Google’s Pixel family of smartphones has made a noticeable impact on the world of Android smartphones, but not in the way we saw it a few years ago. Flagship Pixel smartphones are great, but where the Pixel In fact shines is in the budget space. In 2023, the next phase of the affordable Pixel will take the form of the Google Pixel 7a.
The Pixel 7a will have some pretty big shoes to fill, as the 2022 Pixel 6a remains one of the best smartphone deals around, delivering a great camera and software experience at an incredible price. The previous Pixel 5a was also a highlight, especially when it came to battery life. Where will Google go next for the Pixel 7a? Here’s a rundown of the latest rumors and news you need to know.
Google Pixel 7a: Design
Pixel A series phones often take design inspiration from the flagship Pixel that came before them, and it looks like it will be no different for the Pixel 7a. OnLeaks collaborated with SmartPrix to share renders of the Pixel 7a on November 29, and assuming the renders are accurate, the Pixel 7a will look a lot like the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro that came before it.
This seems to be the case, as corroborated by leaked images of a test unit for the Pixel 7a that were shared on Twitter on January 3.
PhoneCompares and Zing News have also shared some high-res images of the Pixel 7a showing the budget smartphone in much sharper detail. As seen in the hands-on images and renderings above, the phone looks remarkably similar to the base Pixel 7 model with one key difference: The bezel surrounding the smartphone’s display appears to be much thicker than the one found on the Pixel 7. The bezel appears to be much thicker in the hands-on photos than in the leaked renders, so it’s unclear which one will feature in the final design.
A leaker on Twitter who posted more hands-on photos of the 7th. It says that while the screen is glass, the back of the phone is plastic. While that’s disappointing for fans of metal and glass smartphones, it’s not entirely surprising, as the Pixel A models tend to be made from cheaper materials in order to sell for cut prices. The Pixel 6a, for example, also had a plastic back, so that’s to be expected.
The Pixel 7a sports a display with a centered hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera. At the rear is Google’s iconic camera bar, distinctively dividing the rear design into two parts. The renders show the Pixel 7a in white, and the hands-on images show a traditional black color. We suspect that Google will also add a third “fun” color, though we don’t know. that color that could be
As for other design elements, the Google Pixel 7a has a USB-C charging port and an integrated under-display fingerprint sensor. There was initially talk of the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack, but based on these renders, it’s still MIA from the Pixel 7a.
Google Pixel 7a: Specifications
As important as the design are the specifications. So what do we expect on that front? Most importantly, the Pixel 7a will surely feature the Google Tensor G2 chipset, as multiple leaks have corroborated. The Pixel 6a had the Tensor G1 chip used in the Pixel 6/6 Pro, so it makes sense for Google to bring the G2 chip from the 7/7 Pro to the 7a.
Tensor G2 is not a massive upgrade over G1, but it brings speed and efficiency improvements that should be very welcome in day-to-day use, especially considering how toasty the Pixel 6a can get. The Tensor G2 should also lend itself to additional AI features, like Clear Calling and speaker tags in the Recorder app.
There has also been talk of the Pixel 7a finally gets a 90Hz refresh rate for the screen. All Pixel A series phones so far have used a standard 60Hz display. 60Hz is good, but animations and scrolling are noticeably choppier compared to phones with 90Hz and 120Hz panels. A 90Hz refresh rate on the Google Pixel 7a, combined with the added power of Tensor G2, would give the phone a Really impressive speed boost that should be noticeable in everyday use.
Another spec update rumored for the Pixel 7a is wireless charging support, which has also been consistently absent from previous Pixel A models. Wireless charging is an expected convenience in all flagship smartphones these days, and if Google can finally bring it to the budget Pixel, it’ll be a great thing to tick off our Google Pixel 7a wish list.
Google Pixel 7a: camera
While the Pixel 6a was a significant upgrade in terms of design and processor, it used the same 12 MP rear camera that Google has relied on since the Pixel 3. The Pixel 7a could change that, and in a big way.
Multiple rumors suggest that the Google Pixel 7a will replace that old 12MP main camera with 64MP Sony IMX787 sensor. That should result in sharper photos, better colors, better nighttime performance, you name it. It will have all the usual features of the Pixel camera, such as Magic Eraser. With the 64MP camera as the primary lens, the 12MP lens is rumored to act as the secondary ultra-wide rear shooter.
As for selfie cameras, the Pixel 7a is rumored to be equipped with an 8MP lens, the same one found on the Pixel 6a. While that’s obviously not an upgrade, the 6a’s front-facing camera took solid pictures, so it’s safe to expect the 7a to do the same.
Google Pixel 7a: release date
Google’s release date/announcement pattern for Pixel A smartphones has been… hit or miss, to say the least.
In 2019, Google announced the Pixel 3a during its I/O conference in May and made pre-orders available that same day. Google didn’t announce the Pixel 4a until early August 2020, while the Pixel 5a announcement was pushed back to August 26, 2021. The Pixel 6a was back on track with a May 2022 announcement.
What does all that mean for the Pixel 7a? Considering the launch timing of the Pixel 4a and 5a was likely impacted by COVID and chipset restrictions, it’s safe to assume we’ll get a Pixel 7a announcement sometime in the future. Google I/O 2023, which is confirmed to take place on May 10. This is also where the Google Pixel Fold and Google Pixel Tablet are rumored to debut, meaning this year’s I/O could be a hotspot for Pixel hardware announcements.
Google Pixel 7a: price
And last but not least, the price. The price of Pixel A phones has remained fairly consistent over the years: the Pixel 3a started at $399, the Pixel 4a retailed for $349, the Pixel 5a was $449, and the Pixel 6a cost the same $449.
We are safely over the days of the $399 and $349 Pixel smartphones. Google is likely to keep the $449 Pixel 7a for another year. Making it more expensive risks stepping on the toes of the $599 Pixel 7, and it doesn’t seem likely to make it cheaper given the rumored feature upgrades.