Leaked Google Pixel 4a hands-on video leaves nothing to the imagination

Leaked Google Pixel 4a hands-on video leaves nothing to the imagination
Remember how the Pixel 3a leaked in full and was even reviewed by a resourceful Ukrainian blog back when everyone still expected Google to sell the mid-range device under the Pixel 3 Lite name? Well, it's taken a little bit longer for the first legit-looking photographs of the unreleased Pixel 4a to make their way online, but shortly after that happened, a Spanish vlogger somehow managed to get his hands on an actual working prototype that he then took for a quick spin on video to answer all our burning questions.

This is almost certainly not a fake, mind you, and while the odd logo and markings on the back of the handset suggest we're most definitely not looking at a commercial-ready unit here, the hardware and even the software seem pretty much finished. In other words, Google may well have other Pixel 4a variants in the pipeline too, but this is essentially guaranteed to be one of the models set to see daylight sometime in the next few months.

Modern design, more memory, and a number of conservative specs

Without further ado, let's dive right into the "confirmed" specifications of the upcoming Google Pixel 4a and how they compare to those of last year's anecdotally successful Pixel 3a. First things first, the screen size is expected to grow from 5.6 to 5.81 inches, but thanks to a trendy hole punch design, the overall body of the Pixel 4a might actually be smaller than the 3a chassis.

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The OLED display resolution will apparently be bumped up slightly from 2220 x 1080 to 2340 x 1080 pixels as a result of the same bezel-reducing move, and because this is a budget-friendly phone we're looking at here, the refresh rate will not go over the 60 Hz mark.

Obviously, Google is preparing a significant processing power upgrade courtesy of a more than respectable Snapdragon 730 silicon, but what's perhaps more interesting to note is the memory count is also set to make a big jump, from 4 to 6 gigs. That's right, the Pixel 4a will be packing more RAM than the high-end Pixel 3 and 3 XL while matching last fall's Pixel 4 and 4 XL in that particular department.

Unfortunately, there's no upgrade in sight for the 64GB storage space of the Pixel 3a, but that's probably going to help Google keep the price point nice and low. Another major contributing factor to that might be the single 12MP rear-facing shooter and 8MP front-facing camera of the Pixel 4a, which are unchanged at first glance from what the Pixel 3a offers in the imaging department.

Then again, Google has a history of squeezing the best possible real-world capabilities out of unimpressive-sounding camera hardware, and we fully expect that to be the case here too. Hopefully, the same will go for the battery life this time around, as the Pixel 4a packs a decent but far from mind-blowing 3,080mAh cell.

Pricing and availability predictions

Because the I/O developer conference has already been officially cancelled for the year, we can reasonably expect Google to unveil the Pixel 4a at a private event of sorts or simply by way of a traditional press release at some point in May.


Apple will likely have to do the same later this month or early the next month for the iPhone 9, aka iPhone SE 2, aka the Pixel 4a's main opponent in the sub-$500 segment. The iPhone 8-inspired handset is widely rumored to start at $399 in a 64GB storage variant, a price point that Google may well be able to match if history is any indication. Of course, that's far from guaranteed, and depending on the evolution of the global coronavirus epidemic, both companies could run into significant trouble trying to stick to their planned schedules.

Otherwise put, you shouldn't rule out a June commercial debut for the Pixel 4a, which would mean this massive leak has come a full three months ahead of schedule. 

Oh, well, at least the Pixel 4a XL is still a very well-kept secret. Almost too well-kept, making us wonder if there is in fact a jumbo-sized variant of this thoroughly leaked 5.8-inch handset with pure Android 10, a headphone jack, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner in the pipeline.

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