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Pixel 5 vs 5a: What’s the Difference?

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Pixel 5 vs 5a: What’s the Difference?

Google’s Pixel 5 and 5a smartphones have long been favorites among smartphone enthusiasts, offering outstanding features and specifications that make them highly coveted devices. Note, though, that they’re different devices that cater to specific audiences. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, what sets these two apart from one another?

Acquiring a better understanding of the differences between Pixel 5 and 5a will enable you to make an informed decision and choose one that meets your individual needs. This article explores the similarities and distinctions between Pixel 5 and 5a to help you make an informed decision.

Pixel 5 vs 5a: Side-by-Side Comparison

FeaturePixel 5 (2020)Pixel 5a (2021)
Display6-inch OLED6.34-inch OLED
Resolution2,340 x 1,0802,400 x 1,080
PPI432413
Aspect Ratio19.5:920:9
Refresh Rate90Hz60Hz
RAM8GB (LPDDR4x)6GB (LPDDR4x)
Battery Capacity4,080mAh4,680mAh
Network Connectivity4G LTE, mmWave 5G, Sub6 5G4G LTE, Sub6 5G
Water and Dust ResistanceIP68IP67
Dimensions144.7 x 70.4 x 8mm156.2 x 73.2 x 8.8mm
Weight151g183g
Build MaterialPlasticMetal
Build MaterialPlasticMetal

Pixel 5 vs 5a: What’s the Difference?

Each phone boasts unique features and specifications, so it is important to understand their distinctions. Here are the major differences between Pixel 5 vs 5a.

Display

The display is one of the primary distinguishing features between Pixel 5 and 5a phones. Pixel 5 features a 6-inch OLED display with a 2,340 x 1,080 and 432ppi pixel density resolution. It features a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90Hz refresh rate, providing smooth scrolling and an enjoyable user experience. Furthermore, Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protects this display for added durability.

Pixel 5a has an OLED display measuring 6.34 inches in diagonal size with a resolution of 2,400×1,080 and 413ppi pixel density. This smartphone provides a 20:9 aspect ratio and 60Hz refresh rate, significantly less than that found on Pixel 5. Pixel 5 features a 90Hz refresh rate for an even smoother phone experience and more responsive and fluid visuals.

However, Pixel 5a offers a slightly larger display which could come in handy for users who use their phone for streaming or browsing purposes.

Design and Build

Pixel 5 boasts a slimmer and lighter build with plastic back panels and metal frames. Its weight of only 151g makes it easily manageable with one hand. Two color options are also available: Just Black and Sorta Sage.

Our Pick
Google Pixel 5
$289.99
  • Up to 48 hours of battery life with Extreme Battery Saver
  • 5G capable, water-resistant
  • Android 11 OS
  • 128 GB memory storage
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/28/2024 05:06 pm GMT

Pixel 5a stands out with its larger form factor due to its larger display and metal build. Weighing 183g, it is considerably heavier than Pixel 5. While its metal build gives it a premium feel and more durability than the Pixel 5, its weight makes the phone less portable. Available only in one color variant: Mostly Black.

Pixel 5a features its volume buttons on the left side and power button on the right, compared to Pixel 5, which features its volume rocker and power button on its right. In addition, Pixel 5a boasts a 3.5mm headphone jack which is absent on Pixel 5.

Battery and Charging

Both phones differ considerably in their batteries and charging capabilities. Pixel 5 offers a 4,080mAh battery with 18W fast charging capability and 12W wireless charging features.

It also supports 5W reverse wireless charging. This enables it to charge other devices wirelessly. Also, this phone includes a USB-C 18W adapter with USB-PD 2.0 functionality for added compatibility.

Pixel 5a comes equipped with a much larger 4,680mAh battery that should outlive that found on Pixel 5, as well as 18W fast charging support and an adapter compatible with USB-PD 2.0 technology.

However, Pixel 5a needs wireless charging capabilities, which is a considerable drawback for those who prefer that method.

Camera

Pixel 5 stands out from Pixel 5a with its dual camera system on the back, which includes both a 12.2-megapixel primary sensor and a 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor. It features an 8-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calls, earning high praise from reviewers for its exceptional low-light performance and overall image quality.

Pixel 5a boasts an identical camera configuration to Pixel 5, boasting a 12.2-megapixel primary sensor and a 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor. However, its larger aperture size allows it to capture more light and produce images even under low light conditions. The phone also features an upgraded front-facing camera with 8 MP resolution for selfies and video calls.

Storage

Both Pixel 5 and 5a come equipped with 128GB of internal storage but do not offer expandable microSD storage, which could prove detrimental for those needing large amounts of room to store their media files and documents.

Performance

Both Pixel 5 and 5a run on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, with the Pixel 5 using the high-end Snapdragon 765G, while the Pixel 5a utilizes Snapdragon 765.

Our Pick
Google Pixel 5a
$290.00
  • Upgradable to Android 12
  • 4680mAh battery
  • 128GB ROM, 6GB RAM
  • 1080 x 2400 pixels
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/28/2024 05:06 pm GMT

The Pixel 5 features 8GB of RAM, giving it plenty of memory to support multiple applications and tasks at the same time. The Pixel 5a boasts 6GB of RAM but still provides a smooth and responsive user experience thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor.

Water and Dust Resistance

Both Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a have different water and dust resistance ratings. Pixel 5 has an IP68 rating, meaning it can withstand being submerged for 30 minutes at 1.5 meters of depth of water submersion. The dust-resistant design provides added peace of mind to users who often find themselves using their phones in dirty environments.

Pixel 5a has an IP67 rating, which means it can withstand being submerged in up to one meter of water for thirty minutes at a time. Although this device still provides adequate water resistance, its rating falls slightly short of that of the Pixel 5. Pixel 5a’s dust resistance makes it an excellent option for users working in dusty or dirty environments.

Availability

Pixel 5a and its predecessor were first made available to consumers in 2020 and have since been discontinued by Google. Customers may still purchase their phone from third-party retailers, although availability may be different across regions.

Users who prefer purchasing their phones directly from manufacturers could find this restriction problematic. The Pixel 5a was unveiled by Google in 2021 and can now be purchased directly through them.

Pixel phones are now more accessible for consumers who wish to purchase one through third-party retailers and carriers, making their purchase even more attainable. Additionally, the Pixel 5a is more widely available across regions than Pixel 5, making it a more accessible option for people globally.

Pixel 5 vs 5a: 11 Must-Know Facts

  1. The Pixel 5 (2020) features an OLED 6-inch display with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 and 432ppi; in comparison, the larger 6.34-inch OLED screen of Pixel 5a (2021) features a 2,400 x 1,080 resolution at 413ppi resolution.
  2. The Pixel 5 features an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, while its counterpart, the Pixel 5a, features a slightly taller 20:9.
  3. The Pixel 5 boasts a higher 90Hz refresh rate compared to its sister device’s 60Hz refresh rate.
  4. The Pixel 5 features Corning Gorilla Glass 6, while its display on the Pixel 5a has Gorilla Glass 3.
  5. The Pixel 5 features 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, while its smaller sibling, the Pixel 5a has 6GB.
  6. The Pixel 5 features a smaller 4,080mAh battery capacity while its counterpart, the Pixel 5a boasts a much larger 4,680mAh pack.
  7. Both phones have 18W fast charging capabilities and a USB-C 18W charger compatible with USB-PD 2.0 technology.
  8. Only the Pixel 5 offers 12W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging capabilities.
  9. The Pixel 5a stands out by offering both a 3.5mm headphone jack and separate volume controls compared to its counterpart in terms of connectivity features, unlike its bigger brother the Pixel 5.
  10. The Pixel 5 features both Sub6 5G and mmWave 5G networks; the Pixel 5a only offers Sub6 5G coverage.
  11. The Pixel 5 boasts an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, while its smaller sister device — the Pixel 5a — possesses an IP67 rating.

Pixel 5 vs 5a: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

Pixel 5 and 5A phones offer reliable and efficient smartphones equipped with features sure to please users. When choosing between the two options, it’s essential to consider your individual requirements before making your selection.

If you want an advanced camera system with an improved refresh rate and compact design, the Pixel 5 may be your perfect device. Offering a 90Hz refresh rate, 432ppi display resolution, 8GB RAM memory capacity, and 4,080mAh battery power capacity makes the Pixel 5 an attractive choice for demanding users. In addition, both Sorta Sage and Just Black color options make for an appealing aesthetic.

On the other hand, if you prefer devices with larger batteries and more affordable prices, then Google Pixel 5A might be your ideal device. Boasting its 6.34-inch OLED display, 6GB RAM memory capacity, 4,680mAh battery capacity, an IP67 rating, and the stylish yet practical Mostly Black color option make it the ideal option.

At the end of the day, Pixel 5 and 5A smartphones are impressive devices with distinct advantages and disadvantages that will depend on your needs when selecting one over the other. From high-performance phones to budget options, these options will definitely impress.

  1. Google Pixel 5
    $289.99
    • Up to 48 hours of battery life with Extreme Battery Saver
    • 5G capable, water-resistant
    • Android 11 OS
    • 128 GB memory storage
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/28/2024 05:06 pm GMT
  2. Google Pixel 5a
    $290.00
    • Upgradable to Android 12
    • 4680mAh battery
    • 128GB ROM, 6GB RAM
    • 1080 x 2400 pixels
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/28/2024 05:06 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences in displays between Pixel 5 and 5a?

The Pixel 5 features a 6-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 and a pixel density of 432ppi, boasting a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90Hz refresh rate, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 5a sports an OLED screen of 6.34 inches featuring a 2,400 x 1,080 resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 60Hz refresh rate, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

What phone has more RAM and what type is its RAM?

The Pixel 5 features 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM while its smaller sibling, the Pixel 5a has 6GB.

What are the battery capacities and charging technologies of both phones?

The Pixel 5 features a 4,080mAh battery with 18W fast charging and 12W wireless charging capabilities, along with 5W reverse wireless charging capability, and comes equipped with a USB-C 18W adapter with USB-PD 2.0 compatibility.

Meanwhile, its smaller cousin, Pixel 5a comes equipped with 4,680mAh of capacity that also supports fast charging capabilities via 18W fast charging as well as 12W wireless charging support and 5W reverse wireless charging technology.

Which 5G technology are supported by Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a devices?

The Pixel 5 supports both mmWave 5G and Sub6 5G networks; in contrast, the Pixel 5a only offers Sub6 5G support.

What are the build materials and color options of these two smartphones?

The Pixel 5 features a plastic body and comes in Just Black and Sorta Sage colors, while its metal-built counterpart, Pixel 5a, features mostly Black hues.

What are the IP ratings of Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a devices?

The Google Pixel 5 features an IP68 rating while its smaller sibling, the Pixel 5a has been given an IP67 rating.

What are the dimensions and weights of both phones?

The Pixel 5 measures 144.7mm by 70.4mm and weighs 151g; while its counterpart, the Pixel 5a, measures 156.2 x 73.2mm by 8.8mm and weighs 182g.

Are the Pixel 5a's audio features compatible with headphones, including headphone jack and volume controls?

Yes, the Pixel 5a contains a 3.5mm headphone jack with volume controls while its predecessor, the Pixel 5, does not.

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