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Google Pixel 7a preview: specs, price and release date rumors

As far as affordable Android phones go, you have to come up with something special to get rid of Google’s Pixel a series. The Pixel 6a takes incredible photos, has ample performance and won’t leave a huge dent in your wallet. So it’s understandable that there’s a lot of excitement brewing on its successor, the Google Pixel 7a.

Now that we’re a quarter of the way through the 6a’s expected life cycle, the rumor mill is starting to fade and whispers about what to expect are starting to surface online. But how much of it should you believe? Is there still time for Google to throw a curve ball, or will it be an update by the numbers?

Here’s everything we know so far about the Pixel 7a, and along with the features we’re keeping cross-sectional, Google will be adding from now until launch day.

Pixel 7a release date and price rumors

Google Pixel 6a camera

Don’t expect to hear an official Google Pixel 7a release date until at least a few weeks before Google actually takes the covers off — but that doesn’t mean we’re looking in the dark for a possible day for diaries. It is almost certain that it will be unveiled in the summer of 2023, according to Google’s previous date with the launch of A series phones.

  • Pixel 6a release date: July 21, 2022
  • Pixel 5a release date: August 26, 2021
  • Pixel 4a release date: August 20, 2020
  • Pixel 3a release date: May 7, 2019

You see, Google tends to prefer August, but they also flirt with May and July. This means that the July-August time frame seems most likely. It also fits in with the flagship Pixel series: The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 both land in October, so it only makes sense that the Pixel 7a arrives in the same month as its predecessor did a year ago.

Pricing is more than unknown at the moment. The Pixel 6a costs £399 at launch, a £50 increase over the Pixel 4a (the Pixel 5a has never officially arrived in the UK) – but it’s still £100 cheaper than the Pixel 4a with 5G, which was an odd thing in queuing up. Given how Google has managed to keep the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at the same price as the outgoing Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, we’d like to think they’ll try to do the same for the A-Series variant. But exchange rates are what they are, and the general cost of living , means that nothing can be taken for granted.

The latest rumors and details about the Pixel 7a phone

Google Pixel 6a camera

Right now, all the information about the Pixel 7a making the rounds comes from a few references to a device codenamed Lynx buried in the source code of upcoming versions of Android. It was originally thought to be a premium phone that sits above the Pixel 7 Pro, or perhaps the rumored Pixel Fold foldable phone, and is now understood to actually refer to the 7a.

Developer turned leaker Kuba Wojciechowski It was recently confirmed that the Lynx’s camera drivers are marked “Pixel 22 mid-range” internally, with two Sony sensors: the IMX787 for the main camera, and the IMX712 wide as a backup. The former has 64 megapixels, which would be a step above the Pixel 7 in terms of the number of pixels, while the latter has not been officially announced by its maker.

On the screen front, Wojciechowski says Google has chosen Samsung’s OLED with 1080p resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. This would be a welcome step up from the Pixel 6a’s 60Hz display, bringing it closer to the Pixel 7’s pricier feature list.

You can certainly expect the Google Tensor G2 CPU to run in the show: the Pixel 6a used the first generation Tensor, just like the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which has now been replaced by the silicon G2 found in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Qualcomm could offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips, though, which would be a first for a Tensor-powered phone.

Finally, wireless charging may also be on the cards. According to Wojciechowski, the Pixel 7a will manage 5W charging operations without having to reach for a cable. Hardly fast, but still a welcome improvement from the Pixel 6a, which should rely entirely on USB-C for refueling.

Pixel 7a features: What we want to see

Google Pixel 6a power button

The new CPU is a foregone conclusion. Highly weighted streamlined design. But what about all the other features that would set the Google Pixel 7a as a must-buy phone? Here’s what we think Google needs to add to make this happen.

Higher refresh rate

While Google sees screen refresh rate as a way to differentiate the A-series Pixel from its bigger brethren, we wish that didn’t happen. 120Hz is quickly becoming the standard across the smartphone spectrum, and not just at the top, with plenty of competitors bringing smooth scrolling to affordable price points. Google should do the same.

If the early rumors are to be believed, these rumors may in fact be the cut. Fingers crossed, eh?

faster charging

Google doesn’t seem too keen on keeping up with the Chinese competition when it comes to charging speeds. While the affordable OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Motorola phones have cracked at 50W (some are even knocking on 125W), the Pixel 6a sticks with 18W for pedestrians. We’d love to see the Pixel 7a pick up the pace.

This doesn’t mean Google needs to put a charger in the box, but we think anyone with a larger power unit deserves to be able to take full advantage of it. With rumors that wireless charging will be limited to 5W, though, we’re not too confident of a significant speed boost over the USB-C cable.

Don’t raise the price

As the cost of living becomes increasingly painful on the wallet, Google will do well to ensure that the more expensive Pixel phone stays exactly that way. In fact, the price cut compared to last year may be overkill, but seeing how the company managed to launch the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at the same price as their predecessors, we hope it will at least do the same for the 7a.