As expected, Google revealed the Pixel 6a smartphone during its I/O 2022 conference. Most leaks related to this phone turned out to be true, and impressively, it costs just $450. Pre-orders open on July 21st, though, so prepare to wait a bit.
Note: The end of Google’s I/O conference was a doozy. Along with the Pixel 6a, the company announced the Pixel 7, Pixel Watch, Pixel Buds Pro, and oddly enough, the Pixel Tablet.
Update, 5/12/22: AT&T tells us that the Pixel 6a comes with 128GB of storage, has a Gorilla Glass 6 screen, and runs on a 4306mAh battery. (For reference, the standard Pixel 6 has 256GB of storage, a Gorilla Glass Victus screen, and a 4614mAh battery.)
The Pixel 6a is basically just a toned-down version of the standard Pixel 6. It has a smaller 6.1-inch display instead of a 6.4-inch screen. Plus, Google is reusing its old 12MP main camera instead of the new 50MP camera (Pixel 6a also uses a 12MP ultra-wide lens).
But a toned-down smartphone isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Spec-wise, the Pixel 6a punches far above its weight. It uses the same Tensor processor as the Pixel 6, so AI features like Live Translate and Magic Eraser work out the box.
This Tensor processor is the key to Pixel’s excellent camera quality. While we haven’t had a chance to try the Pixel 6a, we’re sure that its 12MP lens still produces amazing images. And just from a performance perspective, a flagship processor for $450 is a steal.
And that’s not all—the Pixel 6a also packs mmWave 5G support and a glass-backed design (instead of plastic). These features are rare in budget phones, and they are not what we expected from a Pixel A-series device.
Unfortunately, we still don’t know everything about the Pixel 6a. Google didn’t confirm the phone’s IPX rating, whether it supports wireless charging, or its storage capacity. We’re also unsure how much RAM the Pixel 6a packs; we assume 8GB, as that’s what you’ll find in the standard Pixel 6.
Pre-orders for the Pixel 6a open July 21st for $450. But if you purchase through Verizon, then the phone costs $500, presumably because of mmWave support—weird! We plan to review the phone when it comes out, so if you’re hoping for sample photos, we’ll get them published at the end of next month.