Despite being marketed as Google’s best Pixel ever, the Pixel 4 has its fair share of disappointed critics that perhaps all boil down to one thing. There are those that feel that Google has not done enough for the price it was asking for and the things it did work on, like Motion Gestures, isn’t something fans are really falling in love with. That might be part of the interest that the Pixel 4a is generating, seemingly offering a more affordable Pixel experience without the cruft. And based on one leak, it will definitely be an upgrade to the Pixel 3a in more ways than one.
The Pixel 4a is already a huge step over the Pixel 3a from last year. The processor is now a Snapdragon 735 and the RAM finally crosses over to the 6GB threshold. It could have a classic look, with only one camera on its back, and it may even still have only 64 GB of storage for starters.
That’s not the storage upgrade that the phone will bring though. According to XDA’s source, the Pixel 4a will use a 64 GB UFS 2.1 NAND flash storage, which is a considerable step up from the 64 GB eMMC of the Pixel 3a. On paper, this means that the Pixel 4a will not only be able to transfer files faster, it will also be able to install and load apps faster as well.
In practice, this still depends a lot on optimizations Google will do to the phone as well as to the F2FS file system it will use for it. XDA notes how even the Pixel 3a’s eMMC was able to match a UFS 2.1 storage in at least one aspect due to such work. Best case scenario, the Pixel 4a will outclass other UFS 2.1 phones, at least those running on the same chipset.
Just like the Pixel 3a, the Pixel 4a is expected to have the once basic staples of smartphones, like a 3.5mm headphone jack and rear-placed fingerprint scanner. For the first time in Pixel history, it may also have a punch-hole cutout for the front camera rather than a bezel or a notch. The phone isn’t expected until the second quarter of the year but, given the global pandemic, it may even be pushed back further.