The opening keynote for Google I/O 2022 is officially in the books and we’re busy processing the overwhelming number of updates that came out of just that two-hour session. Historically speaking, Google I/O isn’t a venue at which the company chooses to debut new hardware. As a matter of fact, we weren’t placing good odds that we’d see much of anything outside the announcement of the budget-friendly Pixel 6a. That said, I am ecstatic when I tell you that “WE WERE WRONG!”
We’ve got new phones, Pixel Buds, a Pixel Watch, and even a new Android tablet on the way from the folks at Mountain View. Yes, Google is making a new Pixel tablet and it’s going to run Android. Crazy, right? We will bring you a full recap of all the announcements as well as detailed coverage of all the noteworthy hardware mentions over the next couple of hours. For now, let’s take a look at the highly-rumored, all-new Pixel 6a from Google.
While I’d love to tell you that the new budget-friendly phone from Google came packing some surprises, that really wasn’t the case. However, the many leaks about the Pixel 6a gave us a snapshot of a very solid device that could very well upend the mid-range phone market as we know it. Not to disappoint, Google did exactly as I had hoped and the Pixel 6a will launch with a retail price of only $449. Here’s a quick look at the new Pixel 6a that goes on sale on July 21.
Until now, we weren’t 100% sure which direction Google was taking with the Pixel 6a display but as many suspected, it does come with a 60Hz screen. The Pixel 6a was rumored to come in at 6.2″ but is actually equipped with a 6.1″ 20:9 OLED panel with high brightness mode. Google nixed the wireless charging found on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro and as expected, the budget model comes with last year’s camera sensors found on the Pixel 5. That may sound “meh” but honestly, the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a cameras are still well above average thanks to Google’s AI technology.
Of course, the Pixel 6a is powered by Google’s custom in-house Tensor SoC and that’s matched with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. As we’ve seen in benchmarks, this phone should go toe-to-toe with the Pixel 6 and I suspect that the average user wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s a “budget” smartphone. Like the Pixel 6 family, the Pixel 6a will offer mmWave 5G for select carriers but you’ll still get standard sub-5G which is more common. Here’s a look at the full spec sheet for the Pixel 6a.
Pixel 6a Full Specs
- Tensor SoC
- 6.1″ OLED 20:9 60Hz
- Rear camera: 12MP IMX363 w/OIS UW: 12MP IMX386
- Front camera: 8MP IMX355 84-degree FOV
- Magic Eraser/Real Tone/Face Deblur
- USB-C charging port
- adaptive, all-day battery
- stereo speakers w/2 mics
- Under display fingerprint sensor
- 4400 mAh battery w/18W charging
- Titan M2 security chip
- WiFi 6/Bluetooth 5.2
The Pixel 6a is exactly what we expect but it’s also what I had hoped for. Google has equipped the phone with an aluminum frame, composite body, and a Gorilla Glass 3 display cover. I was surprised to see that the Pixel 6a does retain some dust and water resistance. It is rated IP67 which means that it is dust resistant and it can withstand being submerged in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. That’s not something I expect to see in a mid-range phone. The Pixel 6a goes up for pre-order on July 21 for $449 and will be available from carriers the following week. You can choose from Sage, Chalk, or Charcoal. We’ll get our hand on the Pixel 6a as soon as possible and let you know if it’s going to live up to the hype. You can find the landing page over on The Google Store here.
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