We’ve recently compared the Pixel 6a with its predecessor, the Pixel 5a 5G. Well, it’s time to compare it to a phone that it resembles far more, design-wise. In this article, we’ll compare the Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a. The Pixel 6a comes with a brand new design, which makes this phone look a lot more similar to the Pixel 6. In other words, Google decided to offer its new design language in its mid-range smartphone series as well.
That’s not where the similarities between these two phones stop, though. The two devices do have more in common, though there are some differences as well, of course. The Pixel 6 is, after all, the company’s flagship, while the Pixel 6a is considered to be a mid-range offering. At the time of this article, the Pixel 6a was announced, but not released yet, so keep that in mind. We’ll start things off by comparing their specs, and then move to a number of other sections. Let’s start with the Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a comparison, shall we?
|Google Pixel 6||Google Pixel 6a|
|Screen size||6.4-inch fullHD+ AMOLED flat display (90Hz)||6.1-inch fullHD+ OLED HDR display (60Hz)|
|Screen resolution||2400 x 1080||2400 x 1080|
|SoC||Google Tensor||Google Tensor|
|RAM||8GB (LPDDR5)||6GB (LPDDR5)|
|Storage||128GB/256GB, non-expandable||128GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable|
|Rear cameras||50MP (f/1.9 aperture, 1.2um pixel size, 26mm lens, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS, Laser AF)|
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.25um pixel size, 114-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 cameras||8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)||8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)|
|Battery||4,614mAh, non-removable, 30W wired charging, 21W wireless charging||4,410mAh, non-removable, 18W wired charging|
|Dimensions||158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm||152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm|
|Weight||207 grams||178 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)||In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)|
|OS||Android 12||Android 12|
Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Design
As already mentioned, these two phones are very similar design-wise. The Pixel 6a is smaller, and the materials Google used are not the same, but visually, the two phones are quite similar. They both offer a rather box design, with thin bezels, and a centered display camera hole. The bezels are not uniform, though, as the bottom bezel is slightly thicker than the rest of them. All the physical buttons sit on the right-hand side of both phones.
The camera visor on the back is larger on the Pixel 6, and that difference is quite noticeable. The Pixel 6 comes with a smaller display, and the device is shorter, narrower, and equally thick. It’s considerably lighter, though. So, as you can see, the difference in sheer dimensions is quite considerable as well. The Pixel 6a is supposed to be an option for those of you who want a somewhat smaller device, and a more affordable one as well. This phone is not small per se, but it’s smaller than both other Pixel 6 devices.
Now, unlike the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6a doesn’t have glass on the back. Google used a “3D thermoformed composite back with tactile alloy frame”. In other words, both phones have a frame made out of metal, but the Pixel 6a has plastic on its back, kind of. Both devices are also water and dust resistant, though the Pixel 6 offers better resistance (IP68 vs IP67 rating). The Pixel 6 is quite slippery, and we’re expecting the same from the Pixel 6a. That device will be smaller, though, so it will be easier to navigate with one hand.
Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Display
The Google Pixel 6 features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. That is an HDR10+ display, and it’s protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus. It offers a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, which makes it a fullHD+ display, while it’s also flat. We’re looking at a screen-to-body ratio of around 83.4-percent here. The Pixel 6a’s display is considerably smaller, in comparison, which is what many of you may be looking for.
The Pixel 6a features a 6.1-inch display. This is a fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) panel as well, and it’s also flat. Do note that this display offers a 60Hz refresh rate, though, so it’s not a high refresh rate panel. It is an OLED display with HDR support, though. It is protected by the Gorilla Glass 3, which is rather prone to minor scratches, so keep that in mind. You may want to use a screen protector. Both phones offer a 20:9 display aspect ratio.
As already mentioned, the Pixel 6a is not out yet. We did not get a chance to test it out yet, as it’ll become available at the end of July. Its display does look good on paper, but it’s inferior to the Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 does have a great display, though. It will definitely feel smoother while scrolling due to a higher refresh rate, and we’re also expecting it to be a bit brighter, but we’ll have to wait and see. The colors on the Pixel 6 are really good, the display is punchy and vivid. Let’s hope that the Pixel 6a’s panel will come close to that.
Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Performance
Both of these phones are quite powerful on paper. Google decided to go Apple’s route and include its flagship processor in its mid-range offering. The Pixel 6a features the Google Tensor SoC, the same chip that is included inside the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. That is Google’s first, and currently last, processor. It’s considered to be a high-end chip still. It managed to ensure great performance for the Pixel 6, so we’re hoping the same will be the case with the Pixel 6a.
On top of that, the Pixel 6a does come with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage. That was a bit surprising at launch, but it’s great to see. That’s the same RAM and storage version as the Pixel 6. Granted, the Pixel 6 has more RAM, 8GB of it, while the Pixel 6a comes with “only” 6GB of RAM. The bottom line is, these two devices should be able to offer very similar performance.
The Pixel 6a will have less of a strain on the performance due to its 60Hz display. You likely won’t be able to feel the RAM difference at all. The Pixel 6a is expected to be a mid-range smartphone with excellent performance just like its sibling. The Pixel 6 did have quite a few bugs since launch, but it’s an immensely powerful device, and its performance has been great. The Pixel A series device usually have considerably less bugs, so… this will likely be a really solid phone to recommend.
Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Battery
The Google Pixel 6 comes with a 4,614mAh battery, while the Pixel 6a includes a 4,410mAh battery. The Pixel 6 does have a larger battery, but do note that it also comes with a considerably larger display, and that display offers a high refresh rate. When you consider that, you’ll realize that the Pixel 6a actually has quite a large battery considering everything. In fact, we have high hopes for the battery life it will offer.
The Pixel 6, in our experience, offers really good battery life, and the Pixel 6a is expected to go above and beyond that. We, of course, cannot guarantee that at this point, as the Pixel 6a is not out yet. The Pixel 5a 5G did offer stellar battery life, and even though the Pixel 6a’s battery is smaller, so is its display. It does include the Google Tensor SoC, though, and Google likely optimized it quite a bit up to this point. It will be very interesting to test out the Pixel 6a’s battery life.
What about charging? Well, the Google Pixel 6a offers 21W fast wired charging. Do note that the phone slows down considerably after it hits 50-percent charge, though. It also supports 21W wireless charging, with Google’s Pixel Stand. With other Qi chargers, it will charge slower. Reverse wireless charging is supported as well. The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, supports 18W wired charging only.
Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Cameras
The Pixel 6a camera performance is not something we can comment on yet. We didn’t see the pictures it can produce yet, but we know what to expect, at least. The Pixel 6a features the same main camera as every Pixel between (and including) the Pixel 2 and Pixel 5. When the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro arrived, Google changed up the camera hardware. This is the first time we’re seeing the combo between the Google Tensor SoC and that 12.2-megapixel camera, though.
That 12.2-megapixel camera sensor may be quite old, but it still takes great pictures, and the Pixel 4a, 5G, and 5 are great examples. The Google Tensor may even boost that camera performance, as this is Google’s very own chip. That’s what we’re interested to see. We’re not expecting the camera performance to be better than what the Pixel 6 series can provide, though, of course.
The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are the company’s flagships after all, and their camera sensors are newer and better. There’s no way around it. Still, the Pixel 6a is expected to offer great camera performance. It will almost certainly be suitable for most people as Google’s image processing is truly excellent. We’ll find out more in a couple of months, but we have great expectations here, that’s for sure.
You’ll be glad to hear that both of these phones have stereo speakers. What they don’t have is a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Pixel 5a 5G did include a headphone jack, but Google decided to remove it this time around. So, you’ll have to opt for a Type-C port, or simply use Bluetooth. The stereo speakers on the Pixel 6 are really good. They’re not the best out there, but the sound is clear, and they do get quite loud.
We’re not sure if Google utilized the same speakers on the Pixel 6a or not, we’ll have to wait until the phone actually arrives. Still, we do expect the sound to be good. As long as you don’t expect too much, you’ll be good to go. The vast majority of phones from well-known brands, which have stereo speakers, have good sound, so that’s not something we’re worried about at this point.