basics at an affordable price. The 4A 5G was already a good phone, and smart improvements like 5A’s water resistance and larger battery make it easier than ever to recommend this phone to a wider audience. It’s a very boring and very good phone, so I think a lot of people will want it. There is a sad case of C-band 5G, and whether Google will add support in the future. It’s hard to imagine a company denying support once the spectrum is widely used, but I firmly believe that you shouldn’t buy a gadget today based on a potential update tomorrow. Verizon and AT&T customers should consider this. It’s a pity that the Pixel 5A will see limited releases in both countries sold and not sold in the US. many people. It beats the competition in several ways, such as a best-in-class camera and water resistance, and meets others, such as a large enough screen and improved battery life. With more limited availability, it’s likely to be the “if you know” kind of device, not the phone your uncle tells you to buy when he asks what you’ll get with a two-year carrier upgrade deal. That’s too bad. Because this is a very boring and very nice phone I think many people will want. Photo: Allison Johnson / The Verge Correction: Google confirmed that the Pixel 5A has Gorilla Glass 3 as the front cover glass. An earlier version of this review based on information disseminated by Google to reviewers stated that Gorilla Glass 6 was available.

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