Trusted Reviews may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More

Pixel 4a: Release date, specs, price and all the latest leaks

The Pixel 4a is one of the most eagerly anticipated smartphone announcements of the summer and all signs are pointing toward an announcement this month. Trusted Reviews has collected all of the latest official news, leaks and rumours relating to Google’s next mid-range smartphone. Read on to find out what we know so far.

The most recent indication that the 4a is fast approaching came in Google announcing that it would be discontinuing the Pixel 3a in its US storefront. The 3a has been one of Google’s most well-received smartphones in recent years, so we doubt the phone would be going anywhere without something ready to take its place. Fans of the 3a will still be able to get their hands on the affordable smartphone from Google’s UK store and many third-party retailers in the US, but its removal from the US store may be a sign that its successor is ready to step forward and take its place.

The move also times well with the Pixel 4a’s rumoured July launch. 2020 is set to be a summer packed with mid-range challengers, from the Pixel 4a to the OnePlus Nord to the rumoured Moto G 5G Plus. Google will certainly need to bring its A game if it wants to keep hold of its crown in the affordable end of the market. Both the OnePlus Nord and the Moto G are expected to offer next-gen 5G connectivity at a low price, potentially leaving the Pixel 4a scrambling to keep up. The Nord and the Moto G are also both expected to boast a faster display than what we’re seeing for the 4a, once again leaving Google at a possible disadvantage.

As far as past mid-range Pixels go, we awarded the Pixel 3a four out of five stars in our review. We loved the camera and the affordable price tag and hope that Google will deliver a similar package with the Pixel 4a. We’re excited to see which features from the flagship Pixel 4 make it into its cheaper sibling and where Google will choose to make sacrifices. Keep reading to find out everything we know about the Pixel 4a so far, including the release date, price and leaked specs.

Pixel 4a release date – An announcement in July is looking likely

We’ve finally reached July, the month many expect the Pixel 4a to be unveiled. However, there are no guarantees the launch won’t be delayed once again as it seems this has happened multiple times in the run up to the 4a’s debut.

Even if we do see the Pixel 4a announced in July (July 13 is the day that has been suggested) there is now some talk that the phone itself won’t actually be available to buy until October. This comes from the recently very reliable Jon Prosser.

It seems like the phone is edging towards release as an unidentified Google phone has just passed through the FCC, this comes by way of XDA Developers. The phone has also gained other certifications in the form of IMDA and BIS, both of which give us more details about the device. BIS certification suggests that the phone might get an official release in India. The Pixel 4a also passed Taiwan’s FCC last week (via DealInTech).

There’s a lot that seems odd about this news. For one, having such a long gap between when a phone is announced and then released is strange and couldn’t do Google any favours. Previous rumours had suggested the devices were ready to be shipped – so why would there be such a wait? The tweet also mentions that the ‘Barely Blue’ colour option has been ditched entirely, meaning the phone will ship in black and nothing else.

This news could also see a delay of the Pixel 5, which would usually be announced in October itself. Maybe Google will end up renaming the Pixel 4a to the Pixel 5a and we’ll see it launch alongside the flagship device? It’s a possibility, however doubtful.

Pixel 4a specs – How fast will the Pixel 4a be?

If you want a quick run-through of what specs we expect to sit inside the Pixel then take a look at the lists below. Of course, nothing has been confirmed yet and we won’t know the full internals until Google officially announces the device.

  • Display: 5.81-inch, 2340 x 1080 screen, 60Hz refresh rate
  • Camera: 12-megapixel (back),  8-megapixel (front)
  • Battery size: 3080mAh
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 730
  • 5G: No
  • Pixel 4a XL: No

Pixel 4a price – Will it cost more than the Pixel 3a?

As mentioned above, we loved the Pixel 3a, and it was a runaway success for Google too. It launched with an RRP of £399, with the Pixel 3a XL costing £469 − roughly half as much as the Pixel 3 (£739) and Pixel 3 XL (£869), which didn’t sell particularly well.

In its Q2 2019 earnings call on July 25, just three months after the launch of the Pixel 3a range, Google revealed that the 3a and 3a XL had already more than doubled sales of its handsets year-on-year. Doubled. In just three months.

And there could be a lot riding on the Pixel 4a too. The Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL, to put it bluntly, were enormously disappointing additions to the Pixel line, and comments made during Alphabet’s Q4 2019 earnings call suggested that the Pixel 4 range might be even less popular than the Pixel 3 range was.

All of which could mean that when the Pixel 4a arrives, it might be under pressure to rescue the Pixel brand all over again.

The Pixel 3a is still one of the best mid-range phones on the market right now, and the reliable tipster Evan Blass appears to have got his hands on materials that confirm the Pixel 4a will start at $399. He tweeted the mockup images above that claim the 4a will cost the same amount as the 3a. While those aren’t real billboards, we’re hoping that price details are legitimate.

According to 9to5Google though, the Pixel 4a will start at $349 (128GB) in the US, which would be $50 cheaper than the base price of the Pixel 3a, with twice as much storage. It’s also possible there’ll be a 64GB version of the Pixel 4a, but doesn’t appear as if any of the 4a models will be expandable via microSD.

The aforementioned early listings by French retailers also give us an idea as to how much the 4a might cost. eStock.Fr listed the handset at €441.65, while Ordimedia appeared to be asking for €573.01 (with the 20% sales tax). That would leave the 4a priced at between £399 and £518 for 128GB − so about in line with what has been rumoured.

pixel 4a xl render

Image Credit: Pigtou

The existence of a Pixel 4a XL is, for the first time, in doubt. It has reportedly been cancelled, with the renders above claiming to show what the handset would have looked like.

We’re not entirely convinced, however.

Related: The Pixel 4a can beat the new iPhone SE 2

Pixel 4a camera – Will this be the best camera at its price?

The best thing about the Pixel 3a is that it uses pretty much the same camera setup as the flagship Pixel 3. However, this won’t be the case this time around.

Multiple leaks have shown that the Pixel 4a will have a single rear camera, rather than adopting the multi-sensor setup seen on the Pixel 4.

But don’t be too disheartened. That more modest camera configuration could still be capable of smoking most of the competition. After all, much of what makes Google’s cameras so impressive is on the processing, rather than the actual hardware.

That TechnoLike Plus video embedded on this page shows a large plastic camera bump that only contains a single 12-megapixel lens and flash combo. But the site has high praise for it.

9to5Google agrees, but adds that the selfie camera is an 8-megapixel sensor, and that video recording specs are the same as what the Pixel 4 offers (1080p@30fps, 60fps and 120fps; 720p@240fps; and 4K@ 30fps for the rear camera; and 1080p@30fps for the selfie camera.

XDA Developers discovered code in the Google Camera 7.3 update that mentions “pixel_20_mid_range” and suggests the Pixel 4a will give users the option to shoot video at 24fps − which is the traditional standard for films and TV shows.

Pixel 4a specs and features – What chipset will be inside?

The latest specs leaks surrounding the Pixel 4a seem to confirm it’ll pack the usual staples of NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. However, it also seems to end any thought of this phone being a 5G device. While we are seeing many affordable 5G phones hit the market it looks like the Pixel 4a will be purely 4G.

The 4a was apparently already available for purchase in a Cuban store way back March. That apparently allowed Spanish language blog TechnoLike Plus to post a hands-on video review that claims to reveal all of the Pixel 4a’s key specs and features.

The top-line information is that a Snapdragon 730 processor will be doing the heavy lifting, combined with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that unfortunately cannot be boosted by an external microSD card. The site gets the info by running a benchmarking test, which also reveals a 3080mAh battery.

You may have heard that Google is reportedly working on its own processors for use in Pixel smartphones, but this isn’t likely to happen until next year. The chip is apparently code-named Whitechapel and has been built in collaboration with Samsung, which makes its own Exynos processors for Galaxy phones and is involved with Apple’s A-series chips too.

Courtesy of the video, we’ve also got all of the information we need about the display. The site says it’s a 5.81-inch, 2340 x 1080 panel, with a 60Hz refresh rate, and a pixel density of 443ppi.

These specs have also been corroborated by a 9to5Google report published in April (and others since), which adds that there will be a 128GB version of the phone too.

In early May, Rick Osterloh, the head of Google’s hardware division, sent out the apparently perfectly straightforward tweet embedded above.

Closer examination of the screenshot, however, drops a hint over which smartphone he was using at the time. There’s a space to the left of the clock, which would suggest a punch hole display. Which Pixel phone is widely tipped to be the first to rock a punch hole display? Why, it’s the Pixel 4a, of course!

Yes, that’s the same Rick Osterloh who criticised the Pixel 4’s battery before its launch. “At a hardware team all-hands meeting in the fall, ahead of the October launch in New York, Osterloh informed staff about his own misgivings,” The Information has reported. “He told them he did not agree with some of the decisions made about the phone, according to two people who were present at the meeting. In particular, he was disappointed in its battery power.”

Unfortunately, Google either chose not to, or didn’t have enough time to, do something about it. Hopefully he’s enjoying the Pixel 4a a little more.

TechnoLike Plus’ video also shows a USB-C port, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and the retention of the headphone jack on top of the device, just like the Pixel 3a.

pixel 4a leak

Image: Slashleaks

 

In March, two purported real-life pictures of a Pixel 4a handset were published on Slashleaks.

They tally up very neatly with all of the rumours above, and a series of renders created by a digital artist known as Concept Creator, for Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital. Those, however, are essentially rumours in picture form.

There’s a video too, which shows what the handset could look like in different colours, including black, white, orange, purple and blue. We’ve embedded it right at the bottom of this page.

Visible in some reports is a single rear camera, albeit one housed in a raised square section like its siblings (more on this in the following section).

The single camera on the front, meanwhile, is now a hole-punch style snapper tucked away in the top left-hand corner of the screen, disposing of the forehead bezel that was present on the 4.

Related: Best camera phones

Google pixel 4a

Image Credit: @OnLeaks/91Mobiles

According to XDA Developers, the Pixel 4a could use UFS 2.1 flash storage, which should allow for better power efficiency, faster file transfers, and speedier app loading and installation speeds, in comparison to the Pixel 3a. It seems like this phone will be missing the Soli radar from the Pixel 4 too, though that’s hardly something to get too upset about.

Phone case maker ESR recently released a case listing for the Pixel 4a with a render that showed the smartphone on a wireless charging pad. Take this leak with a grain of salt, however, as wireless charging is usually one of the first features to go on budget versions of Android handsets.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor

NAV BUG FIX