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Pixel 8a and Pixel Fold 2 might be unveiled on May 14th – here’s how I know

Published Mar 15th, 2024 6:50AM EDT
Google Pixel 7a Front Camera
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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We’ll have to wait until October to see the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro in stores. That’s when Google launches its flagships every year. But every spring brings us a new Pixel announcement. Google routinely unveiles a Pixel A series phone at Google I/O. Last year, Google also announced its first-gen Pixel Fold foldable at the event, with the handset hitting stores a few months later.

Fast-forward to 2024, and we already have rumors detailing the Pixel 8a and the Pixel Fold 2. And it so happens that Google announced the I/O 2024 keynote, setting the date for May 14th. The event will focus on Google’s newest software innovations, and I have a feeling that artificial intelligence (AI) will dominate the event, just like last year.

But it’s very likely that Google will unveil new hardware at the show. The Pixel 8a and Pixel Fold 2 are two obvious candidates, especially the former.

The Pixel A series phones were always decent mid-range alternatives to everything else on the market, having one huge advantage over competitors. Google made them, so they were guaranteed to receive timely Android and security updates.

Then, the Pixel 6a stunned the world with its better-than-expected design, camera, and overall performance. The Pixel 7a stepped even closer to flagship territory, though it’s still a budget-friendly device.

What I’m getting at is that the Pixel 8a is in a league of its own. It’s going to be one of the mid-range phones to keep an eye on. The handset should feature a set of specs similar to the Pixel 8, a great camera, and an affordable price. Also, I’d expect Google to bring as many AI features as possible to the device and promise buyers several years of Android upgrades.

Rumors say the Pixel 8a might cost more than its predecessor. And it’ll certainly be more expensive than the recently launched Nothing Phone 2a, one of its direct rivals. That might be one of the only downsides of the handset.

The Pixel 8a should go on sale soon after the I/O 2024 event.

The Pixel Fold 2 is a different story. There’s no guarantee it’s coming at I/O 2024, of course. But the foldable appeared in various rumors, with a recent report saying Google will use a larger foldable display than last year. Pixel Fold 2 appearing in rumors hints that the launch isn’t too far off. And all Pixel phones leak well before they’re announced.

Google could always release the Pixel Fold 2 later than I/O 2024. But that would mean having to go against Samsung, whose Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6 might launch in early July, several weeks earlier than expected. It would make sense to see the Pixel Fold 2 unveiled in mid-May.

Google Pixel Fold Main
Google Pixel Fold foldable phone. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Google I/O is an event dedicated to software innovations with a growing focus on AI. If Google wants to unveil Gemini novelties for smartphones, including new on-device capabilities, it’ll also need a fresh flagship device to do it. Something other than the Pixel 8 Pro. The Pixel Fold 2 might be the way to go.

If Google launches the Pixel Fold 2 at I/O, you should expect to see it in stores more than a month later. The Pixel Fold’s release date was June 28th, 2023, with Google unveiling it on May 10th.

I might be speculating on the Pixel Fold 2’s launch window, but I’m certain the Pixel 8a is coming out in May, just like many of its predecessors. Since Google I/O is two months away, we’ll probably find out everything about the hardware Google has planned for the developer event via a series of leaks that should drop soon.

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.