Now that Google has announced the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, it’s probably just a matter of time before the company reveals its affordable alternative to these phones – the Google Pixel 7a.
Nothing has been officially confirmed about this handset yet, but it’s probably coming and we have some idea of what to expect; based on early leaks, along with what we know about the Pixel 7 and previous models.
You’ll find all the leaks and our educated guesses below, and then we’ve included a wish list of the things we want from the Google Pixel 7a. And we’ll update this article whenever we learn something new, so check back soon.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? An affordable alternative to the Pixel 7
- When do you leave? Possibly mid 2023
- How much will it cost? Probably around $449 / £399 / AU$749
Google Pixel 7a release date and price predictions
Google hasn’t been entirely consistent with Model A releases, as while the Pixel 6a was announced in May 2022 and shipped in July, the previous two models were released in August of their respective release years.
Still, we think May 2023 is likely the first time we’ll see the Pixel 7a, and that it could be released later, even if it’s announced then.
There are no pricing rumors, but since the Pixel 7 costs the same amount as the Pixel 6, Google may well price the Pixel 7a in the same way as the Pixel 6a. That would mean a price tag of $449 / £399 / AU$749.
Google Pixel 7a news and leaks
So far, there’s only been one actual Pixel 7a leak, and it comes from Digital Chat Station, which is a pretty reliable leaker.
They claim – via machine translation – that Google is working on a small-screen flagship codenamed ‘Neila’, which has a flat screen, a single-lens punch-hole camera, and a design similar to other recent Pixels.
That doesn’t give us much to go on, and there’s a chance they’re not even referring to the Pixel 7a – as they don’t use that name and describe it as a flagship – but otherwise we’d expect the phone to stop. fit that description.
It’s likely to have an aluminum camera bar, like the Pixel 7, and a generally similar look and feel, along with the Tensor G2 chipset offered by that phone. Beyond that, though, we’re not sure what to expect.
what do we want to see
There are five key things Google can do that would make the Pixel 7a significantly better than the Pixel 6a. Here are our must-haves if Google wants to ensure 7a’s success:
1. Give a 90Hz refresh rate
The Pixel 6a is stuck at a 60Hz refresh rate, which, even for an affordable phone, feels pretty dated these days. We don’t expect 120Hz from the Google Pixel 7a, but a boost to 90Hz would be much appreciated.
That said, this would bring it in line with the standard Pixel 7, in terms of refresh rate, so Google might not be inclined to do that, so the phones are better differentiated.
2. Upgrade to a 50MP camera
The latest generations of the Pixel A-line have the same 12.2MP main camera (also used by the numbered Pixels that precede the Pixel 6) and while it’s a reasonable snapper, it’s overdue for an update.
Google is using a much better 50MP camera on the latest Pixel phones, so it would be nice to see an update to that here. However, as with an increased refresh rate, this might bring the Pixel 7a too close to the Pixel 7 for Google’s liking, so don’t count on it.
There’s a vast array of other sensors to consider, however, and plenty of range between 12.2 and 50MP for Google to consider, which would better differentiate the 7a from its predecessor in the camera department.
3. Provide better battery life
In our review of the Google Pixel 6a, we found that the phone struggled to last a full day of use, which is the least we’ve come to expect from our smartphones. So for the Pixel 7a, we really want to see an improvement.
The good news is that there is likely to be an improvement, as the phone will likely use the Tensor G2 chipset, which is more efficient than the original Tensor in the Pixel 6a.
4. Faster loading
At just 18W, the Pixel 6a certainly doesn’t charge fast. Even the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro aren’t among the fastest chargers, but with support for 30W they’re at least more reasonable, and that’s an upgrade we’d like to see offered on the Pixel 7a as well.
We would say that there is an average chance that this will happen. It’s not a big enough feature that Google necessarily wants to keep it for flagships, but it could also drive up the price, which the company will likely try to avoid.
5. A lower price
Speaking of price, for the specs on offer, the Pixel 6a was a little too expensive, especially since it arrived so long after the Pixel 6 that the price drop meant you could sometimes buy this phone for a similar price.
As such, we’d like to see a lower price for the Pixel 7a or a spec boost enough to justify its price. Or, failing any of these things, the company could release the 7a earlier in its launch year than the Pixel 6a – that way it has a chance of ranking higher among the best Pixel phones.