(Pocket-lint) - Google might only have announced the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 in October 2020, but there are already rumours circulating about the next Pixel smartphone. 

Expected to be the Pixel 5a - a mid-range offering of the Pixel 5 - here is everything we have heard so far, though we expect there is still a lot more to learn.

Release date and price

  • Possibly May 2021

It's a little too early to predict when the Google Pixel 5a will be announced, especially as the Pixel 4a was only revealed in August 2020, so it's not been around long.

There have been a couple of suggestions that we might see the Pixel 5a at Google I/O in May 2021, though it's not clear if that event will go ahead at the moment. Google I/O was cancelled in 2020 due to the global pandemic, which was when the Pixel 4a was initially expected to be revealed. 

Price is a little easier to predict though. We'd expect the Pixel 5a to come in around the £349/$349 mark, possibly a little higher if it offers 5G. The Pixel 3a cost £399 in the UK and $399 in the US when it was first announced in 2019, but the Pixel 4a is cheaper, costing £349 in the UK and $349 in the US. Neither offers 5G connectivity though, so it might be the Pixel 5a price increases slightly if it offers this.

Design

  • Polycarbonate
  • Rear fingerprint sensor, punch hole front camera
  • Just Black

Based on the first leaks, it looks like the Google Pixel 5a could follow a very similar design to the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. It's thought it will offer a polycarbonate body, with a square camera housing in the top left corner, much like the Pixel 4a 5G. The Pixel 5 has a brushed aluminium body but with a matt coating.

A physical fingerprint sensor is expected to be positioned on the rear - like the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G - and a punch hole camera is rumoured to sit in the top left corner of the Pixel 5a's display, again like the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5.

Other design aspects are said to include a 3.5mm headphone jack and stereo speakers. Colour options have not yet been detailed, but it has leaked in black so we are expecting the Pixel 5a in at least the Just Black colour option, which both the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G are also offered in.

Measurements are claimed to be 156.2 x 73.2 x 8.8mm (9.4mm with the rear camera bump). This would put the Pixel 5a at a similar size to the Pixel 4a 5G, albeit a little taller, narrower and thicker. There's currently no word on waterproofing, but we suspect this is something that will continue to be reserved for the Pixel 5.

Display

  • 6.2-inch, Full HD+
  • OLED

Early reports claim the Google Pixel 5a will feature a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display, which is the same as the Pixel 4a 5G. That means the resolution should be 2340 x 1080 pixels and the pixel density should be 413ppi.

It's said to be an OLED panel, though so far, there has been no word on refresh rate for the Pixel 5a. The Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G both offer a standard 60Hz refresh rate, while the Pixel 5 has a 90Hz refresh rate

There should be support for HDR however as this is something offered on the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G and Pixel 5.

Cameras

  • Dual rear camera
  • Likely same as Pixel 5

Based on the early rumours, the Google Pixel 5a will come with a dual rear camera, coupled with an additional sensor and flash within the square camera housing. Specifics on the camera haven't been revealed as yet, but Google typically offers the same camera in the "a" device, as the more premium handset.

If this continues to be the case, the Pixel 5a should feature the same camera as the Pixel 5, which is also the same as the Pixel 4a 5G. The Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G have a main 12.2-megapixel sensor with 1.4µm and an f/1.7 aperture, as well as an ultra-wide 16-megapixel with an f/2.2 aperture. Their front camera is 8-megapixels with an f/2.0 aperture. 

We'd expect to see this on the Pixel 5a, along with the same features including the great video stabilisation features and  features like Night Sight.

Hardware and specs

  • At least 6GB RAM likely
  • At least 128GB storage likely
  • Processor unknown

This is one area that hasn't appeared much in the rumours yet so at the moment it is unclear what the Google Pixel 5a might sport under its hood.

The Pixel 5 and 4a 5G both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, but Qualcomm has yet to reveal a next-gen chipset to that processor. It might be that we see a new Snapdragon 700 series device soon - maybe the Snapdragon 775G or 777 - and that might then go into the Pixel 5a, but that would make the Pixel 5a higher spec than the Pixel 5 which doesn't really make sense.

We'd expect to see at least 6GB of RAM - like the Pixel 4a 5G and 4a offer - and we'd also expect at least 128GB of storage. Battery capacity hasn't been reported yet either, but the Pixel 4a 5G has a 3800mAh cell so the Pixel 5a is likely to offer something within that ballpark.

Whether the Pixel 5a will offer 5G connectivity or not also hasn't been detailed in the leaks as yet. If it does, it would be basically the same as the Pixel 4a 5G, which wouldn't make sense either.

Google Pixel 5a rumours: What's happened so far?

Here's everything we have heard so far about the Google Pixel 5a.

23 February 2021: Google Pixel 5a renders and specs revealed in huge leak

Well-known leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer - also known as @OnLeaks - shared some renders of the Pixel 5a, along with the specifications it is claimed to offer.

1/2Steve Hemmerstoffer (OnLeaks)

7 August 2020: Leaked document suggests Pixel 5a 

A leaked internal Android document suggested the Google Pixel 5a exists.

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Writing by Britta O'Boyle.