Or maybe even Achilles heels, plural
Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro may be the new flagships on the block, but the rumor cycle waits for no one. Just a month after the company’s latest smartphones hit stores, we’re already starting to look forward to what’s next. After learning some of the first details about the Pixel 8, we’re making another return to the Pixel 7a rumor mill. And with this latest report, it looks like Google could settle all of our complaints about its mid-range phone from earlier this year.
Let’s recap what we know so far because, for a device that’s not expected to launch until next summer, we’ve already learned a lot. Google is developing a phone codenamed Lynx, a device originally thought to be a kind of Pixel Ultra. As with any phone that term is attached to, it eventually became clear that Lynx wasn’t what we thought. Despite some intriguing elements – a triple-lens camera array and a ceramic body among them – it seems more likely than ever that this device is actually the Pixel 7a in development.
To that end, developer (and recent leaker extraordinaire) Kuba Wojciechowski took to Twitter with another thread on Lynx, having dug deeper into the phone over the past few weeks. He learned a lot about the phone, including some facts that contradict some of his earlier reporting. There’s also more evidence confirming that Lynx and the Pixel 7a are one and the same, as its camera array drivers are labeled “Mid-range Pixel 22”.
In fact, let’s dive deep into this line of cameras. That triple-lens system didn’t make much sense for a mid-range device, and now we know why. According to Wojciechowski, Google has removed the GN1 lens from the lineup, leaving only two dedicated lenses on the back: the main IMX787 sensor and an ultra-wide IMX712. The IMX787 is a replacement for the IMX363 last seen on this year’s Pixel 6a, and while we walked away from this phone impressed with its photo capabilities, it’s all too clear that the aging hardware leaves the series Behind.
We’ve already seen the IMX787 appear in phones like the Nubia Z40 Pro and ZTE Axon 40 Ultra. It’s also appeared in some recent Pixel Fold leaks, providing more evidence that Google is using it on upcoming devices.
These are not the only details found by Wojciechowski. In what could cement the Pixel 7a as an early contender for the best budget smartphone of 2023, it looks like Google is getting a 90Hz 1080p OLED panel from Samsung for use in the upcoming A-series device. would provide a massive, much-needed upgrade over the Pixel 6a and, barring discounts, could make the Pixel 7 a harder sell next summer.
Wojciechowski also confirmed his previous report regarding the use of Qualcomm chips for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – a first for a Tensor-powered phone – as well as wireless charging support. Before you get excited about these improvements, keep in mind that they might be limited to 5W speeds. It’s painfully slow, even for wireless charging, although that’s better than missing out on the feature altogether.
Assuming all of this is true, there’s one major shadow hanging over the Pixel 7a: its price. These are big upgrades, but given inflation and the lack of a Pixel 6a price hike last summer, we might get higher prices. It’s hard not to imagine this upgraded gear selling for $499, but with the Pixel 7 pegged at just $599, there’s at least a cap in place to keep the Series A from getting too out of hand.
Still, it’s all pretty exciting. For a phone that likely won’t launch anytime in the next six months, we’ve certainly learned a lot about it. At this rate, stay tuned for leaked renders any day now – Google seems determined to speed up the rumor cycle.
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