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Pixel 4a hands-on photos reveal the phone’s biggest secrets

Updated Mar 10th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
Google Pixel 4
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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  • The Pixel 4a’s presumed release date is approaching fast, with Google expected to unveil the new mid-range handset in May.
  • A brand new set of hands-on photos of the new Google phone seems to confirm previous leaks.
  • The Pixel 4a will have a better design than the Pixel 4 phones, but it’ll feature several hardware compromises meant to keep the price down.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Google may have canceled I/O 2020 over coronavirus fears, but it’ll still hold an online version of its yearly developers event, where the company will likely unveil its newest piece of Pixel hardware. That’s the Pixel 4a series, of course, whose design leaked several weeks ago when the first Pixel 4a renders made their way online. Since then, we’ve seen the first purported photos of a Pixel 4a prototype, and now we have a new set of hands-on images that seems to confirm all the previous leaks.

Posted over on Twitter, the four images below show a device that’s identified as Pixel 4a in the Settings app.

The phone’s design matches the leaked render. We’re looking at a hole-punch all-screen display, which will give the Pixel 4a a bigger screen-to-body ratio than the Pixel 4, seen in the top image. The bottom bezel is still larger than on most competing phones, however.

The hole-punch display design indicates that the Pixel 4a won’t have two of the Pixel 4’s signature features on board, including the 3D face recognition system and the Project Soli radar chip, which require a rather large top bezel. As a result, the Pixel 4a will get a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, like many previous Pixel versions.

The Pixel 4’s third tentpole feature, the dual-lens rear camera system, will not be available to the Pixel 4a series either. The handset will feature a single-lens camera system on the back placed in a strangely shaped square camera module. Google will likely promote the Pixel 4a’s photo capabilities just as it did with the Pixel 3a last year, but it’s unlikely for the Pixel 4a to match the performance of the Pixel 4 and other flagship handsets.

The images also reveal the Pixel 4a will have a headphone jack on the top side, which is in line with what Google did for the Pixel 3a series last year.

Finally, the Pixel 4a leak tells us the prototype in these images features 64GB of storage, and that Google will make some sort of protective case out of fabric-like material for the Pixel 4a series.

Google will probably start taking Pixel 4a preorders as soon as it announces it, which is what happened with the Pixel 4a series last year. It’s unclear, however, if Google will launch two versions of the phone, including a regular and an XL model, or just one. Previous reports did say that Google will only sell a one-size Pixel 4a this year.

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.