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The best-looking Pixel ever made only comes in one size

Published Jan 6th, 2020 7:37PM EST
Pixel 4a XL Release Date
Image: YouTube

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Google abandoned the Nexus line a few years ago, replacing it with a brand new Pixel series of phones that came with high-end specs and a premium price to reflect that. But that didn’t help Google sell a meaningful number of phones. Just over two years after the Pixel launch, Google did something totally unexpected, releasing the Pixel 3a series in mid-2019 — a mid-range Pixel phone full of compromises that sold for a much better price.

That phone moved the dial in terms of sales, seemingly convincing Google to make more affordable Pixels in the future. Proving that point is a leak from late December that revealed the purported Pixel 4a design. It’s the best Pixel design we’ve ever seen, which speaks volumes about how much Google has struggled with its flagship phone line over the years. We now have a new leak that reveals more details about the Pixel 4a series, including the fact that it’s not actually going to be a “series” at all.

YouTuber Dave Lee claimed in a recent video that there won’t be a Pixel 4a XL this year. The move might make some sense, especially if the Pixel 3a sold a lot more than the Pixel 3a XL last year. There’s no point in making a bigger, more expensive version of the Pixel 4a if budget smartphone buyers won’t actually buy it.

What’s more, the Pixel 4a hole-punch design, which we saw on the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 last year, allows Google to sell the phone with a much better all-screen design than any of the previous Pixel phones, premium versions included. A bigger screen-to-body ratio might be enough for some buyers.

According to Lee, the Pixel 4a will feature a 5.81-inch display that would be similar in size to the Galaxy S10e. It’s unclear whether or not Google will employ a Samsung OLED screen for the Pixel 4a. The Pixel 4a will also feature a plastic unibody design, a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, and a single-lens camera on the back placed in a smaller, square camera system. The phone will also pack a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top.

Lee doesn’t say how much the Pixel 4a will cost or when it’ll launch. A $399 price point does make sense for the handset, which should be launched at I/O this year, just like its predecessor.

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.