Pixel leak season has started, and details surrounding Google's upcoming mid-range phone have started to trickle out. The previous Pixel 3a was a great phone, and that leaves the Pixel 4a with some awfully big shoes to fill. Any official word is probably still a few months out, but here's what we know about the phone so far.
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).
The phone will probably come 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?
However, there is one significant detail that currently points to there only being one size: So far, 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 this point, while we're not 100% sure, I'd put my money on there being just one size. So far, all signs point to it.
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. Note that the latter is almost assuredly pre-production hardware, so some of the particulars could yet change.
|Chipset||Snapdragon 730 (or 730G, not sure yet)|
|Display||~5.81" 1080x2340, 60Hz|
|Storage||64GB UFS 2.1 (other options/sizes may be a possibility)|
|Camera||12MP primary, 8MP front-facing|
|Dimensions||144.2 x 69.5 x 8.2mm (9mm at the camera bump) for the 4a, 4a XL unknown|
|Misc||Headphone jack, Type-C charging, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner|
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?
Recent leaks indicate a $400 starting price, and the previous Pixel 3a also started at $400.
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 the time of I/O again in May, following last year's I/O release for the Pixel 3a. However, Google I/O's in-person event has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Google also recently canceled its online-only Cloud Next conference, which could mean that I/O's online event might also end up on the chopping block, should things not improve.
The company could easily push the announcement out later if it wanted to, but delaying release cycles is the last thing the company needs to do, and 9to5Google has also heard that it will probably arrive at I/O again.