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Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a

AH Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a comparison
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Google introduced its new mid-range smartphone during yesterday’s Google I/O keynote. The device in question is the Pixel 6a. In this article, we’ll compare last year’s Pixel A series offering, the Pixel 5a 5G vs Pixel 6a. Google decided to change the design of this smartphone quite considerably, taking inspiration from the Pixel 6 series. Therefore, the two phones are quite different in the design department.

That’s not the only thing that changed, though. Google did improve the Pixel 6a in several key areas, while they do still share some of the specifications. Speaking of which, we’ll first compare their specifications, and will then move to other areas. We’ll compare the two phones across a number of sections, including design, display, performance, battery, cameras, and audio. Having said that, let’s begin comparing the Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a.

Specs

Google Pixel 5a 5GGoogle Pixel 6a
Screen size6.34-inch fullHD+ OLED HDR display (60Hz)6.1-inch fullHD+ OLED HDR display (60Hz)
Screen resolution2400 x 10802400 x 1080
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 765GGoogle Tensor
RAM6GB (LPDDR4X)6GB (LPDDR5)
Storage128GB, non-expandable128GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable
Rear cameras12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS)
16MP (ultra-wide, f/2.2 aperture, 1.0um pixel size, 119-degree FoV)
12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS)
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 17mm lens, 114-degree FoV, 1.25um pixel size)
Front cameras8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)
Battery4,680mAh, non-removable, 18W wired charging4,410mAh, non-removable, 18W wired charging
Dimensions154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6mm152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm
Weight183 grams178 grams
Connectivity5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityRear-facing fingerprint scannerIn-display fingerprint scanner (optical)
OSAndroid 11Android 12
Price$449$449
BuyGoogleGoogle

Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a: Design

The Google Pixel 5a is made out of aluminum. It has a coating on top of the aluminum on the back, so it feels a bit different, this is essentially an aluminum unibody design. The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, comes with a frame made out of metal, and a 3D thermoformed composite back. So, Google opted not to use glass on the back of the Pixel 6a, and go for something closer to plastic. That shouldn’t be a big deal, though.

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Now, the Pixel 6a also looks considerably different, as it essentially adopts the Pixel 6 design. It has sharper edges than the Pixel 5a, while it looks different through and through. It also comes with a centered display camera hole, while that hole is placed in the top-left corner of the Pixel 5a. The back sides of the two smartphones also differ quite a bit. The Pixel 5a has a regular camera island in the top-left corner, and a capacitive fingerprint scanner here. The Pixel 6a includes a camera visor on the back, and no fingerprint scanner.

The Pixel 6a’s fingerprint scanner sits underneath the display. It’s not the same as the one inside the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, though. Google confirmed as much,  though we still don’t know will it work any better. The Pixel 5a is taller, wider, and thinner than the Pixel 6a. It is also slightly heavier, but only by about 5 grams, so you won’t exactly feel the difference. The Pixel 6a definitely looks more modern, and in line with Google’s new design language. It’s also easier to use with one hand.

Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a: Display

The Google Pixel 5a features a 6.34-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED HDR display. This is a flat display that has a display camera hole in the top-left corner. You’re getting a 20:9 display aspect ratio here, and the panel is protected by the Gorilla Glass 3. This is a 415 ppi display, approximately, and it offers a 60Hz refresh rate, so it’s not a high refresh rate display.

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Google Pixel 5a AM AH 3

The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, includes a little bit smaller panel, a 6.1-inch unit. That is a fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED HDR display. That is also a flat display, and it has the same aspect ratio as the Pixel 5a’s panel. It is also protected by the Gorilla Glass 3, and it has a 429 ppi pixel density. Much like the Pixel 5a’s panel, the Pixel 6a’s display comes with a 60Hz refresh rate, not a 90Hz one like it was rumored.

At the time of writing this comparison, the Pixel 6a was not released, and we couldn’t get our hands-on it. So, we can’t really say how good it is in real life, but chances are it’s somewhat similar to the Pixel 5a’s unit. Both are OLED HDR panels, and it’s quite possible that the only difference is in the size. The Pixel 5a’s panel wasn’t the brightest around, but it was bright enough, and then some. The Pixel 6a likely won’t offer lower brightness. The Pixel 5a’s panel is actually good overall, the touch sensitivity is really good, as are the viewing angles. It’s also more than sharp enough.

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Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a: Performance

The Pixel 5a includes the Snapdragon 765G SoC, along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Pixel 6a, on the flip side, will ship with the Google Tensor SoC, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The Google Tensor SoC is considerably more powerful than the Snapdragon 765G, not to mention that the Pixel 6a comes with newer RAM and storage. Google opted to include LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage inside the device, while LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 storage sits inside the Pixel 5a.

Based on all this, the Pixel 6a should perform better, right? Well, yes, but we didn’t test it just yet, as it’s coming out in July. The thing is, the Pixel 5a offers great performance as it is. So, we really don’t think that the Pixel 6a will present any issues. It essentially comes with the same SoC as the Pixel 6, and the same goes for RAM and storage units. On top of that, it has a lower refresh rate display than the Pixel 6, so that goes towards a performance boost as well.

Chances are that the Pixel 6a will offer really good performance, if the Pixel 5a and Pixel 6 are any indication. The Pixel A series is usually mostly bug-free, as Google manages to clean up newer versions of the software by the time Pixel A phones come out. So, we’re really not worried when it comes to the Pixel 6a’s performance. It, of course, remains to be seen if those predictions will come true, but the phone does have all the hardware prowess it needs.

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Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a: Battery

The Google Pixel 5a includes a 4,680mAh battery. The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, comes with a 4,410mAh battery. That being said, we still didn’t have a chance to test the Pixel 6a’s battery, as the phone didn’t get released yet. Based on the parameters on offer, though, battery life isn’t something you should be worried about. The Pixel 5a offers outstanding battery life, and that’s something we praised the most about the device.

Having that in mind, the Pixel 6a does have a smaller battery, but not by much. It does have a smaller display at the same time, and what should be a processor that is better optimized for battery consumption, as it’s Google’s very own chip. If we consider all that data, the Pixel 6a should offer great battery life, just as great as the Pixel 6a, if not better. That essentially means that even power users will be able to get to the end of the day, but we’ll see.

Both of these phones support fast charging up to 18W. That goes for wired charging, of course; wireless charging is not supported on either device. The difference, however, is that the Pixel 5a supports USB Power Delivery 2.0, while the Pixel 6a ups that to USB Power Delivery 3.0. The charging speeds the two phones provide are not spectacular, but not many people will have complaints here.

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Google Pixel 5a vs Google Pixel 6a: Cameras

The Google Pixel 5a and 6a have the exact same main camera, and the same goes for the selfie camera. The ultrawide camera hardware is different, though. It’s also worth noting that pictures may differ between the two, as they come with different processors. We’ll have to wait for the Pixel 6a to become official in order to see if there are some differences, of course.

Google Pixel 6a image 5

Now, Google has been using that 12.2-megapixel camera since the Pixel 2. The one that is included as the main camera on both phones. The company really managed to push that sensor to its limits mainly thanks to its camera software, which is great. Even if the pictures end up differentiating between the two phones, the Pixel 6a will likely still offer great shots. Not only is the same camera software in effect, but the Google Tensor is adapted especially for it.

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The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro come with newer camera hardware, and do a great job in that department. It will also be interesting to see how the Pixel 6a will compare to those two smartphones when it comes to camera performance.

Audio

Both the Google Pixel 5a and 6a include stereo speakers. It is even possible we’re getting the exact same speaker hardware here. What the Pixel 5a does have, and the Pixel 6a doesn’t, is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Google decided to ditch the headphone jack with the latest Pixel A series smartphone.

Considering there is no headphone jack on the Pixel 6a, you’ll need to utilize the Type-C port, or connect your headphones wirelessly. The Pixel 6a does include Bluetooth 5.2 with dual antennas. The Pixel 5a is limited to Bluetooth 5.0, by the way, so those are definitely good news if you’re using wireless headphones.

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The sound quality should be comparable between the two, we’ll have to wait for the Pixel 6 to release in order to see how the speakers compare.