Google Pixel 6a Gist: Release Date, Price, Specs and More

Google Pixel 6a Gist: Release Date, Price, Specs and More

Google Pixel 6a Gist: Release Date, Price, Specs and More

We may be closer to a Google Pixel 6a launch than you might think. Not only has the pace of leaks picked up, but the budget phone appears to be moving along the pipeline to an inevitable debut in the spring. And now, even Google’s boss is dropping hints about a launch.

The Pixel 6a is a big deal for Google. We liked the Pixel 5a when it came out last year, but it shared too much with the Pixel 4a 5G to really feel like an up-to-date phone. That could be changing with the new phone, thanks to rumored upgrades tipped for the cameras, chipset and battery, plus a new Pixel 6-style design. This may be just what Google needs to help it dominate among the best cheap phones.

The Pixel 6a figures to be the first of many Google 2022 product launches. Read on for all the latest rumors and speculation about the next Pixel.

Google Pixel 6a news (updated May 2)

Google Pixel 6a expected release date and price

Thanks to a peculiar coloring book-based leak, we know Google is making a Pixel 6a. But when’s it coming, and how much will it cost?

The Pixel 5a came out on August 26, 2021 in the US and Japan. Google didn’t explain why the phone was limited to two countries, but we expect the ongoing chip shortage that has plagued the industry had something to do with it.

August seemed to be Google’s new launch month for the A series. The Pixel 3a was revealed on May 7 at Google I/O 2019, but the Pixel 4a came out on August 20, 2020. Many blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on the 4a’s delayed release date, but Google stuck with an August release for the Pixel 5a. You’d think the Pixel 6a was on the same timeline.

But Google looks like it’s going back to its old May/Google I/O launch window. Earlier this year, leaker Max Jambor said the Pixel 6a wwould arrive in May, and in April, a Google phone showed up at the FCC for regulatory approval. That would put the phone on track for a May launch.

May just happens to be when Google has scheduled Google I/O 2022; the event starts May 11. And when discussing the quarterly earnings for Google parent company Alphabet, CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company plans to roll out new hardware at this year’s developer conference. (For what it’s worth, we’re also expecting a Pixel Watch to show up at Google I/O.)

As for the Pixel 6a’s price, that’s as up in the air as the release date. The smaller Pixel 3a (there were two sizes) came in at $399, but the Pixel 4a undercut it at $349. Then, the Pixel 5a bumped up to $449 and added a second camera and 5G. 

If we had to guess, the Pixel 6a will likely stay in the $449 ballpark, depending on the chip Google uses. With the rival Galaxy A53 now available for $449, you’d figure Google will want to stick to that price. Although that said, I’ve already come up with 5 ways the Google Pixel 6a can beat the Samsung Galaxy A53.

Google Pixel 6a design and display

Photos of a claimed Google Pixel 6a dummy unit have shown off how the next budget Google phone could ape the design of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. A camera bar rather than module seems to be the biggest feature, as well as the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack. 

How legitimate these images are is unclear. But previous Pixel ‘a’ series phones have followed on from the design language set out by the flagship Pixels. This was given further credence by Google Pixel 6a renders supposedly based on the allegedly leaked information. Advertisement

These dummy units and renders have been given credence by what appears to be an photo of the Google Pixel 6a box. It shows a phone with a design that’s very similar to the Pixel 6.

However, we do need to caveat all this with the warning that this could be a Pixel 6 box that’s been made to look like a Pixel 6a box with the magic of photo editing. 

Not only is the barcode blurred out so we can’t check the serial number, but the back of the phone in the leaked photo is rather glossy, suggesting it’s made of glass like that of the Pixel 6 rather than the plastic backs Pixel A-series phones have used since their inception.

Nevertheless, while divisive, the design of the Pixel 6 is certainly different, So seeing it carried over to the Pixel 6a would be no bad thing.

As for the screen on the Pixel 6a, part of a big specs leak published by Shadow_leak claims it’ll use a 6.2-inch, 60Hz display. That’s a little smaller than the Pixel 5a’s 6.4-inch display, but more disappointing is the alleged refresh rate. Many phones are now using 90Hz, 120Hz or even higher refresh rates, even in the price range of the Pixel a-series. Google is already using a 90Hz panel on the basic Pixel 6, so leaving the Pixel 6a at the basic 60Hz seems like an odd decision in that light too.

Fortunately another leak, this time from Yogesh Brar, says 90Hz is on the cards. We hope Brar is on the right track with this, otherwise, the Pixel 6a could end up a big disappointment.

For colors, a leak from a U.S. carrier database says there will be black, white and green options available. That’s an improvement over the Pixel 5a, which you could only buy in black.

Google Pixel 6a cameras

According to Mishaal Rahman on Twitter, there’s a device codenamed ‘bluejay’ that’s supposedly the Pixel 6a. Rahman found a possible camera setup for bluejay, which includes Sony IMX363, IMX386 and IMX355 sensors. Shadow_leak’s specs leak has rounded out what we know by claiming the 6a will feature a 12MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide camera and 8MP selfie camera.Advertisement

For reference, the Pixel 5a used the same 12MP IMX363 for its main sensor and an 8MP IMX355 for its front-facing camera. The ultrawide was a 16MP IMX481, but that doesn’t make the new 12MP IMX386 sensor a downgrade. It has a pixel size of 1.25 μm, versus the IMX481’s 1.0 μm. Larger pixels let in more light, so the Pixel 6a should produce better overall images, even though it’s at a lower resolution.

Regardless of what sensor it uses, the Pixel 6a could be missing the Motion Mode found on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. That’s according to a code dive by Android developer Kuba Wojciechowski, via XDA Developers, who found that the Pixel Tips app has an exclusion around the ‘bluejay’ device. If true, this would mean the new budget phone would lack a feature that launched with the Pixel 6 range last year.

Google Pixel 6a performance

Based on Shadow_leak’s information, it seems like we’ll get the Google Tensor chipset from the Pixel 6 in the Pixel 6a, accompanied by 6GB RAM or 8GB RAM. That’s also backed up by a Geekbench benchmark result that seems to be for the 6a, which also shows specs matching that of the Tensor chip, plus 6GB RAM.

Another recent Geekbench listing allegedly showed the Pixel 6a outperforming the Pixel 6 by the slightest of margins. The device in question scored 1,050 in single-core and 2,833 in multicore. Compare that to the Pixel 6’s 1,044 and 2,758 scores. In Geekbench terms, this difference is negligible, but it’s certainly exciting to see that the Pixel 6a might be on par with the Pixel 6. This implies that the 6a uses the same Tensor chip considering the similarities in performance.

The use of the Tensor chip is great news. It’s a flagship-worthy chipset with strong performance, roughly equivalent to last year’s Snapdragon 888 chipset. Aside from the iPhone SE or the upcoming iPhone SE 3, the Pixel 6a may well be the most powerful phone in its price range.

Google Pixel 6a battery and charging

The leaks claim we’ll see a 4,800 mAh battery with 30W charging in the Pixel 6a. That’s a small capacity increase over the 4,680 mAh cell found in the Pixel 5a, and a more considerable increase over its 18W charging speed.

The only potential issue here is that Google didn’t include chargers with the Pixel 6 series. It wouldn’t surprise us if the Pixel 6a lacked one in the box too.

Google Pixel 6a vs iPhone SE 2022

With the iPhone SE 2022 now here at $429 with a A15 Bionic chip and 5G, the Pixel 6a faces some stiff competition. Apple’s phone delivers flagship-level performance and excellent photo quality despite having just a single rear lens. But it also has the same tiny 4.7-inch screen. Advertisement

Here’s how what we think of an iPhone SE 3 vs. Google Pixel 6a comparison based on the rumors thus far, and how the Google Pixel 6a can beat the iPhone SE 2022.

With the leaks as they currently stand, the Pixel 6a looks much better than the Pixel 5a did at launch. It’s likely to feature an up-to-date chipset which should provide much more power than the average mid-range phone, a small change to the ultrawide rear camera, faster charging and a larger battery. All very welcome changes. We’ve got a full rundown of the Pixel 6 features we hope that the Pixel 6a adopts, as well.

However to make it onto our best Android phones list, Google needs to be careful how it prices the Pixel 6a. The $449 price of the Pixel 5a was a bit on the high side, so a small reduction to $400 or less would make the phone even more attractive.

Also, we would like to see Google launch the Pixel 6a in more than just the U.S. and Japan. There is a global shortage of computer chips, but hopefully Google can still let its fans in other countries buy the phone if they wish.


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Google Pixel 6a Gist: Release Date, Price, Specs and More We may be closer to a Google Pixel 6a launch than you might think. Not only has the pace of leaks picked up, but the budget phone appears to be moving along the pipeline to an inevitable debut in the spring. And now, even Google’s […]

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