- Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
- This week, Google announced a new and less-expensive member of the Pixel 3 family, the $400 Pixel 3a.
- The announcement comes just a few months before we’re expecting Google to formally announce the new generation of flagship Pixel phones.
- The awkward timing has been a lingering concern of mine ever since I picked up the Pixel 3a for the first time.
- But I’ve come to realize that it’s not such a big deal: Google brings some of its best new features to older models of its Pixel phones.
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I was a fan of Google’s Pixel 3a the moment I picked it up, but a nagging question lingered in the back of my mind.
Aren’t we expecting a new flagship phone announcement from Google in just a few months?
Google launched the Pixel 3a eight months after it released its flagship Pixel 3, which is dangerously close to the expected launch of the company’s next flagship phone, which will likely be called the Pixel 4.
Google’s phone launches have all taken place in October, and there’s nothing to suggest that this year will be any exception.
It means that the Pixel 3 family – which now included the Pixel 3a – will suddenly become the “previous generation” when Google announces the Pixel 4. However, it also means that we’ll start to get an idea of what a hypothetical Pixel 4a might look like, if Google chooses to go down this route once again.
Indeed, you could argue that the flagship Pixel 3 offered a sneak peak at the Pixel 3a, given that it’s basically a slightly-pared-down version of its more expensive sibling. Indeed, there’s a chance that your sparkly new Pixel 3a will already look outdated when you have an idea of what to expect in the future.
- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
With Google’s phones, however, feeling like you’re missing out shouldn’t be much of a problem, even if you buy a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a after the Pixel 4 announcement is expected in just a few months.
Sure, you might miss out on a new design and some updated specs. But Google so far has been generous about giving older models some – many, even – of the new features that come with newer models. Some of the best and most exciting features, like the low-light Night Sight camera, have found their way to the very first Pixel phone that was released back in 2016, for example.
In fact, Google used the Pixel 3a’s launch to announce new Pixel features that will be available at to devices as old as the Pixel 2 from 2017. It’s not often that a “cheaper” model brings with it new features that will be included in premium flagship devices down the line.
If future Google phone launches are anything like they have been in the last three years, you’ll get some of the new exciting stuff Google has in store for its upcoming Pixel 4 in your current Pixel, including the Pixel 3a.
Let’s just hope I’m right. If I’m not, you’ll have every right to feel like the Pixel 3a was launched too close to a new Pixel generation.