Read Google Pixel 6a smartphone review while you don’t have to forgo specifications, power, or features just because you’re looking for an inexpensive Android smartphone. The Pixel 6a is evidence for this. For less than £500, it offers quick performance, high-quality cameras, and a ton of software smarts. We suggest this phone to both Android purists and anyone considering switching from an Apple iPhone.
What makes it superior than the Pixel 6a? While putting many of the phone’s best features into a smaller, lighter shell, Google has maintained the appealing appearance. The Pixel 6a’s photography tools are powered by the same CPU as the flagship models, and Google also guarantees future Android and security updates.
Google Pixel 6a smartphone review – Design and Features
The Pixel 6a’s rear appearance, in particular, makes it easy to identify it as a member of the Pixel 6 family. The Pixel 6a has the same distinctive camera bar that covers the back of the Pixel 6 family’s phones, but it’s considerably lower-profile, sticking out just a little bit over the back face of the device, attracting much less dust, and never catching in pockets. It’s something that renderings make appear more flashy than it actually is. This time, the camera hardware is actually hidden inside an oval cutout, which contrasts sharply with the rest of the camera bar.
The Pixel 6a is slightly smaller than the Pixel 6, with an OLED screen of 6.1 inches as opposed to the 6.4 inches of its forerunner. However, the 1080 x 2400 resolution and selfie camera cutout remain unchanged. With a 60Hz limit, it adds sharpness but loses motion clarity.
The phone’s speakers fall short of the screen’s ability to amuse. The dual speaker setup on the Pixel 6a is surprisingly well balanced between the left and right channels, but it doesn’t go very loud and can sound a little scratchy at higher volumes.
On the Pixel 6, the screen is protected by the more recent Gorilla Glass Victus, whereas on the earlier Pixel 6, the screen is coated in Gorilla Glass 3. It only has an IP67 rating, which allows it to withstand a one-meter submersion in water and keep out dust, falling short of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s deeper IP68 classification. Nevertheless, Google’s guarantee excludes coverage for water damage.
The phone’s back is also a little less resistant to damage, with a “3D thermoformed composite back” that develops creases and scratches after only a few weeks of sharing a pocket with some keys, albeit it is more frequently given its own pocket.
The Pixel 6a’s size makes it easy to use with one hand, and the under-display fingerprint scanner unlocks the phone quickly.
Its charging options are another drawback. The Pixel 6’s 30W fast-charging capabilities are reduced to 18W for the 4410mAh battery, and wireless charging is not supported.
Google Pixel 6a smartphone review- Software
The Pixel 6a continues to launch with Android 12 just like the Pixel 6 did almost a year ago, so there’s nothing to get too excited about here. It still occupies more screen area for fewer stuff and has the same bubble-like shape as it did back then (looking at you, settings shortcuts). However, it’s a very minimal version of Android that just includes the essential apps.
Google Pixel 6a smartphone review- Gaming and performance
The Google Pixel 6a is powered by the same Tensor processor as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. That’s a significant perk for customers on a tight budget. The Tensor core can operate without stutter in daily use, bringing up apps, switching between them, and even running Apex Legends.
The Tensor processor’s AI capabilities, which continue to produce the most astounding voice-to-text results I’ve encountered, are its biggest benefit. Punctuation and dictation accuracy require considerable skill.
Of course, certain compromises had to be made. The phone’s LPDDR5 memory is only 6GB, down from the Pixel 6’s 8GB capacity. And the storage is limited to 128GB. I didn’t notice a difference in RAM during regular use; this issue is more likely to arise if you often move between demanding programs like games and the camera app.
Long-term storage issues might arise, but Google probably expects you to store the majority of your camera and video footage on the cloud.
Google Pixel 6a smartphone review- Camera
Though nothing new is present, the Pixel 6a cameras are an interesting combination of older and newer components.
The Google Pixel 6a has the following cameras:
- 12.2MP Wide, 1.4-micron, f/1.7, PDAF, OIS, 77-degree FOV
- 12MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 1.25-micron, 114-degree FOV
- 8MP Selfie, 1.12-micron, f/2.0 83-degree FOV
The main sensor is the same as that in the Pixel 5a, according to the specifications, but is now driven by the Tensor processor. The ultra-wide and selfie cameras, meanwhile, are identical to those in the Pixel 6.
Using digital zoom to snap a picture is a gamble, just as zooming in on a picture degrades its quality. Digital zooming in at 2x produces passable results, but zooming in much further results in an image that is so overly sharpened that it can nearly be difficult to discern what you are looking at.
The ultra-wide camera on the Pixel 6a still performs somewhat worse than the primary camera, as I’ve grown accustomed to, with a little less clarity and lower nighttime performance, but at least it still gives the impression that the images are being produced by the same device.
The bottom line
To sum up, Google Pixel 6a smartphone review above, the Pixel 6a is a phone that performs much better than its price would imply. The phone has respectable hardware, and Google’s Tensor Processor adds intelligence that meaningfully improves usability. Despite how reasonably priced the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are now, the upcoming release of the better-quality Pixel 7 will undoubtedly result in a price reduction for both models. You can’t go wrong with the Pixel 6a if you’re looking to buy a phone right now. However, if you can wait, it will probably be worthwhile.