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Google launches mid-range Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 at US$499 and US$699 respectively

By Liu Hongzuo - on 3 Oct 2020, 10:13am

Google launches mid-range Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 at US$499 and US$699 respectively

Note: This article was first published on 1 Oct 2020.

We can now put the Google Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 smartphones rumours to rest. 

We suspect that Google didn't bother with hardware specs during its brief live stream announcement this evening (1 October 2020) because there were so many rumours and leaks prior the official announcement, too.

Besides showing what the new mobile devices are like, Google also said that the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are guaranteed to get three years of continued software updates to its security and operating system.

Let's dig into the details.

Source: Google.

According to Google, the Pixel 4a 5G isn't just a Pixel 4a with 5G connectivity. In fact, it has more in common with the Pixel 5, as both phones use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G and will have most of the same software features too.

The Pixel 4a 5G has a larger 6.2-inch, edge-to-edge OLED display rated at Full HD+ resolution. Google even retained the USB Type-C and 3.5mm audio ports on the device.

Besides the chipset and connectivity upgrade (from the Pixel 4a model), the phone also packs a slightly larger battery at 3,885mAh. The Pixel 4a 5G also has dual rear cameras: a 12MP dual-pixel main shooter like it's sibling, and an additional 16MP ultrawide camera. That's the same camera configuration on the Pixel 5.

Google spent a bulk of its very short Pixel announcement going through the photo-taking software upgrades that will come to both Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. There's now Night Sight in its Portrait Mode that does exactly what it says on the sticker - it combines nighttime photography with shots taken in Portrait Mode to illuminate subjects better.

Portrait Mode itself also got an upgrade called Portrait Light, which uses AI enhancements to bring out subjects even when they are against a bright backlight. In the video-recording department, the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 getting more functionality, such as Locked, Active, and Cinematic Pan.

Hold For Me.

The software enhancements don't stop at photography. A cool feature on the upcoming Pixel phones is Hold For Me. If you're in a call where you're put on hold, Google Assistant will hold said phone call for you while you go about with your life. The phone will alert you when the call is connected.

Like the Pixel 4a, the new Pixel phones use a dedicated Titan M chip for phone security. Unlike the Pixel 4a, the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 now has another Battery Saver mode called Extreme Battery Saver that grants up to 48 hours of phone uptime by limiting the device to its bare essentials.

If you're wondering, the Google Pixel 5 has everything meant for the Pixel 4a 5G above, but it has added IPX8 water resistancereverse wireless charging, and a stronger Corning Gorilla Glass 6 panel, according to The Verge. The display is a 6-inch, 2,340 x 1,080 pixels resolution OLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate. Other differences are its larger 8GB RAM and bigger 4,080mAh battery, while losing the built-in 3.5mm audio jack. Pixel 5 uses the same Qualcomm chipset as the Pixel 4a 5G, so this phone is also 5G-ready.

It's all good news for a pair of decent-looking smartphones, until we get to its availability. The Google Pixel 4a 5G retails at US$499 while the Pixel 5 goes at US$699. However, the phones are getting a very limited first wave of launch, going to only eight countries on 15 October 2020. Out of all the listed countries for Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, Singapore won't be getting it by the first wave, and the next wave doesn't start until November 2020.

Source: Google (YouTubeblog), The Verge