XDA Developers found a list of 5G phones on the website of US MVNO Boom! Mobile, which uses T-Mobile and Verizon’s networks to deliver 5G coverage for devices from the likes of Samsung, LG and Motorola. The list has a device named “Google G025E”, a name that’s believed to be associated with the Pixel 4a.
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A previous FCC filing revealed that the G025J, G025N, G025M are the model numbers given to the Pixel 4a, so this new model name would track with the previous ones. Given the G025E is listed under 5G phones by Boom! Mobile, it’s not hard to then make the link that the ‘E’ suffix is in relation to a 5G Pixel 4a.
However, the Pixel 4a is expected to have a Snapdragon 730 chip from Qualcomm, which doesn’t come with 5G connectivity. That means a 5G version of the Pixel 4a is would have a new chipset, likely the Snapdragon 765G that comes with a 5G modem; it’s also the chip the OnePlus Nord is set to get in order to provide its 5G connectivity.
The Snapdragon 765G is also expected to make its way into the Pixel 5. But with the Pixel 4a targeting the budget phones market, we suspect its chip will come in a chassis that uses cheaper materials and has fewer cameras and other features.
But adding 5G to a phone often requires a bigger battery pack and more antennas, so there’s a chance that the 5G Pixel 4a will be a little larger than its non-5G stablemates. The standard Pixel 4a is expected to have a 3,080 mAh battery, so if the 5G version was to increase it to say 4,000 mAh it would need more space in the chassis.
Of course, this could be a listing error by Boom! Mobile, though we’ve seen rumors that suggest there’ll be a 5G Pixel 4a before. Adding 5G connectivity would give the Pixel 4a the means to take on the OnePlus Nord, which is due to be revealed today.
With a 5.8-inch display complete with a punch-hole selfie camera, the Pixel 4a is set to have a smaller screen than the OnePlus Nord’s 6.4-inch display with its 90Hz refresh rate; it’s not yet known if the Pixel 4a will have a high refresh-rate display.
And with just a single rear camera, the Pixel 4a could lose out to the Nord’s quad-camera array. However, Google’s computational photography is at a very high level and it can produce some very impressive shots with just a single camera, so specs don’t always tell the whole story.
The Pixel 4a is predicted to cost around $349, while the OnePlus Nord is likely to be more expensive, though its price is still slated to be below $500. It's not clear how much Google would charge for a 5G version.