Google has already revealed its latest flagship Pixel devices, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but many eyes are on the cheaper model that is expected to follow: the Google Pixel 7a.
The Pixel A series often represents the best value in the smartphone market by undercutting the other models in the line up substantially in price.
Here’s all we know so far about the Pixel 7a that could be the benchmark for mid-range Android phones in 2023.
When will the Google Pixel 7a be released?
We don’t have an official release date for the Google Pixel 7a yet, but the company usually releases its A-series of Pixels in the summer, often after unveiling them at its annual I/O conference.
That’s exactly what has been predicted for the 7a in an alleged internal Pixel product roadmap that was obtained by Android Authority and projects that the phone will release “around Google I/O in April or May.”
To help put that prediction in context, here’s how the previous models lined-up:
There are a few outliers, such as the Pixel 4a 5G that made its debut in October, but that particular model was unusual in that it marked the move to 5G rather than a next generation of the product. The 5a 5G was also unique as it only launched in the US and Japan, unlike its siblings that received global releases.
We’d say it’s a safe bet that the Pixel 7a will be announced in the summer of 2023, although a report from GSMArena revealed that Amazon is already letting people sign up for launch alerts about the phone, which could suggest an earlier arrival than we expected. There’s also been a report from Nikkei Asia about Google ordering 4 million units of a new a-series device that could launch early in 2023. Only time will tell.
How much will the Google Pixel 7a cost?
Again, we don’t have any official word on what the Pixel 7a will cost when it arrives, but we can look at the models that preceded it to give us a clue. Here’s the launch prices for the Pixel a-series:
- Google Pixel 6a: $449/£399
- Google Pixel 5a 5G: $449
- Google Pixel 4a 5G: $499/£499
- Google Pixel 4a: $349/£349
- Google Pixel 3a: $399/£399
As you can see, the price has varied a little across the last few years, but it averages out to around the $449/£399 mark that we saw with the Pixel 6a. The current inflation and currency fluctuations in world currencies means it’s hard to be sure that Google will offer the same deal with the Pixel 7a, but we hope it does.
What are the Google Pixel 7a specs and design?
Though we don’t expect to see the 7a for a few months, true to form, there have been plenty of leaks. Google is not good at keeping a lid on its upcoming smartphones, and in March the phone leaked in full with hands-on photographs from Vietnamese site Zingnews.
It’s claimed the phone pictured above is a prototype, not a retail version, and after images were first posted online the device was remote locked.
Phonecompares also posted photos of an alleged Pixel 7a that looks very similar to the above leak with the model name GHL1X, 8GB RAM, and 128GB storage.
The phone looks incredibly similar to the regular Pixel 7, without the mic hole on the back next to the flash. It also looks very similar to the Pixel 6a but has a more distinct camera pill shape.
Backing up the design leaks are the below renders that turned up online even earlier from the usually reliable OnLeaks, who has shared renders with SmartPrix that reveal the likely design, along with a few specific specs.
Unsurprisingly, the phone looks an awful lot like a cross between the previous Pixel 6a and the more recent Pixel 7 series. It takes the same metallic camera bar design as the 7 phones, but pairs it with the thick bezel and chunky chin on the front that mark this as a cheaper device.
OnLeaks claims that the phone will measure 152.4 x 72.9 x 9.0mm, which is fractionally larger than the 6a in every dimension, but not by enough to be noticeable (that phone measured 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm).
Like the other recent Pixel phones, including the 6a, there’s no sign of a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone will also reportedly launch in two colours – white and dark grey – though Google will no doubt have its own quirky names for the finishes.
We can also see the phone in action after an early model appears to have gotten in the hands of a fan in Vietnam. It’s appeared in both photos and short video, showing a design that pretty much matches what we’ve seen above – and confirmation of a 90Hz refresh rate display.
Aside from the design, what about the specs?
Debayan Roy on Twitter has also posted these alleged specs for the 7a:
It’s assumed that the Google Tensor 2 SoC will make it to the Pixel 7a, as it’s normal practice for each generation to have the same chipset and the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have the Tensor 2 onboard.
9to5Google has been tracking five devices that appear in Android code, and has almost certainly worked out what they are. Two were the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, two others are thought to be the as yet unreleased Pixel Tablet and Google’s first foldable. This leaves one unaccounted for, going by the codename ‘Lynx’.
The site thinks that this could be the Pixel 7a, which would make sense – but suggests the phone is getting some serious upgrades. That’s because the ‘Lynx’ name has also been linked to specs including a triple rear camera, wireless charging, and ceramic body. In fact, some had even speculated that rather than a mid-ranger, Lynx could be a super-premium Pixel 7 Ultra.
Leaker Kuba Wojciechowski has done his own research, and the pieces are beginning to fit together. For one, he thinks that some of those reported Lynx features will be found in the 7a, including wireless charging – though this will apparently be limited to sluggish 5W speeds.
Lynx had previously been tipped to include a triple camera consisting of a 50Mp 1-inch Samsung GN1 as the main shooter, joined by a 64Mp 1-inch Sony IMX787 and 13Mp Sony IMX712. Wojciechowski now believes that the GN1 has been dropped, leaving the phone with the combo of an IMX787 and IMX712, a more affordable pair of sensors and a match for the dual camera seen in OnLeaks’ renders. It will also feature a 13Mp selfie camera, again using the IMX712.
Wojciechowski adds one other tidbit: that the 7a will have a 90Hz refresh rate display made by Samsung, which would be a welcome upgrade from the 60Hz seen on the Pixel 6a, fixing one of that phone’s biggest flaws. As mentioned above, that appears to have been confirmed by the early unit seen in Vietnam.
If you can’t wait until the Pixel 7a launches, check out our roundup of the best Pixel 7 and 7 Pro deals and best Pixel 6a deals to see if you can grab a bargain.