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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pixel 4A, 4A 5G and Pixel 5: Google just announced 3 new phones starting at $349

Google’s Pixel 4A, seen above, is just one of three new Pixel phones coming in 2020. 

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Juan Garzon / CNET

Google’s Pixel 4A may have taken a while to arrive, but it’s just one of three new Pixels coming this year. In addition to the 4A, Google on Monday announced its next two phones: what the search giant is calling the Pixel 4A (5G) and the Pixel 5. While not much is known on either the Pixel 4A 5G or the Pixel 5, CNET’s Lynn La got her hands on a Pixel 4A and reviewed the device, calling it “the phone with the best camera you can get for $350.” (And yes, the Pixel 4A even has a headphone jack.) See how the new Pixel 4A compares to the Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 3A. And here’s how its specs stack up to affordable rivals like the iPhone SE and Galaxy A51.

Google confirms that both the Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5 will have support for 5G and will be available “this fall” in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. Among the 5G experiences the company teases are streaming videos and downloading content, but also playing games over its Stadia streaming service, suggesting gaming will be a big part of its 5G ambitions (the company also mentions playing games on “other platforms” potentially a reference to Microsoft’s rival xCloud Xbox streaming offering that is due to expand more broadly in September). 

Google says that doing any of these tasks with 5G will be “faster and smoother than ever.”

Google Pixel 4A 5G 5 5G tease

Google is teasing 5G for its Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G.


Google

The company says that pricing for the 4A 5G will start at $499, potentially making it one of the more affordable 5G devices available. Rivals such as the LG Velvet 5G and Samsung Galaxy A71 5G each start at $600. The Pixel 4A without 5G will start at $349.

It is unclear which carriers will offer either device in the US, though Verizon has confirmed to CNET that it will be offering all three of Google’s devices including the Pixel 4A 5G and the Pixel 5. 

While it is unknown if all versions of the Pixel 4A 5G will support both low-band and midband 5G networks as well as the faster millimeter-wave flavor, Verizon’s model will. 

Verizon will call its version the Pixel 4A 5G UW, with the carrier applying the “UW” suffix to variants of 5G phones that are optimized for its 5G networks. Verizon’s 5G footprint currently relies solely on millimeter-wave in parts of 35 cities (the carrier has previously announced plans to follow T-Mobile and AT&T and launch its own nationwide low-band 5G network this year as well as expand millimeter-wave to 60 cities).  

Other examples of Verizon’s UW phones include the OnePlus 8 5G UW, Samsung Galaxy S20 5G UW and LG V60 ThinQ 5G UW. The Verizon versions support millimeter-wave while AT&T, T-Mobile or international versions of those phones only support low-band and midband 5G. 

That the Pixel 5 does not currently have the UW branding suggests that it may support low-band, midband and millimeter-wave 5G on all three major US carriers. 

It is similarly unknown why Google is using parentheses to describe the 4A (5G) version, suggesting it will be different specs-wise from the potentially more flagship Pixel 5 and the 4G-only Pixel 4A. 

Given that it will heavily feature 5G, it makes sense to assume that the Pixel 4A 5G will at least run on a newer processor like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G chipset that is found in the LG Velvet. If it does, this would be at least a modest bump from the Snapdragon 730G platform that is in the regular, 4G-only Pixel 4A. The 730G found in the regular 4A isn’t capable of supporting 5G.

It is unclear when exactly the other two new Pixels will arrive, but Google has traditionally released its major upgrades in October. 

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