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Pixel leak season is in full swing, and details surrounding Google’s upcoming mid-range phone have been circulating now for a while. The previous Pixel 3a was a great phone, and that leaves the hotly anticipated Pixel 4a some awfully big shoes to fill. As we near the expected launch window, and with the 4a now competing with Apple’s iPhone SE, it’s time to reiterate what we know.
What will it look like?
Between CAD-based renders, in-person photos, and videos, we have a very good idea of what to expect from the Pixel 4a, physically.
Some folks in Cuba even managed to get their hands on one for an early “review,” showing off the phone from almost every angle and giving us a glimpse of the (presumably pre-production) software experience and camera, too:
Physically, it looks something like a lovechild between the current Pixel 3a and Google’s recent Pixel 4, featuring what looks like an all-plastic curved unibody and a Pixel 4-style square camera bump — which still looks like it only houses a single camera.
Bezels are just about gone as the phone picks up a nearly edge-to-edge screen, sporting one of those newfangled “hole-punch” or “pinhole” designs, with a front-facing camera embedded right beneath the display in the top left corner.
A rear-mounted fingerprint sensor lies around back, which, together with the front bezels, indicates there’s no secure infrared camera-based face unlock (as with the Pixel 4).
We’ve seen leaks showing the phone in the usual white and black colorways, and we expect the wildcard may be a light blue hue of some kind (according to YouTuber Dave Lee).
Measurements for the Pixel 4a clock in at 144.2 x 69.5 x 8.2mm (9mm at the camera bump), which is just a bit smaller than the Pixel 3a. Dimensions regarding a bigger XL variant haven’t leaked, and we’re pretty sure at this point that there won’t be one (more on that later).
One phone or two?
Just one. David Lee claims we’ll just get one size for the Pixel 4a. Corroborating that, only one device codename (sunfish) has been conclusively tied to the Pixel 4a, and it’s also the only name to have surfaced more recently in a Camera app teardown.
At one point, 9to5Google had its own sources which claimed a larger 4a XL was still in the works, but if it existed, it was probably scrapped.
We’re pretty confident there will be only one size for the Pixel 4a.
What are the specs?
At this point, we have a good idea of the hardware that will be included in the Pixel 4a. Between the known details connected to the “sunfish” codename and the details garnered by the Cuban device leak, we can paint a nearly complete picture by the numbers.
More recently, 9to5Google got its own separate confirmation of the specs corroborating all the earlier leaks — which didn’t add much new information outside the possibility of a larger 128GB storage size.
Although it was previously speculated that “redfin” or “bramble” could be different variants of the Pixel 4a, signs now point to them being the upcoming Pixel 5, so we probably won’t see a version of the Pixel 4a with a Snapdragon 765.
Will it have 5G?
No. The “sunfish” hardware name, which has been conclusively tied to the Pixel 4a, will specifically not support 5G given the chipset it uses.
Although we previously thought that two other hardware names (“redfin” and “bramble”) could be associated with the Pixel 4a series — and their details indicate they will support a 5G-compatible chipset — we’ve since come to believe those two devices are actually the upcoming Pixel 5. That means the Pixel 4a will be a 4G-only affair. Not that it matters right now.
How much will it cost?
Starting at $400.
Recent leaks indicate a $400 starting price, and the previous Pixel 3a also started at $400. More recent leaks suggest we might have a 128GB storage configuration available as well, which could come at an increased cost.
When will it come out?
Google hasn’t established a habit for this new “a” series of phones, but if we had to guess, we think Google will probably release it around May 12th-14th, the original dates of this year’s Google I/O developer conference, following last year’s I/O release for the Pixel 3a. However, Google first canceled its in-person event for I/O earlier this year over coronavirus concerns, but even the online event was later given the ax, and that could disrupt the release timeline. For all we know, it might be released a bit earlier or a bit later now.
Delaying release cycles is the last thing the company needs to do, and although 9to5Google previously heard that it will probably arrive at I/O again, we have no idea how the pandemic and subsequent global lockdown may have affected the company’s release plans.