Pixel 7a prototype leak reveals key upgrades — finally a 90Hz display!

Photo of alleged Google Pixel 7a prototype in hand with a blurry background of trees
(Image credit: Zing News)

Google has staked out a couple of top rankings for itself in the phone world. It has, without question, the best budget phone on the market — and the worst security for its unreleased phones. Today's leak celebrates both of those achievements.

Behold the Pixel 7a! A phone that we expect Google to release sometime in May or June this year. The image above is from Zing News, a Vietnamese site that claims the photos and details regarding phone came to it from an anonymous source who purchased the phone from a programmer using it as a test device (via Engadget).

What's new in the Pixel 7a?

According to Zing News, the prototype was remotely locked down by Google shortly after the first images of it leaked online, but the owner was able to extract a few juicy details before the lights went out.

The biggest upgrade is the move to a 90Hz refresh rate for its display. This may also mean that the Pixel 8 will be getting a 120Hz refresh rate in 2023 as it seems unlikely that it will match its cheaper sibling.

Other hardware upgrades include a move to 8GB of RAM, up from 6GB on the Pixel 6a. This is the sweet spot for any non-flagship Android phone and should help ensure that the Pixel 7a is a solid performer for many years. Finally, the visor-like camera array now features a matte finish that, at first glance, I prefer over the Pixel 6a's glass — and possibly even the polished aluminum of the Pixel 7.

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The phone doesn't seem to otherwise stray too far from the Pixel 6a. It still features two 12MP cameras (wide and ultra-wide) on the back, a hole-punch front-facing camera, and larger bezels than the Pixel 7 series. 

This still leaves plenty of questions unanswered about the Pixel 7a. Given these upgrades will Google hold onto that $449 price point? What enticing new software features does Google have in store for the Pixel 7a? Will the pixel 7a feature eSIM support?

While Google may not release the Pixel 7a until mid-summer, it could be revealed as early as May 10 when the company takes the stage for its annual Google I/O conference. Until then, we'll keep you up-to-date with the latest leaks and rumors regarding the Pixel 7a. Considering Google's track record, we'll likely have more for you tomorrow.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.