New images of Pixel 4a XL rear cover show us what might have been

New images of Pixel 4a XL rear cover show us what might have been
Last year Google hit a home run with its mid-range Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL handsets. Priced at $399 and $479 respectively, the phones brought Google's acclaimed photo processing capabilities to the masses. While Google is expected to introduce the Pixel 4a on July 13th via a press release or online event, there won't be a larger Pixel 4a XL option this year. That doesn't mean that Google wasn't considering such a model.

Parts from a prototype indicate that the Pixel 4a XL would have been equipped with dual rear cameras


Last month we told you about an eBay seller who listed replacement rear panels for the Pixel 4a XL. Today, 9to5Google posted more pictures of this rear panel that give us another look at might what have been. Besides the dual-camera setup, there is a circular cutout made for the rear-facing fingerprint scanner. Other holes for the 3.5mm earphone jack and microphone can be seen on top. On the bottom, you'll find a cutout for the USB-C port and a pair of grilles for the speakers and a microphone. The volume rocker and power button are on the right side while the left side contains a slot for the nano SIM card. The color scheme (white rear panel, orange button) is reminiscent of the Clearly White Pixel 4 series. The Pixel 4a should be available in Barely Blue or Just Black.


The camera module shows that unlike the single-camera setup that the Pixel 4a sports, the Pixel 4a XL would have featured a dual-camera setup. Most likely Google would have equipped the Pixel 4a XL with the same 12.2MP primary and 16MP telephoto cameras included with the Pixel 4 XL. There also is space for the spectral/flicker sensor. Information gleaned from the part itself shows that it was produced last September.

The interesting thing about this rear panel is that instead of the "G" logo used on finished consumer products, there is a logo used by Google that it applies on early units. That tells us that the back cover is from a Pixel 4a XL that most likely was a prototype. While Google never has given an official reason why there won't be a Pixel 4a XL, this part shows us that the company was-at the very least-considering producing such a model.


As for the Pixel 4a, we expect the phone to carry a 5.81-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Powering the phone should be the Snapdragon 730 chipset (remember, current rumors call for the Pixel 5 line to sport the Snapdragon 765 Mobile Platform) and the mid-ranger could come with 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The single-camera on the back will reportedly weigh in at 12.2MP with an f/1.7 aperture. The front-facing punch-hole selfie snapper (found the upper left corner of the screen) will most likely carry an 8MP sensor. Interestingly, the Pixel 4a is supposed to be equipped with a 3080mAh battery which would be a 10% hike in capacity compared to the Pixel 4.


With the economy being what it is right now thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is speculation that Google will price the Pixel 4a at $349. However, the faltering economy isn't the only reason for Google to bring the Pixel 4a price down to that level; at $349 Google would also be undercutting the $399 price tag of the lowest-priced second-generation iPhone SE model. Apple claims that the new image signal processor that it is using on the device gives it the best single-camera on any smartphone. Not only was that comment aimed directly at the Pixel 3a and upcoming Pixel 4a, but it also is a sign that Apple is aware of the mid-range Pixel models' main selling point.

Related phones

Pixel 4a

PhoneArena Score:

9.1

User Score:

9.0
  • Display 5.8 inches 2340 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3140 mAh
  • OS Android 11

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