Google Pixel 4a: Release date, rumours, specs and leaks

In 2019 Google launched a more affordable handset, the Pixel 3a and it looks like there’s going to be a follow-up in 2020, a cheaper version of the Pixel 4.

Leaks surrounding the Google Pixel 4a have started to appear, so we’re rounding them up so you know expect come launch day.

Release date and price

  • 12 May 2020 announcement?

Nothing has been said about when we might see the Pixel 4a launch so far, but the Pixel 3a was announced at Google I/O 2019, and Google has confirmed that I/O 2020 will take place on 12-14 May, so we’re guessing that the Pixel 4a might be announced on 12 May 2020. 

There’s no word on price, but that’s a key point of this phone. Google dropped the prices on the Pixel 4, so the 4a might come in cheaper than the 3a’s £399.

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pixel 4a

Design

  • 144.2 x 69.5 x 8.2mm
  • Three colours

Thanks to some detailed renders, we have a vision of what this phone will look like. It doesn’t throw up too many surprises, but it’s worth mentioning that the given dimensions suggest that it’s slightly smaller than the Pixel 3a. However, the display – while not edge-to-edge – cuts down the forehead and chin of the 2019 phone, so the display is likely to be larger.

There’s a fingerprint scanner on the rear, but it’s not yet known what material is being used for the body. The early renders give it a seamless look like it’s polycarbonate, and YouTuber Dave Lee has confirmed that this is the case, if you believe that.

Also interesting is that Google looks to be pushing a pronounced camera bump here, with a single camera and flash in the black housing on the rear. That does, at least, give some familial design link to the Pixel 4.

There’s also reported to be three colours: black with a lime button, white with an orange button and finally a teal version with a hot pink button. An interesting detail is the 3.5mm headphone socket, something many flagship phones now omit.

There’s been three codenames uncovered that could point to three different Pixel 4a models, but at the moment, most of the focus appears to be on one device, codenamed Sunfish. There’s also been a rumour that there will only be one size of Pixel 4a this time around.

Display

  • 5.81-inch display 
  • Punch hole camera
  • Likely OLED

The display on the Pixel 4a is expected to be flat, with slimmed down bezels and no notch. Instead, there’s going to be a punch hole for the front camera, something that we’ve not seen on a Pixel before. 

There’s no word on the resolution of the Pixel 4a, but it’s likely to be 1080p. While there’s no detail on the display technology we suspect it will be OLED.

Hardware specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765, 5G?
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, 4G

The discovery of some new codenames – Sunfish, Bramble – fit the codenames for Pixel devices, along with hardware details. There’s been code leaks that pair the Pixel 4a (Sunfish) with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, which would be 4G. This has popped up a couple of times so seems more certain than the other devices.

Those other details include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765, the new platform with integrated 5G, although we don’t know if these are an actual launch device or a testing device – so we’re not hugely certain that there is a 5G Pixel 4a version.

Outside of that we don’t know much about the forthcoming devices: we don’t know the RAM or the storage, but the Pixel 3a was a 4/64GB configuration. 

Camera

From the renders we can see a single camera in the rear housing, along with the LED flash. We can fairly safely assume that this is the same camera unit as the Pixel 4 – that’s the point of these phones after all – to give you access to those camera skills at a lower price point.

In that sense, you can expect to find a 12.2-megapixel 1.4µm sensor with f/1.7 lens and optical image stabilisation. It will likely have all the AI skills of the Pixel 4, like Night Sight.

The front camera in the display is likely to be an 8-megapixel 1.22µm sensor with f/2.0 lens and some rare bokeh skills.

Google Pixel 4a rumours: What’s happened so far?

Here are all the rumours surrounding the Pixel 4a so far.

20 February 2020: Renders show what the Google Pixel 4a could look like

Another set of rumour-based renders paints a picture of what we might get from the Pixel 4a.

7 February 2020: Google Pixel 4a is the “Sunfish” phone we’ve been hearing about

More code leaks have linked the Sunfish name to the Pixel 4a, and dispel the 5G rumours.

24 January 2020: Pixel codenames found in updated Google Camera app

The codenames for future Pixel devices have been discovered again by XDA Developers, this time in code from the new Google Camera app. In this case, they appear in a string called “pixel_20_mid_range” basically confirming that Bramble and Sunfish are those Pixel a devices.

23 January 2020: Google I/O 2020 date revealed

Google has confirmed the date for its Google I/O conference. The previous version of this phone was announced at this event in 2019.

17 January 2020: Google Pixel 4a might launch with 5G variant

Codenames along with hardware platform details have been discovered, which suggest that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 device is in development, meaning a 5G phone. There’s three codenames, so we could see three Pixel 4a devices.

7 January 2020: Pixel 4a case leaks show a familiar design

What appear to be images of a case design have appeared for the Pixel 4a.

3 January 2020: YouTuber claims one size, three colours

YouTuber Dave Lee claims to have some insider information on the new Pixel 4a and that there’s not going to be a Pixel 4a XL.

30 December 2019: Pixel 4a leak revives Google’s desirable mid-range handset

Renders of the Pixel 4a from a reliable source have given us a good look at this future phone from Google.

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