Everything appears to be excellent on paper: it resembles a scaled-down Pixel 6 with a Tensor processor, a full-featured Google Camera, a recognizable design, and a 50% lower price. Yet! Let’s investigate the saved content. After all, something was unquestionably taken out.
Since this is both my first and Google’s newest smartphone, we will race parrots in artificial environments to test autonomy, marvel at this device’s amazing camera, and determine whether Google Tensor actually has an impact on videography. We’ll also investigate the reason behind the poor vibration response.
Battery – Wireless charging missing
The Pixel 6a sports a 4410 mAh battery that supports 18W rapid charging. The Google Pixel 6a does not have wireless charging support, just like ipad. Although many people hoping to charge without a cable and adapter may be disappointed, this shouldn’t come as a major shock. That is undoubtedly a compromise.
So what is the duration of it? As per Google, the battery has a 24-hour lifespan. Let’s test it with our breakdown playlist on YouTube, Wi-Fi, and 100% brightness.
In the end, fourteen hours! Good, but it doesn’t seem particularly great either! However, the iPhone SE (2022) lasted 9 to 9,5 hours in the same test. The budget Pixel is therefore in order.
According to reviews, depending on usage, the smartphone allows for 5 to 8 hours of screen time. And it does sound rather nice. Generally speaking, during the lengthy test, there will be something to verify.
Dimensions and appearance
Because, when compared to other smartphones, like the Pixel 5, iPhone 13 mini, or iPhone SE (2022), it is still fairly large in terms of size. What should be called the benchmark of compactness is difficult to define because it varies from person to person. However, the Pixel 6a’s lack of a shovel is a nice feature. But based on the actual flagships, the ASUS Zenfone 9 will prevail.
- Pixel 6a: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm
- Pixel 5a 5G: 154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6 mm
- Pixel 5: 144.7 x 70.4 x 8 mm
- Apple iPhone SE (2022) dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
- Apple iPhone 13 mini: dimensions: 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.7 mm
- Asus Zenfone 9: 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1 mm
Generally speaking, the smartphone’s dimensions and weight were almost perfect, and it was manageable to use with just one hand.
It can be referred to as a lighter version of the Pixel 6 or Pixel 7 from the outside. The camera unit’s distinctive strip that protrudes from the body has been kept in place as a design element. By the way, thickness is stated to be the same as it was in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but it is always measured in the thinnest area. Simultaneously, the Pixel 6 is relatively small, and the smartphones’ cameras protrude differently.
Three colors are available for purchase: sage, white, and black for the smartphone. The final two are timeless! Above all, there’s a pastel greenish-blue GODIC sage.
Trendy new items, in addition to the Pixel, are waiting for you in the store: The entire range of iPhones, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, and Nothing Phone 1. As usual, the link is in the description.
Now let’s discuss the case. According to our, it’s composed of composite material, which is plastic. The glossy back attracts fingerprints right away.
The most crucial thing to remember is that, unless it’s a Turtles Ninja – style case, you shouldn’t cram it inside of one. Regretfully, these cases are not officially from Google; rather, they are from D Brand, a third-party manufacturer.
The unfortunate part is that there isn’t a power key with a different color or texture, just like with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Google removed a “chip” that gave the Pixel a slight edge over other smartphones, which is a shame.
It’s worth noting that the power key is unusually situated above the volume rocker, which bothers me. You can adjust to it, though. The flat display is yet another attractive aspect of the design.
Regarding the Pixel 6a’s display, everyone has questions. It is flat and, yes, it is an OLED matrix supporting HDR. However, support for 90Hz or 120Hz is nonexistent.
And this is arguably the first of the smartphone’s evident drawbacks, which will likely lead many users to search for alternatives like the ASUS Zenfone 9 or Nothing Phone.
- OLED matrix
- 6.1-inch diagonal
- 60 Hz frequency
- 1080 pixel resolution
- HDR – 16 million colors
- 429 pixels per inch
- 1,000,000 to 1 contrast
There are the frames after that! Plus a tiny chin at the base. The screen is protected by the somewhat outdated Gorilla Glass 3 3D glass and does not come with any factory-installed protective film. It is up to you whether or not to attach it. Without protection, I prefer it better because my finger does not stick to the display’s edges and there isn’t an unsightly circle surrounding the dust- and dirt-filled selfie camera.
Regarding the screen’s quality, it is sufficiently bright in the sun, reproduces color well, and only at very high angles does it exhibit a slight rainbow and greening effect.
However, aside from the frequency of 60 Hertz, the screen is not too bad overall. However, Google needs to find a way to encourage consumers to purchase its flagship products.
- Pixel 6a: OLED, 6.1-inch, 60Hz
- Pixel 6: AMOLED, 6.4-inch, 90 Hz
- Pixel 6 Pro: 120 Hz, 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED display.
That didn’t, however, stop the red eyes. It has become popular among programmers to unlock 90Hz in the Pixel 6a. Recognize why? This panel appears to be the same as the one in the 6. So let’s attempt to test it in a lengthy analysis.
In my view, Google’s mid-budget device has excellent specifications. That’s unexpected because the previous generation of A-pixels also had subpar processors. What is present… Recall the Pixel 5 with the Snapdragon 765G.
Everything is different here, but this is still the Titan M2 security coprocessor and Google’s flagship chip, Tensor. additionally declared AR Core, the augmented reality core. We also have 128 GB of UFS 3.1 storage and 6 gigabytes of quick LPDDR5 RAM. Of course, that number could be 256 and microSD slots are typically absent.
The Google Tensor processor has eight cores (2+2+4) with a clock speed of 2.8 GHz. It also has a Titan M2 security coprocessor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
Let’s investigate, though: is this a trimmed version of the same Google Tensor or something else? The Pixel 6a scores 1050 and 2821 points in the single-core and multi-core tests on GeekBench, respectively. Comparable to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, that is. The outcome is even better in the multi-core test, suggesting that optimization is effective!
The result is 7916 points in the Compute test, which, to refresh your memory, tests graphics processing speed. Not bad for a mid-range device, and yes, this is another result that is on par with, if not slightly better than, the Pixel 6 Pro.
And last but not least, the trotting. We tested the Tensor’s ability to withstand loads and overheating by leaving the Pixel 6a running for 30 minutes. And this is where things go wrong for the Pixel 6a: by the sixth minute, its power had decreased by half, to a mere 120 GIPS. And things remained the same. With a maximum of 220 GIPS and an average of 140 GIPS, it reached its lowest points within the first five minutes. The minimum, incidentally, is 115 GIPS. Indeed, the smartphone experienced significant heat during the test. The program stated that the cores warmed up to fifty degrees. The hand warms up significantly but does not burn.
Everything in games is essentially: The tiny display on Call of Duty Mobile, which is also covered by fingers, makes the game uncomfortable to play even at maximum settings and frames per second.
The fingerprint scanner is another noteworthy feature. It is situated beneath the screen and is optical. It’s in a handy place. However, the scanner is slow to respond, and even its older brother, the Pixel 6 Pro, which isn’t known for its rapid unlocking speed, surpasses it. Everyone would be happy to save even more money if Google relocated the fingerprint scanner to the power button—it’s quick, affordable, and practical!
More about the vibration, which is tactile. Although it is extremely precise and quiet, the vibration response is not very strong. This makes sense given its size—its disassembly makes this clear—which is tiny. The device’s compact design was generally the cause of the vibration.
Although it is obvious that the purpose of the SIM-card module is to allow all of us to happily use the cloud, it is only designed to accommodate one SIM card, and no, there isn’t room for a microSD card at the back. I suppose so.
We can refer to the Pixel 6 as dual-sim, though it would be stretching it, because it has an eSIM in addition to the physical SIM.
It has IP67 dust and water protection, by the way. Rubber pads on the USB Type-C, speakers, and SIM card slot are clearly visible in the PBK Reviews disassembly.
Everything about the communication modules is excellent, including Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 and 6e.
It’s also important to notice that the stereo speakers are nearly the same size.
Though the existence of stereo Pixel has long been expected, the removal of the 3.5 audio jack from the A-line surprised many. What a bummer!
Let’s move on to it. Additionally, Pixel hasn’t surprised us with the camera in a long time.
In the realm of mobile photography, Pixel is considered a benchmark due to its flawless integration of reference processing algorithms and sensor capabilities.
Then, interestingly, they chose to revive the Sony IMX 363 after taking a break from the ISOCELL sensor in the Pixel 6. What makes that such a big deal? The third, fourth, and fifth generations of Pixels were built using that sensor, according to the company. Here it is, the Pixel 6a.
Additionally, this is not the first instance of the Sony IMX386 being utilized in an ultra-wide sensor.
You already know what the Pixel camera is capable of. However, we took multiple shots: against the light, indoors at night, and during the day. And we had favorable outcomes everywhere we looked. We’ll note the portrait mode as usual.
The Pixel 6a is yet another excellent point-and-shoot camera; Xiaomi is available for anything else. Naturally, I’m referring to manual mode and PRO-advanced features.
However, in this particular situation—turning on the camera, snapping a photo, waiting for the gnomes to process it, and then sharing it on social media—it was a fantastic choice!
Yet! Another crucial component is the video. Google says the HDRNet algorithm on the Tensor processor makes the image better. Let’s investigate and contrast the footage with the Pixel 5, which sports an identical sensor but a two-year-old chip.
What’s most interesting is the video. It appears that the algorithms are functional. Take a close look at Boris’s skin details; they are more detailed and have less noise. However, the sky has changed the most; on the Pixel 6a, it appears precisely bluer and crisper. Conclusion: Tensor is capable.
Of course, the Pixel Experience is yet another feature that makes the Pixel unique among Android smartphones. Android 12 with Material You design is operating on it. Also, the website provides information on five years’ worth of Pixel updates.
July 2025 is the cutoff date by which security updates and new Android versions will be guaranteed for the phone until July 2027. That is, the chips have a three-year shelf life. Naturally, the Pixel 6a will be among the first to receive the updated Android 13. And it won’t happen after the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro go on sale; it will happen very soon. This pair will also be waiting for a test.
Regarding the system, I won’t reveal anything that is essentially novel: it is elegant and practical, operates incredibly well, but 90 or 120 Hz is undoubtedly insufficient for a smartphone. Though some are still dubious, widgets are still lovely. Despite the fact that the size can be altered, the clock is too large.
At the same time, Material You makes me very happy because it offers a ton of customization options, but there is no Chinese method for downloading the millions of theme and icon variations. However, there isn’t any chaos and everything is somewhat standardized here!
Now let’s review. Though I think the Pixel 6a concept is cool, I know I’ll love the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro even more.
However, other camera sensors, wireless charging, and higher frequency screens will make little to no difference. Generally speaking, I’ll stick with the Pixel 6a while we wait for the Pixel 7 because of its compact design.