Android boss teases "unreleased phone" - Google Pixel 3a may be launched soon

Less than 6 months after launching the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Google is now seemingly getting ready to release another pair of own-branded phones. According to recent rumors, these new handsets may be called Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL (or Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 XL Lite). While we don't know when the two devices will be announced, this could happen in the near future. 

Earlier today, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's Senior Vice President of Android, mentioned an "unreleased phone" on Twitter. More exactly, Hiroshi Lockheimer said that he took some photos with this mysterious handset but "probably shouldn't share them." Whether or not the Google official is ready to reveal more details, we can already make some educated guesses about this phone.

Mr. Lockheimer used the unreleased phone during a visit to a place of historical importance for today's tech industry. Since he only took photos with this device, it's likely that he didn't carry any other handset with him. So we're assuming that this mysterious smartphone is what Hiroshi Lockheimer currently uses as a daily driver. Chances are high that this is happening because the device is being close to an official launch and it's in the process of being thoroughly tested in real-life scenarios.

The mid-range division of the Google Pixel 3 series

We've already seen renders and hands-on photos allegedly showing the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, and Hiroshi Lockheimer's unreleased device is probably one of them. The two phones look a lot like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, although the larger model does not have a notch (as is the case with the Pixel 3 XL). Unlike the regular Pixel 3 models, which are built from metal and glass, the Pixel 3a duo is made out of polycarbonate plastic - this helps with keeping manufacturing costs down. Another physical difference is related to displays: the Pixel 3a and 3a XL supposedly sport 1080 x 2220 pixels screens measuring 5.6 inches and 6.0 inches, respectively. As you may know, the normal Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch screen with 1080 x 2160 pixels, while the 3 XL features a larger, higher-res 6.3-inch display with 1440 x 2960 pixels. 

The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will not be as powerful as the regular Pixel 3 duo (which benefits from the speed of Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 845 processor). That's because the Pixel 3a reportedly features a Snapdragon 670 processor, while the Pixel 3a XL could pack a slightly superior Snapdragon 710 processor - both are decent performers, but they'll definitely make the new Pixels mid-range devices. Processors aside, it's said that the two upcoming Google phones come with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage space, which is perfectly fine for gear that's not high-end. 

Despite their mid-range nature, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL might be able to deliver great photography performances. Rumor has it that the handsets will include the same 12 MP rear cameras found inside the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, which are among the best we've seen on any mobile phone. Another piece of good news - at least for some users - is that the Pixel 3a line allegedly incudes 3.5mm headset jacks (nowhere to be found on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL). On the downside, the new Pixels are unlikely to be dust- and water-resistant. 

Google Pixel 3a price and release date

The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL could be announced during Google's next big event - Google I/O 2019. This will be held on May 7-9 in Mountain View, California, near Google's global headquarters. Both handsets will probably go on sale shortly after that.

The new Pixel smartphones are expected to be released both unlocked and via Verizon Wireless. The Google Pixel 3a could be sold for $400 - $450, while the larger Pixel 3a XL may be priced at $500 - $550, thus possibly costing about $350 or $400 less than the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Related phones

Pixel 3a
  • Display 5.6" 1080 x 2220 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh
Pixel 3a XL
  • Display 6.0" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3700 mAh



1. Cheezwiz

Posts: 500; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

Google has taken so long to get these to market that literally nobody will care by the time they land (unless Google decides to sell them at $299 and $399 respectively).

2. matistight

Posts: 986; Member since: May 13, 2009

Right? Like super cheap would be good, but those processors. Like come on, 128gb OnePlus 6T's are less than $500 on eBay for a way better processor and way more ram

3. OneLove123

Posts: 1064; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

But the camera will not be as good. My pixel 2 xl camera is better than my 6t.

8. dumpster666

Posts: 73; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

OnePlus' camera is good enough or i should say more than enough for majority of users .

9. Georgio

Posts: 246; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

And google pixel 3a cpu and ram will be more than enough for most of the users.

4. Pabliell

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

They're waiting for too long to release them. Still, if priced right those phones might shake the market. I really like the idea of a premium mid-range device with a great camera, but not necessarily the best performer. Only if the price was right...


Posts: 183; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

People won’t pay their money for the phone, they should’ve released it early this year

6. BuffaloSouce unregistered

People are buying s**tty mid-range phones like the that Samsung and Moto pump out...if they buy those then I don't see why they wouldn't go for a Pixel with better camera and user experience.

7. jjface

Posts: 238; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

They had a promo on the regular 3 and 3xl that ends tomorrow so probably been waiting to launch after that else the pricing would be too close.

10. inFla

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Funny, a S10e video ad conveniently placed at the end of the Pixel article.

11. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

Google really needs to get its s**t together. I love android and think it is a superior OS but buying an android phone is a messy deal. If you buy a samsung you get the best hardware there is period, but you sacrifice software updates. Buy google's pixel lineup you get the best ever software on a mobile device but with s**t hardware. That's why i keep buying iphones because imo you get the second best software and second best hardware in one package. If google were to release a competitive pixel phone, i bet you many people like me would buy it!

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