Google Pixel 4a 5GSource: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

What you need to know

  • The January 2021 security patch is now rolling out.
  • Along with the usual updates, there are a few Pixel-specific bug fixes.
  • The Pixel 5's volume issues have been fixed.
  • A pesky speaker bug that was plaguing the Pixel 4a 5G is finally being addressed.

We're just a few short days into 2021, but already, Google is making sure it starts the year on a good note. As of right now, the January 2021 security patch is rolling out. You can look forward to the usual assortment of vulnerability fixes that we expect with any security patch, but this time around, Pixel owners have a few specific upgrades they'll be treated to.

If you have a Pixel 4a 5G, there's a fix for unwanted speaker noises in "certain scenarios." This is an issue that folks have been complaining about basically since the phone was released back in November, with people reporting that the speaker would emit a crackling noise during media playback. It's been an ongoing nuisance, so it's great to see Google finally addressing it.

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Perhaps more importantly, the Pixel 5 also sees an audio-focused upgrade, with Google finally fixing the volume-related problems we were first to report about back in November.

January 2021 Pixel UpdateSource: Google

Moving on to some display updates, the January patch fixes auto-brightness issues for the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. Furthermore, all Pixels from the Pixel 3 up to the Pixel 5 are getting a patch for an issue that caused "intermittent restarts in certain apps."

Rounding out the January patch, Pixel 3 - Pixel 5 owners can also look forward to:

  • Further improvements for auto-rotation response in certain device orientations
  • Fix for issue preventing calls on certain MVNO networks

Although there aren't any new, flashy features with the January 2021 update, it's still great to see Google addressing all of these pesky bugs. The update is rolling out now, so be sure to check and see if it's available if you haven't already.

Always improving

Google Pixel 4a 5G

Mid-range excellence

The Pixel 4a 5G is one of the best smartphone values you can get in 2021. It has a good-looking OLED display, amazing cameras, and fast performance with support for 5G. Thanks to frequent software updates from Google, it's always getting better with new features and bug fixes.

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