With the Google Pixel 7a moving ever closer to launch, the leak cycle for the mid-range phone has been ramping up. The latest leak seems to indicate that the Pixel 7a will be Google’s first affordable phone with Face Unlock.
Face Unlock for the Google Pixel series debuted on the Pixel 4 lineup, but the feature didn’t return the following year. And while there were quite a few signs that Google had every intention of bringing Face Unlock to the Pixel 6 series, we didn’t see the convenient feature arrive again until the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
All the while, Google’s affordable A-Series Pixel phones have thus far only featured fingerprint sensors to supplement the usual Pattern/PIN unlock options. Last year’s Pixel 6a was a step up in technology (but maybe not in quality) from the Pixel 5a before it, as Google switched to using an under-display fingerprint sensor.
By all indications, the Pixel 7a should also feature an under-display sensor, but according to the latest leaked images, it may also have another way to unlock. New (blurry) alleged images of the Pixel 7a shared by leaker SnoopyTech show some of the phone’s menus, including options for “Face & Fingerprint Unlock.”
If these images are to be believed, this will mark the most affordable Pixel phone to feature Face Unlock. That said, we’ve been down this road before with the Pixel 6 series. It’s still entirely possible for Google to remove this feature from the Pixel 7a before launch.
Presumably, the Face Unlock would work on the same principle as it does on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. On those phones, the front-facing camera’s dual-pixel nature better ensures that what the phone sees is a 3D face and not something like a 2D picture of you.
Earlier this week, 9to5Google exclusively reported that the Pixel 7a should have a starting price of $499 and should be available in stores on May 11. It’s set to use the same Tensor G2 chip as the Pixel 7 series, paired with 8GB of RAM and a suite of new camera sensors, marking a significant upgrade over the Pixel 6a.
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