It’s amazing that, despite originally hitting the rumor mill almost a full year ago and putting out pictures four months ago, Google’s mid-range Pixel phone is the subject of rumors. The latest report comes from 9to5Google, which has a new round of specs.
Just like with the flagship lineup, there are two phone sizes in Google’s supposedly-launching-someday mid-range lineup.
What exactly these devices will be called is still up in the air. These devices have had the codename “Bonito” and “Sargo,” and the rumor mill has referred to the consumer names as “Pixel 3 Lite” and “Pixel 3 XL Lite” in the past. As discovered by XDA, though, the recent Android Q Beta is calling Bonito and Sargo the “Pixel 3a” and “Pixel 3a XL.” The names are not quite as bad as “LG V50 ThinQ 5G.” But they’re still pretty wordy.
9to5Google says the smaller “Pixel 3a” has a 2220×1080 5.6-inch screen, while the bigger “Pixel 3a XL” has a 6-inch screen of unspecified resolution. One important bit of news is that the site claims the display technology is actually OLED instead of the LCD tech that previous rumors have claimed. The report says the Pixel 3a has a Snapdragon 670, 4GB of RAM, a 3000mAh battery, a USB-C port, and again reiterates that the camera is identical to the industry-leading camera on the premium Pixels. The Pixel 3a XL likely has similar specs, of course with a bigger battery.
Overall, neither the 3a nor the 3a XL sounds that much different from the regular Pixels. If these specs are right, the cheaper Pixel 3a will actually have a bigger screen (+0.1 inches) and a bigger battery (+ 85mAh) than the more expensive Pixel 3. It would also add a headphone jack. Most of the savings seem like they’re going to come from the switch from glass to a plastic body, the removal of wireless charging, less powerful speakers, and the use of a cheaper Snapdragon 670 SoC.
Back in April 2018 when this phone was first rumored, a mid-range flagship would have been a fairly unusual idea in the market at the time. Since then, Apple has launched the iPhone XR and Samsung has launched the Galaxy S10e, both devices that take features found in the ultra-premium smartphone set and distills them to a lower price point. We still don’t know when the mid-range Pixels will actually come out, but the last credible report came from Android Police late last year, which said they would be out in the spring and land on Verizon.
We also still don’t know the most important information: the price.