Google has officially revealed the Pixel 6a phone, which houses its own Tensor chip. Here is all the information known so far.
When Google launched the Pixel 6 series (reviewed here) of smartphones late last year, there was one obvious omission: the Pixel 6a. Since its debut in 2019, the A Series has been an excellent budget alternative to the major Google companies while retaining many of its core features. The average price makes A hardware particularly attractive. The much-anticipated Pixel 6a was finally revealed at the Google I/O 2022 keynote, but you still have to wait a while for the phone to be revealed. Here’s everything you need to know.
When will the Google Pixel 6a be launched?
As expected, Google announced the Pixel 6a at its I/O developer conference on May 11, 2022. However, the smartphone will only be available in a few months. Pre-orders will start on July 21 before the phone goes on sale on July 28.
For comparison, here are the release dates for previous models:
Google Pixel 5a – August 2021 (North America and Japan only)
Google Pixel 4a – August 2020
Google Pixel 3a – May 2019
The limited release of the Pixel 5a means it was never launched in Europe, but it won’t be repeated with the Pixel 6a – there will be a global release. Later in the year, the 6a flagship will follow the Pixel 7 and the Pixel foldable phone.
How much will the Google Pixel 6a cost?
Google has officially announced the starting price for the Pixel 6a: €459. So, you get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and it doesn’t look like any other configuration will be available.
Here’s how it compares to previous A-series phones:
Google Pixel 5a – 399 euros
Google Pixel 4a 5G – 499 euros
Google Pixel 4a – 349 euros
Google Pixel 3a – 399 euros
Google Pixel 6a: Specifications and Features
When Google officially presented the Pixel 6a at I/O 2022, all important technical data was also revealed. Compared to the Pixel 5a, the Pixel 6a gets a Tensor chip (with 5G built in) already used in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. You’ll also find a separate Titan M2 security chip, the only configuration along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Google says the Pixel 6a is five times faster than last year’s smartphone, but it’s not clear what tests were used to determine that claim.
The official images also show the new design of the Pixel 6a phone. It’s more in line with the rest of the Pixel 6 series and comes in three different colors: Charcoal, Chalk, and Sage. The phone has a recycled aluminum frame and has a 6.1 inch OLED display with 1080p resolution, but it has a refresh rate of only 60Hz.
The phone features the same eye-catching rear camera module, with a 12.2MP main lens and a 12MP ultra-wide lens with a 114-degree field of view. There is also an 8-megapixel selfie lens.
On all three cameras, the Tensor chip helps enable important software-based camera functions. These features include Magic Eraser (to remove unwanted objects or change their color), Face Unblur, and Real Tone, all of which were introduced on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. There is also a “Night Sight” for taking pictures in poor lighting conditions.
Google sets a typical battery size at 4,410 mAh, but it can go as high as 4,306 mAh on some models. The company claims the battery lasts 24 hours (including standby time) on a single charge, or 72 hours when Extreme Battery Saver mode is enabled. Wired charging has been capped at 18W, with Google vaguely claiming that “a few minutes” of charging will produce “hours of power,” but we don’t know if this is an improvement over the 18W support on the Pixel 5a.
Other announced features include IP67 water and dust resistance and a fingerprint sensor under the display. The Tensor chip has 5G built in, but there’s still no expandable storage.
The phone will ship with Android 12, but it will be one of the first devices to receive Android 13 later this year when it becomes available. Google is committed to providing software updates for at least three years and security updates for five years from the date of release.
Google also officially announced the Pixel Buds Pro at I/O 2022. The Pixel 7, 7 Pro, Android 13, Pixel Watch, and the new Pixel tablet have also been dispensed with.
Find out what competitors the Pixel 6a faces in our list of best mid-range phones.