Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 5a – Which is better?

New phone season is almost upon us. It's time to weigh up which you are about to pre-order.

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Google has announced that its Pixel 5a is now available to pre-order in the USA with an on-sale date of 26th August, and it joins a bustling line-up that already contains the 4a 5G and the Pixel 5, with the upcoming Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro which, while you can’t preorder them as yet, we know they are releasing this Fall – and realistically around October if previous version releases by Samsung are to be followed

If you aren’t set on waiting for the Pixel 6 though your best choices are the Pixel 5 and the new 5a – but is it worth dropping the extra cash on the Pixel 5 or just preordering the new, cheaper 5a model now.

Google Pixel 5 vs. Pixel 5a specs

Pixel 5 Pixel 5a
Price $699 $449
OS Android 11 Android 11
Display 6.0 inches OLED (2340 x 1080-pixels; 90Hz) 6.34-inch FHD+ OLED (2,400 x 1080; 60Hz)
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Storage 128GB 128GB
Rear cam 12.2MP wide (ƒ/1.7); 16MP ultrawide (f/2.2) 12.2MP wide (ƒ/1.7); 16MP ultra-wide (f/2.2)
Frnt cam 8MP (f/2.0) 8MP (f/2.0)
Battery 9:29 (90Hz); 9:53 (60Hz) 9:45
5G Yes; sub-6Ghz and mmWave Yes; sub-6Ghz
Size 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.35 inches
Weight 5.3 ounces 6.46 ounces

Google Pixel 5 vs Pixel 5a Price

Coming in at $449 there is no choice when it comes with the new 5a – It ships with 6GB of Ram and 128GB or onboard storage all powered by a Snapdragon 765G. It will also only be available in the USA and Japan.

The Pixel 5 on the other hand is the most expensive Pixel phone to date, starting at $699, and is the current desirable model (assuming you can actually find one to buy!) at least until the Pixel 6 preorders launch.

Should I buy the Pixel 5 or Pixel 5a?

A look at the specs above might lead you to think that the Pixel 5 is the better phone in many ways, and to be fair you would be right.

However, the Pixel 5a has a great little processor, a larger screen, and has the same (more or less) battery life and cameras. What’s not to like, especially when you consider it’s at least $250 cheaper than the Google Pixel 5.

What you are giving up on the other hand are better water resistance and wireless charging. The Pixel 5 also has a 90Hz display.

If you can live without the quality of life features though we’d absolutely recommend getting your Pixel 5a pre-order in now.

When can I preorder the Google Pixel 6?

Not yet is the answer, unfortunately. We are expecting the launch to come around the end of October – well in line with the announced ‘Fall 2021’ confirmation so it also shouldn’t be too far away. We’d expect news of preorder for the Pixel 6 to land somewhere within the next month or so so keep your ordering fingers poised.