In the past couple of years, Google has adopted a new strategy for its Pixel phones where instead of launching a flagship every year, they have also introduced a more affordable alternative in the Pixel A-series of smartphones.
This is usually based on the previous year’s Pixel smartphone with some lower-end hardware and also a more affordable price tag to match, and this year, it’s safe to say that Google is expected to announce the Pixel 6a.
The company has yet to make an official announcement, but for those curious, we’ve rounded up everything we know so far about the upcoming phone, so read on to find out what you might be able to expect.
In terms of design, there’s a very, very good chance that Google will continue to reuse the same design as the Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 was launched with a brand new design from its predecessors, featuring a rather interesting camera module that looks very different from what is being offered today.
This means that for the design of the Pixel 6a, we can expect Google to continue to use that horizontal band across the back of the phone where the cameras will be housed. As for the front of the phone, seeing as it isn’t particularly remarkable, we expect that it will continue using the same design.
Also, based on leaked photos and rumors, the Pixel 6a could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack so for those who might be particular about using wired audio, this might be a deal-breaker.
In terms of display, here’s where it gets interesting. A tweet by Shadow_leak claims that the Pixel 6a’s display might be 6.2-inches with a 60Hz refresh rate. This is slightly smaller compared to the Pixel 5a which had a 6.4-inch display, so we’re not sure why Google is giving the phone’s display a downgrade, especially in the refresh rate department.
Keep in mind that this is a bit contentious because according to a tweet by Yogesh Brar, he claims that the phone will have a 90Hz refresh rate, so while it’s not the buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate, it is still an upgrade over the vanilla 60Hz that phones used to sport years ago.
Seeing as the Pixel 6 series were the first phones from Google to use the company’s custom Tensor chipset, it stands to reason that the Pixel 6a will continue to do the same. The Tensor chipset isn’t a flagship chipset to begin with, so seeing it used in the Pixel 6a kind of makes sense, but it is possible that Google could be tweaking it a bit.
This is because according to MySmartPrice who discovered a Geekbench listing for the phione, it seems to have outperformed the Pixel 6 ever so slightly. The difference could easily be chalked up within a margin of error, but who knows, maybe Google could make some tweaks to the Tensor chipset.
As for RAM, it will most likely come with 6-8GB of RAM but we doubt that it will be anything more than that.
A tweet by Mishaal Rahman claims that the phone is expected to use the Sony IMX363, IMX386, and IMX355 sensors, which feature a 12MP main shooter, a 12MP ultrawide, and an 8MP selfie camera. This means that it will be a dual camera setup on the back followed by a single front-facing shooter.
Also, it has been suggested in a report by Kuba Wojciechowski that the Pixel 6a might not support the Pixel 6’s Motion Mode. This might be due to the sensors used in the phone, but we’ll have to wait for a more detailed breakdown of the phone’s official hardware and software to get a better idea. It is possible that maybe Google wants to keep the feature for its higher-end flagships, but that’s just our guess.
The Pixel 6a is rumored to be packing a 4,800mAh battery with 30W charging. This is a slight increase over the Pixel 5a’s 4,680mAh battery and 18W charging speed. While the difference in battery size might be negligible, the potential difference in charging speed will most definitely be felt.
Launch date, pricing, and availability
Many have speculated that the phone could be announced at Google I/O 2022, but seeing as the Pixel 5a launched in August 2021, we’re not sure if this is a date Google plans to keep to or if they might decide to unveil it at I/O, which is actually a great opportunity for a product launch.
The Pixel 3a was originally announced at I/O 2019, so it is not entirely out of the question for it to make its debut at I/O 2022. As for pricing, this is a bit hard to say. Google has steadily increased the price of its Pixel A-series of phones over the years, so it is possible that the Pixel 6a could see an increase in price as well.
The Pixel 5a was priced at $449, so at the very least we expect the Pixel 6a to be priced at that amount too, or possibly a bit more. Either way, we’ll have to wait for the official announcement to find out.