Pixel 5a Google Fi sighting confirms name and price

While many have their eyes set on the more premium Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google will be getting its mid-range offering out of the way first. Considering how much it might have in common with the Pixel 5, however, it might not even be accurate to label the Pixel 5a as a mid-tier phone. Regardless of specs, however, it will be the price that will determine where it slots in, and, based on an early sighting on Google's Fi MVNO network, it definitely fits the bill.

Unlike its predecessors, the Pixel 5 utilized a mid-tier Snapdragon 765G that was also used by the Snapdragon 4a 5G. Although its performance was not necessarily bad, and it did have an ample 8GB of RAM, the Pixel 5 unsurprisingly carried a stigma of not being a worthy member of Google's main Pixel family. Unfortunately, Google still slapped a relatively higher price tag that soured its image further.

In that context, the Pixel 5a better fits the bill of being the affordable Pixel phone for 2021. Its name briefly popped up on a Google Fi promo banner, just a day before the phone's rumored announcement. This promo gives the phone a formal "Pixel 5a (5G)" name (the Pixel 4a 5G skipped the parentheses) and is apparently the substitute for the non-5G Pixel 4a in the same promo slot.

Google Fi says that subscribers will save $233 when they get the Pixel 5a (5G) for $15 a month for two years. That most likely includes the same $144 Device Protection ($6 a month for 24 months) as the Pixel 4a that it replaces. As 9to5Google computed, that puts its full retail price at $449, $50 cheaper than the Pixel 4a 5G.

That price tag could be the selling point of the Pixel 5a (5G) for those still in the market for an affordable 5G Pixel phone. Another potential attraction might be the 4,680 mAh battery that's significantly larger than any Pixel phone so far, including the higher-end models. Google is expected to announce the Pixel 5a (5G) on August 17, and, hopefully, it will have more to say to attract buyers.