Google Pixel 5a
Image credit: Steve Hemmerstoffer/Voice

While all attention may be on the “expensive” Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, it seems that Google may slip a cheaper phone out later this month. Although you may struggle to actually get this one, unless you happen to know someone in Japan or the USA. 

According to Jon Prosser, a leaker who takes his craft so seriously that he shaved his eyebrows when one of his insider tips proved to be incorrect, the Google Pixel 5a will be coming this month, on Thursday 26 August. 

Google has previously said that this will be a handset destined only for the US and Japan, but apparently even there it’ll be hard to come by. Prosser says that it’ll only be available online and in actual Google shops which are apparently a thing over there.

Coming in at US$450 (around NZ$640), the Pixel 5a will apparently be a 6.4-inch handset with a 90Hz display, powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC as both the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. It’ll also come with the same camera as the latter, which sounds disappointing until you remember that the Pixel family of smartphones have always had a camera so good that even weak photographers like me can take passable shots.

Interestingly – or not, depending on how fascinating you find battery technology – the big improvement looks set to be in the phone’s stamina. The Google Pixel 5a will apparently feature a chonky 4,560mAh battery which is significantly larger than what you’ll find inside the 4a (3,140mAh), 4a 5G (3,855mAh) or 5 (4,080mAh). You’ll need a cable to charge it mind: unlike the two more expensive 2020 models, wireless charging won’t be supported, apparently.

Battery aside, the phone seems to be somewhere between last year’s Pixel 4a and 4a 5G in terms of specs, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that Google has allegedly opted for the US$450 price point, which is in the middle of the US$359 and US$499 RRPs of the 2020 ‘a’ models.

Given these are leaks, you’d be forgiven for being sceptical, but Prosser seems pretty sure that these are nailed-down facts. “Due to the sources who provided this information, I’m confident that these are finalized details for the device and we’ll be seeing it later on this month,” he wrote. 

Sensibly no promise to shave eyebrows this time around, but it still sounds like a sound bet to us.