While we thought we'd get just the Pixel 4a in 2020 (with no XL variant), Google may be looking to drown us in a sea of mid-range Pixel phones instead. That's just as well, given the company's penchant for using fish names to describe its phones internally. And also because those fishy code names are behind these latest musings about Google's plans for Pixel this year by XDA Developers.
Buried within the open-source code for Android — called AOSP — XDA's Mishaal Rahman found codenames for possibly three new Pixel devices: sunfish, redfin, and bramble.
Sunfish is the candidate most likely to be the regular Pixel 4a. The code revealed the device is using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 730, which means it can only connect to 4G networks. Not much else is known about the phone, but if it really is the Pixel 4a, we do have some idea of what it might look like. There are also two builds for it, one based on Android 10 and one on Android 11.
Redfin is the more refined among the bunch, featuring Qualcomm's higher-tier Snapdragon 765. This SoC from the chipmaker includes built-in 5G, so it may be the premium model among the mid-range Pixel family. This phone is being developed on top of Android 10. It's also being manufactured via an ODM, one of Foxconn's subsidiaries.
The last — and most mysterious — of the bunch is bramble. This, too, is slated to feature the Snapdragon 765, but an ODM is not developing it, to XDA's knowledge. Both Android 10 and Android 11 variants were spotted in the AOSP repository.
Take the news with a grain of salt, though. Google also makes, and gives fish-based codenames to, its internal development models for testing. Any or all of the devices referenced in the company's code could just be prototypes made for its labs only.
It's also unlikely that Google will defy tradition and introduce three mid-range Pixels. However, given the current fragmentation of smartphones regarding 4G and 5G support, it's certainly possible the company is developing a cheaper, 4G-only Pixel 4a (sunfish), alongside a pair of more expensive, 5G-capable Pixel 4a and 4a XL (redfin and bramble).
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