Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a

Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a

We recently compared the Pixel 6a to its predecessor, the Pixel 5a 5G. Well, it’s time to compare it to a phone that looks a lot more similar in terms of design. In this article, we are going to compare Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6a. The Pixel 6a comes with a completely new design, which makes this phone look a lot like the Pixel 6. In other words, Google has decided to introduce the new design language in its mid-range smartphone series as well.

This is not where the similarities between these two phones stop. The two devices have a lot in common, although there are some differences as well, of course. The Pixel 6 is, after all, the company’s flagship, while the Pixel 6a is a mid-range offering. At the time of writing this article, the Pixel 6a has been announced, but not yet released, so keep that in mind. We’ll start things off by comparing its specs, then move on to a number of other sections. Let’s start by comparing Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a, shall we?

Specifications

Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 6a
Screen Size 6.4″ FullHD + AMOLED Flat Screen (90Hz) 6.1 inch FullHD + OLED HDR display (60Hz)
screen resolution 2400 x 1080 2400 x 1080
South Oil Company Google Tensor Google Tensor
RAM 8 GB (LPDDR5) 6 GB (LPDDR5)
storage 128 GB / 256 GB, not expandable 128 GB (UFS 3.1) not expandable
rear cameras 50 MP (f/1.9 aperture, 1.2 µm pixel size, 26mm lens, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS, laser AF)
12 MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.25 µm pixel size, 114° FoV)
12.2 MP (f/1.7, 27mm lens, 1.4 µm pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS)
12 MP (f/2.2 aperture, 17mm lens, 114° FoV, 1.25µm pixel size)
front cameras 8 MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12µm pixel size) 8 MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12µm pixel size)
battery 4614 mAh, non-removable, 30W wired charging, 21W wireless charging 4410 mAh, non-removable, 18W wired charging
Dimensions 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm
Weight 207 g 178 g
Connection 5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C 5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
protection In-screen fingerprint scanner (optical) In-screen fingerprint scanner (optical)
Operating System Android 12 Android 12
price $599 $449
Buys The Google The Google

Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Design

As mentioned earlier, these two phones are very similar in terms of design. The Pixel 6a is smaller, and the materials Google used isn’t the same, but visually the two phones are quite similar. Both offer a somewhat square design, with slim bezels and a viewing camera hole in the middle. The rims are not uniform though, as the bottom rim is a bit thicker than the rest of the tyres. All the physical buttons are located on the right side of both phones.

The camera visor on the back is larger on the Pixel 6, and that difference is quite noticeable. The Pixel 6 comes with a smaller screen, and the device is shorter, narrower, and evenly thicker. It’s considerably lighter, though. So, as you can see, the difference in absolute dimensions is also very large. The Pixel 6a should be an option for those who want a somewhat smaller device, and one that’s more affordable as well. This phone isn’t small per se, but it’s smaller than my other two Pixel 6s.

Now, unlike the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6a doesn’t have glass on the back. Google used a “3D thermoplastic composite back with a tactile alloy frame”. In other words, both phones have a metal frame, but the Pixel 6a has plastic on the back, sort of. Both devices are also water and dust resistant, although the Pixel 6 offers better resistance (IP68 vs. IP67 rating). The Pixel 6 is very slippery, and we expect the same from the Pixel 6a. This device will be smaller in size, so one-handed navigation will be easier.

Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Presentation

Google Pixel 6 features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. This is an HDR10+ display, and it’s protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. It offers a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, making it a FullHD+ screen, while also being flat. We’re looking at a screen-to-body ratio of around 83.4 percent here. The Pixel 6a’s screen is much smaller, by comparison, which is what many of you might be looking for.

Front photo of Google Pixel 6 1

The Pixel 6a features a 6.1 inch screen. This is a FullHD+ (2400 x 1080) panel as well, which is also flat. Note that this monitor offers a 60Hz refresh rate, though, so it’s not a high refresh rate panel. It is an OLED display with HDR support. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass 3, and is susceptible to minor scratches, so keep that in mind. You may want to use a screen protector. Both phones offer an aspect ratio of 20:9.

As mentioned earlier, the Pixel 6a has yet to be released. We haven’t had a chance to test it yet, as it will be available at the end of July. The display looks good on paper, but it’s inferior to the Pixel 6. However, the Pixel 6 has a great screen. It will definitely feel smoother while scrolling due to the higher refresh rate, and we also expect it to be brighter, but we’ll have to wait and see. Pixel 6 colors are really good, the screen is strong and vibrant. Let’s hope the Pixel 6a panel comes close to that.

Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Performance

Both of these phones are very powerful on paper. Google decided to go the way of Apple and include its flagship processor in its mid-range offerings. The Pixel 6a features the Google Tensor SoC, which is the same chip that’s built into the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. This is Google’s first and last wizard currently. It is still considered a high-quality chip. I was able to ensure a great performance for the Pixel 6, so hopefully it will be the same with the Pixel 6a.

Furthermore, the Pixel 6a comes with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage. That was a bit surprising at launch, but it’s great to see. This is the same RAM and storage version as the Pixel 6. Granted, the Pixel 6 has more RAM, 8GB of which, while the Pixel 6a comes with “only” 6GB of RAM. Bottom line, these two devices should be able to offer very similar performance.

The Pixel 6a will have less pressure on performance due to its 60Hz display. Chances are you won’t be able to feel the RAM difference at all. The Pixel 6a is expected to be a mid-range smartphone with excellent performance just like its brother. The Pixel 6 has had quite a few bugs since its launch, but it’s a very powerful device, and it performed great. The Pixel A series device usually has considerably fewer bugs, so… this is probably a really solid phone to recommend.

Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Battery

The Google Pixel 6 has a 4,614 mAh battery, while the Pixel 6a has a 4,410 mAh battery. The Pixel 6 has a larger battery, but note that it also comes with a significantly larger screen, and this screen offers a high refresh rate. When you think about it, you’ll realize that the Pixel 6a actually has a pretty big battery all things considered. In fact, we have high hopes for the battery life it will offer.

In our experience, the Pixel 6 offers really good battery life, and the Pixel 6a is expected to surpass that. Of course, we can’t guarantee that at this point, as the Pixel 6a hasn’t been released yet. The Pixel 5a 5G offered excellent battery life, and while the Pixel 6a’s battery is smaller, so is its screen. It does include the Google Tensor SoC, though, and it’s likely that Google has improved it quite a bit up to this point. It will be interesting to test the battery life of the Pixel 6a.

How about shipping? Well, Google Pixel 6a offers 21W fast wired charging. Note that the phone slows down significantly after it reaches 50 percent charge. It also supports 21W wireless charging with Google Pixel Stand. With other Qi chargers, it will charge slower. It also supports reverse wireless charging. On the other hand, the Pixel 6a supports only 18W wired charging.

Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6a: Cameras

The Pixel 6a’s camera performance isn’t something we can comment on just yet. We haven’t seen the images it could produce yet, but we know what to expect, at least. The Pixel 6a features the same main camera as every Pixel between (including) the Pixel 2 and Pixel 5. When the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro arrived, Google changed the camera hardware. This is the first time we’ve seen a mix between the Google Tensor SoC and the 12.2MP camera.

AH Google Pixel 6 image 901

The 12.2MP camera sensor may be pretty old, but it still takes great photos, and the Pixel 4a, 5G, and 5 are great examples. Google Tensor may boost camera performance, as it is Google’s very own chip. This is what we are interested in seeing. We don’t expect camera performance to be better than what the Pixel 6 series can offer, of course.

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are the company’s flagships after all, and their camera sensors are newer and better. There is no way around it. However, the Pixel 6a is expected to offer impressive camera performance. It will almost certainly be suitable for most people because Google’s image processing is really excellent. We’ll find out more in a couple of months, but we have high expectations here, that’s for sure.

My voice

You’ll be glad to hear that both phones have stereo speakers. What they don’t have is a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Pixel 5a 5G includes a headphone jack, but this time Google decided to remove it. Therefore, you will have to choose a Type-C port, or simply use Bluetooth. The stereo speakers on the Pixel 6 are really good. They are not the best, but the sound is clear, and they are very loud.

We’re not sure if Google used the same speakers on the Pixel 6a or not, we’ll have to wait for the phone to actually arrive. However, we expect the sound to be good. As long as you don’t expect too much, you’ll be fine. The vast majority of phones from popular brands, which have stereo speakers, have good sound, so that’s not something to worry about at this point.

2022-05-17 00:01:00

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