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Google Pixel 5a vs 4a (2021): Should You Upgrade?

Released last August 26, 2021, the Google Pixel 5a is the successor to the highly popular Google Pixel 4a 5G. The Google Pixel 5a boasts new features such as an IP67 waterproof rating, a larger screen and a higher battery capacity. But is it worth it to upgrade to it if you already have the Pixel 4a? We compare the two below.

Google Pixel 5a vs 4a Comparison Chart

ModelGoogle Pixel 5a Google Pixel 4a 5G
 google pixel 5a vs 4aGoogle Pixel 4a with 5G - Android Phone - New Unlocked Smartphone with Night Sight and Ultrawide...
Priceto be updatedCheck Price
Dimensions6.10 x 2.9 x 0.30 inches6.1 x 2.9 x 0.30 inches
Weight0.40lbs0.37lbs
MaterialsAluminum frame, aluminum back, glass frontPlastic frame, plastic back, glass front
Display6.34 inches OLED
1080 x 2400 pixels
20.9:1 aspect ratio
HDR
Gorilla Glass 3
6.2 inches OLED
1080 x 2340 pixels
19.5:1 aspect ratio
HDR
Gorilla Glass 3
ChipsetQualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 765G 5G
Adreno 620
Qualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 765G 5G
Adreno 620
RAM & Storage6GB RAM
128GB
6GB RAM
128GB
Camera12.2MP wide
16MP ultrawide
LED flash, Pixel Shift, Auto-HDR, panorama
Video [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/120/240fps

8MP wide (selfie)
Auto-HDR
[email protected]
12.2MP wide
16MP ultrawide
LED flash, Pixel Shift, Auto-HDR, panorama
Video [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/120/240fps

8MP wide (selfie)
Auto-HDR
[email protected]
Audio3.5mm jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm jack
Stereo speakers
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS
NFC
USB-C 3.1
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS
NFC
USB-C 3.1
SensorsFingerprint (rear)
Accelerometer
Gyro
Proximity
Barometer
Compass
Fingerprint (rear)
Accelerometer
Gyro
Proximity
Barometer
Compass
Battery4860mAh
18W fast charging
3885mAh
18W fast charging
ColorsMostly BlackJust Black, Cleary White

Design

The Google Pixel 5a is better built than the Pixel 4a.

google pixel 5a vs 4a design
At a glance, the Google Pixel 5a (left) and Pixel 4a 5G (right) are near indistinguishable.

In terms of looks and design, the Google Pixel 5a and 4a are similar. Their physical dimensions are the same, at 6.10 x 2.9 x 0.30 inches, and they weigh almost the same as well (0.4lbs vs 0.37lbs). They both come with a notch at the upper left side of the screen, and at the back, they also have the same camera configuration.

However, they do differ when it comes to materials used. While they both have a glass front, their frames are different. The Google Pixel 5a is much improved in this area, sporting an aluminum frame and an aluminum back. In contrast, the older Google Pixel 4a uses a plastic frame and back. Needless to say, the Google Pixel 5a has a better build quality than the Pixel 4a.

A nice new feature on the Google Pixel 5a is its IP67 rating. With an IP67 rating, the phone is resistant to dust and dirt, and it can still function without a hitch even if it is submerged under water for up to 30 minutes.

Display

The screen of the Google Pixel 5a is slightly bigger and has a higher resolution than the Pixel 4a’s display.

google pixel 5a vs 4a display
Featuring a larger screen, the Google Pixel 5a (left) has smaller bezels than the Pixel 4a 5G (right).

The Google Pixel 5a comes with a slightly bigger screen and a higher pixel count. It has a 6.34-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400, for a ppi of 415. They reduced the borders around the screen in order to accommodate the increase in resolution without affecting the overall size of the phone.

Meanwhile, the Google Pixel 4a has a 6.2-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 that results in a 413 ppi. Its screen is slightly smaller and has less pixels, but ultimately, the difference between the two is not that significant. The screen of the Google Pixel 5a, similar to that of the 4a, has HDR support and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Features

The Google Pixel 5a and 4a have identical features.

google pixel 5a vs 4a features
The Google Pixel 5a (in photo) now has an IP67 rating.

The two phones come with the same camera configuration. They both have a 12.2MP wide and 16MP ultrawide camera at the back that comes with features such as LED flash, Pixel Shift, panorama view and Auto-HDR. The two phones are capable of capturing video at 4K 30/60fps or at 1080p 30/60/120/240 fps. At the front, they both have an 8MP camera module that has Auto-HDR. You can record at a maximum resolution of 1080p at 30fps.

In terms of connectivity, they both come with Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and they are already 5G enabled. They also have NFC. As for sensors, the two phones have a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, an accelerometer and various other sensors that include gyro, proximity and more.

Performance and Hardware

The Google Pixel 5a and 4a 5G have the same chipset, but the former has a bigger capacity battery.

google pixel 5a vs 4a performance
At the back, the Google Pixel 5a (left) and 4a 5G (right) are practically the same.

When it comes to performance, the two phones are similar. That’s because they have the same Qualcomm SM7250 Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset that features an octa-core CPU and Adreno 620 GPU. Both phones also have the same RAM and storage configuration—6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Unfortunately, they still don’t have an expansion slot for an SD card, so you’re stuck with 128GB storage.

One major improvement with the Google Pixel 5a is its battery capacity. It is equipped with a 4680mAh Li-Po battery that can last longer than the mediocre 3885mAh battery of the Pixel 4a 5G. Out of all Pixel phones, the 4680mAh capacity of the Pixel 5a is the biggest.

Verdict

The Google Pixel 5a is an excellent phone, but if you already have a Pixel 4a, you shouldn’t upgrade just yet.

Google Pixel 5a

Slight upgrade over the Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a 5G

Not worth upgrading to Pixel 5a

The Google Pixel 5a offers few improvements over the Pixel 4a 5G, such as its waterproofing, a slightly bigger screen and an improved battery life. However, that’s all that it offers. In everything else, they are the same. They have the same chipset, RAM and memory configuration, camera modules and features. If you already own a Google Pixel 4a 5G, there’s no reason to upgrade to the Pixel 5a since they offer the same level of performance. However, if you are buying a new phone, then you should pick the Google Pixel 5a as it is newer and it will have better support in the future.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Google Pixel 5a waterproof?

Yes, it has an IP67 rating that means it is resistant to dust and waterproof.

๐Ÿ“Œ Will the Pixel 5a have wireless charging?

Unfortunately, the Google Pixel 5a does not support wireless charging.

๐Ÿ“Œ Will the Pixel 5a have 5G?

Yes, the Google Pixel 5a will work with 5G networks.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long will the Pixel 4a be supported?

The Pixel 4a will be supported until November 2023. After that, there’s no guarantee that the phone will receive more updates.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.