New Pixel 8a leak reveals Google's most dramatic (and inconsistent) design change yet

The upcoming Pixel is expected to come in four colors, and if you think 'Bay' looks different than usual, wait until you see 'Mint.'
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
A close-up shot of the Google Pixel 7a's camera module.
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

While there's been no shortage of Pixel 8a leaks over the past months, the latest finding gives us the clearest picture of the upcoming Google phone, which is expected to launch at Google I/O next month.

Also: Google Pixel 9 leak reveals three flagship phones, including a smaller model

Courtesy of Android Headlines, the Pixel 8a is expected to come in four colors: Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay, and Mint. Those naming schemes are standard for Google -- the company similarly named previous models, including the Pixel 8 series, Pixel Fold, and Pixel 7 series.

There is, however, one big, eye-catching problem: The new colors don't look like previous iterations -- specifically, Bay and Mint appear more saturated than ever. If you were never a fan of Google's pastel-heavy design choices, that's great news. For everyone else, not so much.

The Pixel 8a in Mint stands out to me the most, with a neon finish that screams mint ice cream. Market trends have suggested that consumers are more drawn to black or white-colored phones as they're considered "safe picks" that are less divisive and easier to style around. It's thus bold of Google to offer a more polarizing color option for the upcoming Pixel.

PIxel 8a Colors
Android Headlines

The leak comes just months after Google released a special edition "Mint" Pixel 8 that ZDNET evaluated. That interpretation of Mint was not as eccentric. While product design decisions often take years to finalize, I'm sure its reception played some role in Google's shift to something more green and bold this time around.

Besides the new colors, previous leaks have suggested that the Pixel 8a will have a 6.1-inch, 120Hz display with 1,400 nits of brightness, an updated Tensor G3 chip (which hints at AI features similar to the Pixel 8 series), and possibly a desktop mode thanks to Android 15. We'll have all the official details from Google I/O, taking place on May 14 and May 15, so stay tuned.

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