Rick Osterloh — Google's SVP, Devices & Services — may have sent out at least one tweet from the Google Pixel 4a prior to its announcement. That's based on reports from a variety of sources that spotted the tweet earlier in the week.
Now, the executive didn't give away any details about the device or even directly indicate that's what was used. Instead, the tweet centers around a fitness goal achievement in Fitbit shared via screenshot.
Namely, Mr. Osterloh earned the Earth badge from his lifetime accrument of 7,900 miles. That's a distance similar to having walked through the Earth's core. But this does still seem to have been taken on a Pixel 4a instead of some other smartphone.
To begin with, there is a very noticeable gap at the top-left-hand side of the UI in the screen capture. That points to the existence of a punch hole-style camera being positioned on the left in the hardware used for the screenshot. That simply wouldn't be there if this were snapped with a Pixel 4, or any older Pixel handsets.
The second clue comes in the form of the notification bar. That's set slightly taller than average and the rest of the UI, from icons to navigation, match with Pixel handsets but not with other stock OEMs. It's still not impossible for this to be a different phone, of course. But every sign seems to suggest the executive is already using a Pixel 4a handset.
When will Pixel 4a launch and why won't there be a 4a XL?
It's also unlikely that the device being used by the SVP is a Google Pixel 4a XL. That's because there isn't expected to be one at all. This time around, prior reports have all suggested that the search giant will only release one Pixel mid-ranger. And the screen ratio seems to confirm that too.
Based on other previous leaks, the launch date for Pixel 4a adds some credence to the reports here too. Google is expected to launch the phone on May 22 in Germany. That's after the device was discovered with that date in a database associated with Vodafone Germany. US customers could see the handset sooner, as is often the case with Pixel-branded hardware.
Initially, Google was expected to launch this device on May 7 at Google I/O. But that event won't be carrying forward as usual. So it isn't clear when, exactly, the Pixel 4a will arrive now.
What do we know about the Pixel 4a?
With regard to the device itself, there's already a lot of information available there as well. As has become a habit for Google, the Pixel 4a has been leaked en masse leading up to its launch.
Based on previous images, renders, and spec sheets that have been published, the Google Pixel 4a is expected to arrive in a 5.81-inch FHD+ OLED format. The resolution of that screen is predicted to be set at 2,340 x 1080 with a 60Hz refresh rate. Reports indicate aSnapdragon 730 SoC will drive the Android 10 package, backed by Google's Titan M security chip — without Pixel Neural Core — and 6GB RAM. For storage, both 64GB and 128GB variants are expected.
The battery here is predicted to be a 3,080mAh 18W fast-charging unit without wireless charging.
5G won't be part of the package here but a 12.2-megapixel camera will be used here. Most likely, as with previous 'a'-series handsets, that'll be the same as the Pixel 4 flagship. So it will likely support OIS and EIS, and will be capable of recording both FHD and 4K video. PDAF will also be supported.
Earth badge on Fitbit! pic.twitter.com/TvUs4dYQF6
— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) May 4, 2020