Broken records could only be tolerated so far, but one cannot help but mention how certain news developments came to be the way they were because of COVID-19. Google had a May 12 annual developer’s conference that would have introduced the Pixel 4A smartphone, months after the release of the basic Pixel 4 and 4XL. The cancelled date then featured in a leaked photo of the 4A on Google Store Canada last month. Finally, this past Monday, Google revealed the Pixel 4A, as well as a fourth variant of the fourth Pixel line geared for 5G, and the fifth Pixel.
The Verge has it that Google revealed three Pixel smartphones on August 3, one expected and the other two not quite. Pixel 4A is available at last for preorders ahead of shipping and appearing in (virtual) stores by the 20th. But this midlevel variant of 2019’s Pixel 4 is getting its own variant, one optimized for 5G networks that are now all the rage for subscribers. It will be shipping in the fall alongside the next step for the Pixel line, the Google Pixel 5 which is 5G-ready by default.
If this comes across as a rather bunched-up succession of release dates, then again there is only the pandemic to blame. Without it then the Pixel 4A would have been ready for consumers by June or July, with plenty of months left between the coming of its 5G brother and Pixel 5 successor. According to Google VP – Product Management Brian Rakowski, both these smartphones will hit the following countries by fall: beyond the expected North America markets there will also be the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
Despite the great specs already leaked regarding the Pixel 4A and its $349 price tag, the smartphone looks to be one that US mobile carriers will not put stock on, since it is not a 5G-ready device. Apparently it will only ever be purchasable online. Perhaps the pushing of 4A 5G and Pixel 5 was an assurance by Google to carriers and users that yes, they are ready for the network transition like everyone else.
Details about the Pixel 4A 5G involve having a second camera lens and a larger screen than the basic 4A, all for $150 more ($499). As for the Pixel 5, there is not much to tell. The fall release date is also under speculation. Normally that means October as with previous mainline Pixels, but COVID-19 ruins timetables. For reference, meteorologists peg the transition between fall and winter seasons of 2020 to be on December 21.
Image courtesy of Anand Tech