It is not easy to keep an upcoming smartphone a secret these days. Especially, if it is one of the most anticipated phones of the year. This is what has happened with the Google Pixel 4a – which has been thoroughly leaked – even though Google chose to stay tight-lipped about the device. The smartphone has been long delayed from its first speculated May launch at the Google I/O 2020 along with Pixel 4a XL and Android 11 Beta.
Google canceled developer conference, scrapped the larger version of the mid-range phone from the 2020 lineup, and went ahead with the release of the beta version of the new operating system but the Pixel 4a is still awaited. Finally, we have an official release date for the smartphone in sight.
All this while, we have learned a great deal about the phone. In addition to what it will feature, it has been through Benchmarks, camera samples have leaked, and we even have a fair idea of what it would look like. If you have missed it somehow, this roundup will help you get acquainted with Google’s most desired phone this year.
First things first
The delay in launch is attributed to the global pandemic that has disrupted a lot of schedules this year. The long wait for the smartphone seems to be cut short now with Google adding a teaser page on the Google Store which reveals the new Pixel device will launch on August 3, two days ahead of Samsung’s Unpacked event. There is still nothing official about when the phone will go on sale or how much it would cost, but the release date is final – that is August 3.
Pixel 4a will be a direct successor to the Pixel 3a launched last year with flagship-like features. Yet, Pixel 4 was the actual 2019 flagship with Snapdragon 855 and impressive camera abilities. The new phone will be a trimmed, budget option of the Pixel 4. Pixel 4a is expected to be the more affordable Pixel device that will give buyers access to the exciting Google features at a competitive price.
From the past record, Google hasn’t created a big upheaval in the smartphone segment in the US; the mid-range Pixel phones have shown sales spikes and the trend could continue with the Pixel 4a. When it launches, the eagerly awaited mid-ranger will face music from Apple’s iPhone SE (2020) and OnePlus’s very new Nord, only time would tell how it fairs against each of these.
How much it will cost?
Google Pixel 3a launched with the $399 sticker, while the Pixel 3a came for a bigger $479 tag. Ideally, we’d expect the new Pixel 4a to be priced somewhere in between the two. Turns out the Pixel 4a is likely to start at as low as $349 for 128GB variant – if it does – it will be $50 short of what the iPhone SE with half the onboard storage asks. This could be a compelling statement to lure in buyers, to say the least.
Display and design
Reportedly, the Pixel 4a will have a 5.81-inch OLED display with a full-HD+ 1080 x 2340 resolution. The screen size is a tad taller than 5.7-inches of the Pixel 4, still pretty small in comparison to the 6-inches plus smartphones we are now accustomed to. Pixel 4a is tipped to feature 90Hz screen refresh rate that will make the viewing experience a little smoother. Like the Pixel 3a, the new phone is likely to feature a complete plastic body and come in two colors – Just Black and Barely Blue.
Leaked renders of the Pixel 4a show the design has evolved from the Pixel 3a design; it will have a slight bezel on all sides but would lack the larger forehead seen in the Pixel 4 that featured radar sensor for gesture tracking. The Pixel 4a will come with a punch-hole camera cutout and a square rear camera setup similar to that of the Pixel 4 – though it will only house a single camera with LED flash.
The phone will continue with the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top edge of the display as was the case in Pixel 3a. The USB Type-C port will however be found in the usual bottom of the phone, which is almost a standard with smartphones except for Apple devices of course. Interestingly, the Pixel 4a is slated to revive the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor which had been traded off for face recognition in Pixel 4.
The Pixel 4a has been rumored to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 – it was even confirmed by the benchmark results for the phone on Geekbench. One of the biggest confusion remains whether this new Google offering will be a 5G device or not? There have been hints that the delayed Pixel 4a could be the affordable 5G phone, powered by Snapdragon 765 SoC, to launch ahead of the flagship Pixel 5 slated for later this year. Since Snapdragon 765 integrates a 5G modem – may be a 5G-ready variant of the phone is on the cards, if we believe the rumor.
The Pixel 4a is likely to feature 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (a 64GB model is also a possibility). The phone will have a comparatively small battery of 3080mAh with 18W fast charging via USB-C. For the optics, the back of the phone gets a single camera i.e. a 12.2-megapixel shooter with optical image stabilization. The camera will be capable of recording 4K videos at 30fps or full-HD at 120fps. On the front, there will be an 8-megapixel camera in a punch-hole display.
Pixel 4a will be similar to the Pixel 4 in many ways, which includes the display and design. It will get an uplift in the camera prowess in comparison to the Pixel 3a, which means it will still offer excellent photography at an affordable price tag. Of course, what we have discussed is all speculation and hasn’t been officially confirmed – there might be some difference here and there – but no big change is expected.