The Google Pixel 5a might actually arrive before Android 12

Google Pixel 5a Leak
Google Pixel 5a Leak (Image credit: Steve Hemmerstoffer / Voice)

What you need to know

  • A new rumor claims the Pixel 5a will be announced and released in August.
  • Google has already confirmed the Pixel 5a will be coming this year.
  • The device is expected to be available in the U.S. and Japan.

As far as we know, Google is still planning to launch the Pixel 5a this year, although it seems that the timeline continues to shift. The latest rumor comes from Mark Gurman with Bloomberg, claiming that the Pixel 5a will be unveiled and released in August.

Google Pixel fans, this summer is for you. Expect the Pixel 5a, the company's next-generation, lower-cost handset, to be announced and released in August.

The Pixel 5a storyline has been a mixed bag of confusing rumors and leaks ever since this particular train left the station. Renders appeared showing off the supposed device all the way back in February, confirming that it will follow in the same design footsteps as the Pixel 4a 5G.

Since then, we've learned a bit more about specs and features, but there's really not too much to be excited about. Then came a flurry of incorrect reports from different sources that claimed the Pixel 5a had actually been canceled entirely by Google. Google then responded with an official comment, not only confirming that the Pixel 5a 5G was in the works, but that it would be arriving in the U.S. and Japan.

Some rumors suggested that we could see the Pixel 5a announced at Google I/O 2021 ahead of a June release. But those reports were unfounded, and we're now almost into July with no sight of a Pixel 5a.

What makes this release so curious is how close it will be to the release of Android 12 and the rumored Google Pixel 6 lineup. According to the Android 12 release schedule, we can expect to see the finished version sometime in September. Meanwhile, the latest roundup of Pixel 6 rumors put the device to be released sometime in October. The Pixel 5a coming before everything else would mean a rather busy Fall for the Google team, but the Pixel 5a could end up getting lost in the mix.

Pixel 4a 5g Google Store Options

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

There's also one other recent revelation throwing a wrench into this rumor, and it's to do with the Pixel 4a 5G. One of the best cheap Android phones of the year (so far) is currently unavailable from major retailers like Best Buy or B&H Photo. Even trying to purchase it from Amazon results in a third-party vendor and not from Amazon or Google directly. While the 4a 5G is still available from Google directly, stocking levels have been fluctuating, and at the time of this writing, the unlocked version is out of stock.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.

  • So since the Pixel 5a will only be released in the US and Japan, will the 4a 5G (one I'm getting this fall) be still available in the UK?
  • I wish it were available today. Never owned a pixel, however, it's the first one that has me interested...
  • Nice. I don't want Android 12. This would be fantastic as I could stay on Android 11 then.
  • I want Android 12, Android 11 is now obsolete as far as I'm concerned, Android 12 has breathed new life into Android which was in danger of becoming stale. Why would anyone not want Android 12? It's beautiful and the best version of Android I've ever seen since the original Material Design back when I had my Nexus 6.
  • I've only owned Nexus and Pixel phones and for the first time I'm considering getting something else, or even switching to Apple for a run. I'll wait until the new Pixels are out. Right now the Pixel 5, which my wife has, seems like a good phone but priced way above where it should be IMO. There's no good reason why the Pixel 5 should cost more than $500. Unfortunately, other Android options are limited in terms of software and security updates and come with overlays that I'm not interested in. Samsung seems to be by far the preferable solution here as they at least promise similar software update cycles, and their phones come with top hardware and reasonably priced. Of course my timing is bad as Samsung got rid of expandable storage on their S21 series right about the time I started considering buying a Samsung phone. My previous Samsung is a Galaxy Nexus that still runs with its original battery! Once the new Pixels are out and we know more about pricing I'll have to make a decision, maybe I'll take a chance on an Apple device and get rid of it after a few months if I really don't like it.
  • That's the thing though, everyone seems to think that Samsung is actually promising 3 years of software updates when they aren't, in fact they're only saying "up to 3 generations of OS updates" so that's not an official guarantee to me like Google's promise which is absolutely guaranteed, with Samsung, even the 3rd and 4th year will be most likely switched to quarterly updates so no, I'd stay away from Samsung with their cluttered UI which is full of inferior duplicates of superior Google apps except for Samsung Internet. So unless you want bloatware apps and a cluttered UI and slower updates then get Samsung but I'd stick with a Pixel, I wished I got the Pixel 4a 5G or the 5 (which is priced just right here in the UK) over my S20 FE which I'll be getting rid of once I get my 4a 5G this fall.