Google Pixel 4a prototype seen in the wild

Early Google Pixel 4a leaks by Well-known tipster OnLeaks and 91Mobiles pointed to a 5.7- or 5.8-inch display with a hole-punch selfie camera. Renders of the more anticipated upcoming Pixel 4a than its premium counterpart showed a  low-cost handset with a slicker-looking display and thinner bezels than the full-on Pixel 4. Recently leaked photos of a Pixel 4a in hands-on use show that most of the previous leaks are true.

The photos – 3 in number- that were posted on Twitter and Reddit shows the phone in the hands of someone using it in the open. We can pick up from the photos, which also confirming previous leaks that Google’s latest budget smartphone apparently ditches the face recognition and dual cameras of the regular Pixel 4 in favor of a more conventional fingerprint reader and single rear cam.

Given that the phone is a budget version of the flagship launched a few months ago, I never saw the technology in the front of the Pixel 4 being ported to the 4a line. The sensors as shown on Google’s website for the Pixel 4 includes

  • First face unlock infrared camera: To the left of the front-facing camera.
  • Proximity and ambient light sensor: To the right of the front-facing camera.
  • Motion SenseTM radar chip: To the right of the top speaker.
  • Face unlock dot projector: To the right of the radar chip.
  • Second face unlock infrared camera: To the right of the dot projector.
  • Face unlock flood illuminator: To the right of the second infrared camera.
  • Spectral and flicker sensor: Above the two rear-facing cameras.
  • Third microphone: To the right of the LED flash, etc.

These components would have been too expensive to fit in the 4a device. That will defeat the purpose for which the phone line exists, a budget more affordable version of its flagship counterpart.

The device also sports a hole-punch camera on the front for selfies and a headphone jack which seems to be in the race for extinction.

There wasn’t much information about the internal specs of the device from the snapshots. A capture of the available storage hints that storage will remain at 64GB like on the Pixel 3a released last year.

Though the screen could be seen in the pictures, the size cannot be accurately measured so It’s speculated to carry a 5.7- or 5.8-inch screen and use a mid-tier Snapdragon processor (likely from the 600 or 700 series) to both keep costs down while maintaining good battery life.

There is a rounded square bump in the top-left that houses the single rear camera and a white lock button. Another significant detail that looks odd is the logo on the back of the phone. It’s not the usual ‘G’ that has been on Google’s mobile devices. That is because, during the development process, Google uses alternate characters to throw off direct identifiers of their devices in development.

There’s another identifier just above the fingerprint sensor which I suspect is an identifier for that particular prototype which come to think of it, its rather controversial that it wasn’t blued out. This could also confirm speculations that Google leaks its own devices in development.

The launch date of the Pixel 4a has not been mention whether by leakers or Google itself. In light of the coronavirus outbreak affecting production for numerous companies. Google certainly isn’t tied to a specific launch window, more especially that Google I/O is canceled due to fears of the disease spreading. However, it’s hard to imagine Google waiting long. The Pixel 3a served not only as an entry point for Google’s smartphone line but as a way to keep the series fresh and in the public spotlight while the main Pixel was still mid-cycle.

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