Just in case you thought Google managed to put a lid on its operations and won't have to deal with bizarrely early leaks of its products any longer, over half a dozen new images of the Pixel 3a line just appeared online, originating from Russia.
The source of the images at hand appears to be the very same one that ended up with several units from a stolen batch of Pixel 3 prototypes last summer, also months ahead of their official announcements. The manner wherein the device at hand was obtained isn't clear but this is said to be the Pixel 3a, a handset previously referred to as the Pixel 3 Lite, code-named "Sargo."
As previously reported, the overall look of the device appears to be nearly identical to that of the Pixel 3 XL flagship debuted late last year, with the most obvious exception being the lack of a dual-camera setup (and the notch housing it) on the front.
Besides the white variant of the Pixel 3a revealed in the latest leak, Google is also working on a regular black model, as well as one with an "Iris" finish. How that third version actually looks like is unclear as its existence only came to light now, with German outlet Winfuture reporting that the color in question will certainly be part of the upcoming lineup, citing product documentation obtained from third-party retailers.
The usage of the term "iris" isn't unprecedented in the mobile space and is frequently encountered with gradient smartphone colors combining shades of blue and violet.
The base Pixel 3a configuration will offer 64GB of flash storage and 4GB of RAM, according to previous claims from industry insiders, as well as today's report. The model will retail at €449, which translates to approximately $504, as per the same German source.
The information at hand cannot be verified for obvious reasons but the fact that the documents cited by the source contain references to SKU (stock keeping unit) numbers from Google make them appear more legitimate than many previous leaks concerning Google's upcoming series of Android smartphones.
The Pixel 3a range has been the subject of dozens of rumors and sightings in recent months; industry insiders started talking about it late last year, even before Google's flagship models were released. The "Sargo" device seen here is said to feature a 5.6-inch display, whereas the Pixel 3a XL — internally code-named "Bonito" — is expected to launch with a 6-inch screen.
Why exactly is Google now looking at the mid-range segment is a mystery; this price bracket has never been more competitive, with its profit margins currently racing toward those usually associated with the entry-level sector where there's barely any money to be made for companies not pushing millions of units every product generation.
The fact that Alphabet's subsidiary also appears to be valuing its hardware brand as highly as those from established manufacturers like Samsung and Apple won't help it compete in the value game either; even $500 is a lot to pay for a 2019 phone with an FHD+ (2,220 x 1,080) display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 670, 4GB of RAM, and a 12-megapixel rear camera, as well as an 8-megapixel front one.
The Pixel 3a is also expected to be quite unremarkable in the battery department - a 3,000mAh cell is said to be fueling the handset.
Google should be unveiling its first Pixel-branded Android mid-rangers later this spring.