Newly unveiled at Google I/O, the Pixel 6a has seen a significant upgrade over its predecessor. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s cheaper sibling, the Pixel 5a, debuted last year and shares many of the same features as the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but with a lower-end display and primary camera.
Google’s new Nexus 6P will face stiff competition from smartphones like the iPhone SE (2022), Samsung Galaxy A53, and OnePlus Nord 2 when it comes. A Google Tensor chip, Google’s great photography software, and a fair price all combine to make this one of our favourite inexpensive phones.
GOOGLE PIXEL 6A SPECS
- Price: $449
- OS: Android 12
- Display: 6.1-inch OLED
- Refresh rate: 60Hz
- CPU: Google Tensor
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage / Expandable: 128GB / No
- Rear cameras: 12.2MP main, 12MP ultrawide
- Front camera: 8MP
- Battery: 4,410mAh
- Charging: 18W wired
- Size: 6.0 x 2.8 x 0.35 depth inches/152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm
- Weight: 6.3 oz/178 g
- Colors: Sage, Chalk, Charcoal
Here’s a rundown of what we know so far about the Pixel 6a and how it stacks up against the competition.
Features and specifications of the Google Pixel 6a
- Pre-orders for the Pixel 6a begin on July 21st at $449.
- The Google Pixel 6a sports a 6.1-inch display, compared to the Pixel 5’s 6.34-inch display. The 60 Hz refresh rate is retained (bummer).
- Powered by Google’s own hardware, the Pixel 6a features the Tensor chip. This has a total of 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space.
- A 12.2 MP wide camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera are included, giving you a total of two cameras. Among other things, you can use the Magic Eraser, Real Tone and Face Unblur to enhance your photos.
- A minimum of five years’ worth of updates is a major deal.
- As a result, you don’t need to employ a back-mounted fingerprint sensor. And it won’t be the same sensor as the Pixel 6’s, which has a slower frame rate.
- Compared to the 5a’s 4,680 mAh battery, the 4410 mAh battery is noticeably more compact. However, with a smaller screen, you may not notice a decrease in battery life.
Google Pixel 6a release date and price
The Pixel 6a will be available for pre-order on July 21 and will go on sale to the general public on July 28 for a suggested retail price of $449 (about £399). Google Pixel 5a and Samsung Galaxy A53 are also available for this price. The iPhone SE 2022 costs $429 in the U.S., but it costs £419 in the UK, making it cheaper than the iPhone SE 2022 in both countries.
The increased accessibility is much more welcome than the lower price. Only the United States and Japan were able to purchase the Pixel 5a. For the first time, the Pixel 6a is available in more countries than ever before, including the United Kingdom.
Google Pixel 6a, on the other hand, may have a serious issue. The difference in price between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a is only $150/£200, which makes the latter a fantastic offer when compared to the incoming low-cost Pixel phone.
Take a look at our Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 5a comparisons for additional in-depth comparisons of Google’s latest mid-price phone and its relatives.
Google Pixel 6a design and display
On the back of the Pixel 6a, Google has used a camera bar design, a central punch-hole front-facing camera, and an under-display fingerprint sensor beneath the display (but using a different sensor to the annoyingly slow one on the Pixel 6 series). The lenses are now more prominently shown due to the cameras being combined behind a single rectangular glass cover.
The Pixel 5a had a headphone jack, but this time around there is none. Google Pixel Buds Pro may be a good alternative for those who don’t want to shell out for the more expensive Google Pixel Buds.
Google’s colour selections are Charcoal black, Chalk white, and Sage green. Not the most vibrant palette, but it should be sufficient for the vast majority of people.
With that in mind, the Pixel 6a’s IP67 water/dust protection should put your mind at ease.
Google Pixel 6a: display
An AMOLED display with FHD resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 protects the 6.1-inch screen on the Pixel 6a, which was released by Google in September. The Pixel 5a’s 6.34-inch screen is slightly smaller, but not by enough to make you reconsider upgrading.
The Pixel 6a has a 60Hz refresh rate, which is unfortunate for the device. A 90Hz or 120Hz pace would be more in line with most contemporary Android phones. If nothing else, at least the iPhone SE 2022 has company.
Google appears to be utilising a different fingerprint sensor under the display, and based on a leaked video, it appears to operate considerably better than the Pixel 6’s often annoying reader.
That said, it appears to be significantly faster than the flagship edition of this app, which is always a good thing.
Google Pixel 6a cameras
This time around, the Pixel 6a has a lower-quality camera than the flagship cameras on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. For the 6a, Google appears to be focusing on the Tensor chip.
In terms of camera quality, though, the Pixel 6a offers a 12.2MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultrawide sensor, and an 8MP front-facing selfie camera.
There is less resolution in this camera than the Pixel 5a’s 16MP ultrawide. A larger sensor, meanwhile, might make up for the lack of brightness.
If you’re looking for more than just the Pixel 6’s camera hardware, Google has promised low-light photography mode, Magic Eraser (now with an extra object recoloring capabilities), and Face Unblur for the Pixel 6a, some of our favourite features from the previous generation. 4K footage at 60 frames per second and 240 frames per second, as well as timelapse recordings in 4K, are available for videographers.
Google Pixel 6a performance
The former Pixel a-series phones’ Snapdragon sensors have been replaced with a Google Tensor chipset in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Compared to most of its competitors, this should offer it a lot more power, but it may not be able to compete with the Pixels because it only has 6GB of RAM instead of 8GB or 12GB of RAM.
A 128GB model is the only option for storage space. Since that’s the average requirement for a modern smartphone, you shouldn’t have any problems with storage capacity unless you’re an app hoarder or an avid photographer.
Pixel 6a will have both the usual sub-6GHz and mmWave varieties of 5G connectivity on board, according to Google’s official statement. Good news if you want to jump to the Pixel 6a while keeping your present carrier, or if you want a new phone capable of utilising mmWave’s increased speeds.
Google Pixel 6a battery and charging
The Pixel 6a is powered by a 4,410 mAh battery, which is slightly smaller than the 4,680 mAh battery in the Pixel 5a. For some reason, Google’s 5a didn’t fare well on the TG custom battery test when compared to its predecessor.
Google, on the other hand, doesn’t believe you need be concerned. Over 24 hours of normal use is expected from the 6a, and up to 72 hours with the Extreme Battery Saver mode set.
The charging pace hasn’t altered much since last year. You can only use the Pixel 6a’s 18W fast charger on the Pixel 6a, despite the fact that the Pixel 6 series has a 30W fast charger. If you’re rushed for time, you could be disappointed with the 6a’s rechargeability.
Google Pixel 6a: software
In addition to the typical Google-exclusive features, the PIxel 6a will be preloaded with Android 12 at launch. Other goodies include Live Translate and the Magic Eraser.
We were hopeful that the five years of updates Google promised for the mainline Pixel 6 would extend to the Pixel 6a, giving it incredible long-term value. However, Google is only providing five years of security updates for the Pixel 6a, which could mean that you lose out on a couple of years of full Android upgrades. Still a great price, given some Android phones don’t get more than a year or two of complete software updates.
Google Pixel 6a outlook
Even though the Pixel 6a has only just made its debut, we already have high hopes for it. As expected, Google’s flagship phone this year is considerably more lively than the disappointing Pixel 5a, which was a capable but underwhelming device.
Even though we won’t be able to test the phone for a few more weeks, we’re confident that it will be a strong competition for the iPhone SE and Samsung Galaxy A53, providing budget-conscious smartphone buyers plenty of options.