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Google Pixel 5a release date, news, specs, price and leaks

Google Pixel 5a
The Google Pixel 4a from 2020 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Since the Google Pixel 4a was launched in early August 2020, later than we'd expected, its successor, the Google Pixel 5a, probably won't be here any time soon. We're still excited for the next affordable Pixel phone though, and we've now heard some rumors of the upcoming handset.

The Pixel 4a was quickly followed up by the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, rounding off the company's contingent of 2020 smartphones. But now that the dust has settled, we have to ask: what’s coming in the Google Pixel 5a, the rumored affordable take on the Pixel 5?

It’s too early to form a cohesive idea of what Google’s next affordable smartphone will be – not just because the Pixel 4a just came out, but because the mid-year phone typically inherits new features introduced in the previous flagship phone. The Pixel 4a inherited from the Google Pixel 4; to get an idea of the Pixel 5a, we’ll have to use the Pixel 5 for a while to get a good glimpse at the future.

But until then, we can look at what the Pixel 4a didn’t incorporate and list which features we would be truly excited to see in its successor. Read on for the few rumors we’ve already heard, along with what we want to see in the Pixel 5a.

Latest news

We've heard a prospective Google Pixel 5a launch date, which suggests it'll be here on June 11 - that could end up being when Google IO takes place, but the leak doesn't mention that part.

Google Pixel 5a price and release date

  • What is the Google Pixel 5a? The next mid-range Google smartphone 
  • When will the Google Pixel 5a come out? Probably May 2021 
  • How much will the Google Pixel 5a cost? At or above $349 / £349 / AU$599 

The Google Pixel 5a release date hasn’t been announced, and we’re too far off to guess when it will be released, which is unusual for big-brand smartphones. Why? Because its predecessor’s release was delayed multiple times due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

We initially expected the Google Pixel 4a to be announced at the Google IO 2020 keynote on May 12, but when that event was cancelled amid the outbreak, we didn’t hear anything official about the new phone. Months passed, with rumored release dates coming and going, until Google finally announced the phone and quickly released it at the beginning of August 2020. 

It's possible we'll see the Pixel 5a at Google IO 2021 though, and one leak has said the Google Pixel 5a will launch on June 21. That's within the realms of possibility for Google IO 2021's date, so we'll have to see.

What we do have a good idea of is price. The Google Pixel 3a, the first mid-range phone in the series, was released at $399 / £399 / AU$649. The Pixel 4a went even lower, costing $349 / £349 / AU$599 at launch. While the cost could go higher – especially if 5G is included, and we expect the upcoming Pixel 4a 5G to be pricier – we wouldn’t expect it to drop any lower. But we have been wrong before…

Here are the Pixel 4a prices in your region:

Google Pixel 5a news and rumors

The first rumor we heard...is that the Google Pixel 5a exists. Really! A supposedly official document listed the Pixel 5a by name, along with codenames for what we expect are future Pixel phones – including the Google Pixel 6 and 6 XL, as well as what could be the rumored Google foldable phone. 

We've heard a second info-dump, but it tells us of even fewer new features than the first rumors. According to renders and feature leaks, the Google Pixel 5a will be near-identical to the Pixel 4a 5G with the same design, screen specs and cameras. Google likely wouldn't put out the same phone twice though, so presumably there's more we have to learn.

Google Pixel 5a what we want to see

We’re still enamored with the Pixel 4a, but even more eager to speculate how it could be improved in the next affordable Pixel phone.

Google Pixel 4a

(Image credit: TechRadar)

1. More rear cameras

We’ve wanted more rear cameras on the entire Pixel line for years, and were hoping the Pixel 4a would inherit the telephoto lens of the Pixel 4. Since that didn’t happen, our hopes shift to the Pixel 5a, which we’d love to see with a zoom and ultrawide lens (and heck, why not a macro while we’re at it). 

Google Pixel 4a

(Image credit: TechRadar)

2. 5G connectivity standard

While the Pixel 4a 5G will define how viable the mid-range 5G phone is in a market that seems happy enough with 4G LTE cheap phones, we’d love to see the Pixel 5a pack 5G as a standard feature. This might be dependent on whether 2021 phones that connect to the advanced networks come any cheaper, given the price hike that this year’s 5G-capable phones experienced, but even an affordable 5G phone would be a stellar option.

Google Pixel 4a

(Image credit: TechRadar)

3. Better battery life

The Pixel 4a didn’t quite suffer the Pixel 4’s abysmal battery life, but it wasn’t spectacular, either, often with single-digit capacity left at the end of a single day. Given many budget phones have 4,000mAh batteries or larger, we’d love to have the mid-range Pixel 5a last as long as the competition.

Google Pixel 4a

(Image credit: TechRadar)

4. Metal and glass body

Yes, the mid-range line has had a polycarbonate plastic body since it debuted in the Pixel 3a – but it’s the biggest budget compromise on a device with incredible software and a reliable camera. We’d love to see the Pixel 5a step up its game, especially since other equally-priced phones like the iPhone SE 2020 with glass backs and metal frames.

Google Pixel 4a

(Image credit: TechRadar)

5. A micro SD slot

Google. Please. If you’re not going to ship your Pixel 4a with more than 128GB of storage, at least let us expand it on our own. Here's hoping that's amended in the Pixel 5a.