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Whoops! Pixel 4a just leaked by Google's own store

Google Pixel 4a
(Image credit: Google Store)

You know a highly-anticipated phone is nearing release when the company that's making it takes it upon itself to leak the device as well. That seems to be exactly what's happened in the Pixel 4a's case, as 9to5Google has published a render that's apparently come fresh right from the Google Store.

It's not clear where this picture exists on the Google Store site — it may have been quietly removed — and no link was provided in 9to5Google's post. That said, this clearly looks like a typical Google product render, and matches up with every image of the Pixel 4a we've seen thus far. You'll note the phone's square-yet-single-lens camera patch, Pixel Imprint capacitive fingerprint sensor and hole-punch front-facing camera. Interestingly, this Just Black colorway has a mint power key, which offers a nice, traditional Pixel design touch.

The latest line on the Pixel 4a's availability is that it will announced August 3. That's according to a tweet from Jon Prosser or Front Page Tech, who has been following the Pixel 4a through all its false starts and delayed reveals over the past several months. Of course, it's possible that date slides as well — we'll know for sure in a few weeks.

In any case, Google will want to get the Pixel 4a out there as soon as possible. Apple unleashed the second-generation iPhone SE back in April, and the upcoming baby Pixel was expected to follow quickly on the heels of Apple's bargain of an iPhone. However, Mountain View was forced to pump the brakes on its launch, likely because of complications from the ongoing global pandemic.

In fact, 9to5Google's Stephen Hall noted on Twitter that the May 12 date on the render you see above is evidence Google originally planned to reveal the Pixel 4a during its cancelled Google I/O developer conference.

As a result of all Google's delays, the iPhone SE has been largely unchallenged in the sub-$400 midrange phone space through the spring and summer thus far, all the while Google has discontinued the Pixel 3a and OnePlus is gearing up to launch its OnePlus Nord around the world (though, critically, not in North America.)

Everything we know about the Pixel 4a suggests it could end up a fantastic midrange handset, just like its predecessor. It won't equal the iPhone SE's performance, of course, given that it will lack a flagship processor on the level of Apple's A13 Bionic. However, its camera should be every bit as good, if not better, and the Pixel 4a's design generally looks more with the times. In fact, some rumors have claimed Google will even offer the device at a $50 discount compared to last year's model, for $349 instead of $399.

The rumored specs of the Google Pixel 4a include a 5.8-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 730 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You should not expect 5G connectivity, but Google may launch a Google Pixel 4a 5G at a later date.

We can't wait to finally get our hands on the Pixel 4a and see how it stacks up against the most affordable iPhone, as well as whatever OnePlus is cooking up. It shouldn't be long now.