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Google Pixel 4a might drop a long-standing feature of the Pixel phones

TechRadar logo TechRadar 20/05/2020 Tom Bedford
Google Pixel 4 © Reuters Google Pixel 4

One of the distinguishing features of the Google Pixel phones is 'Active Edge', which lets you squeeze the side of the phone to summon Google Assistant. However, it seems the upcoming Google Pixel 4a might be the first phone in years to miss out on this unique feature.

This leak comes from YouTube channel TechnoLike Plus which has a prototype of the Pixel 4a and has been showing off a variety of features in different videos over the last few months.

According to TechnoLike Plus, the Active Edge feature isn't present on the Google Pixel 4a so clamping your phone in your hand won't do anything more than just squeezing the sides of the device.

Farewell to the flexing facet

Active Edge has been a staple feature of Pixel phones for the last few years including last year's budget Google Pixel 3a. It's seen as one of the key ways Google's hardware allows you to tap into Android software in a novel way. 

The cheaper 'a' series of Pixel phones is seemingly based around compromise though, as other specs like the chipset and camera smarts don't match with the flagship Pixel phones. The absence of Active Edge is just another example of that.

Most users probably won't actually miss Active Edge, especially those who haven't previously used a Pixel phone, but it's one of the few ways Google phones distinguish themselves from the competition.

Saying that, this prototype leak isn't necessarily absolute evidence and it's possible that since TechnoLike Plus got its hands on a Pixel 4a unit the design has somewhat changed.

We'll find out for sure what the Google PIxel 4a is set to be like some time soon. We were expecting it to debut at Google IO 2020 in early May until that event was cancelled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, but a launch date could be any day now.

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