With all of the phones slated to be announced in the next week, let alone the next couple of months, it’s tough to really get excited about the Pixel 5a. But it’s still a Google Pixel phone, meaning that you’re getting day-one software updates and Google’s image processing. Book-ending the week, we learned that the Pixel 5a would be announced by the end of the month, while being priced at $449.
Smartphone-ageddon is poised to provide a busy couple of weeks starting Monday. And even with an end-of-August rumored launched date, it doesn’t take a scientist to see that the Pixel 5a is going to be over-shadowed, no matter when it actually arrives. Because of that, here are five reasons why the Pixel 5a will be a flop.
Take a look at the leaked render from earlier this year and see if you can tell the difference between that and the Pixel 4a 5G. My bet would be that without putting them side-by-side they would be indistinguishable. And maybe that’s the point, as the Pixel “a” series of phones is supposed to be budget friendly without pushing the limits. And while the Pixel 6 offers a radical redesign and something that’s definitely flashy, we would’ve liked to see Google change things up just a bit.
Keeping with the trend of last year, both of the phones pictured above, and the Pixel 5a, are all sporting the same processor. It’s been an entire year, and Qualcomm has released the successor to the Snapdragon 765G (SD768G and SD780G), but Google is again playing it “safe”. Yes, both of those processors are likely more expensive to Google than last year’s model, and the goal again is to provide a budget-friendly Pixel. But, between the same design and the same processor, you can kind of tell Google had its focus elsewhere.
No wireless charging
So this one is more of an inconvenience than anything else, as you can just slap on one of those wireless charging adapters. But wireless charging has become one of those quality-of-life upgrades that you just don’t want to get rid of if you already have it. If you’re someone who is considering upgrading from the Pixel 5, you’ll miss out. But coming from either the 4a or the 4a 5G, and it’s more of the same.
It’s coming before Android 12
As it stands, Google offers three years of major OS updates to Pixel devices. And since Android 12 isn’t supposed to arrive until September, an August launch would mean that the Pixel 5a would miss out on an entire year. Maybe something could change for the devices before the Pixel 6, and who knows what the next three years will bring. But missing out on Android 15 by a month would definitely sting a little bit.
The Pixel 6 is coming soon
This is the elephant in the room, as it feels like Google has canabalized a device that hasn’t been announced. The Pixel 5a was “confirmed” to be coming this year by Google itself, but the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are right around the corner. Yes, these are two different beasts, as the Pixel 5a is budget-minded and it looks like the Pixel 6 is destined for flagship pricing. But even if Google waits until October to release the Pixel 6, having just two months between device releases just feels a bit weird.
What do you think?
Truthfully, if the Pixel 6 wasn’t shown off earlier in the week, I would at least consider getting the Pixel 5a. But there’s really not a lot going on with the device, as it’s essentially a slightly-larger Pixel 5 and slightly-smaller than the 4a 5G. Maybe that’s the point, but the Pixel “a” series has been Google’s most popular device since the lineup was introduced. If the Pixel 6 isn’t up to snuff, then Google going the conservative route may not have been the best choice.