The Pixel 3a was the surprise package of last year: and a very pleasant one at that. Google proved that the Pixel’s line of class-leading photography didn’t need to be confined to £700+ smartphones and it was a compelling package all round.
In many ways, it actually showed up the Pixel 4, which ended up losing points for weak battery life and the MIA fingerprint reader.
That means all eyes are on what Google has planned for the upcoming Pixel 4a, and thanks to renders from 91Mobiles based on leaks from OnLeaks, we have an idea of what it might look like.
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As you can see, the biggest change is the punch-hole selfie camera in the top right-hand side of the screen. That allows for a much thinner bezel at the top, though the other edges all have a comparatively thick border.
Reading between the lines, this will likely mean that the Pixel 4a is jettisoning two of the Pixel 4’s main features: Face Unlock and Project Soli. But given the former is a touch flakey and the latter more of a party trick than a must-have, few will likely miss them if this proves to be correct.
The evidence that Face Unlock may be omitted is strengthened by the return of the fingerprint reader on the back. The Pixel 4 dropped fingerprint scanning altogether, which was a right pain for anybody who used Android banking apps, so the return here should be celebrated, even if Google hasn’t opted for a fancy underscreen scanner.
Despite only having a single rear camera, the square bump is back. A little ugly, but it does suggest parity of image quality, which was the Pixel 3a’s main selling point, so certainly forgivable. And just like the Pixel 3a, it looks like the 4a has a 3.5mm headphone jack built in, which is one up on more expensive flagships, too.
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So those are the looks, but what of the innards? 91mobiles reckons that the device will be powered by a Snapdragon 730 or 765 processor, backed by 4GB RAM. The site says it’ll come in white, black, purple and possibly the tangerine shade first debuted on the Pixel 4.
As for when, that’s still up in the air. A Google I/O launch seems likely, but as there’s no official date for the 2020 event, your guess is as good as ours for now.