Google Pixel 5a Smartphone Review – Affordable Android Phone
This shares a lot of its hardware with the pixel 5, which was last years flagship soon to be replaced by the pixel 6 and were going to take a look at what this mid range phone is all about in just a second. But i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure. This came in free of charge from google. However, all the opinions youre about to hear are my own. No one is paying for this review. Nor has anyone reviewed or approve what youre about to see before it was uploaded, so lets get into it now and see what this phone is all about. Now, the price point on this one is 449. This is the only version of the phone that theyre selling. This year, so you get the black backing here, along with its beautiful 6.34 inch display. This is an oled screen running at 2400 by 1080, so you get a full hd display on here. Thatll, give you about 413 pixels per inch. It runs at 60 hertz and its pretty bright. Itll go up to about 700 nits. What i like about oled displays is that youve got a really nice contrast ratio, so blacks on the screen are really black. It looks really really nice and on par with some of the more expensive flagship phones, you might see out there. They have the handset speaker here, tucked away at the top of the bezel. It sounds pretty good when youve got the phone up to your ear, and the speaker here on the bottom is adequate for making phone calls and whatnot.
Now this phone is equipped with a qualcomm snapdragon 765g processor. This is the same chip we found on last years. Pixel 5 and its very similar to what you might have encountered on the pixel 4a. So this phone offers really no performance advantages over the prior year. Phones. But, to be honest with you at this price point, it is more than adequate, its very fast and responsive here for web browsing and running basic apps theres, really nothing. I think here that youre going to miss out on even with this older processor built in so its going to be again, i think fine for the market theyre aiming for here. I am eager to see what the pixel 6 will bring in performance, which will be on a completely different platform, but for the mid range, this phone is more than adequate. Its got six gigabytes of ram, which is great for multitasking. It also has 128 gigabytes of onboard storage, but there is no sd card slot on this. So if youre downloading a lot of media 128 gigs is all youre gon na get, you can maybe attach a storage device via usb here to the bottom. That will work but its very cumbersome. So the storage here is something youll want to think about, especially if you know youre going to be carting a lot of media around with you now here in the united states. This phone will work with all of the major us carriers.
You can in most cases, just pop your sim card into the side here and be off and running. This supports 5g networks, but only the sub 6 5g theres, another type of 5g called millimeter wave. That is much faster, but that technology is generally only available in very densely populated areas. So if you have a 5g phone now you are more than likely on sub 6, 5g and thats what this phone supports. So i think it will be very compatible with what 5g most of us will experience. Now. The battery life on this phone is probably the best out of any of the pixel line, primarily because its got the biggest battery a 4 680 milliamp hour battery on this one, which is even larger than the pixel 5 phone from last year. So youll definitely get a good days worth of use out of this thing, but battery life really varies on smartphones. Itll depend on how far you are from your nearest tower, what youre doing with the phone, but generally the battery life on this phone will be much better than prior pixel phones, which was a nice improvement to see on here, hardware, wise theres, not much to see. We talked about the speakers and the usb type c port here at the bottom. This usb port will do data devices like memory cards and whatnot, but it will not do video output. It does charge, though, at 18 watts over usb type c.
They include a charger in the box, but you do have to plug the phone in to charge it. It does not support. Wireless charging like the pixel 5 does on the left hand, side here, youve got your sim card. Tray youve got your power switch and volume rocker over here and then on the top check it out. Youve got yourself a headphone jack, so you can plug in your own headphones or, of course, you can use bluetooth headphones because it does support bluetooth along with wi fi, but that wi fi support does not include wi fi six. One other feature of note on the hardware: this is ip67 rated for water and dust resistance. That means i wouldnt go swimming with it, but should you drop it in a small body of water? It should do fine and survive it. So that was a nice addition to see on here. That was not on last years. Pixel 4a now youve got a fingerprint reader here on the back of the phone for unlocking the phone without a password, and you can see just how quickly it lets you in there. It does not have any kind of facial recognition, so the fingerprint is all youre going to get on this one, but i think its more than adequate. Now this phone has the exact same flagship camera system as last years: pixel 5.. It is a very good camera system, so on the front here, youve got your selfie camera.
This is running at eight megapixels itll. Do 1080p video at up to 30 frames per second and has a decently wide 83 degree field of view. A very nice front facing camera on the back. Here you have the cameras that we found on the pixel 5 last year. That includes an ultra wide camera, 16 megapixels running at 118.7 degrees of a field of view with a 2.2 aperture, and then it has a 12.2 megapixel, 77 degree field of view, camera that runs at a 1.7 aperture and just to give you a sense as to What that ultra wide lens looks like compared to the other lens. This is the ultra wide here and, as you can see, its got a really nice sharp and detailed image that comes out of it with really nice color saturation. Here, google employs a lot of computational photography to the photos after they are taken so theres a lot of processing that goes on in the background uh when youre taking pictures. Now this is the ultra wide and this is the same shot with the regular 12.2 megapixel lens. It looks very nice. You can see actually theyve matched the white balance on the two cameras. Quite well, so almost looks like it came out of the same lens. Now you will notice on the camera app here that there is a 2x option, but this is a virtual telephoto lens. It is not running with a distinct telephoto camera on board.
So when you use that 2x option, it is going to digitally zoom in the image, and this is a shot that i took with that 2x feature when i was outside the other day. It doesnt look bad actually for a digitally zoomed image, but it will appear a bit softer because you are just working from data here and not an actual optical telephoto lens. But google has really done a lot with their photo technology on the software side, and this has all of those years of work built into the phone itself. One other thing i like about it is that it has a leveler built in, so you can get a feel as to whether or not your phone is level as you hold it, and itll give you a little bit of haptic feedback when you get it completely Level pretty neat stuff, so here are a few other photos that i took with the camera. This is a portrait mode photo of my daughter on the beach lots of nice blur out of the background here, like other portrait mode systems on other phones. It does have a little bit of a hard time with hair, so youll see a little weirdness around the hair here, but its doing a pretty good job and because google is so focused on the computational side of photography. I have seen their portrait mode get better over time with system updates, so well have to see how this looks in a couple of years, but it does look really nice.
I think, for the price point. This is a portrait mode photo. I took of some flowers just to see if it could do well with things other than people, and it looks like it did a pretty good job here of blurring out the background, a little bit softer, perhaps around the edges here, but looks pretty good. Otherwise, this leaf got cut out pretty nicely. This is another portrait mode photo nice and sharp here, and you can see the detail you get out of that camera sensor now. Whats neat, though, is that this photo is not portrait mode, the same leaf. We were looking at before and you can see you got just a really nice optical bokeh already on this lens, so my advice would be before you switch into portrait mode. Try the photo just in the standard 1x mode, just to see what it looks like, because oftentimes youll get a really nice. Naturally, blurred image here with a ton of detail, again really awesome camera system and one that i am very happy to see on a phone at this price point now. My favorite feature out of these pixel cameras by far is the astro photography mode. This is not unique to this model, its on some of the prior edition pixels as well, but its amazing. You point the camera at the sky, put it on a tripod hit a button, and after about four minutes of exposures, it will give you this isnt.
This amazing, it actually picked up the chinese space station as it was orbiting overhead thats. What this streak is here – and it just produces these amazing images that you could only really get before if you had a fancy, slr camera and kind of knew what you were doing with exposure. This is as point and click as you can get. You do need to have it mounted on a tripod to keep it really still, but when youve got it set up in an ideal spot. This is the kind of images you can get with relatively minimal effort, and this is a really fun thing to do. On a nice summer, night, like i had last night, and it just brings in a whole new way to think about pictures and photography and its so cool that you can do this on a phone, but i am less than enthusiastic about shooting video on this phone. It does look pretty nice, as you can see here, it keeps the footage super stable, even when youre moving around the detail is pretty good on the video as well its not quite as good as what i get out of my iphone 12 pro, but for the Price point: it takes very nice video. You can only shoot video out of the standard lens, though it doesnt support video shooting out of the ultra wide lens. But the big problem here is when you shoot at 4k, so at 4k, 30 or 4k 60.
You only get a couple of minutes of recording time before the phone comes back and tells you that its overheating and then it has to take a break before you can start recording video again, and this was especially an issue when youre shooting at 60 frames per. Second, 4k, because it was only going for about two or three minutes for me before it shut down and im kind of thinking. This might be a software thing. I did reach out to google multiple times to ask them that this might get fixed ahead of the phones official release date. They never got back to me so im, assuming that this problem will persist after it gets into customers hands. So if you were looking at this because of its 4k shooting capabilities, youll get some 4k video out of it, but youre not going to get a lot of long duration stuff because its going to overheat and turn off the recording. I did find, though, that its 1080p shooting modes both at 60 and 30 frames per second were able to maintain a good length of time before things overheated. In fact, i did not see it overheat at that lower resolution in my testing, so the 4k is an issue and if you were looking at this primarily for its 4k video functions, i would look elsewhere, because this heating issue is a problem. I will post the follow up video if they fix it with a software update, but because i havent heard back from them.
I am not very confident were going to see that and i was very disappointed that they would roll out a feature that doesnt really work here and im hoping they can fix it, but if they dont just be aware of that shortfall, all right lets take a Look at some games now and as i mentioned, this doesnt have a particularly powerful processor, but its going to be more than adequate for just about any game that you find on the android app store, because most of these games are kind of aimed at lower end Devices, so this is call of duty mobile, its running just fine on here and other games that i tried earlier some of the casual stuff. I was running just fine, so if you are looking to play some casual games, not a problem here, this phone is also great for game streaming. So if you are subscribed to the xbox game, pass ultimate uh with their game streaming or google stadio or some of the other ones out there. This will do a very good job with that, both on wi fi and on 5g, and we ran the 3dmark slingshot benchmark test and there we got a score of 4642 and, as you can see going through the numbers there, it is very close to what we Got on the google pixel 5, because these do have the same processor inside and this performance level is about what you would get out of an iphone 7 plus from a couple of years ago, and you can also see its very close to the performance.
We got out of last years, pixel 4a. So, overall, i found this to be a very good value, but only if you dont shoot a lot of video with your phone if youre somebody that does nothing but take video with your phone youll probably want to look elsewhere, because this thing cannot record 4k. Video very long before it shuts the camera off due to heating issues if they can fix it great, but if they dont fix it. I think its a major shortfall here, especially because they advertise the 4k video as being something you can do with the phone. But its really kind of broken at the moment so lets hope they can fix it if they do ill be back with an updated video, but for now use caution when purchasing this, because you might not get your moneys worth out of the 4k video function. Thats going to do it for now until next time. This is london. Thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lawn dot tv supporters, including gold level supporters, chris allegretta, tom albrecht, jim callagher, hot sauce and video games and brian parker.