What can we expect from Google’s upcoming affordable phone?
We’re still deeply impressed by the Pixel 7, a smartphone that managed to offer a flagship experience for just $600. But leaks and rumors indicate that the upcoming Pixel 7a will go even further—it nearly matches the Pixel 7’s specs and hits an even lower price point.
Of course, the Pixel 7a hasn’t been released yet. And Google hasn’t shared any official details. So, here’s what we know about the phone ahead of its launch.
Broad Details: Release Date and Pricing
The Pixel 7a is expected to debut at Google’s I/O 2023 event on May 10th. It may be accompanied by the Pixel Tablet and a demonstration of Google’s Bard AI chatbot. The Pixel Fold smartphone probably won’t make an appearance at I/O 2023, though some leakers believe it will.
In any case, leaker Jon Prosser says that the Pixel 7a will launch immediately after I/O 2023. Another leaker, SnoopyTech, corroborates this claim and suggests that Google will ship the Pixel 7a to retailers two weeks early to accommodate a quick launch. (This is a bit odd, as Google and other brands usually open pre-orders after a launch event and begin shipping products a few weeks later.)
Pricing for the Pixel 7a is a point of contention. Last year’s Pixel 6a was just $450, but several leakers believe that the Pixel 7a will come in at $500. They explain that this price hike is due to upgrades (Tensor G2 chipset, 50MP main camera, 90Hz display), and claim that Google will continue selling the Pixel 6a at a reduced price.
The Design and Display: More Premium Than Ever
We’ve seen plenty of leaked photos and renders of the Pixel 7a. And it’s safe to say that this phone will look nearly identical to the standard Pixel 7—we assume that it will use a plastic back (instead of glass) and a polycarbonate camera visor (instead of aluminum), but again, this is just an assumption based on previous releases. For what it’s worth, the device seems to have a solid metal frame.
The Pixel 7a will probably use a 6.1-inch screen, which is ever-so-slightly smaller than the Pixel 7’s 6.3-inch display. That said, the display specs are pretty solid. Leaks indicate that the Pixel 7a will use an OLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate, effectively matching the Pixel 7’s display quality (although we don’t know about brightness, HDR support, and so on).
Admittedly, the upgrade to 90Hz is a bit odd. Google may have trouble differentiating this device from the standard Pixel 7. But an alleged hands-on video of the Pixel 7a shows the 90Hz display setting, so this is a fairly believable rumor.
As for colors, MySmartPrice and OnLeaks recently shared renders of the Pixel 7a in white, gray, and light blue. These appear to be the only color options, assuming that Google doesn’t offer an exclusive colorway for a carrier or retailer.
Spec Talk: Upgrades on Top of Upgrades
Pixel A-series phones offer exceptional performance for the price. And the Pixel 7a seems to continue this trend. MySmartPrice believes that this phone will use the Tensor G2 chipset, just like the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. For reference, the previous Pixel 6a ran on the first-generation Tensor.
A leaked prototype shows that the Pixel 7a might use 8GB of RAM, a major upgrade from the 6GB that came with the previous model (and the same amount of storage that you get with the base-model Pixel 7 Pro). As for storage, we’re looking at a 128GB capacity, which is standard for devices at this price. We don’t expect any additional storage or RAM configurations for the Pixel 7a.
Notably, this may be the first Pixel A-series phone with wireless charging—a feature that’s usually omitted from Google’s A-series phones to differentiate them from mainline Pixel devices. But most leaks suggest that wireless charging is capped at 5 watts. That’s better than nothing, but it’s extremely slow.
Battery life for the Pixel 7a is unknown. That said, if this phone uses a 90Hz display, it may need a larger battery than the Pixel 6a (which had a 4410mAh capacity). We should also note that the Pixel 7a will launch with Android 13.
The Cameras: A Huge Upgrade, Maybe
One of the downfalls of last year’s Pixel 6a was the main camera. Not because it was bad—in our review, we found that the Pixel 6a takes some great photos. The issue is that the Pixel 6a reused Google’s 12MP camera sensor, which is pretty outdated and doesn’t match the quality of the 50MP camera utilized in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 flagships.
Most leaks indicate that the Pixel 7a will feature a 50MP main lens and 12MP ultrawide camera, effectively matching the quality of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro (although the Pro model adds a telephoto lens).
But this is a huge point of contention. Several leaks dispute the 50MP camera, suggesting that the Pixel 7a will still use a 12MP main lens. One leak even points to a 65MP camera, which seems pretty unbelievable, as the flagship Pixel 7 Pro uses a smaller 50MP sensor.
For what it’s worth, a 50MP camera (combined with all the other upgrades listed throughout this article) would make the Pixel 7a nearly indistinguishable from the standard Pixel 7. Phone makers like Google usually try to differentiate their products, so don’t be surprised if the 50MP camera rumor is incorrect.
Again, Google is expected to reveal the Pixel 7a during its I/O 2023 event on May 10th. Leaks and rumors suggest that orders will begin immediately after the event (without a pre-order period).
We will update this article as new information comes to light. Be sure to join our free newsletter to stay up to date with all Pixel 7a developments!