Everything you need to know
Ever since the launch of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL in 2019, the budget model of Google’s lineup each year has been a relative hit. The Pixel series regularly undercuts its major competitors in terms of pricing anyway, and fans of the brand love the opportunity to get the same great cameras as the Pixel flagships at an even more affordable price. This means Google’s upcoming Android phone is hotly anticipated. But the big question is, when will the Pixel 7a come out?
We’ve looked at all the evidence and think we have some solid answers.
THE SHORT ANSWER
While there has been no official announcement yet, the Pixel 7a is likely to launch at the next Google I/O event, which begins on May 10. It will then become available to buy later in the summer — Probably in July or August.
When is the Pixel 7a coming out?
- Pixel 3a and 3a XL launched: May 7, 2019
- Pixel 4a launched: August 3, 2020
- Pixel 5a launched: August 17, 2021
- Pixel 6a launched: May 11, 2022
A launch date for the Pixel 7a has not yet been announced, and Google hasn’t even confirmed that there will be a Pixel 7a. But, as always, there have been significant leaks in recent months to give us a peak at the Pixel 7a specs and indicate when we can expect to see it.
The launch dates of previous Pixel A devices have jumped about somewhat, but that’s quite understandable. The Pixel 3a and 3a XL were announced in May, as was last year’s Pixel 6a. The Pixel 4a and 5a announcements were held back until August, but this was the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic in which supply chains were strained, to say the least.
The Google I/O event on May 10 is the likely launch date.
From this, you could assume that May is the preferred launch month for the Pixel A smartphones, which makes sense when you consider that the Google Pixel 8 series will take more of the focus later in the year. This is how Google played it last year, with the Pixel 6a being unveiled at the Google I/O 2022 event on May 11.
The next Google developer conference is Google I/O 2023, scheduled to begin on May 10. These events tend to open with a keynote address announcing new hardware from the manufacturer. The evidence is mounting that the Pixel 7a will be announced in this speech.
A trusted source had previously revealed some details of Google’s 2023-2025 roadmap to us, which appears to tally with this theory. While the roadmap was yet to be confirmed, it did indicate that Google intends to launch the Pixel 7a — codenamed “lynx” internally — at this I/O event.
Will the Pixel 7a be available at launch?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
We can say with a degree of certainty that you will not be able to buy the Pixel 7a on the day it is launched. What is less clear is how long you will have to wait after it is announced to get one.
Last year, the Pixel 6a was not released until July 28 — more than two months after it was announced. If we were speculating on the release date of the Pixel 7a using recency bias, this might suggest that we won’t see the phone become available for purchase until late summer.
This might be the case, but it does raise questions. What is the benefit of waiting so long between the launch and release of the phone? Google didn’t specify a reason for this last year, but there were rumors that the delay was down to the global chip shortage. This issue hasn’t abated, but it hasn’t prevented the likes of Samsung from releasing the Galaxy S23 series around two weeks after it was announced in February.
Expect the Pixel 7a to go on general sale in July or August 2023.
Indeed, this was a departure from Google’s own schedules, with the three previous generations of Pixel A devices hitting the shelves within a few weeks of being announced. In the case of the Pixel 4a and 5a this could have been due to the delay in the announcements of the handsets referenced above. Both phones became available in late August. So it could be suggested that a July/August release date is Google’s preferred window.
The other oddity about a late summer general sale date for the Pixel 7a is how close it will be to the launch of the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. Last year, there was less than three months between the release of the Pixel 6a and the Pixel 7 series. It’s true that the two types of Pixel devices are aimed at slightly different buyers, but it still seems a bit unusual not to space out the releases to keep Pixel phones in the public consciousness for more of the year.
Still, one assumes that Google knows what it is doing. Given the late summer release dates of the past three Pixel A phones and with no other intel to the contrary, our best guess is that we can expect to see the Pixel 7a become available for sale in July or August 2023.
What other products will Google be announcing at the Pixel 7a launch event?
Assuming the Pixel 7a is announced at Google I/O on May 10, it won’t be the only hardware unveiled at the event. Nothing is set in stone, but there are a few devices that could launch alongside the affordable phone.
It seems likely we’ll see the launch of the long-awaited Pixel Fold, and it’s about time. Google is a little late to the foldable party. Samsung is already on its fourth generation of the Z Fold and Z Flip phones, and the likes of HUAWEI, OPPO, HONOR, and Motorola also have devices in this market. Various leaks and our source suggest that Google is ready to join them. The Pixel Fold apparently carries the codename “felix” and will launch at the I/O event.
Quite a lot has been unofficially revealed about the Pixel Fold, and there are reasons to be excited. It is said to be equipped with the same Tensor G2 SoC chip as the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, as well as familiar camera sensors for which Google devices are famous. A 5.79-inch front display will likely feature, and unfolding the phone will reveal a 7.57-inch flexible panel. If we do see the Pixel Fold unveiled, we can expect a summer general sale date for the device.
There are reasons to be excited about the Pixel Fold.
The Pixel Tablet may also make an appearance at Google I/O 2023. It’s not clear if this will be an official launch since it was already (sort of) announced at the same event last year. But details were kept vague, and we still don’t have an abundance of detail on the new slate. We do know it’s coming this year, so if we don’t see it hastily released in the next couple of months, Google may use the developer event in May to give it a proper rollout.
Possible-but-unlikely candidates to make an appearance on May 10 include the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. You wouldn’t put anything past Google, but the flagship phones are usually announced ay the fall event, and Google probably wouldn’t want to launch all the 2023 phones at once. Ditto for the Pixel Watch 2. We’re expecting a second generation of the wearable, but it has only been six months since the launch of the first one.
While not hardware, you can also look out for announcements regarding Android 14 and Google Bard. Given the recent pace of the AI narrative in tech, the latter may even be given a public release date.
Will the Pixel 7a be available globally?
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
While it won’t be available everywhere, it’s safe to assume that the Pixel 7a will get a global release and feature in most of the biggest smartphone markets.
The Pixel 6a and the Pixel 7 series were released in the US, Canada, several European coutries, Australia, and parts of Asia. The former was also Google’s first smartphone release in India for a couple of years. The Pixel 7 followed suit, although both were released in India later than in the other markets.
The Pixel 7 was available in 17 countries.
The Pixel 7 series also added Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands to the European countries in which the Pixel 6a was available. In all, the Pixel 7 was available in 17 countries globally.
We have no reason to believe that Google won’t again target these markets, although nothing is a given with the global chip shortage ongoing. We’ll be listening out for any developments on this front.
The leaks suggest that the Pixel 7a will have wireless charging, even if only at 5W. We hope this rumor is true. The Pixel 6a didn’t feature wireless charging, and we get that omitting it is a cost-cutting measure. But it is becoming a more mainstream way to charge your device, and there are other budget devices that have it.
Unlike many of the Pixel 7a specs, we don’t yet know if the Pixel 7a will be waterproof. The Pixel 6a was water resistant with an IP67 rating, so we would expect at least this level of protection for the Pixel 7a. Whether it will get the highest standard of water resistance, which is the same IP68 rating that the Pixel 7 series has, remains to be seen.
We think this is likely. The Pixel A series has always fallen in the $350-$450 price range, with the Pixel 6a being at the top end of that. Given the roadmap mentioned above and the unchanged price of the Pixel 7 from its predecessor, we would be surprised if Google increased the price, at least in the US. Pushing the price any higher would also encourage more buyers to hold out for the Pixel 8.
We monitored the price of the Pixel 6a regularly over the last six months, and it wasn’t uncommon to see it selling on Amazon for $299. If Google was willing to sell the device at 33% off soon after launch, that might indicate that a price reduction on the Pixel 7a would be more likely than an increase. But given the inflationary pressures globally right now, an unchanged price seems the most obvious outcome.
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