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Google Pixel 3a gets name-checked in apparent Google Store slipup

It's another sign that the rumored phone could be with us soon.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Google's flagship Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 3. Midrange versions are rumored to be on the way.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Editors' Note, May 7, 2019: CNET's Google Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL reviews are here. Read more about both phones and why Google decided to release these budget phones.

Phone fans experiencing high-price panic may be stoked by another hint that Google's rumored midrange Pixel 3a will arrive before long.

On Friday night, 9to5Google spotted a new navigation bar in the online Google Store that featured links referencing the gadget. A link under the Phone section was labeled "Pixel 3a -- NEW," and a link in the Accessories section mentioned a "Google Pixel 3a Case."

The new nav bar has since been removed and replaced by the old one, according to 9to5Google. The site speculated that Google rolled out an update to the Google Store ahead of schedule, accidentally name-checking the not-yet-announced handset. Google didn't respond to a request for comment about the now-you-see-'em, now-you-don't links.

CNET reviewers have deemed Google's flagship Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL two of the best phones you can buy. But starting at $799 and $899 respectively, they ain't cheap. That's why rumors about a Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL have budget-conscious gadget buyers licking their phone-loving lips. The handsets (also known as the Pixel 3 Lite and 3 XL Lite) would offer some of the same key features as the Pixel 3 at a lower price.

Recent scuttlebutt has it that the gadgets could launch in August. You can check out our rumor roundup about the phones, including info on specs, here.