Update: A claimed leaked photo of the Google Pixel 6a's box shows off a familiar design.
The Google Pixel 6a just got its first mention from Google itself. Except it's not in any of the normal ways we've seen pre-release products get accidentally exposed by companies.
As DroidLife (opens in new tab) reported, a Google-produced coloring book featuring the company's products contains a mention of the Pixel 6a. You can see it for yourself in the image below.
Why is there a Google coloring book? Well it's part of one of the bundles of gifts given to "Pixel Superfans," one of a select group of users registered with Google to receive presents, discounts, events to chat with Pixel staff and more. This is a group you can apply to be a part of, but membership is still by invitation only.
Unfortunately for us, we don't actually have an illustration to look at because while the Pixel 6a is mentioned in the index of the coloring book, there's no related image on the page given. There's no Nest Thermostat to be found either (the other product mentioned), instead there's a Nest Hub (or Next Hub Max) and a Nest Audio to fill in with your crayons instead.
Fortunately, we have other leaks to look at for the phone's design. And the good news is Google seems to be taking inspiration from the Pixel 6, including the camera bar, for its new cheaper model.
That's not all the Pixel 6a is thought to be borrowing from its flagship sibling. Google's Tensor chip is said to be coming to the Pixel 6a, which should provide a surprising amount of power for a mid-range phone. And speaking of power, we should see the same 30W charger support on the Pixel 6a as we did on the Pixel 6.
Other aspects are tipped to be coming directly from the Google Pixel 5a, such as the main 12MP camera and the 8MP selfie camera or the expected $450 price. There are some new parts too, such as a smaller 6.2-inch display, larger battery and a new 12MP ultrawide camera.
Google has released the Pixel a-series phones at a few different times of year since the line's debut, but there are two main release options from what we can see. Either the Pixel 6a could appear in May at Google I/O, currently the option that's had rumors supporting it, or it could appear in August or later coinciding with other historic Google product launch periods.