For I/O, Google has a long track record of giveaways that help the developers in attendance take advantage of all the announcements. For the past two years, the Assistant focus was accompanied by Home devices. For I/O 2019, the Pixel 3a is likely the giveaway.
Update: In a departure from the past two years, there was no public giveaway at I/O 2019.
The Google Fi site this morning was updated with a new “Redeeming your Free Month of Fi” section that referenced a “provided Pixel 3a,” along with I/O-specific support email. Providing the 7,000 I/O attendees with a Pixel 3a would help distribute the latest Made by Google phone around the world.
Meanwhile, the Google Fi deal was alluded to by the Twitter account yesterday, and might help the Google MVNO reach more subscribers after its expansion to all Android phones and iPhones.
Heavily leaked, the Pixel 3a features a 5.6-inch display, while the Pixel 3a XL rocks a larger 6-inch display. Shared specs include the Snapdragon 670, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.
Of course, the selling point of this mid-ranger is a camera that’s equivalent with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. This includes the same 12.2 megapixel rear camera, but only one 8MP front-facer. The Pixel 3a is expected to start at $399 and go up to $479 for the larger 3a XL.
When I/O moved to Shoreline Amphitheatre in 2016, there were no giveaways. The year after saw a Google Home and $700 of Google Cloud Platform credits, while 2018 was a Google Home Mini and Android Things developer kit.