Google Pixel 8a leak “confirms” better, brighter display but no camera upgrade

Google Pixel 8a box leak (front)
(Image credit: Hung Nv)

Just last week we made some informed predictions about the Google Pixel 8a, Google's latest Android phone, which looks like it's due for launch imminently – and today a new leak appears to confirm our most important predictions. The new Pixel phone is tipped to get a better, brighter display, but you shouldn't expect any equally significant camera upgrades.

The latest rumour comes from Kamila Wojciechowska of Android Authority, who has an excellent track record with Google and Android leaks: Wojciechowska's past leaks include the Pixel Fold, which they revealed long before Google was ready. So we're taking this one pretty much as gospel, largely because of the source but also because of the timing: this is the point in a phone's pre-release cycle where it becomes exceptionally difficult for tech firms to keep a lid on things.

There's no confirmation of the launch date just yet but a launch at Google I/O seems likely; that's happening in mid-May. So what can we expect from the latest Pixel phone?

Google Pixel 8a: what to expect from Google's 2024 Android phone

According to Wojciechowska, the Pixel 8a will have a display upgrade from 90Hz to 120Hz, and while the resolution and size are unchanged the brightness has been given a big boost: it's up to 1,400 nits of peak HDR brightness, the same as the more powerful Pixel 8

The corners have been tweaked slightly to make them look more like the Pixel 8, and the long-awaited DisplayPort output has been enabled: while "it’s still not a fully featured, Samsung DeX-like desktop mode like some wanted" it's a step in the right direction for power users, albeit a step that could do with more software support.

There's bad but not unexpected news on the camera front: the hardware isn't changing. However, the new Tensor G3 processor may still deliver some software improvements that could make the 64MP Sony IMX787 sensor deliver even better results. The IMX712 sensors for the ultrawide and selfie shooters are also unchanged.

The processor here is the Tensor G3, which as faster and more power efficient cores, and an extra core. Wojciechowska says that "all this leads to a considerably faster chip". There's an improved GPU and modem too, as well as a new image processing DSP.

Where the previous A series upgrade was relatively small this one sounds like it's more significant, and while it's a little disappointing that there won't be a big camera upgrade the new Tensor could still make a noticeable difference. We'll find out soon enough: Google I/O is now just a few weeks away.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).