Brand-new Google Pixel confirmed to launch next week... but it's not the Pixel 4

Google all-but confirms it's about to launch a new Pixel

Google Pixel 3a Release Date

There's a new Google Pixel on the horizon. This isn't something we've heard from an unreliable source on the factory floor, or ascertained by shouting "enhance!" at a blurry leaked image CSI-style. This is straight from the horse's mouth.

Google has posted an advert on Indian e-commerce store FlipKart ahead of its annual developer conference, known as Google IO, next week that features the silhouette of a smartphone and a countdown to May 8, 2019.

"Something big is coming to the Pixel universe," the tagline reads. So, seems pretty clear what we'll see at the end of the countdown, right?

The outline of the smartphone on the teaser suggests that earlier rumours of a new, more affordable Google Pixel were accurate. The Mountain View company is widely-tipped to announce the handsets on-stage during the Google IO opening keynote on May 7, which seems to fit with the May 8 pre-order or launch date announced on the FlipKart advertisement. 

We're expecting Google to announce its new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL smartphones, which will keep the same look and (more importantly) rear-facing camera as the flagship Pixel 3, but keep costs low by swapping the all-glass case in favour of plastic, and swapping the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-a-chip for the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 670.

Unfortunately, there's no word on exactly how much cheaper the Pixel 3a range will be compared to the existing Pixel 3 (£739) and Pixel 3 XL (£869). However, we wouldn't be surprised to see a similar price differential, percentage-wise, to the one between the iPhone XS (£999) and iPhone XR (£749).

Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will ship in Just Black, Clearly White, and Purple-ish, leaksters have suggested, with the latter being exclusive to the Pixel 3a range

Elsewhere, Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are believed to have completely different screen sizes to the existing Pixel line-up. According to the latest report from GSMArena, the new devices will have 5.6-inch and 6-inch displays, respectively. That means the Pixel 3a will be slightly bigger than the 5.5-inch Pixel 3, while the Pixel 3a XL will be smaller than the 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL.

These new sizes are a little baffling. They could suggest that Google might not be entirely happy with the screen size choices it made with the original Pixel 3 range last year, or perhaps they are in some way more economical to produce. 

The squeezable "Active Edge" technology, which lets users summon Google Assistant by firmly gripping the side of their smartphone will seemingly be returning on the more affordable variant too.

T3 will have all the news from Google IO as it happens, so stay tuned next week to find out whether the latest leak is accurate, or just wishful thinking.