New Google phone appears at FCC, likely Pixel 7a or Pixel Fold

A new Google device, labeled as a “phone,” has appeared for FCC approval, likely bringing the Pixel 7a or Pixel Fold closer to release.

Before a device with wireless connectivity can be released, it must receive approval from the various government regulators around the world, such as the FCC in the United States. This evening a trio of new listings appeared at the FCC, all of which point to a single new “phone” coming soon from Google.

The new entries – G0DZQ, GHL1X and GWKK3 – all refer to each other, and one includes a mention of another model, the G82U8. To make the connection more explicit, a document that Google submitted to the FCC explains the differences between most of the new models.

FCC ID: A4RG0DZQ (parent model for NFC), FCC ID: A4RGWKK3 (parent model for BT/WLAN) and FCC ID: A4RGHL1X (variant model) use the same identical internal circuit board layouts, while the variant models depopulate mmWave-related components and fill in a different MHB ENDC module, details are available in the operating description.

Knowing that all four of these model numbers are supposed to describe the same phone, the bigger question is which device we’re actually looking at. Up until this point, there have been leaks of the upcoming Pixel 7a, which is set to significantly upgrade Google’s previous mid-range A-Series phones with things like a better camera, wireless charging and 90Hz display.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Pixel Fold has also been rumored to be on its way to release this year, marking Google’s third recent attempt at releasing a foldable phone. Last week, we exclusively reported that the Pixel Fold is set to be heavier than the Galaxy Fold 4, likely due to the larger battery size.

Unfortunately, nothing in the FCC filings seems to indicate the physical size of this new phone, which would be an immediate giveaway as to whether this is the Pixel Fold or the Pixel 7a. The availability of a mmWave model does not rule out this being the Pixel 7a, as even the Pixel 6a was available with mmWave through Verizon.

A potential clue lies in the inclusion of the serial numbers of the devices tested, each usually beginning with “28291FQHN” or “28251FQHN.” In a hands-on leak of an early model of the Pixel 7a, a serial number beginning with “2A281FQHN” that seems to be quite similar was visible.

The only thing we can know for sure is that this latest Pixel phone should be released well before the usual fall Made by Google event, as the FCC’s confidentiality (which temporarily hides device images and manuals from the public) expires in six months. That means we’re almost certainly looking at something releasing mid-year, as A-Series Pixel phones typically do.

The dates for Google I/O have yet to be announced, but it will be the next most likely opportunity for the company to show off its latest hardware. This appearance at the FCC is just one step of many on the road to release. We’ll be keeping an eye on this mystery Pixel phone and any other devices Google may have up its sleeve between now and Google I/O.

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