Google’s newest rival to iPhone SE is much better in every way


Google Pixel 5a
It's $50 more expensive, but it's worth it.
Photo: Google

Google is taking on iPhone SE and other affordable smartphones with its new Pixel 5a, and it’s much better than Apple’s entry-level handset in every way. The device packs impressive specs and 5G connectivity, and costs just $449.

The second-generation iPhone SE was dubbed by critics the best affordable smartphone money could buy when it made its debut last April. But just over a year later, competition in the mid-range market is much more fierce.

Other smartphone makers have been rolling out more compelling iPhone SE competitors, and they don’t get much better (right now, at least) than Google’s new Pixel 5a, which makes Apple’s handset look like a bad deal.

Pixel 5a offers a lot for just $449

Priced at $449, the Pixel 5a is just $50 more expensive than a brand-new iPhone SE. But it’s well worth the slightly higher cost. It not only sports a premium metal body, like Apple’s devices, but it also packs impressive specs.

The Pixel 5a features a 6.34-inch edge-to-edge OLED display and a triple rear-facing camera setup that supports Portrait mode and Night Shift. It ships with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and has dual-SIM support.

The device also packs a significantly larger battery than both the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5 (4,680 mAh), which, when coupled with its Extreme Battery Saver mode, can last up to 48 hours on a single charge, Google says.

What’s more, the Pixel 5a is powered by a mid-range yet snappy Snapdragon 765G chipset, and, unlike iPhone SE, it features super-fast 5G connectivity. Oh, it also has a USB-C port and a headphone jack.

Out August 26

Despite its compelling feature set, the Pixel 5a is unlikely to convince many iPhone fans that it’s time to jump ship. But it does give Apple much stronger competition in the mid-range smartphone space, and that’s great for us.

Recent reports have suggested Apple was already planning to bring 5G connectivity to iPhone SE’s next successor. Here’s to hoping the Pixel 5a can encourage other big improvements, too.

For those who are interested in the Pixel 5a, it’s out on August 26 in the United States and Japan. You can get yours in one of four color options from the Google Store or through Google Fi.