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Google Pixel 8a: news, rumored price, release date, and more

Possible renders showing the Google Pixel 8a.
Smart Prix

Not long ago, it seemed that the Google Pixel 7a would be the last smartphone in Google’s Pixel A series. However, recent rumors indicate that this may not actually be the case.

As a result, we’re likely to see the release of a Google Pixel 8a this year. What can we expect from this new budget phone in terms of its specs, design, price, and more? Let’s take a closer look at everything we know about the Google Pixel 8a.

Google Pixel 8a: release date

Made by Google logo at an event venue.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

It’s well-known that Google has a history of releasing new Pixel models every year, always with better features and improvements than the previous ones. The latest addition to the Pixel A series, the Pixel 7a, was released in May 2023, while the Pixel 6a debuted in July 2022. The Pixel 5a, on the other hand, was launched in August 2021, and the Pixel 4a appeared in August 2020.

According to previous release schedules, the Pixel 8a will arrive either in late spring or summer of this year. If we had to guess, we’d probably see the Pixel 8a announced at Google I/O 2024, which kicks off on May 14.

On March 18, the Google Pixel 8a’s release took a big step forward when it passed through the FCC. This is a strong indicator that Google is nearing the phone’s release, meaning a launch at Google I/O in May seems more likely than ever.

Google Pixel 8a: price

The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro being held next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Google has been inconsistent with the pricing of its A series smartphones compared to its regular Pixel series. For instance, at launch, the Pixel 7a was priced at $499, while the initial price for the Pixel 7 was $599. This $100 difference between the two smartphones made the Pixel 7a a more attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.

More recently, Google’s latest release, the Google Pixel 8, has been increased to $699, and the Pixel 8 Pro to $999. This is $100 more than the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro on launch, which suggests we may be seeing price ranges across the board. These assumptions are backed up by rumors that the Pixel 8a will see a small price increase in the European market, where leaks say the Pixel 8a’s price will rise by 60 euros. That could easily translate to a $100 rise in the U.S., though it’s important to note price increases don’t always hit all regions.

Google Pixel 8a: design

Side by side images of a reported Google Pixel 8a.
Abhishek Yadav / X

The regular Pixel lineup usually inspires the design of the A series. As a result, it is safe to assume that the Pixel 8a will resemble the Pixel 8 to a great extent. In September, before the release of the Pixel 8, a Pixel 8a leak showed a phone with noticeably rounder corners. The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro also have more rounded corners than their predecessors.

Rendering showing a possible Google Pixel 8a.
Smart Prix

These leaks have been backed up by more recent leaks, which allege to show the Pixel 8a’s box. From these images shared on the Google News Telegram channel, we can see the design is similar to the Pixel 8. The box also mentions a 27W charger, but this may not mean the charging speed has similarly increased.

Google will likely use a combination of materials for the Pixel 8a. Some materials may match those used for the Pixel 8, while others may be less expensive to bring down the price. You’ll likely see thicker front bezels on the Pixel 8a than on the more expensive models.

The above render and hands-on photos offer a pretty good indication of the Google Pixel 8a’s design — which is to say, it’ll look very similar to the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.

Google Pixel 8a: specs

Render of Google's Tensor G3 processor.

The upcoming Pixel 8a is expected to come equipped with Google’s Tensor G3 chipset, which is also found in other devices in the Pixel 8 series. However, tests from Geekbench, likely from the Pixel 8a, indicate Google’s latest chip will be underclocked for the budget phone. In other words, don’t expect to see flagship-level performance from the chip. It’ll still be a capable processor, but it won’t be at the same level as the chip in the flagship phones.

It’s unlikely that its refresh rate (90Hz) or wireless charging (7.5 watts) capabilities will improve. You will still likely have to spend a little more for better performance in these areas.

The Google Pixel 8a’s display is expected to remain the same size (6.1 inches diagonally), with some minor upgrades in terms of materials. Although the Pixel 7a uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for its cover glass, the Pixel 8a will likely feature Corning Gorilla Glass Victus — the same cover glass found on the Pixel 8.

Google Pixel 8a: battery

Possible renders showing the Google Pixel 8a.
Smart Prix

The Pixel 7a is equipped with a 4,385mAh battery, which is actually slightly smaller than the one featured in the Pixel 6a. A similar size adjustment may happen for the Pixel 8a, but the overall battery performance is not expected to change.

However, the Pixel 8a is expected to debut with a new battery feature. According to a developer post on Google’s bug tracker (as spotted by 9to5 Google), the Pixel 8a will include a new suite of battery stats, including when it was manufactured, how many charging cycles it’s been through, and its health as a percentage. Similar stats were previously available for older devices but were removed, as they were apparently only intended to be available on the Pixel 8a and newer devices.

Google promises a day’s worth of battery life with the Pixel 7a, and this is likely to remain the same with the next model. The Pixel 7a also supports 18W fast charging via cable and 7.5W wireless charging, which are also expected to be retained.

Google Pixel 8a: cameras

The Google Pixel 8's camera module.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro come with various camera updates, some of which could be included on the Pixel 8a. However, assume that most, if not all, of these features won’t make the leap.

Pixel 8a users may benefit from a larger ultrawide lens, which would improve Macro Focus. Additionally, the front-facing camera could now feature autofocus for the first time after being introduced on the Pixel 8 Pro. Best Take, a highly touted new camera software feature on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, could also be included on the Pixel 8a. Best Take automatically blends similar images to ensure everyone in a photo looks their best. Another new feature is Magic Editor, which is available on Google Photos. It uses AI to provide a unique and experimental editing experience.

It’s hard to say which of these features will be on the Pixel 8a, but it’s safe to assume that at least some will.

Google Pixel 8a: software and updates

Android 14 logo on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

A clean version of Android 14 is expected to grace the Pixel 8a, just like the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. What isn’t known is whether Google will promise seven years of operating system updates, feature drops, and overall support, as it does with these more expensive handsets.

Like the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, the Pixel 7a includes five years of software support, which consists of three years of Android OS updates and five years of monthly security updates.

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Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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