Google tipped to launch a Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 this year

Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel launch schedule has been a little bit all over the place this year – which we can understand, given the state of the world – but code spotted in one of the latest Google mobile apps suggests that we'll have a Pixel 4a, a Pixel 4a 5G, and a Pixel 5 before 2020 draws to a close.

Some diligent digging by 9to5Google revealed mentions of the models in the beta version of the Google Search app for Android, together with some internal codenames – giving us a strong hint that these are the phones on the way.

If this is indeed Google's final Pixel product list for 2020 – and if its plans change further down the line, it wouldn't be the first time – then that means no bigger XL version of either the Pixel 4a or the Pixel 5 is coming this year.

We're also intrigued by the addition of a Pixel 4a 5G model – presumably that means the more affordable phone is going to come with both 4G and 5G variants, whereas the Pixel 5 will only be available with 5G (the name fits, after all) – but it's hard to be certain going off the information in the app.

To 5G or not to 5G

Reading between the lines and the codenames, and going off its earlier research 9to5Google suggests that both the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are going to use the same, slightly sub-flagship, 5G-enabled, Snapdragon 765G – not the top-of-the-range Snapdragon 865.

That's something we were already expecting for the Pixel 5, but not necessarily the Pixel 4a 5G. Presumably the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G will be different in other ways – the build quality perhaps, or the rear camera setup.

The other phone, the Pixel 4a, is likely to be the standard mid-ranger that we've heard so much about over the last few months. That would be the follow-up to the well-received Pixel 3a, which was officially announced back in May 2019, and it's rumored to be arriving for $300-$400 with a Snapdragon 730 chipset.

The Snapdragon 730 doesn't support 5G, so the 5G version of the Pixel 4a would need a specs boost – this phone may well be the one we saw some leaked images of recently, initially believing it to be the Pixel 5. Let's hope Google sets the record straight sooner rather than later.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.