It looks like Google may release 5G-capable models of the Pixel 4a this year. A new bit of information from XDA Developers regarding the next Google Camera update refers to codenames for the upcoming phone.
What's more is that there are three codenames, and XDA is suggesting that one of them is for the Pixel 4a XL. Past rumors have suggested that an XL model may not be coming.
But this new information seems to point to the opposite. The Pixel 4a XL, referred to as "bramble," could be one of those 5G models. This isn't the first time the codenames have popped up either.
Back on January 17 is when all three potential Pixel 4a codenames were first discovered. As of now though the codenames have been referenced in an upcoming Google Camera update too. Which adds further evidence that there may be two mid-range Pixel phones coming and that one of them will be 5G-capable.
The Pixel 4a probably won't come in a 5G model
In the report from XDA three different codenames are revealed. Sunfish, Bramble, and Redfin.
Redfin is believed to be a development board, while Bramble is believed to be the Pixel 4a XL. The last codename, Sunfish, is thought to be the standard size Pixel 4a.
Development for both Bramble and Redfin is said to be happening on top of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 mobile platform. Which supports 5G.
This isn't the same platform used for Sunfish it seems, though. Development for Sunfish is believed to be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730. Which does not support 5G. This would suggest that the Pixel 4a isn't going to be a 5G device.
Pick your device based on size and network capabilities
If the details are accurate and the Pixel 4a will only come in an LTE-enabled variant, then consumers will have a decision to make based on more than just screen size.
The Pixel 4a would no doubt have a smaller screen than the Pixel 4a XL. But now it seems that that may not be the only difference. Consumers will potentially need to choose the model they want based on not only how big they want the screen, but also on whether or not they want 5G capabilities.
For consumers who want a more future-forward device, the Pixel 4a XL would have to be the pick. That being said, most carriers in the US don't really offer true 5G yet.
That means that even if the Pixel 4a XL does exist and even if it will have 5G, you won't be getting true 5G speeds with it right away. Which is something to keep in mind when and if the bigger model hits the market.