The Pixel 6a is pointing the tip of its nose and we already know a lot about Google’s new smartphone before its formalization. Here’s everything you need to know about the successor to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
It is now an unmissable event in the spring, Google is launching a mid-range version of its premium smartphone released the previous fall. This year, we are therefore expecting a Pixel 6a to enrich the range and complete the brand’s offer, while the Pixel 6 and its innovative design were rather well received a few months ago, as was the Pixel 6 Pro. . The Pixel Xa are interesting smartphones because they allow you to benefit from Google’s know-how in terms of interface, software and photo processing for a more attractive price than the other mobiles it markets. News, technical specifications, release date and price, here is everything we know about the Pixel 6a so far.
🗓️ When is the Pixel 6a coming out?
There is little doubt that the release date of the Pixel 6a will be announced on the sidelines of the annual conference Google I/O, which will take place from May 11 to 12, 2022. The smartphone should be presented there during the opening of the event. The launch is in any case imminent since the Pixel 6a has been certified by the FCC, the US Federal Communications Commission.
It remains to be seen whether the Pixel 6a will be available in France or not since the Pixel 5a did not have this honor, reserved exclusively for the United States and Japan markets. But this decision was undoubtedly motivated by the difficulties of production and logistics encountered, between shortage of components and confinements. Google has had time to see ahead to better organize itself and make its return to Europe.
💰 How much does the Pixel 6a cost?
The price of the Pixel 6a will only be known with certainty following a communication from Google. But we can anticipate that the manufacturer will make sure not to exceed the symbolic bar of 500 euros in order to make its terminal accessible, especially since the Pixel 6 is trading from 649 euros. It is likely that the price of the smartphone will be fixed between 449 and 499 euros in our regions, VAT included.
📱 What design for the Pixel 6a?
If we are to believe the first visuals that may have leaked, the Pixel 6a will retain most of the lines of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which had constituted a small revolution in design and aesthetics when they were released when Google was reputed to be conservative and follow trends rather than print them. We therefore find on this Pixel 6a the particularity of a rear panel in two colors, the different parts being separated by the prominent photo block which makes all the originality of the device.
The front camera is housed in a punch located in the center of the slab. The fingerprint reader is expected integrated under the screen. The Pixel 6a adopts a more compact size than its elders with dimensions of 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.7mm. It would be available in black, white and green colors and would not have a 3.5mm audio jack port.
👉 A smaller screen on the Pixel 6a?
This is logical since we have just seen that the frame of the Pixel 6a will be smaller than that of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, the smartphone also has a screen with a shorter diagonal: 6.2 inches, compared to 6.4 and 6.7 inches respectively for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 6a will therefore delight users who regret not having more choices of smaller Android devices that are easier to handle and store.
The slab rests on the OLED technology and displays Full HD+ 1080p definition. Its refresh rate is still unknown and could be the subject of a concession from Google to bring prices down. A 60 Hz screen would be disappointing in 2022 for a smartphone at this price, but a 90 Hz rate cannot be ruled out.
🏎️ As powerful as Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro?
A Geekbench benchmark confirms what we could assume: the Pixel 6a is equipped with a Tensor chip, the same one that is on board the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. As a reminder, this SoC is the first to be developed by Google for a mobile device, in partnership with Samsung. The results of another benchmark suggest that the Pixel 6a will offer similar performance to the Pixel 6. But it is better to wait before deciding on the question, because Google can still make changes, and decide at the last moment to clamp the chip if he thinks it gives off too much heat. Since the Pixel 6a is more compact than its predecessors, the quality of heat dissipation can indeed suffer. This SoC also brings 5G compatibility to the mobile.
The Pixel 6a has 6 GB of RAM. This is less than on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but Google generally manages to optimize its smartphones well so that a limited amount of RAM is enough to offer an excellent experience. Basic storage space is expected at 128 GB. A 256 GB version is not to be excluded, but we have not yet heard of it if it exists. The internal memory is an important element to take into account, since the mobile does not have a microSD card slot in order to expand the storage.
🔋 What autonomy for the Pixel 6a?
The Pixel 6a’s battery capacity is one of the few smartphone features that hasn’t (yet) been leaked. It will necessarily be weaker than on the most imposing Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. But with a “tiny” 6.2-inch display at 1080p and no 120Hz refresh rate, that shouldn’t cause a battery life issue. Historically, the Pixel Xa have always been enduring terminals.
On the other hand, we know that Google is far from being the leader in terms of charging power, and it is not the Pixel 6a that should change the situation. You should not expect a fast charging more than 30W, but it could even be lower if the Mountain View company believes that the device’s smaller battery does not need the same charging performance as a Pixel 6. Despite a rather large battery, the Pixel 5a was for example limited to 18W.
📸 Camera compromises?
Google has always relied on limited optics on its Pixel smartphones, offsetting this with excellent software processing to offer users some of the best photophones. A policy that has evolved with the Pixel 6 series, which has benefited from new, more efficient photo sensors. Modules which will be deprived of the Pixel 6a, which must be satisfied with a well-known configuration with hardware already used on previous generations of Pixel phones.
We thus find a IMX363 main sensor 12.2 MP, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm pixels, with f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilization and Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus. It is accompanied by a 12 MP IMX386 ultra wide-angle lens. At the front, there is also a sensor from Sony whose mission is to take selfies: an 8 MP IMX355.
This return to old components should force Google to remove certain photography-related features on the Pixel 6a, while the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro brought several new features thanks to their updated hardware. This would be particularly the case of Motion Mode, which allows you to capture photos with a motion blur effect to better capture the feeling of movement of an object. The mobile shoots several photos at the same time and combines them by artificial intelligence in order to obtain this result, but the Pixel 6a should be unable to benefit its owners. This will no doubt be the case with other options.
🤖 What version of Android and what about updates?
Until Android 13, the Pixel 6a will ship running an older version of Google’s operating system. If Android 12 seems to be the logical candidate, we must not exclude the possibility of seeing the Pixel 6a natively running on Android 12L. The latest Pixels have indeed been updated to this version of Android, intended above all for devices equipped with a large screen, but not only. The Pixel 6a could therefore be entitled to it.
As for software monitoring, we can count on the same promise as for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, namely three years of major feature updates minimum and five years of security patches.