Google just revealed its entire 2020 phone lineup at once. In a smorgasborde of mobile news, it announced the much-leaked, budget-priced Pixel 4a, a bigger 5G variant the 4a 5G, and the 2020 flagship Pixel 5. The Pixel 4a is up for pre-order now and shipping August 20th for $350, but the rest will have to wait for later this year.
Like the Pixel 3a before it, the 4a goes with some cheaper components and less complex mechanisms in order to keep a low price. Most notably, it ditches the dual rear camera for a single 12.2 megapixel sensor, and has no infrared sensors on the front, opting for just one 8 MP camera in a “hole punch” arrangement. It brings back the rear fingerprint reader in lieu of face scanning.
Aesthetically, that hole punch camera makes the Pixel 4a to phones like the Galaxy S20 or OnePlus 8 in terms of design, though it’s hanging on to that “squircle” rear camera module look. It also has a standard headphone jack, unlike the Pixels 3 and 4. It uses the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 CPU, a step down from the flagship 800 series, with a roomy 6GB of RAM for Android 10 and beyond. Naturally, it’ll get lightning-fast software updates (and access to beta versions of Android) from Google.
Unlike all the Pixels before it (including the 3a), there’s no larger XL variant phone. The 4a comes in just one screen size, a 5.8-inch 1080p OLED that straddles somewhere between the “standard” and “large” sizes of the last few years. This is technically the first Pixel phone to use the popular slim-bezel-all-the-way-around-the-screen look (which really needs a standardized name).
The Pixel 4a uses 128GB of non-expandable storage. The battery isn’t all that impressive at 3080mAh, and it doesn’t have wireless charging, but it charges at up to 18 watts. At the moment it’s only available in a black color option. There may be other differences between it and the Pixel 4—the 3a and 3a XL notably use cheaper, more scratch-prone glass.
At the same time as the 4a announcement, Google officially confirmed the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5, though both will have to wait for later this year before getting a full reveal. Both phones will feature 5G radios, and the Pixel 4a is rumored to have a larger screen (making it the de facto Pixel 4a XL, I suppose).
Google says that the Pixel 4a 5G will be priced “starting at $499,” but didn’t mention a specific date or hardware. The popular Snapdragon 765G, also seen in the similar mid-range OnePlus Nord, would be an obvious choice. The Pixel 5 is a more mysterious beast, with no pricing details. Odds are good that it will be a more comprehensive redesign of the Pixel hardware, after the lackluster sales of flagship phones for the last few years.