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Question Pixel 5a coating worn out. Google refused replacement.

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jlduan

Member
Jun 25, 2017
5
0
Only used it for a couple of days. The coating on the right side is already worn out. There is no damage at all (any kinds).

I have contacted Google though Chat on the website. I was told "this is cosmetic damage, it shouldn't affect the device functionality". They will not issue a replacement.

This is probably my last Google purchase for a while. Do your Pixel 5as have the similar problem?
 

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Zedicus

Member
Apr 25, 2013
39
5
due to the nature of the covering it is susceptible to discoloration. try cleaning it with a quality cleaning agent on a soft cloth. a mild bleach water solution, or something similar.
 

derausgewanderte

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
2,008
652
Google Pixel 5a
When I wet my phone with 75% rubbing alcohol to clean it I can definitely see the grips from the machine that was holding the case to transport it through the coating solution. Pictures below. There are some circles and straight lines, which to me look like marks from the gripper. They are not visible when the case is dry.
There are two areas on mine that are somewhat shiny and look like grease. I tried to return it but was told I can only get a refurbished phone. The other option is to return it entirely and order a new one. However, I found out that they charge you a $30 restocking fee.
For now I can live with it. It's definitely a manufacturing issue with their coating process that leaves us customers unsatisfied. I think the coating is fine, it's just not uniform.

jlduan, if you look at the second image you can see the same lines you observe, even with it's double line.

In summary, I believe this has more to do with the coating process than the battery.
cheers
20210913_141242.jpg
20210913_141259.jpg
20210913_141421.jpg
 
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jlduan

Member
Jun 25, 2017
5
0
When I wet my phone with 75% rubbing alcohol to clean it I can definitely see the grips from the machine that was holding the case to transport it through the coating solution. Pictures below. There are some circles and straight lines, which to me look like marks from the gripper. They are not visible when the case is dry.
There are two areas on mine that are somewhat shiny and look like grease. I tried to return it but was told I can only get a refurbished phone. The other option is to return it entirely and order a new one. However, I found out that they charge you a $30 restocking fee.
For now I can live with it.
In summary, I believe this has more to do with the coating process than the battery.
cheersView attachment 5408923View attachment 5408925View attachment 5408929

Thanks for the photos. I just wiped mine with water. I don't have those circles. I really hope it is just the coating, not some consistent heat distribution problem.
 

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derausgewanderte

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
2,008
652
Google Pixel 5a
Thanks for the photos. I just wiped mine with water. I don't have those circles. I really hope it is just the coating, not some consistent heat distribution problem.
yeah, even in yours you can tell it's the coating. Wetting is affected by the direction and the very coating roughness.
You do have one of the circles though towards the left of your fingerprint reader.
cheers

PS: seeing that the battery cover is available for the Pixel 5 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/1541683815...1291&msclkid=f3019a2da8fd19bc6aedfb1235325eb1), there will likely be some available for the 5a in the future to change it or even to change the color. I like to tinker...

PSS: actually aliexpress already has it
 
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luciferin

Senior Member
Jun 21, 2014
55
31
yeah, even in yours you can tell it's the coating. Wetting is affected by the direction and the very coating roughness.
You do have one of the circles though towards the left of your fingerprint reader.
cheers

PS: seeing that the battery cover is available for the Pixel 5 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/1541683815...1291&msclkid=f3019a2da8fd19bc6aedfb1235325eb1), there will likely be some available for the 5a in the future to change it or even to change the color. I like to tinker...

PSS: actually aliexpress already has it
If you don't mind ruining your waterproof rating, I guess this works as a potential solution. I'm not sure what coating is being discussed in this thread, but if they apply some chemical (maybe oleophobic coating) then you're not going to have that on a replacement back.
 

jlduan

Member
Jun 25, 2017
5
0
yeah, even in yours you can tell it's the coating. Wetting is affected by the direction and the very coating roughness.
You do have one of the circles though towards the left of your fingerprint reader.
cheers

PS: seeing that the battery cover is available for the Pixel 5 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/1541683815...1291&msclkid=f3019a2da8fd19bc6aedfb1235325eb1), there will likely be some available for the 5a in the future to change it or even to change the color. I like to tinker...

PSS: actually aliexpress already has it

Thanks for these links.

It is nice to know there are already replacement battery cover ready! It will be my last resort. Right now, water resistant is kinda more important :)
 

derausgewanderte

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
2,008
652
Google Pixel 5a
If you don't mind ruining your waterproof rating, I guess this works as a potential solution. I'm not sure what coating is being discussed in this thread, but if they apply some chemical (maybe oleophobic coating) then you're not going to have that on a replacement back.
of course that will go out the window. The coating is a thin polymeric coat on top of aluminum.
 

undivide

Senior Member
Dec 16, 2013
370
70
Bear, Delaware
Google Pixel 5a
I remember $400 on a Nexus 5 for my wife back in 2013 and I was impressed with what I got for the price. Back then, flagship phones didn't really exist like they do now. People need to realize manufacturers are going to cut corners to keep prices down with what average person can actually afford. Considering the $450 I spent on my Pixel 5a I am extremely impressed with the build quality. Even still, a Spigen case was ordered and put on the phone immediately after I removed it from the box. Anyone that wants a pretty phone with glass or aluminum to show off without using a protective case should probably buy another phone? I bought the 5a mainly for the software experience.
 
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SCPATRIOT83

New member
Sep 20, 2021
1
0
Mine has the same color issue I noticed it the first day in sun. I'm have a black moss google case due any day now. I was wondering if it was just my pixel changing color. I wiped it off and it disappears for a bit then comes back. I'm not sure why they are that way.
 

derausgewanderte

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
2,008
652
Google Pixel 5a
I think the coating on the 5a is a new process not done on prior Pixels as far as I understand. You might still get scratches, but I don't think it will flake off like in the picture. It's very thin polymer coat fused with the Aluminum.
 

Cheesethief

Senior Member
Mar 8, 2012
248
60
Google Pixel 5a
Only used it for a couple of days. The coating on the right side is already worn out. There is no damage at all (any kinds).

I have contacted Google though Chat on the website. I was told "this is cosmetic damage, it shouldn't affect the device functionality". They will not issue a replacement.

This is probably my last Google purchase for a while. Do your Pixel 5as have the similar problem?
The device has a plastic-coated back. This is not a flagship glass back or aluminum/metal phone. Yes, plastic, even plastic coatings, will show wear, it will scratch. You bought a budget device, this is one of the drawbacks you have to live with. I'd go even as far as to say be happy it is actually an aluminum back with a plastic coating instead of straight up plastic. Putting it in your pocket will show wear on plastic just from the friction of sliding it in and out of your pocket.

A $450 device shouldn't be discoloring itself in less than a month of use.
These days a $450 device is a budget to midrange phone. Your comment makes it seem like it is a $1k flagship which needs to have zero imperfections.

I remember $400 on a Nexus 5 for my wife back in 2013 and I was impressed with what I got for the price. Back then, flagship phones didn't really exist like they do now. People need to realize manufacturers are going to cut corners to keep prices down with what average person can actually afford. Considering the $450 I spent on my Pixel 5a I am extremely impressed with the build quality. Even still, a Spigen case was ordered and put on the phone immediately after I removed it from the box. Anyone that wants a pretty phone with glass or aluminum to show off without using a protective case should probably buy another phone? I bought the 5a mainly for the software experience.
The Nexus 5 was a plastic back phone. I still have one in a drawer somewhere. This one has an aluminum back with plastic coating. I would say the Pixel 5A is just as good of a deal if not better. Especially if you account for inflation. As for flagships, yes they were definitely a thing then. That was exactly the time the flagship killer came out, the OnePlus One. It was marketed as the flagship killer. And... For $350 it was plastic backed and had zero water resistance.... Just like the Nexus 5. Lets not forget that both of these devices did not even have stereo speakers.

I don't want to defend Google, a giant, super rich corporation, but come on people, have some common sense. This isn't a Pixel 6. You bought it because it was relatively cheap for decent hardware and great software support. The back is plastic coated, that will wear of super duper easy no matter what and that should have been super obvious. Get a case. Stop caring about superficial imperfections and enjoy your phone for what it is, a good, affordable phone with good specs and great software.
 
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  • 1
    I remember $400 on a Nexus 5 for my wife back in 2013 and I was impressed with what I got for the price. Back then, flagship phones didn't really exist like they do now. People need to realize manufacturers are going to cut corners to keep prices down with what average person can actually afford. Considering the $450 I spent on my Pixel 5a I am extremely impressed with the build quality. Even still, a Spigen case was ordered and put on the phone immediately after I removed it from the box. Anyone that wants a pretty phone with glass or aluminum to show off without using a protective case should probably buy another phone? I bought the 5a mainly for the software experience.
    1
    Only used it for a couple of days. The coating on the right side is already worn out. There is no damage at all (any kinds).

    I have contacted Google though Chat on the website. I was told "this is cosmetic damage, it shouldn't affect the device functionality". They will not issue a replacement.

    This is probably my last Google purchase for a while. Do your Pixel 5as have the similar problem?
    The device has a plastic-coated back. This is not a flagship glass back or aluminum/metal phone. Yes, plastic, even plastic coatings, will show wear, it will scratch. You bought a budget device, this is one of the drawbacks you have to live with. I'd go even as far as to say be happy it is actually an aluminum back with a plastic coating instead of straight up plastic. Putting it in your pocket will show wear on plastic just from the friction of sliding it in and out of your pocket.

    A $450 device shouldn't be discoloring itself in less than a month of use.
    These days a $450 device is a budget to midrange phone. Your comment makes it seem like it is a $1k flagship which needs to have zero imperfections.

    I remember $400 on a Nexus 5 for my wife back in 2013 and I was impressed with what I got for the price. Back then, flagship phones didn't really exist like they do now. People need to realize manufacturers are going to cut corners to keep prices down with what average person can actually afford. Considering the $450 I spent on my Pixel 5a I am extremely impressed with the build quality. Even still, a Spigen case was ordered and put on the phone immediately after I removed it from the box. Anyone that wants a pretty phone with glass or aluminum to show off without using a protective case should probably buy another phone? I bought the 5a mainly for the software experience.
    The Nexus 5 was a plastic back phone. I still have one in a drawer somewhere. This one has an aluminum back with plastic coating. I would say the Pixel 5A is just as good of a deal if not better. Especially if you account for inflation. As for flagships, yes they were definitely a thing then. That was exactly the time the flagship killer came out, the OnePlus One. It was marketed as the flagship killer. And... For $350 it was plastic backed and had zero water resistance.... Just like the Nexus 5. Lets not forget that both of these devices did not even have stereo speakers.

    I don't want to defend Google, a giant, super rich corporation, but come on people, have some common sense. This isn't a Pixel 6. You bought it because it was relatively cheap for decent hardware and great software support. The back is plastic coated, that will wear of super duper easy no matter what and that should have been super obvious. Get a case. Stop caring about superficial imperfections and enjoy your phone for what it is, a good, affordable phone with good specs and great software.
    1
    Cheesethief, this is not wear though. It's a manufacturing inconsistency. I get your point.
    It was more in reply to the OP who said his issue appeared after a few days of use. A few days is all it takes for plastic I see your point about manufacturing defects/inconsistencies too though.
  • 3
    Not to be rude, but this seems like a petty complaint. You really should get a case anyway. Problem solved.
    1
    Thanks for the photos. I just wiped mine with water. I don't have those circles. I really hope it is just the coating, not some consistent heat distribution problem.
    yeah, even in yours you can tell it's the coating. Wetting is affected by the direction and the very coating roughness.
    You do have one of the circles though towards the left of your fingerprint reader.
    cheers

    PS: seeing that the battery cover is available for the Pixel 5 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/1541683815...1291&msclkid=f3019a2da8fd19bc6aedfb1235325eb1), there will likely be some available for the 5a in the future to change it or even to change the color. I like to tinker...

    PSS: actually aliexpress already has it
    1
    I remember $400 on a Nexus 5 for my wife back in 2013 and I was impressed with what I got for the price. Back then, flagship phones didn't really exist like they do now. People need to realize manufacturers are going to cut corners to keep prices down with what average person can actually afford. Considering the $450 I spent on my Pixel 5a I am extremely impressed with the build quality. Even still, a Spigen case was ordered and put on the phone immediately after I removed it from the box. Anyone that wants a pretty phone with glass or aluminum to show off without using a protective case should probably buy another phone? I bought the 5a mainly for the software experience.
    1
    Only used it for a couple of days. The coating on the right side is already worn out. There is no damage at all (any kinds).

    I have contacted Google though Chat on the website. I was told "this is cosmetic damage, it shouldn't affect the device functionality". They will not issue a replacement.

    This is probably my last Google purchase for a while. Do your Pixel 5as have the similar problem?
    The device has a plastic-coated back. This is not a flagship glass back or aluminum/metal phone. Yes, plastic, even plastic coatings, will show wear, it will scratch. You bought a budget device, this is one of the drawbacks you have to live with. I'd go even as far as to say be happy it is actually an aluminum back with a plastic coating instead of straight up plastic. Putting it in your pocket will show wear on plastic just from the friction of sliding it in and out of your pocket.

    A $450 device shouldn't be discoloring itself in less than a month of use.
    These days a $450 device is a budget to midrange phone. Your comment makes it seem like it is a $1k flagship which needs to have zero imperfections.

    I remember $400 on a Nexus 5 for my wife back in 2013 and I was impressed with what I got for the price. Back then, flagship phones didn't really exist like they do now. People need to realize manufacturers are going to cut corners to keep prices down with what average person can actually afford. Considering the $450 I spent on my Pixel 5a I am extremely impressed with the build quality. Even still, a Spigen case was ordered and put on the phone immediately after I removed it from the box. Anyone that wants a pretty phone with glass or aluminum to show off without using a protective case should probably buy another phone? I bought the 5a mainly for the software experience.
    The Nexus 5 was a plastic back phone. I still have one in a drawer somewhere. This one has an aluminum back with plastic coating. I would say the Pixel 5A is just as good of a deal if not better. Especially if you account for inflation. As for flagships, yes they were definitely a thing then. That was exactly the time the flagship killer came out, the OnePlus One. It was marketed as the flagship killer. And... For $350 it was plastic backed and had zero water resistance.... Just like the Nexus 5. Lets not forget that both of these devices did not even have stereo speakers.

    I don't want to defend Google, a giant, super rich corporation, but come on people, have some common sense. This isn't a Pixel 6. You bought it because it was relatively cheap for decent hardware and great software support. The back is plastic coated, that will wear of super duper easy no matter what and that should have been super obvious. Get a case. Stop caring about superficial imperfections and enjoy your phone for what it is, a good, affordable phone with good specs and great software.
    1
    Cheesethief, this is not wear though. It's a manufacturing inconsistency. I get your point.
    It was more in reply to the OP who said his issue appeared after a few days of use. A few days is all it takes for plastic I see your point about manufacturing defects/inconsistencies too though.