We’re probably less than a month away from the debut of Google’s next mid-range phone, and the Pixel 6a turns out to be an impressive offering. Here’s all we know right now about the Pixel 6a specifications.
Specifications for Google Pixel 6a
Google’s “A-Series” is the company’s mid-range smartphone lineup. Previous models have been differentiated by their lower specifications, plastic buildings and lack of wireless charging.
Although Google has not gone ahead of the Pixel 6a launch with the release of some official specs, as we saw with last year’s Pixel 6 series, we have some concrete evidence of what to expect. Here’s all we know about the Pixel 6’s specifications.
Chip: Google Tensor
Under the hood, the biggest change of the Pixel 6a compared to years earlier is the chipset. Unlike Pixel 3a and 4a, which used mid-range Snapdragon chips, the Pixel 6a is set to run on top of a Google Tensor chipset. Specifically the same chipset that drives the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google’s flagships.
We first broke the news that Pixel 6a would run Tensor at the end of last year, and that’s a detail that has been confirmed by benchmark leaks from March 2022. Based on this benchmark, 6a also scored slightly higher than the flagship models, suggesting the possibility that Google may have adjusted the chip since October last year.
Google Tensor is a flagship processor produced by Samsung based on Google’s design, which borrows from Exynos. The chip is largely similar to the Snapdragon 888 in performance and scores only slightly lower than that chip in overall tests. Throttling performance is one of the biggest issues that specifically holds the GPU back from what would otherwise be “beastly” performance. In everyday use, however, we largely found that the Tensor felt impossible to distinguish from Qualcomm chips. As mentioned in our reviews of Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the chip is particularly good at processing voice and camera information and generally leaves the user experience very fluid.
RAM and storage: 6GB
Next to the Tensor chip, Google’s Pixel 6a is expected to follow a proven formula. A recent benchmark almost confirmed the use of 6GB of RAM, the same allocation that Pixel 4a and 5a have offered. While half as much as the Pixel 6 Pro and many other Android flagships, it’s more than enough to deliver a solid experience for multitasking and the like.
There have been no details on storage specifications on the Pixel 6a, but it’s easy to see what Google will do. 128GB will definitely be the core offering, and probably the only available level, as has been the case in previous years. There may be a chance for a 256GB model, but do not expect a microSD card slot – Google has never included one on a Pixel.
Full specifications for Google Pixel 6a
- Chip: Google Tensor
- Screen: 6.2 inches, 1080p (unconfirmed)
- RAM: 6 GB
- Storage: 128 GB (unconfirmed)
- Camera: 12.2 MP primary, 12 MP ultra wide, 8 MP front facing
- Dimensions: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.7 mm
- Headphone jack ?: None
- Network: 5G, LTE, mmWave (some models)
The camera is a core part of any Pixel smartphone, and the Pixel 6a will certainly be no exception. The Pixel 6 series delivered the first major upgrade the series had seen in years with a 50 MP primary sensor.
unfortunately, that upgrade apparently does not come to the Pixel 6a specification sheet. As our Kyle Bradshaw first reported in November, the camera setup on the Pixel 6a will be pretty much identical to most previous Pixels, which is almost certainly a cost-saving measure. The line-up consists of:
- 12.2-megapixel IMX363 primary
- 12-megapixel IMX386 ultrawide
- 8-megapixel IMX355 front-facing
It’s a little disappointing that we will not see an upgrade here, but the good news is that this setup is still one of the best on the market thanks to Google’s software capability. Pixel 5 still did well with this setup, and only really failed when it came to zoom due to its lack of a telephoto lens.
Screen and size: 6.2 inches or less
One complaint that hit the Pixel 6 series was the large size of the phones. Fortunately, the Pixel 6a is expected to be one little less. An early leak of Pixel 6a’s dimensions points to a screen size of about 6.2 inches or less. The screen will almost certainly be a 1080p OLED panel, either at 60Hz or 90Hz, based on years earlier. However, these specifications are not leaked.
The size of the screen is primarily based on dimensions, with the Pixel 6a measuring 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.7 mm. It is smaller than Pixel 6, 6 Pro and Pixel 5a. How to compare:
- Pixel 6a: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.7 mm
- Pixel 6: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm
- Pixel 5a: 154.9 x 73.7 x 7.6 mm
Everything else: No headphone jack
Rounding out the Pixel 6a specifications, a few more details have emerged. Early renderings suggest that the device will not have a headphone jack, the first for the Pixel A-Series. Bluetooth will of course be supported for headphones and other wireless connections.
A recent stop by the FCC indicates that the Pixel 6a has at least four variants in the US, with at least one model supporting mmWave 5G. All models will support Sub6 5G networks, although C-Band is unclear at this time, but likely.
Another report back in March identified at least three color variants for the Pixel 6a – black, white and green. This is in contrast to the Pixel 5a, which was only available in a very dark green color. Pixel 4a was also limited to just one color, except for a limited but absolutely lovely blue option.
What will Pixel 6a cost?
Perhaps the biggest single question we have about the Pixel 6a right now is how much the phone will cost. Normally, years earlier would give us a pretty good idea of what to expect, but a Tensor chip in this year’s model throws a wrench into that equation.
For context, here’s the launch price of previous Pixel A-series devices:
- Pixel 3a – 399 USD
- Pixel 3a XL – $ 479
- Pixel 4a – 349 USD
- Pixel 4a 5G – 499 USD
- Pixel 5a 5G – 449 USD
The price of the Pixel 6a, according to our well-educated guess, is likely to fall somewhere between the price of the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5a. $ 449 or $ 499 would be reasonable to expect, and given the $ 599 position for the Pixel 6, we’d assume $ 449 is the most likely. However, Google was able to throw us into the loop, as it did with the Pixel 6’s introductory price, and launch the phone for $ 399. Because now we just do not know.
When will Pixel 6a be launched?
So when will it come? The Pixel A-Series launch has not been “normal” since Pixel 3a. That series was launched on Google I / O in 2019 with a release date in May. COVID-19 and shipping delays pushed Pixel 4a back to a launch in August, with the 4a 5G not debuting until later that year alongside the “flagship” Pixel 5. The Pixel 5a 5G was then launched in late August 2021.
Between some rumors and a recent arrival to the FCC, all indications are at the moment that Pixel 6a will make its debut in May 2022 along with Google I / O. It is possible that we will see a limited launch at that time, but right now it seems safe to mark May 11 as the day Pixel 6a becomes official. We are certainly excited to see it.
This article will be updated regularly as new Pixel 6a specifications and other details emerge.
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