A list of critical specs surrounding the Google Pixel 4a have been confirmed in advance of the phone's launch later this year. 9to5Google has details on the upcoming budget Pixel's display, processor, battery and camera, and from the looks of it, the new model doubles down on many of the qualities that made the Pixel 3a such a great proposition last year.
First things first: the CPU. The Pixel 4a will receive a Snapdragon 730 chipset, according to 9to5Google's report, which should make it reasonably powerful for a budget or midrange device — especially if Google holds true to the $399 price it set with last year's device. Note that this isn't the Snapdragon 765, which features an embedded 5G modem, but rather lower-spec silicon that is geared for 4G LTE networks.
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Turning to the display, the Pixel 4a will incorporate a 5.8-inch OLED display with a full-HD+ resolution. That's a slight step up from the Pixel 3a's 5.6-inch panel. And given rumors that Google has elected to produce one midrange Pixel model this time around — because last year's Pixel 3a XL didn't sell extraordinarily well — the size bump essentially seats the Pixel 4a as a perfect middle ground between the 5.6-inch 3a and 6-inch 3a XL.
The Pixel 4a's selfie camera will be of the hole-punch variety, and there's no Motion Sense or Face Unlock here as you'll find in the Pixel 4. Instead, you'll have to rely on that good old-fashioned Pixel Imprint capacitive sensor on the back for identification.
And speaking of cameras, once again the Pixel 4a's imaging stack doesn't sound earth-shattering on paper, even though it'll probably produce impressive results in practice. You'll find a 12.2-megapixel single-lens module on the back, just like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a, and like the primary lens in the stereoscopic Pixel 4.
9to5Google confirms there's no Pixel Neural Core supplementing the Qualcomm chip, meaning that the Snapdragon 730 will do all the heavy lifting with regard to computational photography. Granted, that was the case on last year's Pixel 3a, and it didn't seem to hold that device's camera back, either.
The phone's design is reportedly all polycarbonate, though it won't support Qi wireless charging. There is, however, still a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack intact, and Google is adding a 128GB storage option to supplement the base 64GB option. That's a smart move, as the Pixel 3a was quite cramped in terms of capacity last year, and considering Google's aversion to microSD expandable storage, the lack of a 128GB configuration was particularly frustrating.
The report from 9to5Google doesn't lend any more insight on when we can expect the Pixel 4a to launch — just that it could be "anytime in the next month or two." For what it's worth, the photos of the phone's retail box did just leak hours before this story was published — so we'd place our bet on the sooner side, rather than later. We had been expecting the Pixel 4a to debut during May's Google I/O conference, but that event has been scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With Apple supposedly gearing up to ship its iPhone 9 before April is out, this spring is shaping up to be an exciting time for anyone entertaining the thought of buying a great budget phone.