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Pixel 6a comes through durability test with relatively few scars

While the recent OnePlus 10T snapped like a twig in a recent durability test, the Pixel 6a has emerged relatively unscathed after taking on Zack Nelson’s (aka JerryRigEverything) torturous smartphone tests.

Nelson’s classic durability tests examine just where areas of concern may lie, and with regard to the Pixel 6a, things are pretty darn obvious. That’s not to say it fares badly, far from it. Considering that this is a $449 smartphone, it does incredibly well. In many ways, it aces this over-the-top stress test given that there are a number of key downgrades to components to help keep that cost in check.

While we never like to see a smartphone put through its paces with a razor or a lighter, Nelson’s series of tests stress a smartphone in ways you likely never will. The Pixel 6a’s Gorilla Glass 3 screen scratches quite substantially during the durability test when a level six Mohs pick is applied. All in all, that isn’t too terrible given that the glass tech used on the Pixel 6a — as Nelson even states — is almost a decade old at this stage.

This time around, Nelson even tested the under-display fingerprint after scratching to see if it still functions. It manages to recognize his thumbprint even with deep scratches made with the level seven Mohs pick. Google has made some great strides after replacing the in-display scanner utilized on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which many have complained about since launch.

The plastic back panel takes the brunt of the damage once a razor blade is applied. This might seem like overkill, but a mishap with some keys in your pocket with the Pixel 6a and you too could have some truly epic artwork to show for it.

What’s interesting is that the side rails are confirmed to be metal, which is a major step up for those of us in the rest of the world. The Pixel 5a may have included a metal chassis, but it wasn’t available outside of the US and Japan. That said, the plastic power button and volume rocker could be prone to chips.

The final bend durability test sees the Pixel 6a pass with flying colors. Even while using cheaper materials, the 6a withstands the wrath of Nelson’s palms with minimal flex, no cracks, warping, or major damage. If you do happen to rock your device careless and screen protector free, it might be a little more durable than you initially expected.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: