Google Pixel 4a: Everything we know so far (Updated: May 4)
Update: May 4, 2020 (4:41 PM ET): We have updated this Google Pixel 4a rumor hub with details on the 4a’s camera and display. Read on for more information!
Original article: February 1, 2020 (6:00 PM ET): Without a doubt, the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL were some of the most exciting devices launched last year. For under $400 you got most of what made the Google Pixel 3 great, including that amazing camera. Now it’s 2020, and all eyes are on the Google Pixel 4a.
Ostensibly, the Pixel 4a will attempt to replicate what the 3a series did: slash out the expensive hardware aspects of the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL while retaining the super-fast Android updates, rear camera experience, and Pixel-exclusive software features.
Related: Google Pixel 3a review | Google Pixel 3a XL review
That’s a tall order, but Google seems up for the task. With the supposed launch of the Pixel 4a inching ever closer, we thought it was high time we compiled all the rumors we’ve found about the upcoming mid-ranger.
Below, you’ll find everything we know so far about the Google Pixel 4a. Be sure to bookmark this page as we’ll update it often as new rumors come to light.
Aritcle Table Of Contents
- 1 Google Pixel 4a: Name and release date
- 2 Google Pixel 4a: Design
- 3 Specs and features
- 4 Google Pixel 4a: Price and availability
- 4.1 More posts about Google
- 4.1.1 Google, Apple lay out strict rules for Exposure Notification API, no GPS data
- 4.1.2 Google Pixel 4a isn’t official yet, but its camera has just been reviewed
- 4.1.3 Pixel 4a: It’s Google’s time to shine
- 4.1.4 Best Android phones (May 2020)
- 4.1.5 Mobile VR headsets – what are your best options?
- 4.1.6 15 best free Android apps available right now!
- 4.1.7 When should you expect to receive the Android 10 update? (Updated May 1)
- 4.1.8 New leak reveals Google Pixel 4a camera samples, and they look great
- 4.1.9 Google and Apple announce exposure notification API (Update: Devs getting now)
- 4.1.10 Leaked Google Pixel 4a release date suggests pandemic isn’t delaying launch
- 4.1 More posts about Google
Google Pixel 4a: Name and release date
The Google Pixel series has stuck to the same naming convention since its inception. With that in mind as well as the leaks we’ve already seen, there’s little doubt as to the name of the upcoming mid-range entry in the series. Outside of some crazy situation arising, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see the Google Pixel 4a launch as Google’s next mid-ranger.
Unfortunately, sources close to Android Authority have confirmed there will be no Pixel 4a XL this year. This might be disappointing for some fans of the Pixel 3a XL, but this will likely reduce production costs for Google and help keep the Pixel 4a at a reasonable price.
Regardless, when exactly will the Google Pixel 4a land? Google launched the Pixel 3a series at Google I/O 2019, so it seems reasonable to assume it will repeat that strategy in 2020. If so, that means Google will likely launch the new device on or around May 12, which is when Google I/O 2020 was originally set to begin before it was canceled amid fears surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
In early April, a few pictures of some Pixel 4a packages surfaced online, suggesting a release date could be imminent. The images look pretty legit, but we should still take them with a grain of salt.
Google Pixel 4a is On It’s Way… pic.twitter.com/rJclXg1Yqo
— TechDroider (@techdroider) April 9, 2020
Later reports suggest that the Google Pixel 4a could land in European stores on May 22, 2020. That would line up very well with the idea of Google announcing the device on or around May 12. Either way, it’s a pretty safe bet that we’ll see the launch of the Pixel 4a in early May and see it on store shelves (well, virtual store shelves, anyway) by the end of May.
Google Pixel 4a: Design
As has become the norm, we already have a decent idea of what the Google Pixel 4a will look like thanks to serial leaker @OnLeaks. The renders below, based on CAD files supplied to factories that actually create the devices, tell us the most basic information about the Pixel 4a with relative certainty.
Check out the renders for yourself below:
As one would expect, the phone looks like a pared-down Google Pixel 4, which makes perfect sense. The square-shaped camera bump on the back of the device is a dead-ringer for the one on the Pixel 4 series, albeit with only one lens. The white colorway, Google “G” logo, and orange-colored power button all carry over from the Pixel 4.
However, there are some differences here. The matte-black ring that envelopes the Pixel 4 body is absent, the selfie camera is housed in a display cutout, there’s a headphone jack present, and there’s a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor here, too. The fingerprint sensor and display cutout make sense, though, as it would hardly be cost-effective to transfer all the face unlock tech from the Pixel 4 series to the Pixel 4a.
Interestingly, 9to5Google later reported that the Google Pixel 4a might not come in the white and orange colorway depicted above. The outlet claims it will come in at least two color variants: the usual Just Black and a new Barely Blue. 9to5Google notes that depending on how “barely” blue the new blue color is, it could replace the white variant we see in the renders above.
Related: Having trouble with face unlock on your Google Pixel 4? You’re not alone.
A couple of months after those renders surfaced online, alleged photos of the smartphone matching them also surfaced online. The device in these photos appears to sport a black chassis with a white lock button instead of the white and orange combo seen in the previous renders. It also comes in what appears to be an official Google Pixel fabric phone case. If this is true, this fabric cover is unlike any we’ve seen from Google before.
We’re not fully convinced that the images above are 100% legit. If you look closely at them, there’s no visible speaker grille at the top of the phone to hear phone calls. Though it’s possible we just can’t see it, this still raises a red flag. Also missing is the clock in the status bar of the phone. Two of the photos don’t show the clock where it’s supposed to be, casting another shadow of doubt on the legitimacy of the images.
On the other hand, a YouTube video posted by TecnoLike Plus reveals an alleged Google Pixel 4a that falls in line with these leaked images and renders. In the video, we get a better look at the camera cutout in the left corner, the 3.5mm headphone port at the top, the square rear camera housing featuring a single shooter in the lower right, and the rear fingerprint scanner we expect to see on the Pixel 4a family.
With the supposed launch of the phone not far off now, we’ll know soon enough whether the above leaks were correct or not.
Specs and features
With last year’s Pixel 3a family, Google cut out quite a few of the high-end specs from the Google Pixel 3 family to keep the devices firmly in the mid-range. As such, you shouldn’t expect the Google Pixel 4a to be a flagship powerhouse. But that’s kind of the point.
The recent hands-on video included above gives us the best glimpse into what we can expect from the rest of the system’s internal specs. The video delivers some key system specs courtesy of the AIDA64 app. The app lists “Sunfish” as the model name and posits that the Google Pixel 4a will probably tout the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 chipset. We’ve previously seen upper mid-range devices such as the Realme X2, Redmi K30, and the recent Samsung Galaxy A71 house the same SoC.
As with the Pixel 3a, you shouldn’t expect flagship specs with the Pixel 4a. After all, that’s kind of the point.
This 700-series chipset is an upgrade over the Pixel 3a’s Snapdragon 670. While the extra processing power would certainly be nice, hopefully, this wouldn’t raise the price too much (more on that later).
The Pixel 4a’s SoC might not be the only chip to see an upgrade from the Pixel 3a. The latest rumors suggest the Pixel 4a could see a substantial bump in storage read/write speeds thanks to an improved UFS 2.1 flash storage solution in the form of the 64GB SK Hynix chip. If this is the case, this would be a decent upgrade from the 64GB eMMC storage chip in the Pixel 3a, and it could offer noticeably snappier performance in some cases, though it’s too early to guarantee.
Outside of the chipset, the hands-on video above says that the Google Pixel 4a could come with the Adreno 618 GPU, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 5.81-inch 2,340 x 1,080 display with a 60Hz refresh rate.
Related: Is the Google Pixel 4a a 4G or 5G phone? Evidence points to both
It also reveals what looks like a 3,080mAh battery and dual-SIM support. The former isn’t exactly big for a budget phone in 2020, but it’s still bigger than the standard Pixel 4 battery. The handset’s RAM configuration was further rumored shortly after that when XDA Developers got its hands on a picture of a supposed pre-production Pixel 4a bootloader.
Google Senior Vice President of Devices & Services Rick Osterloh Tweeted a cheeky screenshot of a Fitbit badge on May 4, 2020. That screenshot was likely taken from a Pixel 4a. Check out the status bar for the details. You’ll see the blank spot on the top-left side of the status bar where the punch hole camera will be.
You tease https://t.co/HikpIy616a
— Android Authority (@AndroidAuth) May 4, 2020
As far as the Pixel 4a camera is concerned, a report from 9to5Google claims the handset will feature a 12.2MP rear-facing sensor with OIS and EIS, and the front-facing camera should be nigh identical to the Pixel 3a’s 8MP sensor.
The report also claims the Pixel 4’s video recording specs should carry over to the Pixel 4a. That means the new budget handset should sport 1080p video recording at 30, 60, and 120fps; 720p at 240fps; and 4K at 30fps. 9to5’s information also affirms the rest of the spec information listed above, adding that the Pixel 4a could even come with a 128GB variant, it could tout Google’s Titan M security chip, and it should support 18W fast charging, though we shouldn’t expect to see wireless charging support.
On April 30, TechnoLike Plus’ Julio Lusson Tweeted a handful of supposed Google Pixel 4a camera samples compared to the Redmi Note 7. Unsurprisingly, they look great compared to the Note 7’s camera samples.
Fotos: #Pixel4a vs #RedmiNote7
12MP vs 48MP
Cual te gusta mas? pic.twitter.com/ULsU8pOlRo
— Julio Lusson (@julio_lusson) April 30, 2020
Then, on May 4, the same publication posted a full Pixel 4a camera review on YouTube, showing off the 4a’s portrait mode capabilities, as well as astrophotography mode, Night Sight, and more.
Google Pixel 4a: Price and availability
Over the past two years, Google has kept its flagship pricing simple and consistent: a $799 entry price for the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 4.
With that in mind, could Google try to do the same thing with the Google Pixel 4a series and keep it at the same pricing as the Pixel 3a series? If so, the expected pricing for the Pixel 4a would be $399.
Google could possibly keep 2020 pricing the same as 2019 pricing. That’s what it did with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4.
Recently leaked promotional material leads us to believe this will be the case. Reliable leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) took to Twitter to share a few pictures of what looks like official Pixel 4a advertisements edited on top of existing billboards containing that $399 starting price point. Check them out:
Obviously these billboards are fake, but Blass has a trustworthy track record regarding leaks in the industry. It’s possible these promotional materials still contain the Pixel 4a’s accurate pricing information.
9to5Google also reported that the Pixel 4a will come in at $399. The outlet goes on to say the handset could come in 64GB and 128GB variants, so if that’s the case, the higher storage capacity device will likely see a higher price tag.
On the other hand, we have some pretty solid evidence to suggest that Google will be delivering a significant upgrade in the specs department for the Pixel 4a, which makes us think the pricing could go up. Certainly, if Google releases a 5G-ready variant of the Pixel 4a, that will definitely cause a slight increase in cost.
Also read: Get your hands on these unofficial Pixel 4a wallpapers now
Ultimately, though, Google won’t go too high in price for the Pixel 4a. The whole point of the devices is to offer a cheap way to enter the Pixel ecosystem, so raising the prices too high would be counterintuitive. As such, it’s extremely unlikely that Google would start Pixel 4a pricing any higher than $499. If it raises pricing at all, it will almost certainly still be sub-$500.
As for availability, that’s a tricky question. Google doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to offering its devices in many places around the world. 9to5Google claims it will work on all major US carriers, and since the Pixel 4a is geared towards price-conscious consumers and developing markets, it’s pretty much given the handset will also hit Europe and India.
Thoughts? What would you like to see from the Google Pixel 4a?
More posts about Google
Google, Apple lay out strict rules for Exposure Notification API, no GPS data
Google Pixel 4a isn’t official yet, but its camera has just been reviewed
Pixel 4a: It’s Google’s time to shine
Best Android phones (May 2020)
Mobile VR headsets – what are your best options?
15 best free Android apps available right now!
When should you expect to receive the Android 10 update? (Updated May 1)
New leak reveals Google Pixel 4a camera samples, and they look great
Google and Apple announce exposure notification API (Update: Devs getting now)
Leaked Google Pixel 4a release date suggests pandemic isn’t delaying launch