He could introduce us to Google Pixel 6a next week, if rumors about Google’s plans to launch its next budget phone are to be believed. Google is hosting its annual Google I / O development conference starting Wednesday (May 11th), and many Google observers believe the Pixel 6a will be one of the stars of the event’s opening remarks.
Google Pixel 6a specs rumors
Screen size: 6.2-inch OLED
Refresh rate: 60Hz or 90Hz
Rear cameras: 12MP main; 12MP ultra wide
Front camera: 8 MP
Battery size: 4,800 mAh
Wire charging speed: 30W
Presenting a cheaper version of your Pixel phone during a developer conference is not uncommon for Google. After all, the original Pixel A-series phone, the Pixel 3a, debuted there in 2019. And a number of signs have emerged that strongly suggest that phone launches are imminent, including the Pixel 6a, which recently appeared in the FCC for regulatory approval.
If the Pixel 6a arrives as expected, it is coming to a crowded market for affordable mid-range models. Apple has already introduced the $ 429 iPhone SE (2022), which lowers the price of the currently available Pixel 5a by $ 20. There’s also the issue of Samsung’s Galaxy A53, which actually surpassed Google’s current budget flagship in our confrontation of the Galaxy A53 and Pixel 5a. So the Pixel 6a has little to do if Google wants this to be the $ 500 phone we recommend.
Fortunately, rumors of a Pixel 6a suggest Google isn’t sitting on its laurels. There are rumors of a number of big changes for the upcoming phone, and if those rumors pass, the Pixel 6a could quickly climb the list of the best cheap phones.
Here’s what you need to know about what’s potentially coming to Google Pixel 6a before launching that phone and how likely that change is to happen.
1. Brand new processor
Previous Pixel A series phones used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon silicon, typically from 6 or 7 series of mid-range chipset chipsets. They delivered solid, if not spectacular performance, but nothing that caused the previous models to really stand out.
That could change with the Pixel 6a, which is fine to get the same Tensor system on a chip that Google included in last season’s Pixel 6 phones. The tensor isn’t necessarily powerful in itself, lagging behind the A15 Bionic that Apple uses in the latest iPhone SE in benchmark testing. But the Tensor comes with a dedicated machine learning core that drives many of the unique features found on the Pixel 6.
These ML-inspired features include the ability of the Pixel 6 to view incoming calls and transcribed dictated text messages on the go, even with the correct punctuation marks. If Google Pixel 6a added a Tensor chipset, those features would also be available on a cheap phone. And that would give Google an advantage over the Pixel 6a competition below $ 500. At the moment, we would be willing to bet that adding the Tensor to the Pixel 6a will be the most prominent feature of a cheap phone.
2. New design
The processor inside the Pixel 6 isn’t the only thing that has changed on that phone. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro also have a distinctive look, with a horizontal camera strip extending the entire width of the phone. Admittedly, it’s not a universally favorite look, but it certainly helps to make the latest Pixel flagships stand out in a sea of pretty identical smartphones.
The past three iterations of the Pixel A-Series were also not known for their looks, but that could change if Google introduces the Pixel 6a a Pixel 6-inspired modification.
This is more than just a wish on our part. Leaked fake units and renders suggest that the Pixel 6a takes its design hints from the Pixel 6. And that would certainly be in line with the way Google has handled the look of its past budget phones, relying on more expensive flagship inspiration models. As with the Tensor chip rumor, we think this one is likely to happen.
3. Larger battery compared to Pixel 5a
It’s been a long time since Google’s phone landed on the list of the best phone batteries. The Pixel 5a was certainly missing last year, giving an average score on our battery test, in which phones surf the web until they run out of power. The Pixel 5a lasted 9 hours and 45 minutes when we tested it. A good time is closer to 10.5 hours, while a great time reaches the limit of 11.5 hours.
We won’t know if the Pixel 6a can improve the performance of the Pixel 5a until we get a chance to test the phone. (And, of course, Google must announce the phone first.) But one rumor suggests that Google is taking steps to extend the battery life of its low-cost phone. Reportedly, the Pixel 6a will have a 4,800 mAh power supply.
That would be a modest upgrade over the Pixel 5a’s 4,680 mAh battery. But assuming better Tensor silicon power management features, even a small increase in battery size could help the Pixel 6a outlive its predecessor.
You should be able to charge your new Google Phone at least faster. That same rumor that promises a bigger battery also indicates an increase in wire charging speed, from 18W to 30W. It’s a little harder to believe, just because Google might prefer to differentiate between its flagship and low-cost devices.
4. New photo features
First some bad news about the cameras on the Pixel 6a – they don’t change the Pixel 5a much. Unofficial specifications at the moment claim that the Pixel 6a will feature a 12 MP wide-angle camera and a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle lens; they are compared to the 12 MP and 16 MP sensors for the Pixel 5a. It can be said that the number of megapixels at an ultra-wide angle will drop, but the pixel size could increase for the Pixel 6a, which means the phone will be able to let in more light for sharper images.
Even if this is the only hardware change on the Pixel 6a’s cameras, things should still be fine, as the Pixel 5a ranks among the best camera phones, especially for a device that costs less than $ 500. A real benefit would be the Tensor-powered photo features that appear on Pixel 6a, such as the Magic Eraser tool on Pixel 6 to remove unwanted objects or people from photo backgrounds. Other features of Pixel 6 photos such as Motion Mode blur may not reach Pixel 6a, some leaked claims. We hope that this particular statement is wrong.
5. Quick-refresh screen
This potential Pixel 6a is in the air, and different leaks support different rumors. In one corner, you have rumors claiming that the Pixel 6a screen will have the same 60 Hz refresh rate as the Pixel 5a. However, another rumor has grown that we are approaching the launch of the Pixel 6a, claiming that the new phone will have a refresh rate of 90 Hz, just like the Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 Pro will still be Google’s only phone with a 120Hz adaptive screen.
At this point, it is difficult to say what the rumor is. Increasing the refresh rate to 6a would give it an advantage over the iPhone SE, which uses a traditional 60 Hz panel, while also trying to keep up with the Galaxy A53 and its 120 Hz display.
On the other hand, you can see why Google could book a fast refresh rate as a feature for its flagship devices, especially if the Pixel 6 will stay $ 120 more expensive than the Pixel 6a. In other words, stay with us to see which direction Google is going with its screen.
Appearance of Pixel 6a
Assuming the Google I / O launch rumors aren’t wrong, we won’t have to wait long to see which of these key Pixel 6a rumors will become a reality. We’ll also be closely monitoring whether Google will keep the line at the $ 449 price tag of the Pixel 5a with its new phone.
Pricing rumors suggest that the Galaxy 6a will likely cost the same as its predecessor, which would mean it would also match the price of the Galaxy A53. The iPhone SE would still be a cheaper option, but as the above features would imply, the Pixel 6a has more than its likely price below $ 500.