Meet Pixel 6a, the more affordable Google phone that adapts to you. Powered by Google Tensor, it’s super fast and secure. The battery lasts up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver.***** The Pixel Camera captures the moment just how you experienced it. And with TitanM2 security, protection is built right in.
Compatible with all major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Also compatible with prepaid carriers including Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Google Fi, Simple Mobile, Total Wireless, Tracfone, Net10, Mint, and H2O.
Google puts the G in 5G.
Download and upload videos super fast over 5G.* Watch movies, play games, and get stuff done when you’re on the go.
Google Tensor helps you get things done fast.
Pixel is fast and responsive with the Google Tensor chip. Apps launch fast, pages and images load quickly, and everything runs smoothly.
The brains behind Pixel 6a.
Google Tensor makes Pixel 6a super smart, secure, and powerful. It’s the first chip designed by Google just for Pixel.
Affordable phone, great display.
Robust display featuring FHD+ and OLED****** with up to 60 Hz.
Make distractions disappear, just like that.
Easily remove distractions, like photobombers, with Magic Eraser in Google Photos.** Or change the color and brightness so an object blends right in.
Beautifully accurate photos with Real Tone.
Real Tone from Pixel 6 comes to Pixel 6a. So photos represent the nuances of different skin tones beautifully and authentically.
Translate languages in real time.
With Live Translate, you can chat in 11 languages, interpret face-to-face conversations, and translate signs with the camera.***
Powered by Android.
Google Pixel 6a runs on the Android operating system.
The battery that follows your lead.
Pixel’s Adaptive Battery can last over 24 hours. It learns your favorite apps, so it doesn’t waste power on the ones you rarely use.****
Your protection, built into Pixel.
The Titan M2 chip and the Google Tensor security core, an extra layer of hardware security, help make Pixel more resilient to attacks.*****
*Requires a 5G data plan (sold separately). 5G service not available on all carrier networks or in all areas. 5G service, speed and performance depend on many factors, including carrier network capabilities and signal strength. Actual results may vary. Data rates may apply.
** Requires Google Photos app. Magic Erasermay not work on all image elements.
*** Not available in all languages or countries. Not available on all media or apps. See g.co/pixel/livetranslate for more information. Translation may not be instantaneous.
****Estimated battery life based on testing using a median Pixel user battery usage across a mix of talk, data, standby, and other features. Average battery life during testing was approximately 29 hours. Battery testing conducted using Sub-6 GHz non-standalone 5G(ENDC) connectivity.
*****Compared to Pixel 5a.
******Measured diagonally; dimension may vary by configuration and manufacturing process. Smooth Display is not available for all apps or content. Smooth Display automatically adjusts to optimize for best viewing and battery performance.
Phone Memory (RAM)
Google Pixel 6a
Pixel 6a 128GB (Unlocked)
Data Plan Required
Google Pixel 6a
Maximum Depth Of Water Resistance
Ingress Protection (IP) Rating
Yes - Front and Back
4410 milliampere hours
Google Pixel 6a
SIM Card Size
Nano SIM, eSIM
SIM Card Slots
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Cricket, Google Fi, Simple Mobile, TracFone, Net10, Mint Mobile, H2O Wireless, Verizon
The vast majority of our reviews come from verified purchases. Reviews from customers may include My Best Buy members, employees, and Tech Insider Network members (as tagged). Select reviewers may receive discounted products or points for an honest, helpful review.
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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Pleasantly Surprised By The Pixel 6a
Owned for 1 week when reviewed.
At first, I was skeptical of the 6a, as it is googles “budget” model of their 2022 Pixel line up. However this one has certainly surprised me with how good it is! Coming from an iPhone 12, I have been pleasantly surprised by how alike the Pixel is to the iPhone. After using it daily as my work phone for around two weeks now, I have no complaints at all and only good things to say. This phone can handle just about anything you throw at it and given it’s price it is an absolute no brainer. Also, the battery life is incredible, and after a heavy day of use I end up still having 30% battery by the end of the day. Highly recommend!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Google's Budget Flagship Phone
I've used the Pixel 4 as my secondary/work phone for the past few years. The Pixel 4 was a great phone, though it was hindered by very short battery life, a dim display, and questionable face unlock technology. The Pixel 6a improves upon all of these aspects, but sacrifices some high-end features in an effort to keep costs down. Still, the Pixel lineup represents the best Android experience you will find on any smartphone, and the Pixel 6a is a very compelling value in Google's lineup.
=== DESIGN ===
- The Pixel 6a shares the same basic design as the larger Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. This Charcoal color is a fully glossy finish on the back with a very subtle gray undertone. It looks great, though it's a fingerprint magnet. I wish Google would have offered a color with a matte back like the sides of the phone.
- The horizontal camera bar is also a carry-over from the 6 and 6 Pro. It protrudes ever so slightly from the back of the phone, but it's quite flush compared to something like an iPhone 13 Pro. Even better, the relatively flush camera bar means there is no wobble when you set the phone down on a flat surface.
- Google has removed the huge "forehead" above the display that stood out like a sore thumb on the Pixel 4. Instead, the front camera is a hole-punch design at the top of the display and the display takes up almost the entirety of the front of the phone. For some reason, the bezel below the display is just a tiny bit larger than any of the other sides.
- Overall: It's a good-looking phone with a front that is nearly all screen. I do wish Google would have offered the Pixel 6a in a wider variety of colors.
=== DISPLAY ===
- The 6.1" display is sort of the sweet spot for those who want a regular sized phone: not too small; not too large or heavy. Compared to the Pixel 4, the display feels much larger due to the removal of the large "forehead" above the display.
- The 1080p display is clear, sharp, and vivid, and it produces perfect black levels thanks to its OLED technology. It gets much brighter than my Pixel 4 and is very usable outside in bright sunlight.
- Unlike the higher refresh rates on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, the Pixel 6a is locked to 60 Hz. If you've recently used a high-end Android or iPhone Pro model, the difference is quite striking. Going back and forth between the Pixel 6a and my iPhone 13 Pro, the choppier motion on the Pixel is immediately noticeable. If you haven't used a phone with a high screen refresh rate, then you probably won't even notice this, but it's something to consider.
- Luckily, Google has kept the "always-on" feature for the Pixel 6a display, which shows the time, date, and weather when you are near the phone.
- Overall: Considering the cost of the phone, the Pixel 6a has a great display. Most casual users will not notice the lower refresh rate, and the display gets very bright and maintains all the other great benefits of OLED technology.
=== SOFTWARE, FEATURES, & PERFORMANCE ===
- If you're an Android fan, you will obviously love the stock version of Android 12 on the Pixel 6a. No bloatware, no third party software, no unnecessary logos -- just pure Android. I'm a big fan of Google's new "Material You" design language, which allows you to create dynamic colors across apps and app icons. There are also some Android features that Apple just can't compete with, like call menu option transcripts and letting Google Assistant wait on hold for you. Google says that the Pixel 6a will receive five years of security updates.
- Google has brought under-display fingerprint authentication to the Pixel 6a. It works fine, but it is certainly not fast. It's not as easy as just touching your finger to the designated area on the screen. You actually have to rest your finger there for almost a half second and make sure that your finger is entirely within the white circle. I've used the phone for a week so far, and I can't count the number of times the phone has told me to hold my finger "a little longer" on the screen. I suppose I'll eventually get used to it, but it's not as seamless as Touch ID was on old iPhones.
- The Pixel 6a comes with 128GB of storage, though there is no microSD card expansion slot. It uses the same Tensor processor found in the 6 and 6 Pro, though it has 2GB less RAM compared to the Pixel 6 (6GB vs 8GB). Regardless, the phone is very fast, but it's not quite as fast as the latest offerings from Apple. The multicore Geekbench 5 score of the Pixel 6a is 2903, vs 4719 on the iPhone 13 Pro.
- Overall: Android 12 is excellent, though the under-display fingerprint sensor leaves a lot to be desired. For now, the phone is fast and responsive, I just hope it stays that way after future Android and app updates.
=== CAMERAS ===
- The main camera on the Pixel 6a is borrowed from the Pixel 5a, while the ultrawide camera is the same one found on the 6 and 6 Pro. Both are 12-megapixel sensors and produce good photos, though it is not a dramatic improvement compared to past Pixel models.
- Photos have bright, vivid colors and never seem oversaturated. There's no telephoto sensor on the 6a, so any zoom is all digital, which can result in some blurry photos if you're not close to the subject.
- The real magic of the Pixel 6a's camera is in its image processing and software features made possible by the Tensor processor. "Real Tone" makes sure that all skin tones appear authentic and not washed out or altered. "Face Unblur" uses algorithms to ensure that faces are not blurry when you take photos of moving subjects.
- The "Magic Eraser" feature and allows you to remove unwanted people or objects from your photos. It works brilliantly most of the time, but other times it just leaves a blurry mess or jagged edges around the item I was trying to remove.
- All other camera features of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are present in the 6a (with the exception of Motion Mode). My only gripe is that I sometimes have trouble taking Night Sight shots and Portrait shots. The phone will tell you to "hold still," sometimes for as long as 5 to 10 seconds. And even then, the photos can come out blurry. This was an issue with my Pixel 4 and it doesn't seem to have improved much with the 6a.
- Overall: Photo and camera quality is as expected for a Google Pixel phone. The camera's real strengths lie in Google's image processing and software features, and it's amazing that a phone of this price has such high-end camera features baked in.
=== BATTERY ===
- The Pixel 6a has a 4,410mAh battery, which is quite small. However, Google has implemented some excellent software features that result in very good battery life. Google claims that the battery "can last beyond 24 hours" and "up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver."
- Google's claims are mostly accurate, but it will take some close monitoring of your usage and software settings. "Beyond 24 hours" does not refer to actual screen-on time. I used the phone for about 7 hours over the course of a day and a half before the battery finally died. I haven't had a chance to test again using Extreme Battery Saver mode, but I suspect you would be able to squeeze out an extra few hours of use with that enabled. Extreme Battery Saver basically turns off all non-essential apps and only allows notifications from apps that you deem critical.
- Unfortunately, the Pixel 6a does not support wireless charging, which is quite a big loss for a modern smartphone. I've grown to rely on wireless charging quite a bit over the past few years, so I will have to be sure to travel with a spare USB-C cable and wall adapter for the Pixel 6a.
- Fast charging is supported up to 18W, which is fast, but not as fast as the 23W fast charging offered by the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.
- Overall: Battery life is dramatically improved compared to my old Pixel 4 and will easily last through a day or more of regular use. There are some very intuitive battery management feature built into Android 12 that can help extend battery life even further. The lack of wireless charging is a big blow, and I fear some users might not discover this omission until after they take home and unbox the Pixel 6a.
=== OVERALL ===
The Pixel 6a is Google's "flagship-lite" phone. At its core, it has all of the features that make Pixel phones shine: an excellent Android experience, a great camera system, very good performance, and reliable support and software updates. The display and battery life are much improved compared to the Pixel 4 that I'm upgrading from, though the subpar fingerprint reader and lack of wireless charging might get old pretty quickly. Those things aside, this is a very easy phone to recommend to those who don't need a large screen or every high-end/premium feature. The feature set offered by the Pixel 6a is absolutely unmatched at this price range.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
I'm pleasantly surprised
Several key components make up a good and solid phone nowadays. I'd like to share what Google has to offer in this budget friendly, everyday phone.
1. Outstanding 4K video quality that can easily stand up against it's competitors. This is such a huge feature in today's world where we are constantly updating social media and recording our everyday actions. I have an example of the video quality attached to this review.
2. The photo quality of this phone is excellent. There are tons of cool editing options that take some getting used to, but when you know what you are doing, they are awesome. My favorite photo editing option is the Magic Eraser. I attached a before and after photo to this review. It's certainly a great feature despite not being super high tech.
3. For those that like to customize their user interface, this phone could be a great option for you. I found myself playing around with the phone for an hour just going through the customization options. I think Google did a good job on this. I was able to get my UI looking exactly how I wanted it to look and working best for me.
4. It's a Google phone, so Google Assistant is a big part of it. Some people do not care to use a feature like Google Assistant, and that's fine, but using it on a Google phone is very different. It's very similar to having a personal assistant in the palm of your hands. I set a morning routine and it was refreshing waking up to the weather and news headlines. Because this technology has gotten so advanced, I found myself talking to the phone as if I were talking to a person. Is it a little scary how advanced the technology is on this now? Yes. Am I still going to use it? Absolutely yes.
5. The construction of this phone is comparable to most. The weight is about the same as most. Because I have smaller hands, I prefer a smaller phone. This one is just right with a 6.1" screen size that fits well into the palm of my hand.
Now on to the things I wasn't a fan of. This list is short.
Occasionally the phone would lag. I'm talking about the home page lagging. I would click on an app and it's like the touch sensor wouldn't pick up what I was pushing.
If you are not used to a Google Pixel phone, there is a learning curve. My old phone was set up almost 100% opposite of this one, buttons and all. It took me a while to get used to it. Muscle memory is a hard thing to break.
This is the first 5G compatible phone I've owned and my calls were dropping or I would get terrible reception. This could just be my phone provider or there could be something going on with the phone. I'm really not sure but I just wanted to mention it.
Overall for the price point of the phone, and what Google packed in it, I'd say this phone does exceed expectations and is a great value.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Google Pixel 6a - Pure Google Done Right for Less
With the success of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google’s unlocked 5G Pixel 6A has a little smaller screen at 6.1”, the same 6 GB RAM, the same bright and beautiful OLED screen at a more affordable price.
Outstanding features include:
• Battery charge lasts up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver, and with Adaptive Battery it learns your favorite apps, so it doesn’t waste power on the ones you rarely use
• Powered by the same Tensor chip as Pixel 6 Pro, apps should launch, load and run quickly
• Display features Full HD and OLED with refresh up to 60 Hz
• Failproof fingerprint unlock
• Accurate, assistant voice typing
• Magic Eraser for removal of unwanted objects in photos
• Realistic skin tones
• Amazing, high quality videos
• Security Hub helps protect phone, apps, Google Account and passwords
• Adaptive battery charging to optimize battery performance
This has the best of the Pixel 6 hardware adapted for this new and smaller model, with some omitted features and at a lower cost.
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
• Unlocked Google Pixel 6a
• SIM card removal pin
• charger and cable
My new Pixel 6a is an unlocked Charcoal color with 128 GB of storage.
This unlocked phone is compatible with T-Mobile and Verizon, as well as the other major U.S carriers, including AT&T, Sprint. Also compatible with prepaid carriers including Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Google Fi, Simple Mobile, Total Wireless, Tracfone, Net10, Mint, and H2O.
Coming from an iPhone, the switch was easier than anticipated. I turned off FindMy on the iPhone, removed its SIM card, inserted it into the Pixel 6a and powered it on. The Pixel 6a prompted me to insert the USB-C end of a charging cable into the 6a and the Lightning end of that cable into the iPhone from which I was transferring data. Power on the iPhone. Then the magic! It took a little more than an hour, but the direct transfer was successful.
What’s missing? The only exception of significance is that the Pixel 6a does not support wireless charging. I am committed to making this work. iPhones are much more expensive.
With the initial setup completed, it’s time to . . .
**PUT IT TO THE TEST**
There were updates to do after setup, so, that was done first. Next, I had to choose which apps to use for messaging and for email. There is no default Android messaging app, so I researched choices and took my best shot.
I had read of users’ disdain for poor performance of fingerprint unlocking on Pixel 6. I am pleased to report that there are no such issues with the 6a running on the latest Android operating system. Also noteworthy and important to any Android phone purchaser – For how long will this phone receive operating system updates?
This is a brand new model. As such I read that Google has committed to sending out three OS updates including being among the first Android phones to be updated to Android 13. In addition, Google has indicated that Pixel 6a is to also benefit from five years of security updates. Older phones, whether free or for less than this mid-$400 Pixel 6a, cannot make that claim with certainty. Therefore, why take chances? It is just not worth the risk.
What is important to a smart phone user?
Messaging – successfully accomplished with a few dozen contacts. I like the haptic feedback from Pixel 6a.
Email – easy to set up new accounts or existing email addresses from Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and others. Use the email app OR other options from any number of Android email client. It’s the user’s choice.
Zoom – using existing account or new.
Camera – low light performance is good, not excellent, but only when compared to more expensive mobile phones, so here is where compromises were made. Videos and still images are clear and sharp. In its price class, Pixel 6a takes good still images and high quality videos. No complaints here.
Screen resolution – only the most discerning, make that PICKY users would detect that the screen is not 120Hz. NO one I showed the Pixel 6a to commented negatively about the screen resolution or sharpness. In point of fact, friends were very happy with what they saw, especially after I told them the retail price of this phone.
Streaming – watching Prime Video and Netflix content was very satisfying.
Sound – Whether listening to streamed music, sound accompanying streaming video or podcasts, the stereo sound comes through loud and clear with just the right amount of sharpness and definition.
A few more features were tested that WOWED me include:
Wait Times – this built-in part of the Phone app helps users decide when is the best time to call businesses to avoid long wait times. This is brilliant!
Direct my Call – when calling a toll-free business number, Google Assistant transcribes the automated message and menu items in real-time and displays them on screen. A tap of the on-screen option buttons transcribed by Assistant instead of the dial pad to make a selection, then select menu options as desired. This sure beats listening intently or trying to remember options. Also brilliant!
Hold for Me – This is said to save time when calling a business. If you’re put on hold, Google can wait on the line for you, then notify you with sound, vibration and prompt when someone is ready to talk.
There are so many more refinements than these.
Wrapped in an attractive package, this unlocked Google Pixel 6a with 128GB has to be on consumers’ short lists of next Android phones that have great performance and features at an attractive price point. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
This beautiful and powerful phone, like so many others, is slippery and easily dropped, I recommend purchasing a protective case and tempered glass screen protector. I did! I want the Pixel 6a to look and perform well for several years to come.
One year manufacturer’s warranty
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 1 out of 5 stars
Regular lost network connect
Owned for 3 weeks when reviewed.
Regular network problem. Sometimes it works slowly. The problem arose after 15 days of use. Internet connection speed H+
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Brand response from Google Team
Hi there, We appreciate your feedback and are sorry to hear that you are having an issue with your new Pixel.
If you are still experiencing this issue, we recommend contacting our customer support team for assistance. (From your phone click on Settings > Tips & support > Contact us)
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Flagship Features for an Affordable Price
(that’s Too Long, Didn’t Read)
The Pixel 6a is not Google’s flagship top-end phone, but you’d never know it from the rich feature set. The large, beautiful display with an under-screen fingerprint scanner, the great battery life, and the amazing set of features all fool you into thinking you spent a lot for their top-end model… but this is the “affordable” one in the series. There are a few features that the 6 and the 6 Pro have that the 6a doesn’t have, but you’ll probably not miss them for the cash you saved. A fantastic phone at a great price.
* Large always-on OLED screen with small bezels.
* Hole-punch selfie camera.
* Under-screen fingerprint sensor.
* All-day battery life with fast USB-C charging.
* Great cameras with computational fun.
* Android 12 with Material You is really nice.
* First to get all the new software goodies versus non-Google Android phones.
* No wireless charging (present in the 6 and 6 Pro)
* Plastic back instead of glass or metal.
* No headphone jack (not a con if you’re OK with Bluetooth headphones).
* Slightly less RAM than the 6 or 6 Pro versions.
* Cameras are not quite as good as those in the 6 or 6 Pro.
I’m a long-time iPhone user and it’s been a while since I last set up or used an Android phone. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to set up. The onboarding process was fast and fun. I didn’t try to switch my stuff from iPhone to Android although that was an option. This Pixel phone even came with an adapter to directly connect the cable for another phone into this one for faster transfers.
I used a pre-paid Verizon nano-SIM and everything worked as expected with one exception; Google’s version of Visual Voicemail is not compatible with my pre-paid Verizon plan, so I’m back to the 90’s in dialing a voicemail number to listen to my messages.
Like most phones these days, it came with a cable but not a USB charger. I had a 30w USB-C charger lying around it happily announced that it was “Rapidly charging” with a countdown until full… nice! No wireless charging on this phone, but the wired charging was so fast that might not even miss it.
I won’t get into too many details of Android 12 because that is available on most newer Android smartphones. The nice thing about the Pixel phones, though, is that it not only has a “clean” version of Android without a ton of added fluff that other brands then to pre-install, but it also gets the new stuff faster than other brands.
If you happened to watch the keynote from Google I/O, you’ve probably seen a bunch of the cool new features that are baked into this phone out of the box. The new Material You UI is really fun and fluid and easy to make it your own. For those that spend time on the phone calling businesses, you can have the phone transcribe the other end of the call so you can read what they’re saying and even navigate those horrible “press 1 for this or 2 for that” systems by reading the screen and tapping labeled options! If you’ve ever been on permahold(tm), you can stop paying attention for that voice which means you made it in, and instead have your Pixel ring when it senses that your turn is up.
All the new search functions are amazingly helpful! I love Lens as it really works to tell you what the camera is aiming at. Speaking of the camera, while the specs of the 6a’s cameras are not quite as good as the 6 or the 6 Pro, you’ll still get amazing results for selfies, photos and videos.
One thing that didn’t work as well as I had hoped was the under-screen fingerprint sensor. It worked well enough, but the sensor is at a very specific spot under the screen. Generally, when the phone wants to scan your finger, it puts an icon on the screen over where the sensor is so you can put your finger on the icon and get a good scan. I noticed that in many applications; both native from Google and others, the icon is not lined up with the sensor. You put your finger over that icon and the scan doesn’t work. I got in the habit of putting my finger about a 1/4” away from the icon for these applications and that worked. The good thing is that this is an easily-fixed problem with a software update. The fingerprint sensor itself seems to work fine.
Battery life was great and did really last over a day’s worth of typical use. The phone does tend to get a bit warm if you use it for a while, though. Not hot enough to have to put it down, but definitely warm enough to notice.
I didn’t care so much about the lack of a headphone jack. Who really uses wired headphones these days anyway? If you’re truly an audiophile with a wired set of cans, you can always buy a USB-C to Headphone adapter on the cheap that will work.
The display is bright and clear and the colors really pop thanks to being OLED. The refresh rate is a tad less than the 6 or the 6 Pro but is more than good enough for typical use.
There is TON to love about the Pixel 6a and only a few small things to mention as not being great. It really does feel like a phone that hits much higher than its price would indicate. Not everyone needs to the top-end phone, and with the 6a, you’re not missing much from its more-expensive siblings. You really are getting more than you pay for with the 6a… fast, fun and fully-featured.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Flagship performance in a midrange device
1. Outstanding overall performance for any category and especially for a midrange device
2. Solid battery life
3. Google's software extras and excellent long term update support
4. Nice design and solid construction
5. Decent display
6. Excellent camera for a midrange device
7. Top notch haptics
1. No wireless charging and wired charging could be faster
2. Display looks good but isn't perfect. Some may wish for a faster refresh rate.
Personal preference: keep in mind that at 6.1" this device is a little smaller than some other new phones. I found the size to be very convenient, but you may want to see one in person to make sure it's the right fit for you.
The Pixel 6a continues Googles recent trend of creating smartphones which deliver incredible value. And while the 6a is scaled down from the top end specifications of it’s slightly larger sibling, this device still manages to bring all the core elements of flagship performance to the midrange market. I’ve been using this phone extensively for the past week or so and can attest that it provides a fantastic smartphone experience which goes well beyond what I’ve seen in other respected midrange offerings.
Most importantly, Google has provided the same high end custom Tensor processor as was debuted in the Pixel 6. Although the layout of the ARM cores is a little different Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors, this is absolutely a top end piece of silicon with performance that will rival or, in some cases, exceed that of a Snapdragon 888, depending on what you’re asking it to do. While Qualcomm has now updated the 888, this Tensor chip remains extremely competitive and provided superb performance in everything I threw at it. I’ve used the device with 3D games, HD video, email, news readers, photo editing, and 2D gaming and in all cases it has been fast and fluid.
The Tensor chip also has superb AI support to enable Pixel features such as live call transcription (including display of voice prompt menus), live translation (interpreter mode), and on-device speech recognition that doesn’t need to send your speech audio to the cloud in order to understand you. These are genuine quality of life improvements that help make using this phone more fun and more efficient.
The display is the same full HD resolution as that of the Pixel 6, and while many high end phones now offer higher resolution, this display remains sharp and easy to read. I never missed the extra pixel density vs. the Galaxy S21 Ultra I usually use. The display also benefits from using OLED technology for vibrant colors and deep blacks. On paper, the only issue is that this is a 60Hz display while many newer phones run at 90Hz or even 120Hz. It’s a rational compromise that you’re unlikely to notice unless you’re coming from a high refresh rate device. I did also notice some off-axis color shifting and other minor image quality issues. It’s a good display, but brightness, refresh rate, and color accuracy are not going to be as good as a higher priced flagship.
None of these great features matter if the battery runs out, and in my usage battery life was solid. 4,410mah battery is plenty big enough for most users to make it through the day. I found that 4 hours of screen-on time should be easily achievable over the course of a day. Stand by battery performance is good too and I was able to get 1.5 -2 hours screen on time per day across two days on a single charge.
Google has a well deserved reputation for solid smartphone cameras and this device is no exception. This is one area where midrange phones often suffer, but Google has brough to bear their superb image processing and AI software expertise to make for fast and highly reliable mobile photography experience. In every thing from bright sunlight to an unlit room with curtains closed, this camera reliably produced solid results. The camera setup is very similar to earlier Pixel phones (before the new Pixel 6), so the system is well proven and well respected.
Some other minor negatives: there’s no wireless charging and the cable charge rate is slower than some other phones. Just charge it overnight and all is good. Also, RAM is slightly reduced to 6GB vs. the 8GB on it’s bigger sibling. In my experience, this wasn’t a big deal but if you do a lot of app switching you may find you need to reload apps a little more frequently than on some higher RAM devices. Internal storage is excellent at 128GB (although not expandable).
Overall this is an outstanding mobile phone with solid performance, good battery life, good audio, a decent screen, an above average camera, and many years of software updates for a midrange price. Ironically, it’s strongest competitor may be the Pixel 6 itself, which for a relatively small premium offers a slightly larger size, better display, more RAM, and newer camera setup. Whether the premium is worth it is up to you, but if you’re looking for a device at this price point the Pixel 6a is tough to beat.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Great phone for the asking price.
Great phone for the asking price.
Compared to the Pixel 6, this is a great phone. You get the same tensor processor chip as the more expensive 6 phone, 128gb of storage, and 6gb RAM which is enough for most people. You also get a front screen fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately this front screen fingerprint is a bit slow, and sometimes unresponsive. They never should have moved the back face fingerprint sensor that worked perfectly. I have had a Pixel 3A and a Pixel 5 before this phone, and not only was the back facing sensor fast, it worked nearly 99% of the time. This phone has a 4,410mah battery size, and so far battery life is pretty good, probably because the screen resolution is 2400x1080 @60hz refresh rate. While most people would be happy with the resolution, unfortunately for me it “feels” a little slow because of the 60hz refresh rate. While this was likely done to decrease manufacturing costs, there are other phones that have higher refresh rates for even less than the cost of this phone. Now, I suspect users that have never used a phone would never notice this, but it is something worth mentioning. All of these issues do not detract from the simple fact that this is still a great phone overall for the asking price. You get pure android, no bloatware, a very snappy user interface and processor, and a great camera!
Speaking of the camera, the “Magic Eraser” works great. This gets rid of unwanted objects, or possible photo bombers from photos taken with the camera. A big reason to get a Pixel phone is that you will get a few years of android version updates, and you will always get security updates from the second they come out. Other manufacturers can be very slow to test and then release their security updates, and especially their major OS updates.
Keep in mind this phone, like many other phones, no longer comes with a battery charger. Just a cable is included. You need an 18 watt charger that has “PD / Power Delivery”. I happened to have one from an older pixel that worked just fine, however if you have an older phone charger it may not charge well, or at all. The phone does fast charge when using a charger that works. Also be sure to use the included USB-C cable, as if you have an older USB-C cable it will either not charge at all, or charge slowly.
The back of the phone is made of plastic, which for me I prefer as it is not as slippery as the Pixel 6 glass back. I always put my phones in a case anyway, and it really doesn’t matter that much anyway, but if I ever want to not have the case on, I am a lot more comfortable with the 6A back than the 6.
Great phone for the money, and most people would be just fine getting this over the more expensive 6A.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about reception, sound, portability and design. Editors are less positive about connectivity and screen. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 100/100 = Excellent quality.
CNETRating, 4.4 out of 54.4Lisa Eadicicco on July 30, 2022
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