Google has never been able to keep Pixel secrets, with its flagship smartphones leaking in full well in advance of the traditional October releases. Even when it tried to stay ahead of the rumor mill, Google failed to contain leaks — Google confirmed the Pixel 4’s 3D face recognition and radar sensor months before announcing the phone. And Google has no poker face either. Just a few weeks ago, the company felt like it had to dispel rumors claiming the Pixel 5a had been canceled by saying the phone will launch as planned — but only in the US and Japan.
With all of that in mind, it’s no surprise to see Google mistakenly announce a Pixel product before its time. The Pixel Buds A that we saw in recent rumors are indeed a thing. From the looks of it, the more affordable earphones will be unveiled soon, maybe later this month, during Google I/O 2021.
The $179 Pixel Buds are Google’s AirPods alternative, wireless earphones that work with various compatible devices. They’re almost on par with the regular AirPods but much cheaper than the AirPods Pro, although the latter gets plenty of discounts on Amazon.
The Pixel Buds A are probably going to be even cheaper than that, considering the naming scheme. That “A” is indicative of a more affordable product. At least, that’s always been the case with the Pixel phones. Pixel A handsets are mid-range devices that usually launch in the first half of the year. The Pixel 5a is one such example.
The Pixel Buds A name leaked a few weeks ago, but Google confirmed the product is genuine by pushing a tweet on the official Android account well ahead of time:
Quality sound and quick Bluetooth pairing.
The new Pixel Buds A-Series have arrived. Enjoy one-tap Bluetooth pairing with the updated Fast Pair experience on #Android.
Google deleted the tweet almost immediately, but the internet never forgets — here’s a screenshot of it, complete with the image Google used for it via Gizmodo.
The Pixel Buds A appear to have the same design as the regular Pixel Buds, which is something we’ve been expecting all along. Apple also reused the AirPods design when updating the product, and the AirPods 3 expected this year are rumored to feature the same design as the AirPods Pro.
Previous rumors said the Pixel Buds A would come in various colors, including the all-white seen in the image above.
Google’s marketing message focuses on the Pixel Buds A’s Fast Pair feature, revealing they’ll work with Android 6.0 or later. But Google doesn’t specify other Pixel Buds A specs, availability details, or pricing.
The new Pixel earphones could be launched officially in a few weeks, during Google’s I/O event, and launch soon after that. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during Google’s recent quarterly earnings call that Google has planned “significant product updates and announcements” for the near future.