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Google Pixel 4a release date tipped for May 22: What to expect

Google Pixel 4a render
(Image credit: 91Mobiles/OnLeaks)

With the iPhone SE 2020 now out, all eyes are on Google to see if the upcoming Pixel 4a can top Apple's budget offering. A new report from a German tech site hints at a potential release date for the new budget Pixel as soon as the end of next month.

May 22 could be the day the Pixel 4a hits carriers in Europe, according to a story from Caschys Blog, which claims to have seen internal documents from the network Vodafone.

If that timeframe is true, Google may unveil the Pixel 4a several days beforehand, square in the middle of May. This could fall right within the intended dates for the now-canceled Google I/O developers conference, which was originally scheduled between May 12 and 14.

The Pixel 4a will likely be sold unlocked as well as through carriers, given that last year's Pixel 3a made its way to Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and Google Fi, among other lesser-known service providers. It's expected to cost $399 — the same as the Pixel 3a last year and the new iPhone SE.

Like the iPhone SE, the Pixel 4a is all but certain to feature just one camera lens on the back, though that camera should deliver photos of a quality comparable with those from Google's flagship Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Unlike the iPhone SE, the Pixel 4a should offer a night mode for its camera, which is a big advantage.

The Pixel 4a should also incorporate an OLED display, just as its predecessor did. But the screen should be larger this time around at 5.8 inches in size, up from 5.6 inches. The iPhone SE has a tiny 4.7-inch display. Also expect a headphone jack — a rare convenience these days.

Inside, rumors point to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor powering the device, and buyers may be able to upgrade to 128GB of storage from the base 64GB, which wasn't an option on the Pixel 3a. The Snapdragon 730 is a mid-tier CPU that isn't nearly as fast as the A13 Bionic the iPhone SE uses, though it should deliver enough power for most users, and may even help the Pixel 4a last longer on a charge, thanks to some efficiency gains.

The next two weeks look to be especially critical as we gear up toward a potential Pixel 4a launch; be sure to keep it locked on Tom's Guide in the interim for all the latest.