Google Accidentally Leaked Its Cheaper Pixel 4a Just Weeks From Launch

Illustration for article titled Google Accidentally Leaked Its Cheaper Pixel 4a Just Weeks From Launch
Screenshot: Google

The upcoming launch of Google’s next mid-range smartphone, the Pixel 4a, has been rumored for months. But today, the Pixel 4a inadvertently showed up on Google’s Canadian online store, effectively removing any doubt that the Pixel 4a is coming soon.

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While Google’s mid-range Pixel phones typically have somewhat subdued styling, there appear to be some interesting differences between the Pixel 4a and the standard Pixel 4—at least going off the lone photo Google accidentally leaked.

As you can see in the photo above, the black Pixel 4a features a matte black finish, which is kind of a surprise. The original black Pixel 4 was the only model to feature a shiny, polished back. The white and orange versions had matte finishes. But it appears Google is sticking with mint green as the Pixel 4a’s accent color, just like you got on the black Pixel 4.

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Another noticeable difference is the presence of a rear fingerprint sensor, which means the Pixel 4a probably won’t have a 3D facial recognition system like you get on Google’s current flagship phone. And sadly, while a lot of mid-range and even budget phones now sport dual-lens rear cameras, it appears the Pixel 4a will only come with a single rear shooter.

Furthermore, the slightly more rounded sides of the Pixel 4a and lack of any seams or gaps suggest that the Pixel 4a will feature a plastic back instead of the metal and glass construction used on the standard Pixel 4.

Google obviously hasn’t yet officially announced the Pixel 4a, but the latest leaks and rumors suggest it will come with a 5.8-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 730 processor, 6GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 128GB of storage.

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Originally, the Pixel 4a was expected to launch sometime in May—similar to the timing for last year’s Pixel 3a. However, it seems the Pixel 4a’s launch has been delayed multiple times, with the latest rumors claiming it will be officially announced on Aug. 3. The 4a is expected to be available to buy later this fall for $350.

Rumor has it Google will release two additional Pixels this year: the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5. While both will almost certainly boast greater performance than the Pixel 4a, along with 5G support, neither phone is expected to deliver true high-end performance, because Google might use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G chip instead of the company’s top-of-the-line flagship Snapdragon 865/865+ processor.

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Regardless, the Pixel 3a was our favorite mid-range phone of 2019, so the Pixel 4a will have a lot of live up to when it finally becomes available later this summer.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

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DISCUSSION

I will never understand why having a plastic back is worse than glass. I currently have a 3a and LOVE that it’s plastic. When I drop it, it doesn’t break. The screen also isn’t glass. I find this to be a huge bonus. I hate that phones are glass. Why would I want something that I carry around all the time to be made of the most fragile material in the world. Give me plastic everytime please. Much more durable.