Looking for an reasonably priced Android smartphone doesn’t suggest it’s important to sacrifice specs, energy and options. The Pixel 6a is proof of that. It offers you snappy efficiency, high quality cameras and a great deal of software program smarts for underneath £400 – a handset we suggest not solely to Android purists however anybody attempting to make the leap from an Apple iPhone SE.
Why do you have to select it over the Pixel 6? Google has saved the eye-catching design whereas packing lots of the telephone’s high options right into a body that is smaller and lighter. The Pixel 6a has the identical processor because the flagships for powering its images instruments, plus the tech big guarantees Android and safety updates for years to return.
Google Pixel 6a key specs
• Display dimensionMeasurement: 6.1 inches
• Decision: FHD + (1080 x 2400 pixels) OLED
• Working system: Android 12
• Processor: Google Tensor
• Cameras: 12.2 MP large, 12 MP ultra-wide, 8 MP selfie
• Battery4410 Mah
• StorageMeasurement: 128 GB
• Ram: 6 GB
• SteadinessMeasurement: 178 g
• Water resistanceIP67
• Micro SD card slot: No
Google Pixel 6a design
It is rapidly obvious that in terms of seems to be, the 6A is Clear A Pixel telephone. The digicam bump that runs alongside all the width of the again to separate the two-tone colour scheme returns, though it was a bit again. We like that the brand new model is thinner and fewer chunky, sitting upright when on a flat floor.
Together with the (actually) flashy nothingness (1), Pixel telephones boast one of the distinctive designs of 2022. The glass again of the Pixel 6 has been changed with plastic on the 6A, however it nonetheless feels high-end. One bonus is that the slipperiness we encountered on the Pixel 6 is not a serious problem because the 6a may be gripped with one hand.
With a 6.1-inch show, we would not name the Pixel 6 a small telephone, however it’s clearly far more compact than the Pixel 6 and Professional — nearer in dimension to the iPhone 13. For those who discovered the Pixel 6 too massive, this Reasonably priced various will really feel a lot better, though you should still need to spend money on a case to guard the rear panel, which appears a bit simpler to scratch. Whereas the digicam bump is black on all three Pixel telephones, you will have three two-tone colours on the 6A, dubbed Sage, Chalk and Charcoal. This interprets to gentle inexperienced/darkish inexperienced, gentle gray/white (the one we examined) and lightweight gray/darkish gray.
Google Pixel 6a digicam
One of many points of interest of the Pixel telephones has all the time been their capability to take glorious footage with minimal effort – level, click on and luxuriate in. In assessments, we discovered that this hasn’t modified on the Pixel 6a, regardless of the digicam’s main lens being downgraded from a 50-megapixel (MP) wide-angle to a 12.2MP wide-angle – so it is nearer (a minimum of on paper ) to a Pixel 5. You additionally get a 12MP ultra-wide on the rear module of the 6A, whereas your selfies are shot at a strong 8MP.
Our outcomes are constantly clear and crisp. Wielding the Pixel 6A on a barely overcast day, we loved good colour accuracy on buildings and the sky. On brighter days, the colours of our backyard vegetation are popped on the vivid OLED show. For those who want a digicam to shoot fast snaps for social media, this has you coated.
The key sauce, as all the time, is Google’s machine studying powered by its in-house Tensor chip. Just like the Pixel 6, it powers a handful of spectacular computational images and video modes. Our favourite is ‘Magic Eraser’, which immediately removes undesirable topics from pictures – excellent in the event you’re taking footage of busier metropolis landmarks on vacation.
We examined this on the Nationwide Gallery in London, eradicating two individuals within the body with a click on. For many eyes, particularly on smaller screens, you will not be capable of inform they’re ever there. The telephone struggles extra when tasked with eradicating giant crowds of individuals, as we discovered throughout a take a look at within the bustling Chinatown space, with blurry artifacts left on the picture after modifying.
Extra AI options returning for this extra reasonably priced handset are ‘Face Unblur’, which does precisely what it seems like and stops faces in pictures from being blurry, plus its True Tone tech, which makes the cameras more practical at precisely displaying darker pores and skin Tones. Portraits. The one device lacking is Movement Mode, which provides results to transferring objects, so if that is a serious draw you will should spend extra for the flagships.
Here’s a choice of pictures taken with the digicam lenses of the Google Pixel 6a. We included quite a lot of portrait and panorama snaps, and none have been edited:
Google Pixel 6a software program
There is no level in shopping for a telephone that will not be supported sooner or later. Happily, this isn’t a problem with the 6A. It is no shock as a result of Google is the developer of Android, however Pixel telephones are among the many first to take pleasure in latest updates, together with Android 13 – which is at present in beta however anticipated to see a launch within the coming weeks. Google guarantees Android updates till July 2025 and safety updates till July 2027, and that is additional sooner or later than the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional – that are supported till 2026.
The Android 12 software program you get out of the field is straightforward to make use of and simple to navigate, with neat customization like the power to match the colour of your icons to your wallpaper, plus the return of stay translation that helps you chat in 11 languages or learn textual content you do not perceive from pictures – excellent on your subsequent journey overseas.
Google Pixel 6A battery
Google says that the Pixel 6A battery “can final greater than 24 hours”, which is why you will need to purchase a smartphone in 2022. In our assessments, we discovered that the battery drained sooner than we’d have preferred throughout a day of Heavier use – plenty of software program updates, round two hours of Spotify listening throughout a commute to and from work, some YouTube searching and a handful of sport downloads – from 70% at 11:30 to useless by 20:40 the identical night.
The subsequent day we examined with lighter use and located the battery efficiency to be higher, so though you possibly can actually get a full day from the Pixel 6A battery – in the event you persist with checking emails or social media and listening to music by way of Bluetooth to your earbuds . Or wi-fi audio system – we do not suggest touring and not using a charger.
The smartphone makes use of USB-C for charging and wired headphones, however there isn’t any wall adapter within the field, and it’s kind of of a disgrace that there isn’t any wi-fi charging.
Google Pixel 6a show
For those who spend all day staring on the 6A’s display screen, you will not be upset with the vivid OLED panel, which has improbable distinction and vibrant colours. In testing, apps and video games appeared nice — and it is all the time good to see minimal black borders across the show, which seems to be far more fashionable than the iPhone SE’s retro stylings.
Sadly, the Pixel 6a solely has a 60Hz refresh charge, which implies scrolling will not be fairly as fluid in comparison with flagship fashions. Happily, this was solely obvious when evaluating the Pixel 6a and Pixel 6 shows side-by-side, and we expect it is unlikely to see an excessive amount of of a distinction throughout typical day-to-day use.
Google Pixel 6a efficiency
For those who’re apprehensive that purchasing an reasonably priced telephone means laggy efficiency – do not be. Swiping across the Pixel 6a’s menu and apps is responsive and fast. We downloaded video games, incl Name of Obligation: Cellular And Offended Birds 2, and located no points with how they ran. The handset is usually sizzling charging or when there’s heavy stress, however to not the purpose of concern.
You may velocity up app downloads and streaming much more by utilizing the smartphone’s built-in 5G connectivity – however ensure you have a vast knowledge SIM card, after all.
The disadvantages of Google Pixel 6a
No telephone is ideal, and the Google Pixel 6a makes some compromises to maintain the value down. Like its siblings, it does not have an SD card slot to develop storage, so that you’re caught with the essential 128GB until you employ cloud providers to avoid wasting your recordsdata and pictures.
Google additionally does not help face recognition on these gadgets, so that you’re caught with the fingerprint sensor, tapping a number-based password or swiping a sample for unlocking, though we’re blissful to report that the fingerprint sensor is extra. Responsive just like the Pixel 6.
The issue for energy customers is the restricted battery. We discovered from assessments that it’s good for a couple of day of regular use, however not far more. On the plus aspect, probably the greatest energy banks solves this.
Google Pixel 6a Verdict
With the Pixel 6a, Google faces a tough job: making probably the greatest worth Android telephones even higher. The Pixel 6 is beginning to see reductions (it is now discounted on Amazon) so the second hurdle is attempting to not compete with your self.
Did it work? Sure – by packing the processing energy and software program of the flagships right into a smaller body and providing years of software program updates, it is a telephone value your consideration. With a glossy design, high-quality display screen and dependable cameras, the Google Pixel 6a is a straightforward suggestion in case your finances cannot stretch over £400.
That can be purchased from Amazon, Argos, Currys, AO, John Lewis and Google
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