The Google Pixel 7a could render the Pixel 7 redundant

Google Pixel 7 review in hand
A Google Pixel 7 (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

If you’ve got your eye on a Google Pixel 7 you might want to hold off for a bit, because Google could soon launch the Google Pixel 7a, which is likely to be cheaper, and – if recent leaks are to be believed – might also be very similar.

That impression comes mostly from a hands-on video, supposedly of the Google Pixel 7a, posted on a private Vietnamese Facebook group, but spotted and uploaded to Twitter by leaker @chunvn8888.

The video shows a phone that looks a lot like the Pixel 7, with a similar camera visor on the rear, a shiny back, and a punch-hole camera in the screen.

The phone is also switched on, and while not much of interest is shown on the screen, there is mention of the display being 90Hz – which again is just like the Pixel 7, and an upgrade on the 60Hz Google Pixel 6a.

Since then, the user has returned with a second video – also shared by @chunvn8888 – in which they show that the phone has seemingly been remotely locked by Google. But the one screen they can still access on it mentions 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

You can probably guess what we’re going to say here – those specs are also exactly the same as what you get with the Pixel 7, although there’s also a 256GB model of that phone. For reference, the Pixel 6a comes with 128GB of storage but just 6GB of RAM.

We would, of course, take this leak with a pinch of salt, but it looks convincingly like a Pixel 7a. For one thing, one of the settings screens shows that name, and while that could have been edited, the design of the phone itself doesn’t seem to quite match up with any existing Pixel model.

For example, the camera block seems to be slightly less raised than on the Pixel 7, and the design of the lenses differs slightly from the Pixel 6a.

Analysis: why buy the Pixel 7 when you can buy the Pixel 7a?

If these leaks prove accurate, and the two phones are indeed very similar, then Google could hamper sales of the Pixel 7 with this release.

That said, there are still a number of things that could be different, including the screen size and the cameras – but if the Pixel 7a is significantly more affordable then it might still make the Pixel 7 a hard sell.

On the other hand, we’re not expecting to see the Pixel 7a until around mid-2023, so the Google Pixel 7 will have been on sale for a long time by then, with the Pixel 8 fast approaching. So Google might not be too worried about a new model undercutting it.

The Pixel 7a itself might struggle, though, if it’s not priced appealingly. After all, the Pixel 7 will likely be heavily reduced by the time this phone launches, so we might find the two phones are a similar price – or that the Pixel 7 is actually the cheaper of the two.

That exact thing happened with the Pixel 6a, which at launch cost more than the Pixel 6 could sometimes be found for. So hopefully Google won’t repeat this mistake. Still, the Pixel 7 is one of the best Pixel phones, and if these leaks are right then the Pixel 7a could be right up there with it.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.