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If you already have a Pixel 8, this Pixel 8a specs leak will make you so angry

Published Mar 20th, 2024 1:47PM EDT
Google Pixel 8 Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The Pixel 8a release is practically guaranteed by now, despite worries a few months ago that Google might not launch a new mid-ranger this year. Earlier this week, we learned that Google filed documentation with the FCC that covers soon-to-be-released devices. The paperwork includes a phone identifier that had previously been listed in a Pixel 8a packaging leak. 

We now have another Pixel 8a leak that may detail some of the phone’s most important features. If it’s accurate, and most Pixel leaks are, it could make current Pixel 8 owners pretty angry. Also, fans of Pixel phones might not like what this specs leak implies because a price hike might be in order for the Pixel 8a. 

But I have to say that the Pixel 8a phone will be an amazing mid-range phone if the specs leak is real. That’s because the Pixel 8a is practically a flagship device.

Leaker Kamila Wojciechowska obtained Pixel 8a specs that indicate the handset is essentially a Pixel 8 variant. That’s what some Pixel 8 buyers might not like. They might not have bought the Pixel 8 flagship following its October 2023 launch had they known the Pixel 8a would practically match the Pixel 8’s performance. 

Wojciechowska says the Pixel 8a will feature a 120Hz 6.1-inch Full HD OLED panel that supports 1,400 nits of peak HDR brightness. It’s almost the same panel as the Pixel 8’s screen, which features a 6.2-inch screen with identical specs.

The corner radius of the Pixel 8a screen is also more in line with the Pixel 8 model.

The Pixel 8a also gets the Google Tensor G3 chip from the Pixel 8, though it’s not identical. The difference here is in the packaging, according to the leak

While the silicon die inside the chip is identical, the plastic package differs. While the regular G3 uses FOPLP (Fan-Out Panel Level Packaging), the 8a’s G3 uses IPoP (Integrated Package on Package). According to Samsung, IPoP is thicker and hotter than FOPLP, but it is also cheaper, which explains the decision.

The Pixel 8a should be just as good as the Pixel 8 when it comes to overall performance, including generative AI features. And I’d speculate the hardware will let Google promise seven years of upgrades for the Pixel 8a, just like it does for the Pixel 8. I think it’s largely a gimmick, but anything over four years is still great news for the consumer.

The Pixel 8a will also inherit the Pixel 8’s DisplayPort capabilities, though Google has yet to really make use of the feature. Once fully enabled, it’ll let you use the Pixel phone with external displays.

As for the camera specs, the Pixel 8a should retain the camera setup of the Pixel 7a rather than copying the Pixel 8’s dual-camera setup. This means you’re getting 64-megapixel and 13-megapixel Sony cameras on the back, and a 13-megapixel selfie camera. It’s all on par with the Pixel 7a.

Google Pixel 8 Software
Close-up of Google Pixel 8’s display. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

This detail indicates that the Pixel 8a should be slightly more affordable than the Pixel 8. Hence, the anger of more budget-conscious of some Pixel 8 buyers out there.

But the Pixel 8a can’t be that cheap assuming the set of specs above is correct. We did have a Pixel 8a leak earlier this year that said a price hike is for the handset. Those buyers looking for a cheaper Pixel A-series phone might not like that.

The Pixel 8 cost $699 at launch, while the Pixel 7a sold for $499. The Pixel 8a could slide in between those price points.

Wojciechowska doesn’t mention a price for the Pixel 8a but says the phone will be available more widely. Electronic warranty labels indicate the handset will reach many European markets where Google has not previously launched new phones. These are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Google will probably unveil the Pixel 8a on May 14th at I/O 2024, where it’ll probably confirm all the specs above.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.