Google Pixel 6a: What we know so far
24 'Google Pixel 6a' stories
July 2021 - May 2022
The Pixel 6a was announced on May 11 during Google I/O 2022. Marketed as a powerful budget option for many who want to experience what Google’s devices have to offer, the Pixel 6a surely makes its mark as an enticing device.
Table of contents
Release date: When did the Pixel 6a come out?
Prior to the release of the Pixel 6a, we had speculated that the new budget device would come out sometime in May of 2022, and we were right, in part to some rumors that had been floating around.
Originally, we had thought that the Pixel 6a would make its way out of hiding sometime in August, seen as most of the “a” series devices in the Pixel line had come out around this time. Nevertheless, we hoped for a May release this year and got one. This was the first I/O “a” series release we’ve had since the Pixel 3a back in 2019. That being said, the Pixel 6a saw an announcement date of May 11, 2022, and will be available to the public on July 28, 2022.
What are the Pixel 6a internal specs?
The Pixel 6a takes a lot of cues from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Besides internals, it has the same design language we see in those devices. A similar silhouette, camera bump, and display are all playing a part in the look of the Pixel 6a. However, other than a couple of similar details, the Pixel 6a is a much more wallet-conscious device for those who want to get a taste of Google’s machine-learning OS.
Google is making an interesting move and powering the Pixel 6a with the same Tensor chip that lets the Pixel 6 series do what it does. Back in November of 2021, our APK Insight team uncovered this piece of information long before the device’s release.
The Tensor chip is a Samsung-made SoC that takes Google’s design and uses the company’s machine-learning language and operating systems. Overall, the Tensor chip is a fantastic piece of hardware that compares to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 almost neck and neck. With the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, this chip lets those devices deliver a fluid experience to the user.
Other than the Pixel 6a housing a Tensor chip, another important note is that it looks like the Pixel 6a will have a 12.2MP main sensor and a 12MP ultrawide on the rear of the device. This comes as a bit of sad news for those who wanted the outstanding 50MP sensor found on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The sensor used on the Pixel 6a is the same used in other Google phones from the Pixel 3 to the Pixel 5a. Because it’s slightly smaller than the GN1 sensor on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, it won’t be able to capture the same amount of natural bokeh and light. On the other hand, the 12MP ultrawide lens is the same one found on current Pixel 6 devices. This is also the case for the front-facing 8MP selfie camera, as it’s found on the current Pixel 6.
Some other circulating reports suggest that the Pixel 6a will not include “Motion mode,” a feature that relies heavily on Google’s Tensor chip. According to the reports, the alternate sensor the Pixel 6a will pack will likely not be capable of the feature. There could be more modes and tools that won’t be available for the Pixel 6a, but we won’t know for sure until the device is in our hands.
RAM and Storage
To accompany the Tensor chip inside the Pixel 6a, Google is powering the device with 6GB of RAM. This may not seem like a lot, but for a budget device with a high-end chip, 6Gb is plenty enough. To help with quick processing, the phone will get 128GB of UFS 3.1 standard storage. Just like other Pixel models, a microSD card slot is nowhere to be seen.
The major differentiation between the Pixel 6a and 6/6 Pro will be the screen size. Given the dimensions –152.2 x 71.8 x 8.7mm – the Pixel 6a will house a 6.1-inch display. This is fantastic news for many Pixel 6 owners who feel the smaller of the two current Google phones is still much too big. In fact, the dimensions are smaller than the Pixel 5a, which measures 154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6 mm.
On the face, we’re seeing a 1080p OLED panel. That resolution has become a staple and starting point for most phone lines, and with the 6a being a budget-friendly device, we never expected anything over 1080p.
What is the Pixel 6a price?
That Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s pricing changed the game when it came to pricing. Most expected the price to be somewhere from $800 to $900 for the two devices. Instead, we were hit with a shocking price tag of $599 and $899. With Tensor, fantastic cameras, and solid hardware, it just seemed too good to be true. That being said, the Pixel 6a will come in at $449, with a couple of exceptions.