Google Pixel 4a photos give us first look at iPhone 9 challenger

Pixel 4a rumor
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We’ve been expecting the Google Pixel 4a for some time, and have been wondering what the phone will look like in real life, but up until recently we've only seen renders. But now we have what appears to be actual photographs of Google's new phone, and it looks like the rumors are true.

Two images from Slashleaks (via PocketNow) show off the front and back of what certainly looks like the Pixel 4a, which is designed to replace the Pixel 3a, Google's first phone Google to target the mid-range category.

(Image credit: Slashleaks)

On the front, we see that the Pixel series’ signature bezel has finally disappeared. In its place is a punch-hole containing the selfie camera. There’s still a fairly thick chin bezel, but that will be acceptable to most users. The front camera sensor itself will likely be the same 8MP one found in the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4.

On the back, we can see that the rumored square camera patch is present. A design cue taken from the Pixel 4, here it only holds one camera and a flash module, but it helps keep the family resemblance strong between the main Pixel phones and the “a” variants.

(Image credit: Slashleaks)

Between the camera and the Google logo at the bottom of the phone, there’s a circle that will house a fingerprint sensor. The Pixel 4’s Face Unlock system is presumably too expensive to add onto the cheaper Pixel 4a, so Google decided to stick with a less impressive but still reliable option for unlocking the phone.

These images were posted from a fresh account, so we can’t judge reliability from any previous leaks they’ve made. What we can see is that these photos look like the renders we saw from OnLeaks and 91mobiles, which is hopefully good news. 

The Pixel 4a will be going up against phones like Apple's rumored iPhone 9 when it launches. Targeting a similar price point of around $400, the iPhone 9 will reportedly be a worthy competitor with a powerful A13 processor, a similar single rear camera set-up and all the benefits that come with iOS. Rumor has it that Apple will include a Touch ID sensor along with an 4.7-inch display, similar to the iPhone 8.

We were expected Google to launch the Pixel 4a at its Google I/O conference May 12, but Google I/O 2020 has been cancelled due to worries about coronavirus. Still, Google could decide to launch the phone on what was the supposed to be the first day of its event, as the company has said it will go forward with a digital version of Google I/O.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.