The Google Pixel 6a was recently unveiled at Google I/O, and it’s a significant upgrade over its predecessor. It’s the less expensive sibling to last year’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, giving some of the same features but keeping the Pixel 5a’s price down by lowering the display and main camera specs.
With a Google Tensor chip and Google’s great photography software, it has a strong chance of sticking out among our top economical phones. Google will have stiff competition whenever it releases, with phones like the iPhone SE (2022), Samsung Galaxy A53, and OnePlus Nord 2.
Continue reading for a summary of everything Google has said about the Pixel 6a and how it compares to its competitors.
Features and Specifications
- The Google Pixel 6a features a smaller 6.1-inch display than the Pixel 5a, which was 6.34 inches. The refresh rate is set to 60Hz (bummer).
- A 12.2 MP wide camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera are included. Magic Eraser, Real Tone, and Face Unblur are among the Pixel 6-grade photo capabilities.
- Pre-orders for the Pixel 6a begin on July 21st for $449.
- The Pixel 6a is powered by a Tensor chip, indicating that Google is employing its own technology. 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage are included.
Google Pixel 6a: Release Date and Price
The Pixel 6a will be available for $449/£399 starting July 21 with pre-orders and full retail availability on July 28. The Pixel 5a and the Samsung Galaxy A53 both cost the same amount. In the United States, it costs a little more than the iPhone SE 2022 ($429), although it costs less in the United Kingdom (£429).
Google Pixel 6a: Design
Using a camera bar design on the rear, a centered punch-hole camera on the front, and an under-display fingerprint sensor beneath, Google has made the Pixel 6a fit in with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro (but using a different sensor to the annoyingly slow one on the Pixel 6 series). One minor modification is that the cameras are now grouped together beneath a single rectangular glass cover, highlighting the lenses.
There’s no headphone jack this time, which was present on the Pixel 5a. It’s a particularly regrettable omission on inexpensive phones, which usually do, but you might be tempted to buy up a pair of Google Pixel Buds Pro.
Google is giving Charcoal Black, Chalk White, and Sage green as color choices. These aren’t the most vibrant hues, but they should suffice for most users.
If you’re concerned about the phone getting wet, the Pixel 6a has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance.
The Pixel 6a features a 6.1-inch AMOLED display with FHD resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 on the outside. That’s a little smaller than the Pixel 5a’s 6.34-inch display, but not so much that you should reconsider upgrading.
Google Pixel 6a: Display
The Pixel 6a, unfortunately, is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. Most current Android phones have transitioned to smoother 90Hz or 120Hz rates, which is slower. At the very least, the iPhone SE 2022, which also uses 60Hz, now has company.
Google Pixel 6a: Cameras
The Pixel 6a has a 12.2MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera on the back, as well as an 8MP selfie camera on the front for your photography requirements.
The ultrawide camera has a lower resolution than the 16MP ultrawide camera on the Pixel 5a. However, a larger sensor with increased brightness could compensate for this.
For the Pixel 6a, Google has promised a low-light photography option (which isn’t always present on phones at this price point), Magic Eraser (now with added object recoloring ability), and Face Unblur, which are some of our favorite features of the Pixel 6 experience. For videographers, there are options to capture 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, slo-mo at up to 240 frames per second, and timelapse recordings in 4K.
Google Pixel 6a: Performance
We now have a Google Tensor chipset, just like the mainline Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, instead of the Snapdragon sensors of previous Pixel a-series phones.
This should give it a significant boost over most of its competitors, though it may fall short of the flagship Pixels because it only has 6GB of RAM instead of 8GB or 12GB.
There is only one 128GB storage capacity option. That’s the standard for a modern smartphone, so unless you’re a photographer or have a lot of apps installed, you shouldn’t have any problems with space.
Google has announced that the Pixel 6a supports 5G, both the standard sub-6GHz variant and the less common mmWave version used by select US carriers. If you want to upgrade to the Pixel 6a while keeping your current provider, or if you want a new phone that can take advantage of mmWave’s faster speeds, this is good news.
Google Pixel 6a: Battery and Charging
A 4,410 mAh battery powers the Pixel 6a, which is slightly less than the 4,680 mAh battery found in the Pixel 5a. The 5a didn’t score well on the TG custom battery test, so perhaps Google has made some other changes to make the phone more efficient.
However, Google does not believe you need to be concerned. According to its official estimations, the 6a will last over 24 hours on typical use and up to 72 hours with the Extreme Battery Saver mode set.
The charging speed has remained the same as last year. Although the Pixel 6 series has a 30W fast charger, the Pixel 6a can only be charged at 18W like the Pixel 5a. If you’re short on time, this could mean you won’t get a very good charge from the 6a.
Google Pixel 6a: Operating System
Google will ship the Pixel 6a with Android 12 out of the box, complete with Google-only features. Live Translate is one of them.
Google promised five years of updates for the Pixel 6, which we believed would extend to the Pixel 6a and give it incredible long-term value. However, Google only promises five years of security updates for the Pixel 6a, which means you might lose out on a couple of years of complete Android updates.
It is still an excellent deal, given other Android phones only get one or two years of complete upgrades.
Below are the complete specifications that are going to be included in Pixel 6a. If you are interested and want to know the specifications of upcoming flagship phones of 2022 read this article.
|Network||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G|
|Body||DIMENSIONS – 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.7 mm (5.99 x 2.83 x 0.34 in)|
WEIGHT: 6.3 oz/178 g
|Display||DISPLAY: 6.1-inch OLED |
AMOLED – 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~424 PPI density)
|Operating System||Android 12|
|Color||Charcoal Black, Chalk White, Sage Green|
|Storage/RAM||128GB 6GB RAM|
|Chipset||Google Tensor (5 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.80 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2×2.25 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A55)|
|Rear Camera||12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm, (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS|
12 MP, f/2.2, 17mm, 114˚ (ultrawide), 1.25µm
Features: Dual-LED flash, Pixel Shift, Auto-HDR, panorama
Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; gyro-EIS, OIS
|Selfie Camera||8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm|
Features: Auto-HDR, panorama
|Battery||Li-Ion 4800 mAh, non-removable|
Thoughts on Google’s Upcoming Smartphone
We’re enthusiastic about the Pixel 6a, which has only recently been released. Following the respectable but underwhelming Pixel 5a, this year’s model appears to be a much more dynamic phone, with all the Google-exclusive delights we were hoping for.
We won’t be able to test the phone for a while, but whenever we do, we hope to find it to be a strong competitor to the iPhone SE and Galaxy A53, providing users lots of options even if they don’t want to spend flagship-level money.