Pixel 6a review: Just the highlights

By Andrew Romero & Ben Schoon

The Pixel 6a is Google's newest budget-friendly device, powered by a Tensor chip and and a few other tricks up it's sleeve. Of course, we can't dive into a full review here, so be sure to check out the in-depth Pixel 6a overview on 9to5Google.com For now, here are the highlights...


First off, the Pixel 6a has a wonderfully familiar feel in the hand. Though the back is glossy plastic and the glass is Gorilla Glass 3, the experience is nowhere near hindered. The matte black rails feel great in the hand and the Pixel 6a in Sage makes for a beautiful look.

You can't go wrong with OLED. The Pixel 6a has great touch response and decent brightness, though the lower refresh rate gives a sense of a slow phone, though it isn't. One issue that arouse was the ease at which the screen scratched, though, since the display is flat it's easy to add a screen protector.


Software and performance

The Pixel 6a runs Android 12 out of the box, leaving users with a familiar taste of stock Android with all its bells and whistles. Not to mention, Google promises 5 years of security updates for this device. That's fantastic.

One downfall we've come across with the Pixel 6a is the performance. We mentioned the device has Google's Tensor chip, which holds up well. However, the 6GB of RAM is a different story. We've noticed apps reloading in the background much faster than expected, which leaves the phone feeling like it's in battery-saver mode. This isn't a dealbreaker, but it's something important to note. This could possibly be fixed in future updates, since 6GB of RAM is plenty for the Tensor chip to work with.

Software and performance

The screen size and refresh rate of 60Hz led us to believe it would last a full day, however, we were mostly wrong. We found that through normal use, the Pixel 6a could last a full day, though it would severely need a charge at about 10pm or so. Truthfully, it's not terrible, though, it is something to be aware of.

Battery life

One of the things the Pixel 6a excels at is the camera. Packing the same package the Pixel 5 offered, the 12MP main sensor and 12MP ultrawide do the trick nicely. The only area the camera doesn't hold up fully is low-light conditions and when zooming in. Other than that, the Pixel 6a camera is perfectly capable.


Overall, if you're looking for a new budget device that can properly handle itself without destroying your bank account at $449, the Pixel 6a is more than recommended. On top of that, Pixel 3a users should look to the Pixel 6a as their next device, especially considering the next 5 years of security updates promised with it. For the full review on 9to5Google, swipe up from this page.

Final thoughts

Pre-order the Pixel 6a