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5 major things to consider if you’re thinking of upgrading to Google’s Pixel 5 or Pixel 4a 5G

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pixel 5
The Pixel 5.

  • The five biggest things about the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G are Google’s Android updates, the brand-new ultrawide camera, their surprisingly low price tags for new phone releases in 2020, better performance, and 5G.
  • It’s a mixed bag, however, especially with performance. The Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G don’t have hardware inside that will impress those with higher expectations. 
  • For instance, 5G on its own isn’t a good reason to upgrade. But, we’re all keen to see the ultrawide camera from Google, which is known to make the best smartphone cameras. 
  • The Pixel 5 is only in the preorder phase now, and won’t be released until October 29. Meanwhile, the Pixel 4a 5G won’t be released until November 19. There’s plenty of time for you to decide whether you should upgrade to either of these phones.

Newly announced phones, same old question — should you upgrade? Here, we’re talking about Google’s Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G phones. 

I have my own thresholds as to when I finally decide to upgrade, and your criteria are probably different to mine. That’s to say, only you can really decide when it’s time to upgrade to a new phone. 

Still, some things to consider: The age of your current phone doesn’t really matter. What really matters is whether it runs well enough to do what you want, and whether it has the features you want. If your phone does neither, then you have a solid case to upgrade.

If your old phone has had its day, here are the main things to consider whether you should upgrade to the Pixel 5 or Pixel 4a 5G:

With Pixel phones in particular, some things are constant

For one, you get Android updates as soon as they’re released, unlike the majority of other Android phones out there that get updates weeks or months later. 

Another great thing with Pixel phones is that Google trickles down many new features announced with new models to older Pixel devices, which actually gives you several reason not to upgrade if you have an older Pixel device.

Some new features include Google’s new Exreme Battery Saver mode that will supposedly keep your phone usable while giving it 48 hours of battery life. There’s also a new Google Assistant “Hold for me” feature where Google Assistant will take your place when you’re placed on hold on a call. 

At long last, Pixel phones have an ultrawide camera

If you’ve been waiting for a Pixel phone to get an ultrawide camera, your time has come. 

Brand-new to Google’s Pixel phones is an ultrawide camera lens. It’s a big deal because Google infamously snubbed ultrawide with the Pixel 4 in 2019 and doubled-down on a zoomed lens instead, which was an odd, misguided move for 2019 flagship phones. 

We have yet to test the camera, but we’re confident that the standard 12-megapixel sensor will be excellent, and we’re very keen to see what ultrawide photos look like with Google’s incredible camera chops.

pixel 5 hero
The Pixel 5.

The prices look good, but Samsung is spoiling Google’s party

At $700 for the Pixel 5 and $500 for the Pixel 4a 5G, Google’s latest phones make the prospect of upgrading less daunting.

With that said, there are some concerns about the Pixel 5’s specs and set of features relative to its price tag, especially when compared to Samsung’s $700 Galaxy S20 FE. The S20 FE, for example, also starts at only $700 and runs on the super-powerful Snapdragon 865 chip — the same that spins the wheels in the ultra premium Galaxy S20 line. The Galaxy S20 FE also has a bigger screen with a faster refresh rate.

It might not be much of a performance upgrade for some

The Pixel 4a 5G and even the flagship Pixel 5 run on the fast-but-mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor. It’s a good chip, and it helped Google keep the price down for the latest Pixel phones, but it may not offer much of a performance upgrade if your phone is only two years old (2018) and runs on the Snapdragon 845. 

Basically, the latest Pixel phones will run just fine and they’ll be plenty fast, but Pixel 3 and Galaxy S9 owners should beware that the Pixel 5 or Pixel 4a 5G may not be much faster if they’re after better performance. 

If you’re looking for a real performance upgrade at this price point, you’ll likely be better off with Samsung’s recent Galaxy S20 FE.

Despite all this, if you have your heart set on the latest Pixels but you’re concerned about performance, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, and I’d wait for the reviews to confirm that they run just fine. 

pixel 4a 5g
The Pixel 4a 5G.

5G isn’t a good reason on its own to upgrade to either phone

Carriers and phone makers boast about 5G, but it’s not a good reason to upgrade on its own in 2020. 

5G is the latest standard in mobile wireless networks, and carriers have promised significantly higher speeds and overall performance (especially with latency) than the 4G LTE networks we’ve been using for the last decade. 5G is said to make an easy meal out of anything that requires an internet connection, especially heavy uses like high resolution video streaming and video calling, and cloud gaming on services like Google Stadia.

But — and there’s a big but — 5G isn’t a good reason to buy Google’s latest smartphones. 5G isn’t exactly “everywhere” at the moment, and it’s unlikely to be the primary network that any 5G phone will connect to at the time of writing. I’ve tested all the 5G phones released in the US this year, mostly on T-Mobile’s 5G network, and I’ve never had a better experience than 4G LTE. I could have tried the supposedly faster 5G networks on Verizon’s or AT&T’s, but their 5G networks are nowhere near where I live or visit on a regular basis.

5G is a frankly awful and confusing mess, and it has no tangible benefit at the moment. It might be better in the future, but we have no idea when that might be. So, buying a 5G phone today for the promise of something better later shouldn’t be an active reason to buy a new Pixel.

Here are the hardware specifications, or specs, for both phones:

Google Pixel 5 specs

  • Display: 6-inch 1080p OLED with 90Hz refresh rate
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • Memory and storage: 8GB RAM & 128GB storage
  • Rear camera: 12-megapixel standard wide, 16-megapixel ultra-wide
  • Selfie camera: 8-megapixel
  • Battery: 4,080Ah with wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. 
  • Water resistance: IP68
  • 5G: Yes

Google Pixel 4a 5G specs

  • Display: 6.2-inch 1080p OLED 
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • Memory and storage: 6GB RAM & 128GB storage
  • Rear camera: 12-megapixel standard wide, 16-megapixel ultra-wide
  • Selfie camera: 8-megapixel
  • Battery: 3,885mAh
  • Water resistance: None
  • 5G: Yes
Read the original article on Business Insider

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