Mar 5th, 2021

It’s just about the time of the year where the rumor mill begins swirling around for new and upcoming phones that will be launched soon. We’ve already been seeing rumors around a potential Pixel 5a, but there haven’t been as many leaks surrounding an updated set of Pixel Buds. That’s all about to change thanks to Jon Prosser, who claims that new Pixel Buds will be launched in “mid-April”, followed by an unknown Google Phone coming on June 11th.

 

New Pixel Buds

The first iteration of the Pixel Buds showed a lot of promise when they were released in 2017, however the decision to keep a wire around the back never really helped their cause. This was shortly after the release of the Apple AirPods, which helped usher in a wave of truly wireless earbuds, allowing users to finally cut the cord.

Fast forward to last year, and we finally saw the release of the Pixel Buds that should’ve been with the 2nd-generation. These truly-wireless earbuds feature a built-in wing tip to help keep the earbuds secure, along with all of the Google Assistant smarts one could want. Google even introduced several different color options, ranging from the standard white colorway, all the way to the Oh So Orange that matched the Pixel 4 and the Quite Mint which still looks pretty snazzy.

For all of the advancements that Google made between the first and second generation Buds, there are still a few features that were missing. The biggest of which is Active Noise Cancellation, something that is found in truly wireless earbuds across all budget ranges, and considering that the Pixel Buds are $179, this is a steep price to pay just for some Google headphones with Assistant smarts.

Even before the new Pixel Buds were launched, it seems that Google was already filing patents and working on another new set of truly wireless earbuds. The design seemed to keep in line with the original offering, while getting rid of the wire. In fact, these headphones ended looking more like the Microsoft Surface Buds, which are a mixed bag in their own right.

So what can we expect to see from a third-generation of the Pixel Buds? We would like to see the design largely remained unchanged. However, adding in some Active Noise Cancellation would be the highlight, along with the touch gesture controls on the outside, and plenty of microphones so Assistant is always at the ready.

Is the Pixel 5a coming?

Although the Pixel 5 may be the flagship device for Google’s 2020 smartphone lineup, the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 4a have been the more popular models. These are the budget Pixel devices that folks have been wanting for years, especially after seeing how disastrous the life of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL was. Google returned to form, so to speak, bringing tremendous battery life, some fun colors, but more importantly, 5G connectivity and the Pixel experience for less than $500.

Unlike the Pixel Buds, the rumor mill has been swirling around the potential release of the Pixel 5a, which could help bridge the gap until a Pixel 6 is released this Fall. Google likes to release new phones around the same time that a new version of Android has hit, but the Pixel 3a release back in May of 2019 was an almost instant hit.

Even though Prosser states that he isn’t sure of what phone will actually be launched in June, just looking at Google’s recent release history would suggest that this is the Pixel 5a. Then, the Pixel 6 would come in September or October, after the final version of Android 12 is made available for existing Pixel owners.

As for what the Pixel 5a brings to the table, we’re expecting to see the same design as the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5, with a matte finish around the back and edges, along with a colorful power button. There will be a 6.2-inch display with the standard hole-punch selfie camera in the top left corner. We won’t be surprised if the same camera hardware from the last few Pixel devices is used, as Google is likely saving the major camera upgrades for the Pixel 6. Other potential specs include 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (at least), along with the latest Snapdragon 700-series processor, which not only would provide an improvement over the current Snapdragon 730G, but also would bring 5G support to the base “Pixel a” model.

We’re even more clueless as to what the Pixel 5a could be priced at, as it would depend on where Google goes in the specs category. However, considering that the Pixel 4a starts at $349, it’s entirely possible that this is where Google starts. Take into consideration the hardware being used, and we wouldn’t even be surprised if a base-model Pixel 5a was released and priced at just $299. Getting a stock Android experience with all of Google’s software prowess and still solid camera hardware for less than $300 would be absolutely incredible. This would also give Google the leeway to try and get back into the flagship game with the Pixel 6 and whatever Qualcomm’s next Snapdragon chip is, although it’s more likely that the SD888 would be at the helm.

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