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 those phones – the Google Pixel 7a.
Nothing has been officially confirmed about this handset yet, but it’s likely to come and we have some idea of what to expect. based on early leaks combined with what we know about the Pixel 7 and previous models.
You’ll find all of our leaks and in-depth speculation below, and then below that we’ve included a wishlist of things we want from the Google Pixel 7a. And we’ll be updating this article whenever we hear something new – so check back soon.
Get to the point
- What is this? An affordable alternative to the Pixel 7
- When does it come out; Probably 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 its Model A launches, as while the Pixel 6a was announced in May 2022 and released in July, the previous two models were released in August of their respective release years.
However, we’d therefore think that May 2023 is probably the earliest we’ll see the Pixel 7a, and that it may well ship later, even if it’s announced then.
There are no rumors about the price, but since the Pixel 7 costs the same amount as the Pixel 6, Google may well price the Pixel 7a the same as the Pixel 6a. That would mean a price of $449 / £399 / AU$749.
Google Pixel 7a news and leaks
There is only one real Pixel 7a leak so far and that comes from Digital Chat Station, who is a pretty reliable leaker.
They claim – via machine translation – that Google is working on a small-screen flagship codenamed ‘Neila’, which features 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 – since they’re not using that name and are describing it as a flagship – but otherwise we’d expect the phone to match that description.
It’s likely to have an aluminum camera bar like the Pixel 7, and a generally similar look, along with the Tensor G2 chipset that this phone offers. Beyond that though, we’re not sure what to expect.
What we want to see
There are five key things Google can do that will make the Pixel 7a significantly better than the Pixel 6a. Here are the essentials if Google wants to ensure the success of 7a:
1. Give it a 90Hz refresh rate
The Pixel 6a is stuck with a 60Hz refresh rate, which even for an affordable phone feels rather dated these days. We’re not expecting 120Hz from the Google Pixel 7a, but a boost to 90Hz would be greatly appreciated.
That said, this will bring it in line with the standard Pixel 7 in terms of refresh rate, so Google may be reluctant to do this so the phones can better differentiate themselves.
2. Upgrade to 50MP camera
The latest generations of the Pixel A-line all have the same 12.2MP primary camera (also used by the numbered Pixels that precede the Pixel 6), and while it’s a sensible solution, it’s overdue an upgrade.
Google uses a much better 50MP camera in its latest flagship Pixel phones, so it would be nice to see an upgrade to that here. Although, as with the increased refresh rate, this could bring the Pixel 7a too close to the Pixel 7 for Google’s liking, so don’t count it out.
There is, however, a huge range of other sensors to consider, and a wide range between 12.2 and 50MP for Google to consider, which would better set the 7a apart from 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 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 more efficient than the original Tensor in the Pixel 6a.
4. Faster charging
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 the Pixel 7a to offer as well.
We’d say there’s a medium chance of it happening. It’s not a big enough feature that Google would necessarily want to keep for flagships, but it could also drive up the price, something the company will likely try to avoid.
5. Lower price
Speaking of price, for the specs on offer, the Pixel 6a was a bit too expensive, especially as it landed so long after the Pixel 6 that the drop in price meant you could sometimes pick up that phone for a similar price.
As such, we’d like to see either a lower price for the Pixel 7a, or enough of a spec boost to justify its price. Or if either of those things fail, the company could do by launching the 7a earlier in its release year than the Pixel 6a – that way it can rank higher among the best Pixel phones.