Pixel 5A

Zarathustra[H]

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I'm also waiting for possible Black Friday or other holiday deals. Either the 5a or the 6, depending on where pricing for the latter actually lands.

The only 5a "issues" I'm aware of:
  • It's unknown whether Google will actually update it to support C-band. The hardware is there, it just needs a software update.
  • Only threes years of software updates.
  • The SoC is adequate, but dated (in benchmarks it's barely faster than the four-year-old Pixel 2).

I don't usually go for these things, but I signed up for the Pixel subscription plan in Fi. It was cheap enough, and they upgrade you after two years, so I figured why not?

That way I won't have to worry about security patching ending or the SoC aging too badly.

I'm not sure I care one way or another about C-Band. For my use (mostly email, and light web browsing) I am getting all the bandwidth I need. Higher frequencies tend to have poor wall penetration anyway, so I much prefer the traditional lower frequency cell range. Even many of LTE's higher bands tend to be on the high side to be practical, the best frequencies falling at ~900Mhz or below. The best (at least in the U.S.) are the 600mhz bands. (In Europe there is apparently some utilization in the 410Mhz to 450Mhz range)

For instance, T-Mobile already uses 2.6Mhz for 5G, which is compatible with this phone. Just outside my house the signal is strong, step indoors, and its very poor. Go down to the basement it is gone. No signal at all. Meanwhile band 12 LTE (700mhz) broadcast from the same tower is at full strength down here in the basement.

IMHO, cell phone coverage is all about the low frequencies. I'm honestly just not impressed with any of these high frequency band allotments. Instead to expand capacity I wish they would investigate using below 600Mhz bands. There is a whole lot of spectrum down there that could be consolidated and used rather than moving up from traditional UHF (Ultra High Frequency) cell phone bands to even higher SHF (Super High Frequency) bands. That's moving in the wrong direction.

I mean, shortwave is pretty much dead. Why not take over that spectrum?

RF-spectrums.jpg


Unless you are a huge outdoors person, I wouldn't count too much on C band which is 3.7-4.2 Ghz.
 
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BlueLineSwinger

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
1,090
I don't usually go for these things, but I signed up for the Pixel subscription plan in Fi. It was cheap enough, and they upgrade you after two years, so I figured why not?

That way I won't have to worry about security patching ending or the SoC aging too badly.

I'm not sure I care one way or another about C-Band. For my use (mostly email, and light web browsing) I am getting all the bandwidth I need. Higher frequencies tend to have poor wall penetration anyway, so I much prefer the traditional lower frequency cell range. Even many of LTE's higher bands tend to be on the high side to be practical, the best frequencies falling at ~900Mhz or below. The best (at least in the U.S.) are the 600mhz bands. (In Europe there is apparently some utilization in the 410Mhz to 450Mhz range)

For instance, T-Mobile already uses 2.6Mhz for 5G, which is compatible with this phone. Just outside my house the signal is strong, step indoors, and its very poor. Go down to the basement it is gone. No signal at all. Meanwhile band 12 LTE (700mhz) broadcast from the same tower is at full strength down here in the basement.

IMHO, cell phone coverage is all about the low frequencies. I'm honestly just not impressed with any of these high frequency band allotments. Instead to expand capacity I wish they would investigate using below 600Mhz bands. There is a whole lot of spectrum down there that could be consolidated and used rather than moving up from traditional UHF (Ultra High Frequency) cell phone bands to even higher SHF (Super High Frequency) bands. That's moving in the wrong direction.

I mean, shortwave is pretty much dead. Why not take over that spectrum?

View attachment 404577

Unless you are a huge outdoors person, I wouldn't count too much on C band which is 3.7-4.2 Ghz.

I get where you're coming from and it's perfectly legit. Lower frequencies do work better re: indoor coverage and other crowded areas such as dense urban cities. But I'm looking at it this way:
  • Most any available spectrum is good spectrum. If it's there it should be used, if only to ease any crowding issues. Users able to utilize the higher-frequency bands frees up space on the lower bands for those who cannot.
  • Higher frequencies allow for greater throughput. Not really that important on an individual basis (who really needs hundreds of Mb/s on a cell phone?). But, being a shared medium, it makes a huge difference the more devices that are present.
  • The capability on the 5a is just sitting there, idle. There's a chance the 5a could be stuck on crowded bands and unable to use a relatively uncrowded C-band but for a firmware update.
As for using shortwave frequencies, that sounds awful. The total throughput would be atrocious, and the antennas would be huge.
 

somebrains

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
1,596
I'll install android 12 on my 3a XL tmw and see how that goes.

I'm ok slumming with the phone poors bc my media consumption happens on my iPad.

I don't need my entire mobile experience to be phone centric
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,322
Upgraded to Android 12 last night. Could no longer send/receive SMS/MMS messages. Had to get a new SIM card from TMobile. That said, the SIM was likely 3 to 5 years old. New SIM, no issues. Said it was likely due to not being on a CDMA-less connect.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,062
Upgraded to Android 12 last night. Could no longer send/receive SMS/MMS messages. Had to get a new SIM card from TMobile. That said, the SIM was likely 3 to 5 years old. New SIM, no issues. Said it was likely due to not being on a CDMA-less connect.

I got 12 in an update just now.

Everything I have tested still works, but it changed the sizes of all my fonts and turned the UI brown for some reason.

Apparently the brown color is due to the phone trying to match my wallpaper for some reason. I disabled that crap, but once you do the "Wallpapers and Style" settings only allow you to choose from four predetermined colors, and none of them are just plain white, so now my fonts are "slightly blue" for some annoying reason...

I got slightly blue, pale green, slightly pink, and pale orange, and that's it. You have to wonder what they were thinking here...

Screenshot_20211021-230044~2.png


All fonts got bigger than they were before, except my clock widget, which got smaller for some reason. Fonts are already at their smallest setting. Not sure what is going on.

There are new graphical bugs too, if you like I try to use the old interface buttons. The bottom menu bar covers certain options making them impossible to change.

Example:

In this screen, cannot disable notifications for JuiceSSH.

Screenshot_20211021-222100.png


Cannot scroll down to it, and tapping on the shaded area does nothing.

Not really a fan thus far.

I'm all for improved features, but I don't understand why these companies can't just leave well enough alone and not constantly tinker with the UI. I just got it the way I liked it...

It's also full of other things that ticks me off.

For instance, disabling assistant is now hidden behind an "explore other options" menu :/ I guess they really don't want you disabling it. Would have been nice if it remembered my settings from 11 and kept it off.

Also, i wonder how much battery the useless bouncy effect at the end of a scroll will waste...
 
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ZeqOBpf6

Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2014
Messages
791
The clock so big on the lock screen that the hours and minutes are on two rows is the dumbest shit ever. No way to change it either. So dumb.

UI wise this may be my least favorite Android version ever. The sliders for brightness and volume are super thick and unclear, the toggles in pulldown are gigantic so instead of seeing six I see four, what the hell. Why is my space bar shaped like a Milano cookie?
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,062
The clock so big on the lock screen that the hours and minutes are on two rows is the dumbest shit ever. No way to change it either. So dumb.

UI wise this may be my least favorite Android version ever. The sliders for brightness and volume are super thick and unclear, the toggles in pulldown are gigantic so instead of seeing six I see four, what the hell. Why is my space bar shaped like a Milano cookie?

I hadn't noticed it until right now.

(I don't usually look at the lock screen. I tend to pick up the phone and instantly unlock it from screen off using finger print)

Now that I have seen it, yeah that is ridiculous and obnoxious.
 

Supersnake

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
1,063
If you turn on Bluetooth, you will not see a Bluetooth icon in the status bar.
If you turn on Location, you will not see the Location icon in the status bar.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,062
And what's up with all the configuration buttons becoming HUGE.

Some options are no longer there, and the ones that are don't fit on one page because they are so uselessly large...

And now they've added a GPay button up there I'll never use and can't remove.

So damn annoying....

Screenshot_20211022-001711~2.png
 
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DWolvin

2[H]4U
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Nov 13, 2002
Messages
2,771
can you at least still shuffle them around? I just keep moving the 4 or so buttons I use the the top of the list every OS update...
 

Supersnake

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Dec 23, 2007
Messages
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can you at least still shuffle them around? I just keep moving the 4 or so buttons I use the the top of the list every OS update...
Yes, you can shuffle them around, use the edit icon to enable that. You can also move any item of your choosing to become out of sight. Activate the edit icon, then slide your unwanted button downward until it is outside of the grid, you won't see it anymore.

1.jpg
 
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Supersnake

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
1,063
And what's up with all the configuration buttons becoming HUGE.

Some options are no longer there, and the ones that are don't fit on one page because they are so uselessly large...

And now they've added a GPay button up there I'll never use and can't remove.

So damn annoying....

View attachment 405402
Just tap the edit icon and slide the GPay button downwards outside of the grid. You won't see it anymore.

When you slide the notification bar down as you have done, Android 12 makes accessible eight buttons that will all activate with a touch. I may be mistaken but I believe in Android 11 you didn't have that many that were both accessible and live. As for the large size of the buttons, I was like you and immediately disliked them, but after playing with them for two days I prefer them to the former small sized representational icons that were on Android 11.

In Android 11 I would not infrequently tap on one of the small icons that was to the right or left of the one I intended to tap. Android 12 replaced those small icons with amply sized buttons, accidentally tapping the wrong item is no longer a concern.

Getting the Android 11 brightness slider to move on the first attempt, and keep it moving without breaking the movement, was frequently hit or miss. All you had to guide your finger was a narrow track line.
In Android 12 you now have an ample sized handle to place your finger on. No more having to reposition your finger to get the slider to move.
 
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ZeqOBpf6

Gawd
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Aug 24, 2014
Messages
791
Fair point on the brightness I suppose, but does anyone ever adjust their volume by sliding the finger? I just tap the buttons, and now I know that the volume is >0 and that's about it.
 

Supersnake

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Messages
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Fair point on the brightness I suppose, but does anyone ever adjust their volume by sliding the finger? I just tap the buttons, and now I know that the volume is >0 and that's about it.
Agreed that you could alternatively change the level of brightness in Android 11 by tapping.
You could do the same thing too in Android 12 by tapping on the handle to decrease the level of brightness, or tapping on the area to the right of the handle to increase the level of brightness. However, doing so will give you less control over how small or large the change will be by comparison to sliding the handle.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
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Messages
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Yes, you can shuffle them around, use the edit icon to enable that. You can also move any item of your choosing to become out of sight. Activate the edit icon, then slide your unwanted button downward until it is outside of the grid, you won't see it anymore.

View attachment 405418
Just tap the edit icon and slide the GPay button downwards outside of the grid. You won't see it anymore.

When you slide the notification bar down as you have done, Android 12 makes accessible eight buttons that will all activate with a touch. I may be mistaken but I believe in Android 11 you didn't have that many that were both accessible and live. As for the large size of the buttons, I was like you and immediately disliked them, but after playing with them for two days I prefer them to the former small sized representational icons that were on Android 11.

In Android 11 I would not infrequently tap on one of the small icons that was to the right or left of the one I intended to tap. Android 12 replaced those small icons with amply sized buttons, accidentally tapping the wrong item is no longer a concern.

Getting the Android 11 brightness slider to move on the first attempt, and keep it moving without breaking the movement, was frequently hit or miss. All you had to guide your finger was a narrow track line.
In Android 12 you now have an ample sized handle to place your finger on. No more having to reposition your finger to get the slider to move.

Thanks. I missed the addition of the edit button.

I like that you can customize it now.

Still wish the buttons were about half as wide. It's very inefficient use of space.

I don't know about everyone else, but I can accurately tap on things about a third as tall and about a tenth as wide as those enormous buttons.

Efficient use of screen real estate is huge to me. I hate when it is wasted on futile attempts to avoid fat fingering or pointless GUI design elements. To me the goal has to be to fit as much on a single screen as possible.
 

TheSlySyl

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Can you still set a custom icon size in developer options? I've been using that since my Nexus 5 to make icons and buttons smaller. Same with making animations faster.

It's the "smallest width" setting.
 

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Supersnake

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Can you still set a custom icon size in developer options? I've been using that since my Nexus 5 to make icons and buttons smaller. Same with making animations faster. It's the "smallest width" setting.
Good find, I had to check. Yes, it's still there for Android 12.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Has anyone else had any issues with the camera since "upgrading" to 12?

Mine just gives me a black screen now. No camera output. I've tried clearing cache, clearing all app data, force quitting and restarting, resetting all app permissions to default, etc. No improvement. Camera just gives me blank black output.

I don't know if it is a hardware failure, or something to do with the Android 12 software itself (or any permissions I changed somewhere)

Last time I tried to take a picture was on Tuesday (and it worked), the Android 12 update was pushed to my phone on Thursday, and today I have blank camera output.

Edit:

Never mind. There is a new setting under "Privacy" called "camera access for all apps and services" which I had turned off and forgotten about. This apparently overrides the "camera" setting in the app permissions. Turned it back on, and it works fine now.

I kind of take the firewall approach to new phones. Turn everything off by default, and only if something you need doesn't work, turn things back on again.
 

Vengance_01

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Dec 23, 2001
Messages
6,476
Heads up 50$ off for BF basically cover taxes. So at 399$ the 5a 5g is a great phone. Google should cut the price to 399$ to make it better positioned vs the 6 and 6 pro
 

Vengance_01

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Dec 23, 2001
Messages
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Got another 5a to replace my wife's 7 Pro and she really enjoys it. At 399$ its a no brainer. Shipping was super fast (same day shipment) and 2 days to my door step.
 
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