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Daily Authority: 📱 Google Pixel 5a still good?

We revisit the Pixel 5a just before the Pixel 6a hits shelves. Also check out all the latest from the world of technology.

Published onJuly 21, 2022

pixel5a vancouver 9

☕ Good morning, readers. Welcome to another thriving Thursday newsletter from Android Authority. Today I am preparing for my interview with folks over at Glance, that lock screen app that was all up in the news last week. They want to convince me that lock screen content (with ads) is good, but I have other thoughts. Anyway, here’s what’s making news today.

Pixel 6a incoming: Still a good time to buy the Pixel 5a?

the google pixel 5a on a piece of cement showing its back in mostly black color with a camera close up
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

My friend and colleague Andrew Grush whipped out his Pixel 5a over a month ago to see if it’s still a good buy a year later. The Pixel 6a is going on sale soon, with pre-orders opening today, and some of you may be wondering if it’s a good time to pick up a discounted Pixel 5a. Well, look no further because we have the answer.

What’s good after a year

  • Some of you might not agree with Grush, but the design of the Pixel 5a is more subtle than the flashy Pixel 6 or 6a. It’s got a silky smooth metal back that doesn’t pull eyeballs and is perfect for the everyday user who isn’t craving attention.
  • The display is still solid for a mid-range phone. If you want big and bright, the 5a has got your back even though it sticks to a 60Hz display.
  • One thing I really appreciate about the Pixel 5a, and so did Grush, is that it houses a 3.5mm headphone jack. Now that’s hard to find these days, no matter which brand of phone you’re considering. Got wired headphones or buds? Pop them right in there.
  • Grush notes that Google didn’t cheap out on extras for the 5a. For instance, the phone sports an IP67 rating, the same as the newer Pixel 6a.
  • Who knew the phone’s battery would still hold up well a year later? The phone’s 4,680mAh battery, which by the way is bigger than most flagships out there, still easily delivers a day and a half of on-time when maxed out with intensive use.
  • On that note, here are the best phones you can get if battery life is your priority.
  • Google promised three years of OS updates for the device so it still brings the latest software and will do for a while. Grush says the firm has also ironed out most of the bugs users reported early on.

What’s not good

  • Well, if you are a photography fiend, you might feel the camera of the Pixel 5a is outdated. It’s not the best camera phone out there, but Grush says it holds up just fine.
  • The 5a’s processor also shows its age. Remember, Google upgraded the Pixel 6a to its new Tensor chip. The Snapdragon 765G doesn’t quite match up and you’ll notice minor performance hiccups when using advanced apps.
  • The fast charging isn’t particularly fast. The thing takes two hours to go from zero to 100%. Now that’s a problem for those of us with fast-moving lives.
  • That reminds me, we have a great article on how you can get the maximum out of your phone’s battery. It may help if you’re unhappy with your handset’s battery life.

The verdict

  • Grush barely felt a difference between using the Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a.
  • You may have noticed that nearly all of Grush’s “not-so-good” points weren’t all that bad.
  • He recommends if you have the phone, you can hold onto it for at least another year.
  • If you are upgrading, it’s probably wise to wait for the Pixel 6a or put in $150 extra for the Pixel 6.
  • Meanwhile, a discounted Pixel 5a is still worth considering with all the good it retains a year after launch.


📱 Launch season is back! The OnePlus 10T is coming in early August, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 (Android Authority).

💲 Speaking of Samsung’s foldable phones, if you’ve ever wondered whether the Flip sells more or less than the Fold, here’s your answer (Android Authority).

🥚 It appears Nothing has added a fun Easter egg to the Phone 1. No, it’s not the same as the Android 12 Easter egg (Android Authority).

💛 Our very own C. Scott Brown compiles some great wallpapers every Wednesday, and this week’s collection is pure gold! (Android Authority).

🎶 Music to my ears, or not: YouTube Music could finally get a key feature from Play Music (Android Authority).

💰 Elon Musk doesn’t want to hold Bitcoin during a crypto winter, dumps 75% of Tesla’s holdings. Want to learn more about investing in cryptocurrency? Here’s a great guide (Techcrunch, Android Authority).

🤳 Have you heard of BeReal? It’s the anti-Instagram and it’s breaking out! (The Verge).

🗺️ Wait, Instagram now has built-in maps? Like we don’t spend enough time on it already (Twitter).

🎮 New screenshots and a clip from The Last of Us Part 1 have leaked ahead of its September 2 release (Kotaku).

📺 Want to see more cool stuff? Here’s a brand new trailer for HBO’s House of the Dragon, the GoT prequel series we’ve all been waiting for, coming August 21 (HBO Max).

Thursday thing: The future of air mobility

Hyundai Supernal Cabin Concept
  • Hyundai Motor Group revealed this fascinating eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) cabin concept at the Farnborough Air Show 2022.
  • The five-seat cabin concept for the lightweight eVTOL offers forged carbon fiber and vegan leather interiors.
  • There’s wireless charging pads next to every seat, a main passenger information display up front, calming lights up top, and UV and infrared blocking windows on the sides.
  • My personal favorite are the integrated seat-back shelves for cell phones. Why don’t we have them on regular airplanes already!
  • Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility division, Supernal, wants to certify its eVTOL vehicle for commercial use in the US starting in 2028.
  • Check out the full video of the cabin concept here and how they actually built the thing here.

Hope your spirits soar high today!

Adamya Sharma, Editor.

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