The Google Pixel 6a made its mark as one of the best budget Android phones in 2022, thanks to its powerful hardware, great cameras, and premium construction. Anyone who wants an affordable phone with power that rivals flagships can't go wrong with Google's latest offering — especially considering the steep discounts we've seen at retailers across the web.
As you might expect, this year's Pixel 7a will likely pull inspiration from last year's Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro. Google's latest flagship devices are its best yet, perfectly setting up the 2023 A-series phone to be a budget homerun, and thanks to a new teaser, we know it's just days away from its official launch. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 7a so far.
Google Pixel 7a: Design and specs
As always, Pixel rumors start as a slow burn before evolving into a massive flood of information, and the Pixel 7a is no different. While we had a vague picture of what Google's next midrange phone was shaping up to be, a much clearer picture has formed as we've approached I/O. Here's what we know about the Pixel 7a's design and specs.
Early renders for the Google Pixel 7a showcased a phone nearly indistinguishable from the Pixel 7, something echoed by more up-to-date renders. In its white colorway, the Pixel 7a reuses the same matte silver frame, the same glossy back, and a two camera setup — more on that below — and a flat display upfront. Reportedly, the Google's upcoming budget phone is nearly the exact same size as the Pixel 6a, measuring .2mm taller, 1.1mm wider, and .1mm thicker.
Yes, this is a Pixel 7a render, not that you'd know it just by looking at it.
A month out from Google I/O, we got a second round of Pixel 7a renders, this time showing off the phone in all three rumored colors. The gray tone does indeed look like a lighter version of the black we've seen on the Pixel 7 series, while white looks virtually identical.
What's new, though, is that sky blue Pixel 7a, and it looks as bright and colorful as we could've hoped for. While we'd prefer to see Google keeping colors around for more than one year — or really, offering more than one shade to potential buyers uninterested in neutral tones — you have to admit, it looks pretty great. Sadly, we'll be saying goodbye to Jade this generation. At least you can look forward to some matching cases.
That said, it seems like we're in store for one more color: coral. This share is far more vibrant than the other three hues, though it's unclear how easy it'll be to find. Prior to this leaked render appearing online, Jon Prosser had mentioned a coral Pixel 7a as being sold exclusively through the Google Store.
As we continue to approach Google I/O — where a Pixel 7a announcement is all but certain, if the past few years are any indication — we're finally seeing some real-world leaks for the company's next mid-range smartphone. One lucky person managed to get their hands on an early unit, which showcased a design that walks the line between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7. The camera bar now includes a matte aluminum cover, rather than opting for the basic glass on the previous gen, but unfortunately, the bezels around the display remain as chunky as ever.
We've also seen an early unboxing of real Pixel 7a devices in both sky blue and black, both of which gave us a good idea of what the retail packaging will look like. Spoiler alert: it looks a lot like other Pixel phones' boxes.
As for specs, leaks have been all over the place, without much of a consistent picture as to what we're expecting. Camera specs, in particular, have left us confused, with mulitple sources swapping between various similar resolutions without locking anything in. Thankfully, our clearest picture came from Yogesh Brar and 91mobiles, and this time, there are photos to back it up.
As expected, the Pixel 7a will be powered by the same Tensor G2 chipset found in the mainline Pixel 7 series, alongside 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of (presumably UFS 3.1) storage. It's rocking a 6.1" FHD OLED panel that has finally been upgraded to 90Hz, bringing it closer to competition from Samsung and OnePlus. It's rumored to be powered by a 4,400mAh battery alongside 20W wired charging and — new this generation — wireless charging. It's unclear just how fast the Pixel 7a will charge wirelessly, though early rumors have it pegged at just 5W.
Much of this is backed up by previous leaks of pre-production models, such as the addition of a 90Hz display or the bump up to 8GB of RAM. What's new in this leak from Brar and 91Mobiles, however, is some concrete details on the camera setup. Backed up by marketing photos, it looks like the Pixel 7a will sport a "new" 64MP sensor with OIS alongside a 12MP ultra-wide lens.
It's unclear what's on the front, but it will support face unlock just like the mainline Pixel 7. Face unlock isn't particularly secure — it's no Face ID — but it's a big step up from the fingerprint sensor, so long as there's enough ambient light in your space.
A few days before Google I/O is set to kick off, we got our biggest information dump yet, thanks to an early hands-on that detailed nearly everything you'd want to know. This video basically confirms everything we'd heard previously, with the potential caveat of a 4,300mAh battery rather than a 4,400mAh cell. If you don't feel like waiting until the I/O keynote wraps up to hear hands-on impressions — let alone a teardown video, which also exists — your wish has been granted.
As for those hoping this year's model would support mmWave alongside the addition of 90Hz and wireless charging, keep dreaming. Leaked images of the retail box confirm the standard Pixel 7a will not include mmWave — though we wouldn't be surprised if, like previous years, the Verizon-specific model supports it for an additional price hike.
Google Pixel 7a: Software
At this point, if you've used a recent Pixel phone, you likely know what to expect when it comes to hardware. Unlike with its legacy Nexus phones, the Pixel series provides a wholly unique take on Android, one focused on a clean aesthetic and providing you with tons of AI-powered tools and features. The Pixel 7a is unlikely to break that trend; really, the only question surrounding this phone's software experience is whether it'll ship with Android 13 or come out of the box with Android 14.
History indicates we'll likely see the Pixel 7a arrive just weeks before Android 14, which is on track for another August release this year. If Google drops its next mid-range smartphone in July, Android 14 will be one of its first big updates post-launch, making for a welcome surprise for new owners. And hey, we've already seen our earliest previews of what this year's upgrade is shaping up to look like. Make sure to check out everything you need to know about the Android 14 developer previews ahead of this summer's beta.
Google Pixel 7a: Price and release date
Early rumors suggested a fairly standard launch for this year's A-series device. A leaked roadmap alongside retail reports for the Pixel 7a pointed towards a $450 price point targeted at a June launch, about a month after an I/O-timed announcement. However, the most recent rumors for the Pixel 7a actually counter both the pricing and availability info we'd heard so far.
Let's start with the good news. The Pixel 7a seems on track to go up for order on May 10th, right after Google wraps up its keynote at I/O. As for in-store availability, you could be able to grab a new smartphone from your local Best Buy as early as May 11th — not too shabby. It also brings the A-series back to as May release for the first time since the original Pixel 3a in 2019. Google's India-based Twitter account confirmed availability on May 11th, setting us up for an imminent launch.
Now for the bad news. That leaked retail report suggested pricing between $450 and $500, and it sounds like Google is leaning towards the higher price. At $500, the Pixel 7a might be a hard sell — we've seen the Pixel 7 as low as $350 on sale, and it's unclear if anything besides an additional few months of update support will make the 7a the better choice here.
Google's penchant for leaking every detail of upcoming devices means we've pretty much learned everything there is to know about the Pixel 7a weeks ahead of its rumored launch. And with a likely reveal at Google I/O 2023 just a few days away, it won't take long until all of these details are official.
Not ready to upgrade just yet?
If you felt that the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro were too pricey, the upcoming Pixel 7a might be just what you want. If it manages to retain the affordability — or, at the very least, the constant deals — of the 6a, it may very well be one of the best Android phones of 2023.