Now that Google has announced the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, it’s likely only a matter of time before the company unveils its affordable alternative to these two phones – the Google Pixel 7a.
Nothing has been officially confirmed about this phone yet, but it’s possible that it’s coming and we have an 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 educated guesses below, and then, within that, we’ve included our wishlist of things we want from the Google Pixel 7a. We’ll update this article whenever we hear anything new – so check back soon.
cut to chase
- What is this? An affordable alternative to the Pixel 7
- When does it come out? Maybe 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 the launch of its A-model, with the Pixel 6a announced in May 2022 and shipped in July, the two previous models launching in August of their release years.
However, we think that May 2023 is probably the earliest we’ll see the Pixel 7a, and that it may ship later, even if it’s announced at the time.
There aren’t any pricing rumors, but given that the Pixel 7 costs the same amount as the Pixel 6, Google may be pricing the Pixel 7a the same as the Pixel 6a. That means a price tag of $449 / £399 / AU$749.
Google Pixel 7a news and leaks
So far, there is only one real Pixel 7a leak, and it comes from Digital Chat Station, which is a fairly reliable leak.
They claim – via machine translation – that Google is working on a small home screen codenamed “Nella”, which has a flat screen, a single punch-hole camera, and a design similar to other modern pixels.
That doesn’t give us much to go on, and there’s a chance they’re not even referring to the Pixel 7a – since they don’t use that name and call it a flagship – but we’d expect the phone otherwise to fit that description.
You’ll likely have an aluminum camera strap, like the Pixel 7, and a similar look overall, along with the Tensor G2 chipset that this phone offers. Beyond that, we’re not sure what to expect.
What we want to see
There are five main things Google could do that would make the Pixel 7a much better than the Pixel 6a. Here’s what it takes if Google wants to ensure 7a is successful:
1. Give it a 90Hz refresh rate
The Pixel 6a is stuck with a 60Hz refresh rate, which seems a bit outdated these days even for an affordable phone. We’re not expecting 120Hz from the Google Pixel 7a, but a boost to 90Hz would be much appreciated.
However, that would bring it in line with the Pixel 7 benchmark, in terms of refresh rate, so Google may not want to do that, so phones are better differentiated.
2. Upgrade to a 50MP camera
The last few Pixel A-line generations all have the same 12.2MP main camera (also used by the numbered pixels predating the Pixel 6), and while it’s a reasonable endgame, it’s a late upgrade.
Google uses a much better 50MP camera on its latest Pixel phones, so it would be good to see the upgrade to that here. Although, as with the increased refresh rate, that could make the Pixel 7a too close to the Pixel 7 to please Google, so don’t count on it.
There’s a whole lot of other sensors to consider, however, a large 12.2-50MP range for Google to consider would distinguish the 7a better than its predecessor in the camera department.
3. Provide better battery life
In our Google Pixel 6a review, we found that the phone struggled to last a full day of use, which is the bare minimum 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 an improvement is likely, as the phone will likely use the Tensor G2 chipset, which is much more efficient than the original Tensor in the Pixel 6a.
4. Faster charging
At just 18W, the Pixel 6a doesn’t charge quickly. Even the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro aren’t among the fastest chargers, but with 30W support they at least make the most sense, and that’s an upgrade we’d love to see on the Pixel 7a as well.
We will say there is an average chance of that happening. It’s not a big enough feature for Google to necessarily want to keep the flagship, but it could also drive up the price, which the company will likely try to avoid.
5. Lower price
Speaking of price, for the specs on offer, the Pixel 6a was a bit pricey, especially since it landed long after the Pixel 6, so the lower price means you can sometimes get this phone at a similar price.
As such, we’d like to see a lower price tag for the Pixel 7a, or enough of a spec boost to justify its price. Or if any of those things fail, the company could launch the 7a earlier in the year than the Pixel 6a — that way it ranks higher among the best Pixel phones.