Google’s Pixel 5a adds water resistance and a bigger battery for $449

Google has unveiled yet another sub-$500 Pixel phone, the Pixel 5a, with two stand-out features: water resistance and a bigger battery. The device will go on sale on August 26th and retail for $449. According to the company, the device will land in two markets and two markets alone: the United States and Japan. There will be one color option available, and that’s “Mostly Black” with what are apparently “forrest green undertones.”

If any of that excites you, you may as well go preorder the phone because that’s as exciting as it gets. The Pixel 5a is unlike the upcoming Pixel 6 and 6 Pro in which it sticks to the very basics and nearly replicates the experience one would have with a 4a 5G from last year.

Everything down to the specs are basically the same here. Design-wise, the 5a looks identical to the 4a 5G. The only difference is the color and the fact it’s received an IP67 rating, meaning it can survive being under a meter of water for 30 minutes. It’s a fantastic improvement, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t fundamentally change the phone in a meaningful way.

Its screen is 6.34-inches which is 0.14-inches larger than the 4a 5G, but it shares the same 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. It also uses an OLED panel, but that’s more than expected at this point.

Inside, the 5a is just a 4a 5G. There’s a Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and sub-6GHz 5G supprt. Google includes a 4,680mAh battery which is much larger than the 3,840mAh cell in the 4a 5G, so at least you’ll get longer endurance on a full charge.

The cameras are also the same as the 4a 5G. On the back of the Pixel 5a, you’ll find a 12.2MP main camera paired with a 16MP ultra-wide sensor. All the same camera features like Night Sight, astrophotography, and Cinematic Pan are onboard as well.

Rounding things off are a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, stereo speakers, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack at the top.

The Pixel 5a, while being so similar to the 4a 5G, will technically cost $50 less when it goes on sale later this month. That’s always a good thing, but there’s admittedly not much here to get excited about beyond the lower price and IP67 certification. If you’re looking for something to pique your interest, wait until later this fall when the Pixel 6 series is out.

I should have my hands on a Pixel 5a soon so stay tuned for coverage.