So far, the Pixel range has been exclusively high-end, but that might be all set to change, as numerous leaks and rumors point to a Google Pixel 3 Lite joining the already-available Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL.
While nothing about the phone is known for sure yet, we have a good idea of what to expect, as leaked images and specs lists have painted a fairly complete picture.
We’ve collected all the news, leaks and rumors here and will add to this article whenever new information emerges. So read on for all the information so far on the Pixel 3 Lite, when you might see it, and what it might cost.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A mid-range Pixel handset
- When is it out? Possibly early or mid-2019
- What will it cost? Maybe $400-$500 (roughly £315-£390, AU$550-AU$690)
Google Pixel 3 Lite release date and price
- Might launch in the first half of 2019
- Could cost $400-$500 (roughly £315-£390, AU$550-AU$690)
The only real release date rumor comes from reliable leaker Roland Quandt, who, back in June 2018, said that a mid-range Pixel device was scheduled for launch during the first half of 2019.
That’s not very specific, but it’s a window that makes sense. We’re close to the end of 2018 now with no immediate sign of the Pixel 3 Lite, but equally Google is unlikely to launch it too late in 2019 or it could clash with the Pixel 4 range. Though of course it’s always possible that it could land alongside those phones as the Pixel 4 Lite.
As for what the Pixel 3 Lite might cost, the only rumor there puts it at between $400-$500 (roughly £315-£390, AU$550-AU$690). That adds up, especially as it’s obviously going to undercut the Pixel 3, which starts at $799 (£739, AU$1,199).
However, there’s an outside chance that you won’t be able to buy it, as an early report suggested that the phone was aimed primarily at emerging markets like India.
But that report is old and didn’t specifically say that the phone wouldn’t get a global launch. With such a big name attached to it we’d think it would probably be widely available.
Google Pixel 3 Lite design and display
- A 5.56-inch 1080 x 2280 screen
- Similar design to the Pixel 3
- A plastic build
A number of leaked images supposedly showing the Pixel 3 Lite have now emerged, such as those in the gallery below, which show it alongside various other handsets.
You can see from these that it’s smaller than the Pixel 3 XL, bigger than the iPhone XS and around the same size as the iPhone XR. You’ll also note that while there’s no notch there is a sizeable bezel both above and below the screen.
It’s a design that leaves the Pixel 3 Lite looking a lot like the standard Pixel 3 from the front, while from the back it has a two-tone color scheme like the rest of the Pixel 3 range, in this case in two shades of white. It also has a rear fingerprint scanner.
Another leaked image shows the Google Pixel 3 Lite next to the standard Google Pixel 3. They look similar, though the Pixel 3 Lite is possibly slightly bigger.
Sargo и Pixel 3 pic.twitter.com/FOJQY7qp1kNovember 23, 2018
That’s no surprise, as according to an earlier leak which included both images (shown below) and specs, the Pixel 3 Lite has a 5.56-inch screen, which is slightly bigger than the 5.5-inch screen of the Pixel 3.
Though the Google Pixel 3 Lite apparently uses LCD rather than OLED. It’s also said to have a 1080 x 2280 resolution, a 444ppi pixel density (much the same as the Pixel 3) and a plastic rather than glass back. It’s seemingly codenamed Sargo and, as you can see in the images below, appears to have a 3.5mm headphone port.
While we’d take these leaks with a pinch of salt, the photos all look convincing and all match up with one another, so there’s a good chance this really is the Pixel 3 Lite that we’re looking at.
Google Pixel 3 Lite camera and battery
- The same 12.2MP rear camera as the Pixel 3
- A single-lens 8MP front-facing camera
- A 2,915mAh battery
From the images above, you can see that the Google Pixel 3 Lite has just one camera lens on the back and one on the front. That’s different from the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, which both have two front-facing cameras.
However, the Pixel 3 Lite is rumored to pack the same great 12.2MP lens on the rear as the rest of the range. We’ve also seen camera samples supposedly taken using the phone, which you can see below.
The same source as those samples says that the phone has an 8MP front-facing camera. This is likely the same lens as one of the selfie cameras on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The source doesn’t say which lens the Pixel 3 Lite is lacking, but we’d expect it will be the wide-angle selfie lens that’s absent.
However, there’s more at play in photo quality and camera modes than just the lens. The Google Pixel 3 Lite is sure to have a less powerful chipset than the rest of the range and therefore also a lower-end image signal processor (ISP).
So don’t be surprised if its camera isn’t ultimately as capable as the snapper on the Pixel 3. That said, the same source had previously said that the camera on the Pixel 3 Lite would be just as good as on the rest of the Pixel range. Though it’s not clear whether they’re just talking about the lens there or about the whole experience.
As for the battery, that’s supposedly 2,915mAh, which would make it exactly the same size as the one in the standard Google Pixel 3. We’ve only heard that size from one source so far though, so we’re less sure of it than some things.
Google Pixel 3 Lite OS and power
- A Snapdragon 670 chipset
- 4GB of RAM
- 32GB of storage
We’ve also heard rumors of 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and – unsurprisingly given this is a Google device – no microSD card slot.
Of course, being a Pixel handset this is sure to run pure Android 9 Pie (assuming Android 10 isn’t out by the time this launches) and get day one updates to new versions of the operating system.
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