Google Pixel 4a/4a XL rumor round-up: Release date, price, specs, camera rumors

Google Pixel 4a/4a XL rumor round-up: Release date, price, specs, camera rumors
Back in 2019, we got the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, two affordable and arguably better versions of the flagship Pixel 3-series. They were plastic, weren’t as expensive, and most importantly, had the same exceptional camera. Our expectations are that Google will do the same thing in 2020 and follow up its flagship Pixel 4-series with the Pixel 4a and 4a XL.Here's everything that we expect of the Google Pixel 4a-series.


Design & Display




No surprises here — the Pixel 4a-series will most certainly retain the same general design of the existing Pixel 4 lineup, but with two pretty important differences.

First of all, instead of glass, we are likely to see plastic Pixels once again in early 2020. It is highly likely that if the Pixel 4a and 4a XL come in the same color variations as the Pixel 4-series, they will also retain the material finishes at the rear. The Clearly White model, as well as the limited edition Oh So Orange, have the matte finish with a frosted look and a soft grip. The Just Black model, on the other hand, would probably be glossier. These properties are completely achievable with plastic, so the new Pixels would mostly feel like the  more premium devices at a lower weight. 

Secondly, it seems that the Motion Sense and facial recognition sensors could be ditched in favor of a punch-hole camera positioned in the left top corner of the display. This would make the Pixel 4a and 4a XL Google's first phones with such a design.


Speaking of colors, black and white are a given, but the others are a bit more tricky. As you might remember, the Pixel 3a-series were also available in Purple-ish, while the Pixel 4-series also comes in Oh So Orange. So what all of that has to do with the Pixel 4a-series? It means that when it comes to the "wildcard" color, Google seemingly has lots of options — purple, orange, green, and why not red? Our guess is as good as yours at this point.

Another important thing to consider is that the Pixel 4a and 4a XL are quite likely getting headphone jacks. This was the big surprise with the 3a series, which was the first Google phone to sport the extincting jack since... the original Pixels.

Display size is likely remaining similar to the Pixel 3a and 3a XL — 5.6 inches for the smaller and 6.0 inches for the larger device. OLED is most likely remaining the display tech of choice for the Pixel 4a series, but the 90Hz refresh rate is quite unlikely to be making an appearance. After all, it's one of the signature features of the premium Pixel 4-series, thus probably remaining an exclusive feature of the Pixel 4 series.


Performance


In terms of performance, the Pixel 4a series will certainly use a lower-tier chipset than the Snapdragon 855 that powers the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. As a reminder, the Pixel 3a came with the Snapdragon 670 processor and 4GB of RAM, so we expect the Pixel 4a series to be powered by a chipset of the same grade. Prime candidates are the Snapdragon 730/730G or the Snapdragon 765/765G, which also come with integrated 5G modems. We doubt that the Pixel 4a would come with 5G support, so the Snapdragon 765 is less likely to power the whole shebang. 

In terms of storage, we expect at least 64GB of storage in the base version of the phone, though it would be very nice if Google puts 128GB of native storage. As a reminder, it's not possible to expand the storage via a microSD card slot and you have to squeeze within the supplied native storage.

Features


All Pixel 4-exclusive software features are extremely likely to make their way to the Pixel 4a/4a XL. Things like Live Captions, Google Assistant 2.0, the Astrophotography mode and many others are very likely to arrive on the upcoming troopers. What about the Soli-powered face unlock feature? As evident by the renders we've obtained, there might not be enough space to facilitate the Soli sensor. Google could possibly go for image-based face unlock, but that one is not secure and mostly a gimmick. 


Camera


On the topic of cameras, we expect the Pixel 4a to closely mimic the Pixel 4 in terms of the, ahem, camera "island" at the back, but also in hardware, features, and general image quality. We expect the Pixel 4’s square camera module to carry on to the Pixel 4a, along with the 12.2MP standard lens, the 16MP telephoto lens, the hyperspectral sensor for collecting additional data, the dedicated mic, and the flash module. No wide-angle lens here, but Super Res Zoom will likely make up for it. Night Sight will also be present, and hopefully, the astrophotography mode will be on deck as well. 

Here are the full Pixel 4 camera specs:

Google Pixel 4 vs Google Pixel 4 XL

Camera

Rear

Dual camera
Dual camera

Main camera

12.2 megapixels
12.2 megapixels

Features

Optical image stabilization, Phase-detection autofocus
Optical image stabilization, Phase-detection autofocus

Specifications

Aperture size: F1.7; Focal length: 28 mm; Sensor size: 1/2.55"; Pixel size: 1.4 μm
Aperture size: F1.7; Focal length: 28 mm; Sensor size: 1/2.55"; Pixel size: 1.4 μm

Second camera

16 megapixels
16 megapixels

Features

Telephoto, Optical image stabilization, Phase-detection autofocus
Telephoto, Optical image stabilization, Phase-detection autofocus

Specifications

Aperture size: F2.4; Focal Length: 45 mm; Pixel size: 1 μm
Aperture size: F2.4; Focal Length: 45 mm; Pixel size: 1 μm

Video recording

3840x2160 (4K UHD) (30 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (120 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (240 fps)
3840x2160 (4K UHD) (30 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (120 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (240 fps)

Features

Optical image stabilization, Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization
Optical image stabilization, Time-lapse video, Digital image stabilization

Front

8 megapixels
8 megapixels

Video capture

1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)


Generally, we didn't notice any big differences in image quality between the Pixel 3 and 3a series. Aside from the slightly longer processing time, you could expect similar images to come out of both phones. The Pixel 3a was just as good as the Pixel 3, and we certainly expect the same out of the Pixel 4a in comparison with the Pixel 4.




Price, release date, availability


The Pixel 3a started at $399, while the 3a XL cost $479 at launch. Boy, we sure hope Google doesn't stray away from this pricing tier, as it would make the Pixel 4a and 4a XL exceptional additions to the upper mid-range market, where they'll be able to punch way above their weight, especially in terms of camera quality. Hopefully, the Pixel 4a series will remain just as affordable as its predecessors from 2019.

In terms of release date, the upcoming Pixels will most likely get unveiled before the upcoming Google I/O 2020 dev summit. The official dates for the latter are not official yet, but as any other year, we suppose that Google I/O will take place sometime in May 2020. The Pixel 4a and 4a XL will certainly be released beforehand, probably in the very beginning of May 2020. Of course, there's always the possibility for a different release date, but we don't really expect surprises here.

We expect the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4a to be available across all major US carriers, but  we don't know if the devices will be available in more countries across the globe. 

Related phones

Pixel 4a
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765, Octa-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64GB
  • Battery 3200 mAh

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4 Comments

1. jellmoo

Posts: 2678; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

There is a difference between 'rumor' and 'speculation'.

2. dnomadic

Posts: 449; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

My thoughts, somehow in your head.

3. WilliamHolden unregistered

* Rumor Roundup * Consisting of the following speculations Would probably be... We are likely to see... Are quite likely getting... They will most likely... Will most likely get.. Are extremely likely.. We certainly expect... We expect the... We expect at least.. We don't expect any... We sure do hope... Our guess is as good as yours...

4. Turkaloo

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 17, 2019

No mention of battery size. That is going to be a key factor after what they did with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.

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