Google’s mid-range Pixel 3a was a surprise hit last year, and the company was allegedly planning to launch a follow-up during this year’s Google IO developer conference… before the event was scrapped.
But a Google Pixel 4a is almost certainly still on the way, and several new sets of pictures have popped up in the past 24 hours that give us a look at the upcoming phone. The folks at 9to5Google also claim to have been able to confirm the phone’s key specs and features with “sources.”
So here’s what we’re expecting Google to announce sometime in the coming weeks or months.
First, the latest images seem to confirm that the phone will have just a single front camera (in a hole punch cut-out) and a single rear camera (paired with an LED flash). If you were holding out hope for a telephoto or wide-angle camera, this might not be the mid-range Pixel for you.
Second, a photo that appears to show the retail packaging suggests that a launch could be imminent.
And third, here’s a run-down of the specs we’re expecting:
|5.81 inch, 2340 x 1080 pixel OLED display|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor|
|12.2MP rear camera (with OIS and EIS)|
|4K/30fps, 1080p/120fps, 720p/240s video recording|
|8MP 84-degree selfie camera|
|3,080 mAh battery|
|18W fast charging (wired only)|
|3.5mm headphone jack|
|Google Titan M security chip|
|“Just Black” and “Barely Blue” color options|
According to 9to5Google, the phone is expected to have a starting price of $399.
A few features this phone does not have are the Pixel Neural Core image processor or Soli radar chip found in the higher-priced Pixel 4 smartphones. That means you won’t get support for hands-free gestures, face unlock, or some of the image processing features available in the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.
But for about half the price, the Pixel 4a seems like a phone that should offer more than half the user experience. As a Pixel phone, it will receive at least 2 years worth of major OS updates and 3 years of security updates and it will support the latest Google Assistant features, among other things.
Google Pixel 4a is On It’s Way… pic.twitter.com/rJclXg1Yqo
— TechDroider (@techdroider) April 9, 2020
Google Pixel 4A Again
Credits – @raude2210 pic.twitter.com/jDzWCXsIQd
— TechDroider (@techdroider) March 8, 2020
So why have phones abandoned the 16:9 form?
They’ve abandoned many other properties and features that are good for practicality and user experience.
User Removable Battery, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, microSD expansion, Flat Screens, Sturdy Backplates (eg Aluminium), IrDa Blaster, FM Radio, USB-OTG Host functionality, Non-cut screen, Front-firing Stereo Loudspeakers, etc etc.
The only good features we’ve adopted in-return is:
IP68 Waterproofing, S-AM-OLED displays, Thinner bezels.
The Late-2014 Samsung Note 4 was theoretically the last no-compromise phone, also for the time having the fastest (exynos) chipset, growing developer community, cutting edge features, and it only missed out on having IP67 Waterproofing.
Whereas the Early-2016 Samsung S7+ was practically the last no-compromise phone, having the fastest (exynos) chipset, growing developer community, cutting edge features, and it only missed out on having a User Removable Battery.
Some say the last no-compromise phone was in Mid-2017, when Sony launched three phones all which had Waterproofing, Headphone Jack, and Front-firing stereo loudspeakers. This was the Small-4.6in-720p XZ1c, and the Medium-5.2in-1080p XZ1, and the Large-5.5in-2160p XZp. This may be true. However, they weren’t the best phone when it came to the speakers (not very loud), the screens (not very bright), the battery life (not very impressive), or to the camera (no OIS).
There’s more stuff they have to cram inside these things to keep up with performance expectations, and they can’t make them wider, heat probably prohibits stacking of internals, so longer is the only direction to expand the body.
Also, bezels are inexplicably forbidden, and they didn’t have very much of those on the sides to begin with, so longer is the only direction to expand the screen.
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