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

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ksasmus

New member
Oct 10, 2021
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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?
My new Pixel 5a 5G has this discoloration on the back as well. A vertical line running from top to bottom on the right side, and two small circles about 1/4" in diameter just under the camera bump. Seems like defects in the coating as water "wets" the surface differently in these areas. The two small circles are probably fixturing marks.
 

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  • 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.