Even though we only saw the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro make their official debut just a month ago at this point, it feels like we’ve been with these phones for quite some time. With the mountain of early leaks and Google’s official unveiling of both the Pixel phones and their Tensor SoC in August, it is tempting to think we’ve had the Pixel 6 around for months at this point. While that isn’t really the truth, that doesn’t seem to stop the leak train from moving on already to the heir apparent to the current Google phones: the Pixel 6a.
New Pixel 6 leaks based on CAD renders
That’s right! Just a month after the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launched, we’re already talking about Pixel 6a. And we’re not just talking about it or speculating over the specs: we’re looking at supposed CAD renders of this new, upcoming phone from Google. And like the proper Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, these renders look far different than any A-series Pixel that has come before.
Thanks to 91Mobiles and @OnLeaks, we have not just a few photos of the upcoming 6.2-inch Pixel 6a, but a full 3D render of it in space. As you can see from the photos and video, this new phone will bear more than a passing resemblance to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and this is both a bit expected and interesting.
First up, while we expect to see the Pixel 6a come with some compromises (maybe a 60hz screen, lower MP camera sensors, etc.), we usually expect a more modest look as well. All the A-series phones of the past are very simplistic in their overall aesthetic, and part of that is due to the plain design of previous Pixel and Pixel XL phones they each accompany. This new Pixel 6a looks way, way closer to the flagship family than I would have expected: so much so that I’d say most people wouldn’t be able to pick it apart from the Pixel 6. From the looks of it, we’re seeing metal and glass and the same overall feel of the Pixel 6. In reality, it may end up being plastic instead. We do have to remember these are simply render at this point.
One other big deviation from prior Pixel A-series phones is the removal of the headphone jack. Again, we’re dealing with CAD renders, so none of this is set in stone. However, these types of renders tend to end up being mostly correct in the end, so if you’ve been holding out for the next Pixel with a headphone jack, you may be out of luck as this may make for the first A-series Pixel without the still-coveted analog port.
When will Pixel 6a launch and will it have Tensor?
With these leaks, we aren’t getting any info on a launch date. While the Pixel 3a debuted in May of 2019, the next two A-series Pixels showed up in August – 2020 and 2021 respectively. With these leaked renders already showing up, I could see Google getting back to that May timeline, but we have no info on that. I think the Pixel 4a August launch was pushed due to the pandemic and they simply stuck with that in 2021.
With a successful launch of the Pixel 6 in October, a nearly-6-month gap between the main phones and the A-series phone (or phones?) would make a ton of sense. By that time, Tensor will be aging a little bit and will make sense in a mid-range phone as I’m sure new rumors of the next Tensor chip will be heavily swirling.
And this is also assuming it will come equipped with Tensor, which I feel is a solid assumption. I don’t see Google launching a phone or Chromebook at this point without their own SoC inside, and using their own chip inside the Pixel 6a will help keep the price down. With the Pixel 6 only starting at $599, once Google reigns in some of the hardware, I could see Pixel 6a still coming with Tensor and plenty of RAM and storage to go along with it for the same $349 we’ve seen in past A-series Pixel phones. Time will tell.