The Google Pixel 6a made its mark as one of the best budget Android phones in 2022, thanks to its powerful hardware, great cameras, and premium construction. Anyone who wants an affordable phone with power that rivals flagships can't go wrong with Google's latest offering — especially considering the steep discounts we've seen at retailers across the web.
As you might expect, this year's Pixel 7a will likely pull inspiration from last year's Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro. Google's latest flagship devices are its best yet, perfectly setting up the 2023 A-series phone to be a budget homerun. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 7a so far.
Google Pixel 7a: Design and specs
While we expect the broad strokes of the Pixel 7a's design to mimic the Pixel 7 in the same way that the Pixel 6a mimicked the Pixel 6, there are a few surprising rumors about the design floating around.
We've heard rumors about an upcoming Google Pixel device codenamed Lynx that, despite early word suggesting a high-end member of the Pixel 7 family, now seems to be the Pixel 7a. Some key premature rumors didn't help in the confusion, either. As reported by tipster Digital Chat Station, the Google Pixel 7a might have a ceramic body, making it the first Pixel device to do so. That would be a significant upgrade, and not just over previous A-series models that usually relied on plastic bodies. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro use Gorilla Glass Victus on their displays and backplates, not ceramic.
While there was good reason to believe these reports — Google confirmed its upcoming Google Pixel Tablet will sport a nano-ceramic body back at its Made By Google 2022 event, after all — it seems unlikely. The Pixel 7a is, as we cover later in this article, expected to cost a similar price as last year's model, and it's unlikely a ceramic build would allow for a similar price point. Likewise, we haven't heard additional information about a ceramic build, implying this isn't happening with this year's A-series. Anything's possible, but another plastic back seems likely.
Early renders for the Google Pixel 7a show a phone nearly indistinguishable from the Pixel 7. In its white colorway, the Pixel 7a reuses the same matte silver frame, the same glossy back, and a two camera setup — more on that below — and a flat display upfront. Reportedly, the Google's upcoming budget phone is nearly the exact same size as the Pixel 6a, measuring .2mm taller, 1.1mm wider, and .1mm thicker.
Yes, this is a Pixel 7a render, not that you'd know it just by looking at it.
Leaks have said there will be both a white (pictured above) and a gray option for the Pixel 7a colors. One leak for new color options of the Pixel Buds Pro and Pixel A-Series suggested there will be a Sky Blue colorway (pictured below), and the leaker Kuba Wojciechowski suggested there would be a matching Pixel 7a option. These appear to be three pale color options, so given Google's penchant for at least one bright shade we may see a bolder color option upon the phone's release.
As we continue to approach Google I/O — where a Pixel 7a announcement is all but certain, if the past few years are any indication — we're finally seeing some real-world leaks for the company's next mid-range smartphone. One lucky person managed to get their hands on an early unit, which showcased a design that walks the line between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7. The camera bar now includes a matte aluminum cover, rather than opting for the basic glass on the previous gen, but unfortunately, the bezels around the display remain as chunky as ever.
A month out from Google I/O, we got a second round of Pixel 7a renders, this time showing off the phone in all three rumored colors. The gray tone does indeed look like a lighter version of the black we've seen on the Pixel 7 series, while white looks virtually identical.
What's new, though, is that sky blue Pixel 7a, and it looks as bright and colorful as we could've hoped for. While we'd prefer to see Google keeping colors around for more than one year — or really, offering more than one shade to potential buyers uninterested in neutral tones — you have to admit, it looks pretty great.
As for specs, Digital Chat Station also claimed that Lynx would use the Google Tensor G2 processor, a 50MP camera with a periscope lens, and a hole-punch screen. The inclusion of the Tensor G2 is what we would expect from the Pixel 7a, as the Pixel 6a ships with a first-gen Tensor chipset, which debuted with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Developer Kuba Wojciechowski also unearthed that the Pixel 7a will support wireless charging, a low-power 5W chip suitable for charging earbud cases.
Perhaps the biggest improvement between generations is the addition of a 90Hz display, something confirmed by a leaked pre-production model. Someone managed to get their hands on an early unit, showing it off from every angle and confirming that, yes, the Pixel 7a will have a high-refresh rate display.
If the Pixel 7a is, in fact, this “Lynx” device we've heard so much about, it sounds like it'll use a Qualcomm-branded modem. That's a big shift away from the controversial Samsung modems of the last two Pixel generations, and along with the ceramic build, it sounds like it might be an even better option than the plain Pixel 7. Meanwhile, the person who managed to get their hands on an early Pixel 7a discovered it's rocking 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, though that tweet has now been deleted.
Google Pixel 7a: Cameras
Last year, 9to5Google confirmed some of the Pixel 7a rumors we heard last summer regarding the Pixel 7a's camera. The sensor for the 50MP camera is likely the same Samsung GN1 found on the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. A Sony IMX712 for ultrawide shots are rumored rounds out the Pixel 7a's rear-facing camera arrangement. If true, this means the 7a's cameras could offer nearly identical imaging quality as the Google Pixel 6, which is still exceptionally good. That said, this report originally included word of a telephoto lens, something we can clearly see isn't there on real-world prototypes, so take it with a grain of salt.
Google Pixel 7a: Software
At this point, if you've used a recent Pixel phone, you likely know what to expect when it comes to hardware. Unlike with its legacy Nexus phones, the Pixel series provides a wholly unique take on Android, one focused on a clean aesthetic and providing you with tons of AI-powered tools and features. The Pixel 7a is unlikely to break that trend; really, the only question surrounding this phone's software experience is whether it'll ship with Android 13 or come out of the box with Android 14.
History indicates we'll likely see the Pixel 7a arrive just weeks before Android 14, which is on track for another August release this year. If Google drops its next mid-range smartphone in July, Android 14 will be one of its first big updates post-launch, making for a welcome surprise for new owners. And hey, we've already seen our earliest previews of what this year's upgrade is shaping up to look like. Make sure to check out everything you need to know about the Android 14 developer previews ahead of this summer's beta.
Google Pixel 7a: Price and release date
As usual, we can make some educated guesses about the Google Pixel 7a's pricing and availability. Google decided to ease the stress on our wallets this year by keeping the price of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro the same as their predecessors. If they follow this trend for the Pixel 7a, we can expect a price tag of $449/£399, something backed up by a leaked roadmap containing plans for the next several Pixel generations. Despite the boost in specs, expect Google's most affordable smartphone to stick at its typical price point.
We got our first hint as to when the Pixel 7a will hit store shelves in March. A leaked retail report suggests Google's next mid-range phone will arrive in June. For context, Google released the Pixel 6a in July 2022 and the Pixel 5a in August 2021. If this report is accurate, we're in for an earlier-than-usual launch for the A-series, though it's not too far out of the usual timeframe as to be suspicious of this report.
Google's penchant for leaking every detail of upcoming devices means we will probably know everything about the Pixel 7a weeks before this date. Unfortunately, it's just too early to lock in those details right now, but with a potential reveal at Google I/O 2023 just a short few months away, it won't take long until we learn all about this phone.
Not ready to upgrade just yet?
If you felt that the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro were too pricey, the upcoming Pixel 7a might be just what you want. If it manages to retain the affordability of the 6a, it may very well be one of the best Android phones of 2023.