Google can’t catch a break, so it seems. Earlier, the global search engine giant let the upcoming Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones slip through on the Play Developer Console, and now the Pixel 3 and the Nest Hub Max have been spotted on the Google Store. Although the listing has since been taken down, their appearance on the Google Store suggests only one thing – the Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL and Nest Hub Max launch is imminent.
Although a tentative launch window is yet to be revealed, Google may launch the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL (and Nest Hub Max) at Google I/O 2019 developer conference in May. This is because the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL aren’t supposed to be next-generation phones – that will ideally be the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Instead the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are supposed to a be mid-cycle refresh of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL – their main USP is said to be the fact that the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will be mid-range phones designed to be much more affordable than the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that Google may be looking to market them ‘full-on’ in developing markets including India.
The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, based on rumour mills, are apparently code-named Bonito and Sargo. The Pixel 3a will reportedly come with a 5.6-inch OLED screen with a 1080x2220 pixel resolution and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor with 4GB RAM under the hood – it will reportedly come with a 12MP rear camera and a 3,000mAh battery. As for the Pixel 3a XL, it is said to come with a 6-inch screen with a 1080x2160 pixel resolution and 4GB RAM.
Google’s Pixel phones are widely known for their outstanding camera credentials – the Pixel 3 for instance can capture class-leading photos even with a single rear camera. Of course, Google’s computational photography chops also have a lot to do with it, which brings us to its biggest highlight – the Pixel devices run a stock, unadulterated version of Android and are first in line to receive any software update that Google can conjure – Google is now rolling out Android Q developer beta for all Pixel devices (including the first-generation Pixel).
That said, take the camera and the stock Android interface away, and it’s a little hard to justify the Pixel’s high asking price – which is where phones like the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL should step in and hopefully offer a similar experience without burning a hole in the buyer’s pocket.