Andro News apparently got hold of a pre-production unit of the upcoming mid-range phone, which is dubbed Pixel 3 "Lite". The device closely resembles Google's high-end Android phone from the front, but the big difference is its plastic rear, which is likely more durable than the metal and glass chassis on the Pixel 3.
The upcoming phone is said to use a 5.56-inch 2,220 x 1,080 LCD display instead of an OLED panel, along with a Snapdragon 670 processor, 32GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, and a long-life 2,915 mAh battery. Notably, the device also includes a headphone jack, something that was removed for the Pixel 3.
Perhaps the bigger news though is that the "Lite" model uses the same 12-megapixel camera and optically-stabilized lens as the Pixel 3, which has received high praise across the board for its photographic capabilities. (Regular MacRumors readers may recall our Google Pixel 3 XL vs. iPhone XS Max comparison found that the devices offer comparable camera quality overall, with only a few differences between shooting modes.)
Andro News claims the new phone takes "the same quality photos as the Pixel 3," although given that much of Google's image-processing is software based, it's impossible to say how the cheaper model's mid-range Snapdragon SoC will affect real-world camera performance.
Pixel 3 Lite leaked. Same exact camera results as the Pixel 3 proper https://t.co/bGD39kLCCR— Alex B 📉 (@somospostpc) January 17, 2019
With the right price and approach this could be a bit of a hit. But I doubt Google will try to manufacture enough units
There's been no word on the exact pricing for Google's upcoming Pixel phone, which is expected to come in two sizes, but considering the Pixel 3 starts at $799, there's a good chance the smaller model will undercut Apple's iPhone XR, which starts from $749.
In other differences described in the video leak, the "Lite" model has only one front-facing camera whereas the Pixel 3 has two, the additional autofocus sensor on the back is missing, and there's no additional front-facing speaker on the "Lite".
Google usually makes its big hardware announcements during Google I/O which is held in the spring, so we'll probably have to wait until then for more information unless the leaks keep coming.