In this article, we’ll compare the Google Pixel 5a 5G vs Google Pixel 4a. The Pixel 5a 5G is technically a successor to the Pixel 4a 5G, and we’ve already compared those two smartphones. The Pixel 4a is their inferior sibling that many people prefer due to its smaller size, and more affordable price tag. Can the Pixel 4a hold its own against its larger, and younger sibling? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
We’ll kick things off by listing their spec sheets. Following that, we’ll compare their designs, displays, performance, battery performance, and cameras. These two phones do have some things in common, and they even look kind of similar. There are quite a few differences to talk about, though. Having said that, let’s compare the Google Pixel 5a 5G vs Google Pixel 4a, shall we. Do note that we’ll refer to the Pixel 5a 5G as the Pixel 5a from now on.
|Google Pixel 5a 5G||Google Pixel 4a|
|Screen size||6.34-inch fullHD+ OLED display (60Hz)||5.81-inch fullHD+ OLED display (60Hz)|
|Screen resolution||2400 x 1080||2340 x 1080|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G|
|RAM||6GB (LPDDR4X)||6GB (LPDDR4X)|
|Storage||128GB, non-expandable||128GB, non-expandable|
|Rear cameras||12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS)|
16MP (ultra-wide, f/2.2 aperture, 1.0um pixel size, 119-degree FoV)
|12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS)|
|Front cameras||8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)||8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)|
|Battery||4,680mAh, non-removable, 18W fast battery charging||3,140mAh, non-removable, 18W fast battery charging|
|Dimensions||154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6mm||144 x 69.4 x 8.2mm|
|Weight||183 grams||143 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||Rear-facing fingerprint scanner||Rear-facing fingerprint scanner|
|OS||Android 11||Android 10 (upgradeable)|
Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 4a: Design
These two phones do look kind of similar. Well, unlike the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G, the Pixel 5a does offer better build quality. That handset is not made out of polycarbonate, as the two other phones, but it comes with a metal unibody build, similar to the Pixel 5. Its metallic shell is covered by resin, which is also plastic, kind of. It does feel different in the hand than the Pixel 4a, though, and not only because of its size, but because of the aforementioned build materials.
The Pixel 4a’s frame is made out of plastic, as is its outer shell. From the front, the two phones do look extremely similar, and something similar can be said when we flip them around as well. They both include flat displays, while you’ll notice a hole punch in the top-left corner of those displays. Their bezels are also similar in regards to thickness, while their buttons also sit in similar spots.
Both phones have a fingerprint scanner on the back, and their camera islands are located in the same spot. The Pixel 5a’s looks different due to the different hardware that is included there. The Pixel 5a is taller, wider, and thinner than the Pixel 4a. You will feel that difference in the hand. You’ll also feel the difference in weight as well, as the Pixel 5a is 40 grams heavier in comparison. Both phones do feel good in the hand, and are less slippery than glass-made phones, that’s for sure.
Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 4a: Display
The Google Pixel 5a comes with a 6.34-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display. That display does support HDR content, it’s flat and it’s protected by the Gorilla Glass 3. The Pixel 4a, on the other hand, features a 5.81-inch fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) OLED display. That panel is also flat, and it supports HDR content. It has the same protection as the Pixel 5a, and both of those panels offer a 60Hz refresh rate. In other words, neither device offers a high refresh rate.
These two displays are extremely similar, the main difference you’ll notice is the size. They’re okay, but nothing to write home about. The blacks are deep, while the colors are okay, but these two panels do look a bit yellowish when compared to higher-end panels. If you’re used to high refresh rate panels, you’ll notice the difference. Do note that using both displays feels really good, and Google did a great job with animations, and touch sensitivity.
Both displays are quite sensitive to the touch, and you won’t experience any issues with false touches or anything of the sort. These two panels don’t get extremely bright outdoors, so you may have an issue with that. They’re not horrible in that regard, though, I not once felt like I can’t see something, even though I’d prefer it if they got brighter. The viewing angles on these two panels are great. The Gorilla Glass 3 does scratch considerably easier than its newer siblings, so keep that in mind. Using a screen protector may be a good idea.
Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 4a: Performance
The Google Pixel 4a has been around for over a year at this point. That handset has performed really well ever since it launched, and its newer sibling matches that performance. It is worth noting that the Pixel 5a does come with more powerful hardware. It is fueled by the Snapdragon 765G, the same SoC included in the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. The Pixel 4a includes the Snapdragon 730G.
Both devices do come with 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 flash storage, though. They do perform really well when it comes to regular tasks. You won’t feel like you’re missing out on some huge added benefit that higher-end models deliver. They can open and close apps really fast, lag is not a part of the package. You can multitask without a problem, browse, consume multimedia, and so on.
You may experience an occasional stutter, but that’s the case with pretty much every phone. You will start seeing the difference in performance (in comparison to more powerful devices) if you fire up some graphically intensive games. Both of these phones can handle games, but don’t do that well if the game is particularly power-hungry, in regards to processing power. Still, you can play pretty much every game, which is a good thing, and with the vast majority of them, both phones will do a good job.
Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 4a: Battery
The Google Pixel 5a comes with a 4,680mAh battery, while the Pixel 4a includes a 3,140mAh battery pack. That is a major difference in the sheer capacity of these two batteries. The Pixel 5a does have a larger display, but other than that, it’s not exactly more power-hungry than its sibling. As a result, the phone offers stellar battery life, much better than the Pixel 4a. The Pixel 4a’s battery life is not terrible, though.
I’ve actually been using the Pixel 4a as my daily driver between reviews and comparisons, as I really like the form factor. On most days, the phone was able to deliver at least 6 hours of screen on time. There were some off days when it underdelivered, as it happens with every phone. Do note that I’m not a gamer, though, not at all, I don’t play any games on my phones, and only do it for work. If you do fire up some games, it will fell below that 6-hour mark without a problem.
The Pixel 5a, on the other hand, seems to deliver amazing battery life. We were able to cross the 9-hour screen-on-time mark without a problem. Some of our colleagues managed to get even more than that. In other words, if you really need great battery life, the Pixel 5a is the phone to get, without a doubt.
When it comes to charging, they’re exactly the same… in regards to the tech they offer. You’ll get 18W fast wired charging with both devices. Wireless charging is not included, and the same goes for reverse wireless charging. Needless to say, the Pixel 5a will take longer to charge, due to the larger battery pack, and same charging speed.
Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 4a: Cameras
When it comes to cameras, they have similar setups, but not identical ones. The main cameras are the same, as are selfie cameras. The Pixel 5a does have one extra camera over the Pixel 4a, an ultrawide unit on the back. Both phones use a 12.2-megapixel camera that Google has been using for years now, since the Pixel 2. Google’s software magic still does the trick, though, as that camera can do a great job. The same can be said for a 16-megapixel ultrawide camera on the back of the Pixel 5a.
Both phones can capture really nice-looking images in good lighting, with plenty of detail, and nice colors. They can also do a good job when it comes to portrait shots, to provide some depth of field. They do an excellent job when it comes to HDR shots, and dynamic range is spot on, usually, as is white balance. Both phones do a good job of balancing colors as well.
In low light, both phones do a good job thanks to Google’s Night Sight feature. You will notice a bit more grain than on some other phones, but just a little bit. That’s a small price to pay for images that you’ll get in return. Images that are well-lit, and offer more than enough detail. Both phones are good when it comes to lighting up the shadows as well.
You’ll be glad to know that both of these phones do offer stereo speakers. The main speaker sits at the bottom, while the second one is located above the display. Those speakers are good enough. They do get loud enough, and they’re sharp enough. Why do we say “enough”? Well, there are certainly better stereo speakers available out there, on phones, but these speakers won’t really let you down. They’re great for the asking price, that’s for sure.
You’ll also be glad to know that an audio jack is included on both smartphones. That’s not something many phones can say these days, but there you go. A 3.5mm headphone jack is a part of the package on both phones, so you won’t have to use a dongle or anything of the sort. You can always reach out for Bluetooth headphones, though. The sound you’ll get out of both phones, when you hook up a good pair of headphones, is… well, good enough.