Google announced the Pixel 5a on Tuesday, a new budget Pixel phone that shows that the company continues to devote resources to building new hardware in various price ranges. The Pixel 5a is priced at $ 449 and will hit the market on August 26th.
Google is slowly expanding its hardware business, which is not generating any significant revenue for the company compared to its services like Search, YouTube, and Google Cloud.
The company completed its Fitbit acquisition in January, laying a foundation in the fitness wearables market, opening its first retail store in May where people can play and shop with its products. It is also building a dedicated hardware campus in Silicon Valley called “Midpoint”. And earlier this month it announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, two new high-end phones that will hit the market this fall that will use a new Google Tensor chip instead of one from Qualcomm.
Google continues to release new versions of its Nest products, including gadgets like smart home displays, speakers, thermostats, security cameras and a doorbell.
The Pixel 5a is a moderate improvement over last year’s Pixel 4a 5G, with a bigger battery, slightly larger screen, and water resistance. It supports 5G but not the fastest mmWave 5G networks and has the same mid-range Qualcomm processor as last year. What sets Google apart is that it offers a smooth and fast software experience even on processors with lower performance.
The company also offers features on Pixels that you won’t get from other Android phones like a dictation app that converts speech to text, car crash detection, and smart filtering of spam calls and text messages. New Android versions are coming to Pixel smartphones immediately and updates are guaranteed for three years.
It may seem like an odd time bringing the Pixel 5a to market, as the company’s more ambitious Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones are coming soon. However, Google plans to invest heavily in marketing its new flagship phones, and consumers who don’t want to spend more on them may find the Pixel 5a a good compromise.
It competes most directly with Apple’s iPhone SE, which also costs $ 449 with the same storage capacity of 128GB. It also competes with other budget Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G. However, Android fans should opt for the Pixel as it comes with faster software updates.
While Google’s Pixel phones are good, they didn’t beat those made by Samsung and Apple who dominate the US phone market through the US Google Store rather than through cellular operators or retail partners.