Google I/O 2019: Pixel 3a Rumors, Keynote Info, Other Hardware Drops

This year's I/O might be unlike any other.

Google I/O 2019, Google’s upcoming developers conference, might be strikingly different from the events held in years past. As with Apple’s WWDC, Google has traditionally devoted the event to showcasing software improvements and features, like the restaurant reservation-making A.I. Google Duplex on display last year. But this year the usual Android and Chrome OS announcements could be accompanied by a roster of new hardware.

Google has made it increasingly clear that it wants to go toe-to-toe with Apple and Amazon in the hardware department, launching two smartphones, a laptop, a tablet, and a smart display all last October. Now, Google is also expected to use the May 7 conference as a mid-year release for the heavily-leaked Pixel 3a and 3a XL and new Google Home speakers.

Google I/O: Pixel 3a and 3 XL

A lot of these rumors come straight from the horse’s mouth. On Monday, the company updated its online shop to include an Avengers: Endgame-themed teaser video saying that “something big is coming to the Pixel universe.” Google previously partnered with Marvel to bring Hulk and Iron Man augmented reality stickers to the Pixel devices. This led many to believe that a new smartphone launch is just around the corner.

google pixel teaser

“Confidence score of ~7/10 on this but I’ve seen evidence Pixel 3a will hit Google Store in May 7th,” tweeted Stephen Hall the managing editor of 9to5Google.

Hall published the phone’s leaked specs, citing anonymous sources, on March 18. These leaked specs align with what we’d expect from mid-range alternatives to its more expensive phones. These leaks also appeared to be confirmed again tacitly by Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer even remarked on Twitter that he has been using an “unreleased phone.” Lockheimer’s tweet, dated March 30, strongly suggests Google is in the final stages of refining the device, enough so that the key figures in its development are comfortable talking about it publicly.

Here are the leaked specs:

  • Display: 5.6-inch OLED with 2220×1080 at 440dpi
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 670 (10-nanometer)
  • Memory: 64GB of internal storage with 4GB of RAM
  • Battery: 3,000mAh that supports 18-watt fast charging via USB-C
  • Single-Rear Camera: 12 megapixels
  • Single-Front Camera: 8 MP
google pixel 3 lite leak
Alleged leaked images of the Pixel 3a show that it comes with a headphone jack.

Google I/O: Upgraded Google Home Speaker

I/O could also see the introduction of an upgraded Google Home speaker. Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Markit previously told Inverse that the $129 Google Home would be getting some upgrades to help it compete against the new batch of speakers that Amazon dropped in September.

“With I/O approaching, and Google Home now at a year and a half old, I would be surprised if Google does not introduce a replacement, successor, or at least an addition to the current lineup,” he said. “Or, there may be a price/positioning realignment of Google Home to more of a competitive parity at $79-$99 versus Amazon Echo.”

google home speaker
A new Google Home speaker could also make a debut at I/O.

Google recently rolled out Duplex to iOS and Android 5.0+ devices. It could use this software release to push a superior line of speakers with baked-in Duplex features to differentiate itself from the rest of the market.

This will likely be the year when Google leverages I/O’s limelight to push its budding line of gadgets instead of merely focusing on software. We’ll know a lot more when Google execs take the stage on May 7.

Additional reporting by Mike Brown.