Google Pixel 4a design leaks — and it's much better than iPhone SE

Google Pixel 4a concept design
(Image credit: Pigtou and xleaks)

New concept renders of the Google Pixel 4a show how the next budget phone from Google could blend a familiar rear design with a front that looks a lot more modern than Apple's iPhone SE.

The latest designs come courtesy of a collaboration between Pigtou and xleaks, and were created off the back of leaked CAD drawings of what’s set to be Google’s next phone. And this design lends credence to the idea that the Pixel 4a will have a punch-hole selfie camera and a square rear camera module. 

We’ve seen leaks before that have shown off similar designs for the Pixel 4a, with the handset sporting a near bezel-less display, marking a departure from the design of the older Pixel 3a. One of the few drawbacks of the iPhone SE are the large bezels around the screen, as Apple simply recycled the design of the older iPhone 8.

These Pixel 4a designs also show the likely return of the rear capacitive fingerprint scanner, which both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL abandoned in favor of face scanning biometric security. The iPhone SE's front Touch ID sensor has a more convenient location, but the rear fingerprint scanner on previous Pixel phones was roundly praised for how responsive it was.

Other details in these new renders show familiar Pixel design cues, from a pair of speaker holes on the phone’s bottom edge to a pastel colored power button that’s been a feature of more recent Pixel phones. 

Google Pixel 4a concept design

(Image credit: Pigtou and xleaks)

While it might share the same shape as its flaghsip cousins, Pigtou and xleaks’ render also shows that Pixel 4a’s rear camera module only has a single camera rather than a dual-lens setup. This would suggest that the Pixel 4a will rely on software to deliver its smartphone photography; this should include a Night Sight mode that the iPhone SE lacks.

There’s not a great deal more information we can extract from this design. But from the leaks and rumors that have circulated so far, we suspect the Pixel 4a will have a mid-tier Snapdragon 765 chip and have a 5.83-inch OLED display with a standard 60Hz refresh rate, as opposed to the faster A13 Bionic chip but smaller 4.7-inch screen in the iPhone SE.

If the Pixel 4a sticks to its predecessor’s $400 price tag, there’s a good chance it could deliver some solid performance, high-quality photography, and a neatly packaged handset for a price that competes with Apple’s budget champ.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • clerm
    are we to assume that the headphone jack will be returning or not? would have been nice if you touched on it as it's a huge deciding factor for many people when it comes to budget phones - i knew a guy who regretted buying a pixel 3 when he learned that the 3a had a headphone jack.