Google Pixel 5 is official with 90Hz display & dual cameras, preorders now live

Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G
Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • At long last, Google has unveiled the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G smartphones.
  • Both phones are powered by the Snapdragon 765G and have dual rear cameras.
  • The Pixel 5 has more premium features like wireless charging and an IP68 rating.

The Pixel 4a has been the darling of the Android space since its debut back in August, but now, it's time for a couple of new Pixels to shine in the spotlight. At its Launch Night In livestream event on September 30, Google officially took the wraps off of the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G.

Both of the phones have a lot more in common than you might suspect, so let's kick things off by talking about the cheaper of the two. The Pixel 4a 5G is the largest Pixel of the year with a 6.2-inch OLED panel, though by 2020 standards, it's still quite manageable. You get a Full HD+ resolution of 2340 x 1080, and just like the regular Pixel 4a, a 60Hz refresh rate.

Powering the 4a 5G is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G, which is the same chip found in phones like the LG Velvet and Motorola Edge. There's also 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,800 mAh battery with support for 18W wired charging. And, yes, you still get a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Google Pixel 5 Camera

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Looking at the back of the Pixel 4a 5G, you'll find two rear cameras to play with. The first is the same 12.2MP primary sensor Google's been using for a few years now, with the second one being a 16MP ultra-wide camera. This is the first time we've ever seen an ultra-wide sensor in a Pixel phone, and it's all a bit ironic given Google's stance last year about how ultra-wide isn't important.

Taking a look at the Pixel 5, the core of the phone is mostly the same. You get the Snapdragon 765G, 128GB of storage, and the same dual rear cameras. RAM and battery capacity are both slightly larger at 8GB and 4,080 mAh, respectively.

Where you start to notice the benefits of the Pixel 5 is with some of the smaller details that aren't immediately apparent. The display is a 6-inch OLED panel with the same Full HD+ resolution, though it's upgraded to a 90Hz refresh rate. The body is also made out of aluminum instead of plastic, Qi wireless charging is available, and there's support for reverse wireless charging.

Google Pixel 5

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Now that you know what both phones are packing, we should probably talk about how much they'll end up costing you should you decide to buy.

The Pixel 4a 5G is available for just $499 in Just Black and the Pixel 5 will set you back a bit more at $699 in Just Black and Subtle Sage color options. Throw in the regular Pixel 4a that's still available for $349, and Google has three rock-solid handsets at three competitive price points. It's a much different strategy from years past, but in a world where $1,000 flagships are the norm, it's bound to be appreciated by a lot of potential customers.

Pre-orders for the Google Pixel 5 are open right now, with shipping dates showing up for late-October. If you want to get your hands on the Pixel 4a 5G, you'll need to wait until November 19.

This has certainly been one of the oddest years yet for the Pixel series, but all things considered, it looks to have turned out just fine. We can't make any final judgments until we get some hands-on time with both phones, but from what we're seeing so far, we could have two new contenders for the best Android phones of the year.

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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

12 Comments
  • I think they missed the mark by not offering an XL version, and not offering wifi 6.... This might be the first year I buy outside the Pixel/Google line. Wifi 6 was a must
  • I think they missed the mark because of the prices compared to the Samsung S20 FE. It is cheaper than the Pixel 5. And only $100 more than the 4a 5g. But better internals than both and a better screen.
  • Its 200$ more than 4a-5g
    I don't think its worth it
    I ve used pixel since og times even i bought pixel 4
    I wanna buy 1 for my mom and i think 200$ bump in pricing for just 3-4 features and headphone jack gone
    I mean i get they wanna make money but not like this in pandemic...
  • So Google has gone from mediocre to downright boring with the Pixel 4a 5G and 5, which in the case of the Pixel 5 is a complete downgrade from the 4, which at least used a flagship processor which has left Google even further behind its rivals. I’d never trade my 11 Pro Max for any Android phone let alone the Pixel 5. But the S20 FE is a better phone in every way than the Pixel and I still wouldn’t buy one.
  • Usually phone makers like to improve their products each year, seems like Google likes to go the other direction and make worse phones as the previous year 😂
  • Wow was that launch event painful. I skipped through most of their "Launch Night In" video.
    70% verbose, overdramatic storytelling.
    20% musically animated transitions.
    10% actually telling you anything about the product or service.
  • As usual the Fi version is not available and won't even let you go on a wait list. Google really sucks at selling things.
  • Same here. Tried buying it but couldn't. Now I've decided to wait until it's discounted and restocked.
  • The Pixel 5 is $100 too expensive.
  • I definitely want one of these two. Before the promotion, I was thinking I'd be fine with a standard Pixel 4A because I didn't think they'd fix the terrible 4k video frame rate in this generation. But on hearing they have, and that it's new camera hardware in these two models, I was immediately onboard. However, the jump in pricing feels like it's about creating distinct pricing deadzones between the units than it is about real values. It's hard to feel like an aluminium back, up/down wireless charging and a slightly bigger battery (no doubt an overhead that's eaten up by 90Hz operation) is really 200 notes-worth. It leaves the customer in this uncomfortable position of feeling like it would be nice to have buds fully charged at all times just by being in the same pocket as their prospective Pixel 5, but that you could buy — for the same price — a hypothetical bundle of buds plus a Pixel 4A 5G and just have to be a little more diligent about power management.
  • If AC calls this the best Android phone you can buy, or the phone of the year, they should shut down. Unless you are a dedicated fanboy I don't see a place for this. There's better budget phones for less money and it cannot compete with a flagship phone.
  • I'll stick with my 4XL and if things don't get better; might jump to a flip phone.