Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro flagship phones have been among the company’s most successful to date. Google says it’s the fastest-selling Pixel device to date, already having sold more devices than the Pixel 4 and 5 combined.

But for the past few years the company’s mid-range phones have really hit a sweet spot for some customers, offering a combination of strong features and competitive pricing. Now Google is expanding the Pixel 6 lineup with a new mid-range model. Meet the Pixel 6a.

At first glance, the new $449 smartphone appears to be a smaller, cheaper Pixel 6. It has the same Google Tensor processor as its siblings, the same Titan M2 security chip, and many of the same capabilities including on-device AI processing. But the Pixel 6a has a smaller display that measures 6.1 inches diagonally.

And when you take a closer look at that screen, you’ll start to see where Google shaved a few features to keep the pricing lower on the Pixel 6a. While the Pixel 6 has a 90 Hz screen and the Pixel Pro has a screen refresh rate of 120 Hz, the Pixel 6a tops out at 60 Hz.

The smaller phone also has less RAM than its siblings, at just 6GB. And it only comes with one storage configuration: 128GB.

With a 4400 mAh battery, it also has a little less battery capacity than other Pixel 6 series devices, but I suspect battery life should be comparable due to the smaller 60 Hz display.

And one of the most significant differences? This phone has dual 12MP rear cameras that are similar to the ones Google used for the Pixel 3, 4, and 5 series rather than the newer 50MP + 12MP cameras used in other Pixel 6 phones.

But given that Google’s smartphone cameras rely heavily on software for image quality, that might not be a dealbreaker. My Pixel 4a 5G still takes some stellar photographs, and the only photo mode that’s supported by the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro that’s not available on the Pixel 6a is “Motion Mode.”

Like all of Google’s current-gen phones, the Pixel 6a will also ship with the latest version of Android, receive 3 years of major operating system updates, and continue receiving monthly security updates for at least five years.

The Pixel 6a will be available for pre-order for $449 starting July 21st and it will be available starting July 28th in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States

The phone comes in three color options: sage green, chalk white, and charcoal grey color options.

 

Pixel 6aPixel 6Pixel 6 Pro
Screen6.1 inches, 60 Hz, 2400 x 1080 pixel OLED6.4-inch, 90 Hz, 2400×1080 OLED6.7-inch, 120 Hz, 3120×1440 LTPO OLED
CPUGoogle Tensor
2 x Cortex-X1 cores @ 2.8 GHz
2 x Cortex-A76 cores @ 2.25 GHz
4 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55 Cores @ 1.8 GHz
5 nm
GPUARM Mali G78 MP20
RAM6GB LPDDR58GB LPDDR512GB LPDDR5
Storage128GB UFS 3.1128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1128GB / 256GB / 512GB
UFS 3.1
Battery & charging4400 mAh
Fast charging (wired)
4600 mAh
30W USB-PD 3.0 charging
21W wireless charging
5000 mAh
30W USB-PD 3.0 charging
23W wireless charging
WirelessWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
GPS
NFC
5G mmWave & Sub-6 GHz
PortsUSB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1
Cameras (rear)12.2MP dual pixel wide-angle
12MP ultrawide
50 MP Main
12 MP Wide Angle
Laser autofocus
OIS
Spectral and flicker sensor
50 MP Main
12 MP Wide Angle
48 MP 4x Telephoto
Laser autofocus
OIS
Spectral and flicker sensor
Camera (front)8MP8 MP11 MP
AudioStereo speakers
2 microphones
Stereo speakers
3 microphones
SecurityUnder-display fingerprint reader
Water resistanceIP67IP68
Dimensions156 x 71.8 x 8.9mm158.6 × 74.8 × 8.9 mm163.9 × 75.9 × 8.9 mm
Weight178 g207 g210 g
Starting price$449$599$899

While the phone will go up for pre-order July 21 in the US and Japan, Google has announced pricing details for a dozen of the countries where the Pixel 6a will be available this year:

  • Australia – $749 AU
  • Canada – $599 CA
  • France – €459
  • Germany – €459
  • Ireland – €459
  • Japan – €459
  • Ireland – €459
  • Singapore – 749 SGD
  • Spain – €459
  • Taiwan – $13,990 NTD
  • UK – £399
  • US – $449

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  1. Wondering if these phones come with a Faraday shield. That’s a lot of radiation coming from these phones. Wouldn’t hold it up to my head.

  2. Looks like this will be my next phone.

    The only thing I would have liked to be different about it is that I would have preferred a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Otherwise it’s great.

    (And hopefully it won’t be the same kind of buggy mess that its older siblings have been after launch…)

  3. Although Pixel phones do have the best custom ROM support, I would still avoid the ones with Tensor processors because I have to assume they have a hardware backdoor that sends everything you do to Google no matter WHAT ROM you’re using.

    1. Probably best to leave privacy-sensitive stuff to devices other than phones. Not sure you can trust any kind of phone setup, considering that all their modems have to have, by law, mandatory binary blobs in order to function.

      1. Turns out that when you have a whole lot of privacy-insensitive data in one place, it paints a bigger picture that is privacy-sensitive. For example, many insults, or just whether a person is “good” or “bad”.