Google just unveiled the entire 2020 phone set at once. In a smorgasbord of mobile news, it announced the very leaked, affordable Pixel 4a, a larger 5G variant 4a 5G and the 2020 flagship Pixel 5. Pixel 4a is ready for pre-order now and will ship August 20 for $ 350, but the rest will have to wait for later this year.
Just like the Pixel 3a before it, the 4a comes with some cheaper components and less complex mechanisms to keep a low price. Most notably, it beats the rear camera for a single 12.2 megapixel sensor and has no infrared sensors on the front, choosing only an 8 MP camera in a “hole punch” arrangement. It returns the rear fingerprint reader instead of the face scan.
Aesthetically, it makes the hole-in-one Pixel 4a camera for phones like the Galaxy S20 or OnePlus 8 in terms of design, even if it sticks to the “circle” rear camera module. It also has a standard headphone jack, unlike the Pixels 3 and 4. It uses the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 CPU, a step down from the flagship 800 series, with a spacious 6GB of RAM for Android 10 and later. Of course, there will be quick software updates (and access to beta versions of Android) from Google.
Unlike all Pixels before (including 3a), there is no major XL variant phone. 4a is available in only one screen size, a 5.8-inch 1080p OLED that extends somewhere between “standard” and “large” size in recent years. This is technically the first Pixel phone to use the popular slim stripe-all-around-screen look (which really needs a standardized name).
Pixel 4a uses 128 GB of storage that cannot be expanded. The battery is not that impressive at 3080mAh, and it does not have wireless charging, but it charges up to 18 watts. At the moment it is only available in black color options. There may be other differences between it and Pixel 4 – 3a and 3a XL use especially cheaper, more scratchy legs.
At the same time as the 4a announcement, Google officially confirmed the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, although both will have to wait until later this year before they get a full disclosure. Both phones will have 5G radios, and the Pixel 4a is rumored to have a larger screen (which makes it the de facto Pixel 4a XL, I guess).
Google says the Pixel 4a 5G will be priced “from $ 499”, but did not mention a specific date or hardware. The popular Snapdragon 765G, which is also seen in the similar mid-range OnePlus Nord, would be an obvious choice. Pixel 5 is a more mysterious animal without pricing details. The odds are good that there will be a more comprehensive redesign of the Pixel hardware, following the weak sales of flagship phones in recent years.