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The Google Pixel 8a’s release just got a lot closer

Possible renders showing the Google Pixel 8a.
Smart Prix

Google Pixel fans, it’s almost time to open up your wallets. Rumors and leaks regarding the Google Pixel 8a have been floating around online for months, and now the phone has taken a big step closer to its official release.

On March 18, Google submitted four new smartphone models to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Getting FCC approval is required of smartphone companies before they can sell a smartphone in the U.S., and it’s usually one of the last big leaks we see for a phone before its official unveiling. In this case, the four model numbers submitted by Google include G8HHN, G6GPR, G576D, and GKV4X.

Although the Google Pixel 8a isn’t specifically mentioned in these FCC listings, their timing all but guarantees that we’re looking at the Pixel 8a. For context, the Google Pixel 7a went through the FCC in late February last year before being released in early May. Furthermore, a leaked Pixel 8a retail box from January showed the same G6GPR model number, all but confirming that this is the Pixel 8a we’re dealing with.
Vietnamese folks leaked the Pixel, again.

— Chun Bhai (@chunvn8888) January 24, 2024

Don’t read too much into the four separate model numbers. This doesn’t mean Google is planning to release four distinct variants of the Pixel 8a. Instead, these are likely just ever-so-slightly tweaked versions of the phone to account for the different markets in which it’ll be sold. For example, one of the model numbers has mmWave 5G while another one does not. Tthe FCC documents state that all four model numbers are “variants” of each other, and they’re all listed as a “phone.”

So, what does this all mean for the Pixel 8a’s release date? An FCC passthrough like this is always a strong indicator that we aren’t far off. It’s widely believed that Google will announce and release the Pixel 8a during Google I/O, which is taking place on May 14. It’s possible we could see an announcement sooner than that, but I/O seems like the safest bet.

In other words, your wait is almost over!

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Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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