After months of leaks, rumors, and speculations, Google is all set to launch mid-range Pixel phones at the I/O 2019 developer conference next week. The I/O conference is scheduled to start on May 7th. During the company’s quarterly earnings call, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai told investors that the company was going to launch new hardware products on May 7th. The products expected to debut next week are the mid-range Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, the Nest Hub Max, and Nest Hub.
Flipkart teases Google Pixel 3a
Ahead of the official unveiling on May 7th, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has put up a teaser showing off the silhouette of the phone. The teaser has the tagline, “Help is on the way. Something big is coming to the Pixel universe on 8th May.” Google had used the same words a few weeks ago to tease the device on Google Store.
The Flipkart teaser suggests the device would become available on May 8th, just a day after the official unveiling. But given the 12.5 hours of time difference between California and India, it’s possible that the new Pixel phones would go live on Flipkart immediately after the announcement.
The use of the purple luminescence and the reference to Marvel Cinematic “Universe” suggest the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL could launch in purple color similar to Thanos’ purple skin, speculates XDA Developers. The phones have also been spotted in black and white, and Iris colors.
Rumored Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL specs
The mid-range Pixel phones are rumored to come with the Night Sight feature that enhances photography in low-light conditions. They are also expected to feature Google’s Pixel Visual Core processor for image processing. The camera will reportedly be the biggest highlight of Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. They would come with the same single 12.2MP lens on the back as the standard Pixel 3. There will be an 8MP camera on the front for selfies.
As per leaked case renders, the upcoming phones would look similar to the premium Pixel 3 with thick bezels at the top and bottom of the screen. That’s quite disappointing considering even low-end smartphones from other Android vendors offer nearly bezel-less design.
The Google Pixel 3a is said to pack a 5.6-inch OLED display with Full HD 1080p resolution. It would be powered by Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor. The larger Pixel 3a XL will reportedly sport a 6-inch Full HD+ OLED display and the Snapdragon 710 chipset. Both models will come with 4GB RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.
Earlier this week, the smaller Pixel 3a was spotted on Geekbench under the code-name ‘Sargo.’ It was running an unnamed octa-core processor with 4GB RAM and Android 9 Pie software. The phone managed 1,625 points in the single-core test and 5,206 points in multi-core test.
The upcoming phones will reportedly retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, but won’t offer wireless charging. Both the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL recently received certification from Bluetooth SIG. They will support the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology. The handsets would run the stock version of Android 9 Pie out of the box. The Pixel 3a is said to pack 3,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.
There is little clarity on pricing. According to the rumor mill, the Google Pixel 3a is going to cost $500 while its larger sibling will have a starting price of $600. They would compete with Xiaomi’s Mi 9 and the upcoming OnePlus 7 series.
During the first-quarter earnings call, Google CEO reported lower than expected sales of Pixel smartphones due to fierce competition in the premium segment. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were marred by various issues such as vanishing text messages, overheating during charging, and problems with ringtone volume and lock screen. The negative publicity triggered by these problems could also have hurt Pixel 3 sales.
The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL with affordable pricing could help Google compete better with Chinese vendors. Google hardware division generated $5.5 billion in revenue during the first quarter despite not-so-good smartphone sales. The revenue growth was helped by Google Home speakers, Chromecast devices, and Nest products.