The Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G have few noteworthy differences between the two phones. They share the same processors, cameras, fingerprint unlocks sensor, and have nearly identical screens. That covers probably the essential part of a smartphone experience.
The main differences are wireless charging; a metal, water-resistant body; a 90Hz screen refresh rate; a slightly bigger battery; and 8GB of RAM (compared to 6GB on the 4a). That’s not to say that these features are meaningless, but they are fairly minor in the grand scheme of most people’s smartphones.
Given that the Pixel 4a 5G only costs $499 here in the US, a full $200 less than the 5, Google’s flagship felt like a bit of a tough sell. The awkwardly-named Pixel 4a 5G UW is priced at $599, only $100 less than the Pixel 5, a phone that also works on Verizon’s mmWave network.
Moreover, I’d prefer to see a cheaper Pixel 5 here in the US for the many people in the country who don’t have access to mmWave-based 5G. If you’re on Verizon, though, mmWave is the only 5G the carrier currently provides.
It’s also not a huge leap to suggest Verizon didn’t want Google selling a Pixel 5 at the same $599 price as its Pixel 4a. As a matter of fact, I’d probably opt for a cheaper Pixel 5 without mmWave if I had the choice. But given the fact that the Pixel 4a and 5 are so similar, I’d probably just save myself $200 and go with the true budget option.