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Google may axe some helpful features from its cheap Pixel Buds

By Brandon Russell April 16, 2021, 5:28 pm

Google’s rumored Pixel Buds A will reportedly lack important features when they become available. The earbuds are expected to launch at a more affordable price point — but apparently not without first making a few sacrifices.

According to 9to5Google, a recent teardown of the latest Pixel Buds app (1.0.367372739) suggests the Pixel Buds A won’t feature swipe gesture support for adjusting volume. Swiping to increase or decrease the volume has been one of the Pixel Buds’ signature features since the original model launched in 2017; its removal will likely have an impact on how users interact with the earbuds.

9to5Google speculates that the feature’s removal could be a cost saving measure. The Pixel Buds A are expected to be an affordable alternative to the existing Pixel Buds, and removing the swipe gesture could affect the final retail price. Leaving the feature out may also be Google’s attempt to make the earbuds more accessible and attractive to a wider range of buyers. The fewer extra features there are, the more straightforward — and therefore easier — the experience may be.

pixel buds a
Image: 9to5Google

The teardown also suggests the Pixel Buds A won’t feature a charging indicator inside the case. A recent image accidentally shared by Google (above) seemingly confirms this.

Information about the Pixel Buds A first hit the internet around the end of last month, when reports suggested Google was working on new earbuds to broaden the company’s Pixel Buds lineup. Incidentally, the earbuds are expected to arrive alongside the Pixel 5a, which Google confirmed exists after a report claimed the handset was being cancelled.

Google has scheduled it annual I/O conference for May, where the search giant may debut new hardware, including the Pixel Buds A. The event will be virtual, so anyone can watch it unfold from the comfort of their own home. Lacking swipe gestures or not, we’re intrigued to hear more about what the rumored earbuds will have to offer.


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