Google just let the Pixel 8a cat out of the bag

Leaked renders of the Pixel 8a.
(Image credit: SmartPrix)

What you need to know

  • Google casually confirms the Pixel 8a's existence, hinting at the return of the previously removed battery stats feature.
  • The feature will be exclusive to the Pixel 8a and its successors, per a Google software engineer.
  • The battery stats feature was introduced in Android 14's QPR1 update and then disappeared in the March 2024 Pixel update.
  • It turns out Google intentionally removed the feature, with the software engineer stating that it wasn't meant for existing devices.

Google has casually confirmed the existence of the Pixel 8a by dropping a hint about a recently removed feature that's making a comeback with it.

The confirmation was made after a Google software engineer responded to a user bug report. In a thread about battery stats, the software engineer let it slip that the feature is making a comeback for the Pixel 8a, signaling that the Google Pixel 7a's successor is in the pipeline (via 9to5Google).

The software engineer also mentioned that this feature is exclusively for the Pixel 8a and the models that will come after it.

The Android bug tracker chat was initiated after Google slipped in some new battery stats information with the Android 14's QPR1 update, located in the About phone section within the Settings menu. It allowed users to check out the charging cycle counts and when their battery was manufactured.

Fast forward to the March 2024 update for Pixel phones, and the feature vanished into thin air. Naturally, people got curious about why it disappeared. The bigger question was why Google introduced a feature and then went silent when it suddenly vanished. Google avoided providing an explanation for that.

On the bug tracker page, the software engineer stated that the disappearance was intentional because this page wasn't supposed to pop up on current devices in the first place.

According to the thread, the feature is set to return with the Pixel 8a. And just maybe, these battery stats might go live for all Android phones when Android 15 launches later this year.

Anyway, this marks the first time that Google has openly confirmed the upcoming midrange model's existence. That said, it's not a huge surprise, given the release patterns of the company's recent Pixel A-series phones.

Rumor has it that the Pixel 8a might make its debut in the next few months, possibly seeing the light of day around the time of Google I/O in May.

When it comes to price tags, previous rumors suggest the phone's cost might take a little leap again (just like how the Pixel 7a outpriced the Pixel 6a).

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.