Google Pixel 4a vs Pixel 3a: What's the rumoured difference?

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(Pocket-lint) – Google’s Pixel 4a has been the subject of numerous rumours over the last few months. While we still don’t know when it might finally make an appearance, we’re hoping the speculated 3 August date is the day we’ve been waiting for.

How might the Pixel 4a compare to its predecessor, the Pixel 3a, when it does eventually grace us with its presence though? We’ve put the rumoured specifications of the Pixel 4a up against the Pixel 3a and 3a XL to see what the differences might be and whether it’s worth upgrading.

Design

  • Pixel 3a: 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2mm, 147g 
  • Pixel 3a XL: 160.1 mm x 76.1 mm x 8.2mm, 167g
  • Pixel 4a: 144.2 x 69.5 x 8.2mm

The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL both have the same design, albeit different sizes. There’s a physical fingerprint sensor on the rear in the centre, a single camera lens in the top left corner and the fronts have bezels at the top and bottom of the displays.

Colour options are Just Black, Clearly White and Purplish. Both come with a 3.5mm heapdhone jack and both have a USB Type-C port for charging.

Rumours suggest there will only be one size of the Google Pixel 4a and the leaked measurements suggest it will be quite a bit smaller than the Pixel 3a and therefore definitely smaller than the Pixel 3a XL. It too is expected to have a physical fingerprint sensor and a 3.5mm headphone jack like its predecessors, but elsewhere the design is reported to be different.

On the rear, the camera housing is said to take some design tips from the Pixel 4, moving the single sensor and flash into a protruding square and ditching the two-tone finish, while on the front, a punch hole front camera is expected, meaning we can hopefully say goodbye to those bezels.

Colour options are reported to be Just Black and Barely Blue.

Display

  • Pixel 3a: 5.6-inch, 2220 x 1080 (441ppi), OLED, 60Hz
  • Pixel 3a XL: 6-inch, 2160 x 1080 (402ppi), OLED, 60Hz
  • Pixel 4a: 5.81-inch, 2340 x 1080, OLED, 60Hz

The Google Pixel 3a has a 5.6-inch OLED display with a Full HD+ resolution, while the Pixel 3a XL has a 6-inch OLED display, also with a Full HD+ resolution. Both offer an aspect ratio of 18:9 and both have a refresh rate of 60Hz, which although is pretty standard, the OnePlus Nord bumps this up to 90Hz.

The Pixel 4a is rumoured to come with a 5.81-inch display, which positions it inbetween the Pixel 3a and 3a XL – likely the reason for only one size option. Like its predecessors, it is reported to have a Full HD+ resolution and use an OLED panel, as well as offering a 60Hz refresh rate.

Where the Pixel 4a will gain points over its predecessors is the punch hole camera. If the rumours are true, this is the first time we would see the technology on a Pixel, and as you can see from the rumoured measurements, it allows the device to be smaller, the bezels to disappear and the screen to be larger.

Hardware and specs

  • Pixel 3a: Qualcomm SD670, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 3000mAh, 4G
  • Pixel 3a XL: Qualcomm SD670, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 3700mAh, 4G
  • Pixel 4a: Qualcomm SD730, 6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, 3000mAh, 4G

The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Neither have microSD for storage expansion but both have NFC for payments.

The Pixel 3a has a battery capacity of 3000mAh, while the Pixel 3a XL has a battery capacity of 3700mAh. Both have 18W fast charging.

The Pixel 4a is rumoured to run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 chipset, which would make it a 4G device like the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. There’s also been a suggestion of the Snapdragon 765, which has integrated 5G but at the moment, it’s not clear which the Pixel 4a will offer.

There’s thought to be 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, with no microSD support. According to the reports, the Pixel 4a will have a 3080mAh battery, making it slighty bigger than the Pixel 3a but quite a bit smaller than the 3a XL.

Camera

  • Pixel 3a/3a XL: 12.2MP rear (f/1.8, 1.14µm pixels), 8MP front (f/2.0, 1.12µm)
  • Pixel 4a: 12.2MP (f/1.7, 1.4µm pixels), 8MP front (f/2.0)

The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL both feature the same camera as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. This means you’ll find a single 12.2-megapixel Dual Pixel camera sensor on the rear featuring an f/1.8 aperture and 1.14µm pixel width. There’s optical and electronic image stabilisation, as well as features like Night Sight, which delivers excellent low light shots.

On the front of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, there’s an 8-megapixel sensor with a 1.12µm pixel width and a f/2.0 aperture.

The Pixel 4a is expected to come with the same camera as the Pixel 4, which is a 12.2-megapixel 1.4µm sensor with f/1.7 lens and optical image stabilisation. It will likely have all the AI skills of the Pixel 4 too, including the brilliant Night Sight.

The front camera in the display is likely to be an 8-megapixel 1.22µm sensor with f/2.0 lens and some rare bokeh skills, but this is still awaiting confirmation like the rest of the specifications.

Conclusion

Based on the rumours, the Google Pixel 4a will offer some great improvements over the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, including a better camera, larger display compared to the Pixel 3a, refined design and a bump in processor and RAM. 

We’ll update this feature as soon as the Pixel 4a finally appears and we have the official details on it. For now, you can read our Pixel 4a rumour round up for all the latest.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle.

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