Google’s Pixel 5a 5G is an excellent Android 11 smartphone for those on a budget. We’ve reviewed it and found that while the design was dull it was practical and compact, and benefits from the improved durability of IP67 water resistance. The camera performance also impressed with its reliability and low-light capabilities despite being on the older side. Finally, the battery life proved to be solid and long-lasting. The biggest weakness of the Pixel 5a is that it won’t be sold outside of the U.S. and Japan.
If you’re in or around Europe, here are five phones you can try instead, in no particular order.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G
A brilliant-looking phone with an excellent camera, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Lite
There are a few faults though. Xiaomi’s MIUI operating system remains divisive at best, and updates are pretty slow compared to the Pixel. If you can look past that, this phone is almost a no-brainer at 379 British pounds.
Motorola Edge 20 Lite 5G
If you want a phone that runs more or less the same software as the Pixel 5a
Where this phone really falters is its camera. It’s nowhere as good as the Pixel’s–or even a fairly competent
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Samsung’s cheap and cheerful Galaxy A50-series keeps seeing annual improvements, and the new A52s
Samsung may not have Pixel software or camera quality, but the One UI experience is so good most users will not mind. Samsung has committed to four years of updates, so you can hold on to your phone for much longer. As for the cameras, while inconsistent, we found them to be “generally good.” The A52s costs a bit more than the A452
OnePlus Nord 2 5G
The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is an amazing
OnePlus has kept most of what works, with the 6.43-inch 90Hz display being sizeable and full of color, the design is minimal and pared back, and the internals are solid. The only knock is the lack of water resistance, a feature that phones in this price bracket have increasingly begun to pick up.
Google Pixel 4a
The Pixel 5 and 4a
However, much like the Pixel 5 which sets itself apart by providing a reliable experience, the Pixel 4a replicates that same Pixel experience for less than 400 British pounds. The frame is compact and assuming. It casts a more modern look than you’ll find on the iPhone with its bezel-less screen. The camera, the same as on the Pixel 5, will capture photos of your puppies and children with aplomb.
It’s still available from Google and retailer stores, with huge discounts from time to time. As far as Pixel 5a substitutes go, the Pixel 4a might as well be a little brother.
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