While it feels like the Pixel 6 series just made its debut recently, we’re quickly approaching the launch of more Pixel phones. Next up is the Pixel 6a, which could very well be getting a wider launch than last year’s A-Series phone, according to FCC listings.
When the Pixel 5a launched last year, unlike the Pixel 3a and 4a before it, Google only released it in the United States and Japan, leaving out many of the core global markets for affordable Android phones. Following the success of the Pixel 6, it’s not a stretch to think Google would want to put that phone’s Tensor chip in the hands of more people, and it seems that may once again include a broader international release.
A trio of FCC listings (A4RGB62Z, A4RG1AZG, A4RGX7AS) were spotted by MySmartPrice this morning, at least one of which can be directly tied to the brand name “Pixel 6a” through Canada’s Radio Equipment List. The three devices are remarkably similar in terms of what frequency bands they use and even in the simple fact that they arrived at the FCC at the same time. All of this suggests that the three model numbers (as well as a fourth, A4RGB17L, mentioned briefly) all point to the same device, the Pixel 6a.
So why are so many models needed? This has been a common practice for the Pixel series in recent years, with Google submitting separate model numbers and FCC listings to account for things like the inclusion of mmWave on only some models and for phones with support for slightly different bands of connectivity used around the world.
In one snippet of a test report, some of the differences in the Pixel 6a models are explained. Specifically, the GX7AS model will have support for the n38 and n41 bands of 5G connectivity, while the G1AZG will offer mmWave 5G.
It’s not clear at this point which model(s) will be sold in the United States and through carriers. Given Google’s focus on affordability for the A-Series, it’s interesting to see the company continue to offer models with mmWave connectivity, which has thus far added a noticeable cost increase versus phones without it.
The FCC listings don’t teach us much else about the Pixel 6a, but luckily we’ve already learned quite a bit over the last few months, including the phone’s use of a Tensor chip, its camera arrangement, and even what packaging the phone will have. A launch date has not yet been set for the Pixel 6a, but this latest step of certification removes one of the final roadblocks to release.
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- Review: Bellroy’s leather Pixel 6 case is one of the best, but all I really want is some patina
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