Google I/O 2019 Preview: Pixel 3a, Android Q And Everything In Between

Google I/O
The annual Google I/O event is right around the corner, as in tomorrow, and Google is expected to announce a bunch of new stuff. One of those will be a beta of a new major build of Android, as is now customary at these events. But Google also has some new hardware on the horizon that we expect will be unveiled tomorrow. Here's what to expect.

Android Q

To start with, Android Q Beta 3 is bound for a launch at Google I/O 2019. Google rolled out the first beta for its Pixel phones in March, followed by a second beta in April. Those introduced things like better privacy controls, pop-up setting menus (similar to 3D Touch on iOS), and so forth.

It's not clear what exactly the third beta of Android Q will bring to the table, though Android Q as a whole has some neat things up its sleeve, including a native screen recorder, improvements to Wi-Fi, new themes specific to Pixel phones, better support for foldable smartphones like the Galaxy Fold, and maybe even a system wide dark mode, among other things.

As for what Android Q will be called, that may or may not be revealed tomorrow. Unless Google breaks form, it will be named after some kind of dessert beginning with the letter "Q"—perhaps Quejadinha, Qurabiya, or Queen of Puddings.

Pixel 3a And Pixel 3a XL

Beyond Android Q, Google will also introduce its Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones. These are mid-range devices that are rumored to start at $399 for the Pixel 3a and $479 for the Pixel 3a XL.

What about specs? We only have leaks and rumors to go on, but if they are accurate, the Pixel 3a will wield a 5.6-inch display with a 2220x1080 resolution, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 SoC and 4GB of RAM. It is also expected to have 64GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies, a 12-megapixel rear camera, and a 3,000 mAh battery.

The Pixel 3a XL will be physically bigger and perhaps slightly faster, as it is rumored to pack a 6-inch OLED display with a 2160x1080 resolution, powered by either the same processor, or a Snapdragon 710. RAM and storage will likely be the same, though it could end up with a more capacious battery pack.

According to leaked renders that we have seen, both phones will trade a full front display for traditional bezels at the top and bottom of the screen. That means no notch or punch-hole design, and no motorized pop-up camera.

Stadia And Other Hardware

What else might be on tap? Google could tap into its smart product lineup and launch a new Hub Max speaker, and/or refresh its other related devices.

One thing we hope Google will discuss at the event is Stadia, its upcoming cloud gaming platform. Google has big ambitions for Stadia—we know the hardware will consist of a custom x86 processor a GPU capable of 10.7 teraflops of power, and Google is promising 4K gaming at 60 frames per second in HDR. But we'd like to know the specifics, along with more details about latency.


Stadia could emerge as Google's biggest play since search, if it executes. According to Google, Stadia has the capability of scaling to 8K. Gaming is a big business, obviously. It's the reason why Sony is already talking about its upcoming PlayStation 5, and Microsoft will likely counter with details about its upcoming Xbox refresh at E3.

When And Where

Google I/O 2019 runs from Tuesday, May 7 to Thursday, May 9 at the Shoreline Amphiteatre in Mountain View, California. There will be a livestream of the event, which you can catch on the Google I/O website.

We will also be covering the news that comes out of Google I/O 2019, so be sure to bookmark HotHardware and check back often throughout the week!

Top Image Source: Flickr via Andrew Mager