Google Pixel 6a: Mid-range and compact take on the Pixel 6 series launches for $449 with Google Tensor chipset
Google has revealed the Pixel 6a, a mid-range smartphone that succeeds last year's Pixel 5a. Incidentally, the arrival of the Pixel 6a means that the Pixel 5a only had a 9-month lifespan, with Google releasing it in August 2021 to Japanese and North American markets. As expected, the Pixel 6a combines a smaller display than the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, but with the same Google Tensor chipset.
Specifically, the Pixel 6a has a 6.1-inch display with a 60 Hz refresh rate, a 20:9 aspect ratio and HDR support. For some reason, Google has covered the device's display in Gorilla Glass 3, rather than the newer glass types that Corning sells. Additionally, the Pixel 6a supports Google's always-on display technology with 'At a Glance' and 'Now Playing' functionality.
Moreover, Google combines its Tensor chipset with 6 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128 GB of UFS 3.1 storage, all powered by a 4,306 mAh battery. Allegedly, the Pixel 6a will last over 24-hours between charges and up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver enabled; we would recommend waiting for independent battery life tests to confirm whether this is the case, though.
Furthermore, Google equips the Pixel 6a with a 12.2 MP primary camera, a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle camera and an 8 MP front-facing sensor. While Google is yet to confirm this, leaks suggested that the Pixel 6a would use the Sony IMX363 from older Pixel smartphones as its primary camera, along with the same IMX355 front-facing sensor found in the Pixel 5. However, the Pixel 6a's ultra-wide-angle camera may be the IMX386, which Google also uses in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Like the rest of the Pixel 6 series, Google promises to deliver at least 5 years of security updates. Presumably, the handset will only receive 3 major Android OS updates from Android 12, unlike recent Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Finally, the Pixel 6a relies on an under-display fingerprint scanner, rather than the capacitive one found in the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a.
The Pixel 6a will be available for $449 in the US from late July. The handset will come to other markets, too.