The Google Pixel 6A combines key features of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro into an affordable package while retaining the signature look and feel of Google’s flagship devices.
This is thanks to the first-generation Google Tensor chipset, which provides improved performance, and the 12.2-megapixel main camera carried over from previous models. But with these updates, does the Google Pixel 6A do enough to stand out in its competitive price range?
In this Google Pixel 6A review, we found that the phone’s design is similar to that of the other Pixel 6 models, featuring Google’s distinctive two-toned color scheme mostly made of plastic, with an aluminum frame. Surprisingly, the camera bar is also plastic, but the phone is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance.
Compared to last year’s Pixel 5A, the Pixel 6A has a similar width but is slightly shorter, making it an excellent choice for one-handed use. Although it may not be a compact phone, it falls on the borderline, and there are few compact phones available with higher-end chips.
The 6.1-inch OLED display boasts full HD+ resolution and supports HDR content, with an optical in-display scanner replacing the rear-mounted one from the Pixel 5a. The placement is convenient, and though not the fastest scanner, it is reliable.
Although high refresh rate screens are common in this price range, the Google Pixel 6A features a 60Hz screen that is sharp and bright with excellent color accuracy. The screen’s brightness is impressive, reaching a maximum of 505 nits with the manual slider and an impressive 876 nits with adaptive brightness. The haptic feedback is also improved compared to the Pixel 5A, with a motor that feels similar to the more expensive Pixel 6 Pro.
The Pixel 6A has a conventional stereo loudspeaker setup with one downward-firing speaker and one front-facing speaker at the top that doubles as the earpiece. The loudness of these speakers is excellent, with no distortion even at maximum volumes.
However, the phone no longer includes a built-in headphone jack, and there is no dongle included in the box. Additionally, there is no charger included in the box either.
The Pixel 6A comes with Android 12 out of the box, but the Android 13 update is now rolling out. This update addresses some of the stuttering and glitching issues experienced by some users, resulting in a smoother overall experience.
Android 13 refines the features introduced in Android 12, including deeper Material U integration, support for streaming apps to Chromebooks, an updated media player card, and the ability to set different languages for individual apps.
Additionally, the phone’s Google Tensor chipset provides highly accurate assistant voice typing and the ability to use Magic Eraser in the Google Photos app, which are exclusive Tensor features.
The Pixel 6A is equipped with Pixel’s calling features such as Call Screen and Hold for Me. It is powered by the Google Tensor chipset, the same one found in the pricier Pixel 6 and 6 Pro models. For a mid-range device, the Tensor chip provides impressive speed and power that rivals the Snapdragon 888.
Thermal management has also improved since the initial release of the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which addressed our initial concerns about gaming performance. Although the Pixel 6A does get warm with moderate use, throttling is not as erratic and does not negatively impact the gaming experience.
Battery life is great, with an endurance score of 94 hours in proprietary tests, which exceeded our expectations. However, the Pixel 6A does not come with a charger, and a full charge takes nearly two hours using Google’s 18-watt adapter, which is not very competitive.
The Pixel 6A’s camera features dual 12.2-megapixel sensors for its main and ultrawide cameras, which have been used in several Pixel models before. While the Tensor chip has improved image capture speed, there are no major hardware upgrades to the camera. The software that processes images has received incremental updates, but it is still the same camera hardware that Google has used for years.”
During the day, the Pixel 6A’s main and ultrawide cameras deliver sharp and detailed images with accurate and vivid colors that are not overly saturated. The HDR+ feature reduces noise and provides a wide dynamic range and contrast.
The viewfinder also has a 2x digital zoom, but using it may result in some softness. Portrait shots offer decent subject separation and sharpness, but consistency can vary. Ultra-wide shots are consistent with the main camera’s colors and white balance and provide a wide dynamic range with good contrast.
In low light, HDR+ performs well and maintains accurate colors and even exposures, although sharpness can suffer and noise may be more noticeable. The ultra-wide camera is not as good as the main camera in very dark situations but still performs well in most low-light scenarios.
Night Sight shots take longer to capture but deliver well-exposed images with less noise, stronger contrast, and more vivid colors. The front-facing 8-megapixel camera captures sharp and flattering selfies, with HDR+ working well to properly expose the background regardless of lighting. Portrait selfies have some issues with subject separation, but are generally decent.
The Pixel 6A is capable of recording 4k video at 60 frames per second, delivering sharp and colorful footage with impressive dynamic range. The ultrawide camera produces equally accurate and vivid footage with minimal noise.
Despite its plastic build and dual camera setup, the Pixel 6A is a well-equipped phone at a more affordable price with the added benefit of software support from Google. Upgraded with tensor-enabled features like voice typing and a magic eraser, the Pixel 6A boasts a more compact size and improved performance, thanks to faster HDR+ photo processing and an in-display scanner. However, it lacks a headphone jack and charger in the box.
Overall, the Pixel 6A offers consistently good cameras, much-improved performance, and security updates from Google through 2027. At under $500, it’s a great value and highly recommended. Check out the latest price of Google Pixel 6A Here>>