May 17th, 2022

Google’s Pixel 6a has generated a lot of hype and expectations among Pixel enthusiasts and tech fans in general. The device doesn’t release until July this year, but it can’t be helped that some people are already dead-set on getting their hands on the upcoming Google mid-ranger once it launches. If you’re still on the fence though, we thought that it’d be interesting to take a look at the specs and features of the device, and see what can make it a compelling purchase. Let’s get started!

Cameras

We’d say that one of the biggest reasons to get a Pixel handset is for the camera performance. Despite the rather simple camera app interface and seemingly low-powered lenses, Google’s Camera software on the Pixel phones has made point-and-shoot photography an even easier (and better-looking) affair. The company’s mastery of computational photography, combined with its Tensor chip, has essentially disregarded hardware limitations. By that, we mean that you’ll still be able to get good-looking pictures with the 12.2MP main camera and the 12MP ultrawide lens on the phone.

In addition, special photo modes like Portrait mode, Night Sight, and software features like Magic Eraser mean that you can get more versatility with the kind of photos that you’re able to take on the device.

Performance

While it’s seen its fair share of criticism since its debut, Google’s Tensor chip has been one solid performer in general. If I were to base my experience with the SoC’s performance during my time with the Pixel 6, all I can say is that the phone was fast and fluid, simply put. Games like Genshin Impact, XCOM 2 Collection, and Trials of Mana for example ran well on my device, and it’s clear that on a day-to-day basis, Tensor is more than capable of providing a nice experience. Hopefully, it will be more optimized to work with Android 12 this time around, as the chipset’s debut alongside the then-new Android 12 version was hampered with performance bugs, some of which can be attributed to poor software optimization.

Additionally, while the Pixel 6a only comes with 6GB of RAM, Google has always found a way to give users a uniform Pixel experience. For example, 2020’s Pixel 4a 5G also came packed with the seemingly-small 6GB RAM limit, but the user experience (at least in my case) was smooth without any performance hitches.

Software Updates

Another big advantage of investing in a phone like the Pixel 6a is the long-term support for software updates. Google has always taken pride in the OS and security updates for its phones since the Nexus days, and the Pixel 6a will no doubt follow in that tradition. Monthly software and security patches also ensure that bugs are addressed, and compared to a lot of other Android manufacturers out there, the timeliness of Pixel updates are certainly an edge over the competition.

The Pixel phones also get new feature drops throughout their lifespan, so new software features will be able to make their way to the Pixel 6a as time passes by.

Battery Performance

Now while battery performance is mostly a subjective matter (as everyone uses their phone in different ways), Google’s Pixel A-series devices have always had generally good battery life. I started my journey with the Pixel 3a, and after using the 4a and 4a 5G as well, I’ve noticed that battery performance was consistent, at least based on my usage. As a mostly-moderate smartphone user, my day usually consists of web browsing and social media, and a bit of gaming every now and then – and I was impressed to find out that the batteries on my devices were able to last me throughout the entire day.

Of course, mileage will vary – but given that the phone ships with a 4,410 mAh battery, it should be large enough to suit most users’ needs.

Exclusive Features

Google’s optimizations to Android also mean that you can expect some Pixel-exclusive software add-ons. In addition to the camera features we mentioned earlier, the 6a will also come with nice bonuses like Google’s Live Translate, Live Caption, Call-screening and call-holding phone functions, Voice-to-text, and Now Playing functionality, to name a few.

Perhaps one good way to describe the Pixel 6a – and the rest of the Pixel phone line-up as well – is that they’re a great showcase of what Google is able to do when it combines software wizardry with capable hardware. Overall, you get a clean Android experience, reliable performance, and an impressive camera for not much coin, and if those fall into your criteria, then 6a is definitely a phone to look forward to.

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