Google Pixel 8a "confirmed" by Google itself, should launch soon

The Pixel 8a will boost Google's affordable offering

The Google Pixel 7a viewed from the back
(Image credit: Future)
Quick summary

Google has accidentally confirmed the Pixel 8a, an affordable phone expected to feature Tensor 3 hardware and possibly a larger battery.

The release date is yet to be announced but speculation suggests it might be unveiled at Google I/O in May 2024.

Google has removed any doubt about the launch of the Pixel 8a, confirming the existence of the new affordable phone thanks to a support listing.

Spotted by 9to5Google, the issue tracker response confirms that a detail will only be available on the Pixel 8a, thereby confirming that device's existence. That, perhaps, wasn't in any doubt as Google is a creature of habit, but this direct reference to the device is the first positive acknowledgement of the new phone from Google.

The Pixel 8a has leaked previously, however, with the suggestion that it might be more expensive than the Pixel 7a. That might push it out of the best cheap phones category, but we are still expecting this to be a great device.

There has been speculation that the Pixel 8a will be launching sooner than expected, although the lack of clear indicators makes it difficult to pinpoint a release date. Historic launches would suggest that the Pixel 8a will be unveiled at Google I/O, although this event has not yet been confirmed either - it's expected to take place in May 2024, however.

What can we expect from the Pixel 8a?

There has been some speculation that the Pixel 8a will come with a larger battery capacity than the previous model, while it is expected to be powered by Google's Tensor 3 hardware - the same as found in the Pixel 8 Pro.

We're expecting to see a 6.1-inch OLED display, with 120Hz refresh rate and it would be surprising if Google didn't also boost the brightness to follow the lead set by the current Pixel 8 devices.

What remains unknown is how much AI the Pixel 8a will get. The biggest feature of the Pixel 8 launch was Magic Editor and the enhancements it brings to photo editing - and this would be a real boost to the abilities of the Pixel 8a. While we're not expecting to see any changes to the camera - a 64-megapixel main and 13-megapixel ultrawide - the benefits of Magic Editor would make this phone hard to beat in the mid-range price bracket.

Google faces increased competition with the recent announcement of the Samsung Galaxy A55 and new entrant to this segment of the market the Nothing phone (2a). The question is whether the Pixel 8a will still offer the value for money and performance to entice budget-conscious buyers.

Chris Hall

Chris has been writing about consumer tech for over 15 years. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket-lint, he's covered just about every product launched, witnessed the birth of Android, the evolution of 5G, and the drive towards electric cars. You name it and Chris has written about it, driven it or reviewed it. Now working as a freelance technology expert, Chris' experience sees him covering all aspects of smartphones, smart homes and anything else connected. Chris has been published in titles as diverse as Computer Active and Autocar, and regularly appears on BBC News, BBC Radio, Sky, Monocle and Times Radio. He was once even on The Apprentice... but we don't talk about that.