Google Pixel 8a leak reveals upgrades that make it almost as good as the Pixel 8

Pixel 8a hands-on leak
(Image credit: Abhishek Yadav/ via X)

What you need to know

  • Google's upcoming Pixel 8a is a budget smartphone based on the Pixel 8, and it could debut in a few months. 
  • The smartphone was recently spotted in FCC databases, which is a clear indicator that the Pixel 8a is on the way. 
  • Now, a major leak confirms that the Pixel 8a will feature a 120Hz display, a Tensor G3 chip, and more upgrades. 

Google's budget lineup of A-series phones has seen significant upgrades over the past few years, bringing the Pixel devices in line with Pixel flagships. The Pixel 7a, for example, was so similar to the Pixel 7 that some wondered whether Google would even release a Pixel 8a this year. Nevertheless, a Pixel 8a is all but confirmed, and a major leak just gave us a bunch of details about the upcoming smartphone. 

The leak comes from Android Authority, which confirms a few things we already knew about the Pixel 8a and adds some fresh detail as well. For starters, the display is going to reach flagship quality thanks to the boost to 120Hz. The Pixel 6a had a 60Hz refresh rate, and the Pixel 7a got the upgrade to 90Hz. Now, with the Pixel 8a projected to get 120Hz, it's on par with many of the best Android phones available.

Namely, it's identical to the Pixel 8's display specifications. Android Authority also reports that the Pixel 8a will be brighter, supporting 1,400 nits at peak brightness. The Pixel 8a is also expected to keep the same 6.1-inch screen size as the Pixel 7a, but the corner radius is reportedly changing to match the Pixel 8 series. In all, the display is getting a big upgrade, and it's going to be even closer to flagship quality than ever. 

In a more unsurprising move, the Pixel 8a should be powered by the Tensor G3 chip. That's the same as the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. However, as we've learned with some AI features, the inclusion of the Tensor G3 chip doesn't guarantee the Pixel 8a will have the same feature set as other Pixel 8 series devices. 

(Image credit: @chunvn8888 / X)

The Pixel 8a is tabbed to get functional display output over USB-C, joining the other Pixel 8 series devices. Though Google enabled DisplayPort at the hardware level on the Pixel 8 lineup this year, it only recently activated the feature in beta software releases.

Something that isn't changing is the camera system. The Pixel 7a got an upgrade to its main camera sensor last year, and Google is using the same one in the Pixel 8a.  

The Pixel 8a is likely to launch soon, perhaps at the Google I/O event slated for early May 2024. The FCC approved multiple models of the Pixel 8a on Monday, March 18, which is a sign that new devices are close to release.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.