I only just got a new Pixel 5 in November and Google has already discontinued it ahead of the Pixel 6. But before then, they’ve released the Pixel 5A which is basically a hybrid of the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4A 5G but with even better battery life.
When the Pixel 5 launched last fall alongside the Pixel 4a 5G — which it shared almost all specs with — it could at least distinguish itself from the larger, less premium device with wireless charging, water resistance, and the aluminum unibody design that came in that delicious Sorta Sage green. With a $100-$200 gap, it was easier to recommend the Pixel 5 for a more pocket-friendly phone that could withstand rainy days and featured a crisp 90Hz screen.
Unfortunately, the Pixel 5a picked up water resistance alongside its much beefier battery, meaning that among this sea of same specs below, there’s far less for the Pixel 5 to use to justify its price tag.
It’s not too surprising that the 4A 5G being discontinued given that the 5A 5G looks to be a fairly direct successor. However, it is a little unusual to see the Pixel 5 discontinued well in advance of the Pixel 6’s arrival this fall.
Maybe that’s because the Pixel 5 bears more of a similarity to the budget-oriented A-series phones than it will to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Google appears to be pulling out all the stops for the 6-series, positioning them as true flagship competitors to Apple and Samsung’s heavy hitters. While the Pixel 5 offers step-up features like wireless charging and robust IP68 waterproofing not available in the A-series, it wasn’t quite specced out to compete with the iPhone 12 Pros and Galaxy S21s of the world.
My contract doesn’t run out for another year or so and by then, the Pixel 6 will be halfway through its lifespan (or less if Google decides to rush a Pixel 7 through). Maybe I’ll get a good deal on a 5A or maybe that’ll get discontinued quickly too. Suddenly, Google is following Apple’s trend of killing off support for good phones in pursuit of The New Flagship. I, personally, don’t give a shit.