Google just announced its new mid-range smartphone, the Pixel 6a. This phone has been rumored for quite some time now, and most of those rumors were quite accurate. The Pixel 6a is more than a worthy successor to the Pixel 5a, and the first smartphone in the Pixel A series to utilize Google’s SoC. This handset comes with the same SoC as the company’s flagships, the Google Tensor.
The phone also resembles the Pixel 6 when it comes to the design, quite a bit. Google updated the Pixel A series with its new design language, which makes this device considerably different-looking from its predecessor. The phone also comes with an upgraded display, though a very familiar camera setup. In this article, you’ll find a bevy of information when it comes to the Pixel 6a. So, if you’d like to know more about the device, read on.
How much does the Google Pixel 6a cost?
The Google Pixel 6a is priced at $449. That’s the same price tag its predecessor, the Pixel 5a, had. The phone is not yet available, though. Google said that the device will go on sale in July, so we’re in for quite a wait. Do note that price tags in other regions differ, of course. The Pixel 6a is coming to 13 countries overall, and here are the price tags for all of them.
Should I wait for a price drop?
Google’s Pixel A series is usually very competitive when it comes to the price. That is one of the main selling points of the Pixel A series. The same goes for the Pixel 6a. Considering what this phone offers, its $449 price tag is more than fair. So, our advice would be to grab it without waiting (once possible). It may get a discount down the road, but truth be said, that likely won’t happen that soon, and it’s not worth waiting for it. If you need a new phone once it becomes available, get the Pixel 6a, as its price tag is just right.
What offers are available at launch?
No offers were announced at launch. That makes sense, as the phone won’t be available for another couple of months.
Where can I buy the Google Pixel 6a?
The Google Pixel 6a will be available to purchase where you’d usually purchase your Pixel. It will be available directly from the Google Store, in addition to a number of US carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. It will also be available through Google Fi. International availability wasn’t mentioned yet.
What carriers support the Google Pixel 6a?
The Pixel 6a is an unlocked device. It is being sold by all the major US carriers out there, therefore it will be supported by all the carriers in the state. It will be a bit more expensive from Verizon due to mmWave 5G. It will cost $499 instead of $449.
Which carriers will sell the Google Pixel 6a?
The Pixel 6a will be available through Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Google Fi, Spectrum Mobile, and Infinity Mobile in the US.
What colors are available?
Google has announced three Pixel 6a color options. Those options are Sage, Chalk, and Charcoal. You can check out all three in the images below, both renders and lifestyle shots.
What are the specs of the Google Pixel 6a?
Below are the specs for the Google Pixel 6a, and next to it, you’ll notice specs for the Google Pixel 5a, for comparison’s sake.
|Google Pixel 6a||Google Pixel 5a|
|Processor||Google Tensor||Snapdragon 765G|
|Charging Speeds||18W wired charging||18W wired charging|
|Software||Android 12||Android 11 (upgradable to Android 12)|
|Rear Cameras||12.2MP wide|
|Front Camera||8MP wide||8MP wide|
|Dimensions||152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm||154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6mm|
|Weight||178 grams||183 grams|
|Available||July 21 pre-order|
July 28 in-store
What new features did Google unveil?
The Google Pixel 6a does not come with a new version of Google’s software. It comes with Android 12 which launched last year. That’s actually a good thing. Google ironed out the vast majority of the kinds with the software, and as per usual, the Pixel A series device should have extremely stable software. Android 12 is packed with great, and useful features, so you’re getting a great package here. There are no brand new features included, but we’ll mention some that are definitely worth highlighting. Do note that there are many more included in Android 12, besides the ones mentioned below.
The biggest theming-related change in Android 12 is wallpaper-based theming, also referred to as dynamic theming. Google introduced the so-called ‘monet’ dynamic theming engine with this build of Android, which allows its Material You UI to shine. The OS will use the colors from the wallpaper you set, and also allow you to tweak things along the way, though not by much. More options are coming in Android 13. The OS basically adapts itself to the colors provided by your wallpaper, making everything look more cohesive.
Google also boosted privacy options with Android 12. It introduced ‘Privacy Dashboard’ which essentially gives you an overview of what permissions your apps use, and if they used them recently. So, you’ll be able to check if WhatsApp accessed the camera and microphone permission, for example, presuming those are granted to that app. You can keep an eye on some apps you don’t trust this way, keep them on a tight leash.
With Android 12, Google finally added one-handed mode to the mix. This has been one of the most requested Android features for a long time now. Smartphones are quite large these days, and having a feature like this is essential. Android 12’s one-handed mode works basically the same as Apple’s Reachability feature. You can swipe downwards on the bottom part of the display in order to bring the top of your display down. You’ll see only the top half of the display this way, but you’ll be able to reach everything. Do note that you can simply swipe up to get back to the original state. Another thing worth noting is that this feature only works if you’re using navigation gestures to navigate around the UI. If it’s disabled, you can enable it via the Settings -> System -> Gestures menu.
Scrolling screenshots have been available on various Android skins for a long time now. Google finally added that feature in Android 12. When you take a screenshot, you’ll see the ‘Capture more’ option next to the edit button. Do note that this option will only appear if you take a screenshot by using physical buttons, not from the Recents Menu. We don’t know why, but it’s the way it is on the Pixel 4a and Pixel 6. It’s possibly a bug, and it may be corrected on the Pixel 6a.
Direct share in Recents Menu
Android 12 also brought some interesting sharing options to the Recents Menu, and made it that much more useful. You can quickly share an image from the recents menu, as Android 12 will recognize what’s an image in a particular app. You can even share images from Instagram, which you generally cannot share unless you take a screenshot. It’s even possible to copy and share text from the Recents Menu in Android 12.
Microphone/camera access dots
Microphone and camera access dots are also included in Android 12. Thanks to these, you’ll know exactly when your microphone and camera are in use. An indicator will appear in the top-right corner, showing you what’s being used. If you tap on it, you’ll see which app is using it. This way, not a single app will be able to utilize a camera or microphone without you knowing about it. If you don’t like the way a certain app uses particular permissions, you can always limit that app.
When it comes to the Google Camera, the ‘Magic Eraser’ feature is surely worth mentioning. This feature allows you to remove unwanted objects from a specific picture with ease. During the Pixel 6a launch, Google confirmed a new feature within Magic Eraser. You’ll be able to change the color of objects as well, which makes the whole thing even more useful.
What cases are available?
Google did not mention any cases during the Pixel 6a launch, and none are listed on the Google Store as of now. Chances are that you’ll be able to get the same case as for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, plus a ton of third-party options. We will update this article once Google shares more information.