If the last three years are any indicator, Google is gearing up to release the Pixel 6a, its successor to the Pixel 5a, in a matter of months. The newer, cheaper Pixel would follow the company’s great success with the Pixel 6 series of phones, as it finally pushed its way into the top tier of premium smartphone brands in the U.S.
While the Pixel 5a was limited to a launch in just two countries, with the 4a out of production and no other cheap models in stores, the Pixel 6a is expected to make its debut in all markets where Pixels are currently sold. Although Google has yet to officially share anything about the Pixel 6a, the grapevine has given us plenty of details.
Google Pixel 6a design and display
The Pixel 6a is expected to take on the same design as the Pixel 6. Google has always replicated the same design style of the flagship series with the cheaper A-series, albeit with cheaper materials, and the 6a should be no different. Indeed, leaked renders have shown a very similar design to the Pixel 6. A bezel-less 1080p 6.2-inch OLED display with a singular centered hole punch sits at the front, while a camera visor holding two lenses can be found at the rear.
It is not clear if Google will use the same metal construction as with the Pixel 6, or opt for a polycarbonate frame, as is popular with Android phones in the sub-$500 price bracket.
Pixel 6a pricing and availability
Google debuted the Pixel 4a and 5a in August of their respective years, yet both their arrivals were immensely complicated by circumstances beyond Google’s control. The Pixel 4a was intended to debut at Google I/O in 2020, but the pandemic put the brakes on that idea. The Pixel 5a similarly was planned for a global launch, but a chip shortage ensured it would never reach Europe.
The Pixel 6a is predicted to make a debut at Google I/O this May, though some rumors have stated that it could come in July. With Google often opting for staggered releases, an announcement in May with a release in July could happen — or Google could announce August as the Pixel A-series release date and launch it then.
Pixel 6a cameras
The Google Pixel 6a is expected to keep the same camera layout as the Pixel 6, but with some downgrades. The 50MP camera in the 6 is to be swapped for the 12.2MP main camera in the Pixel 5. That camera has held its own against more powerful (on paper) cameras and is likely to keep doing so with Google’s increasingly fine-tuned algorithms. The Pixel is positioned as a contender for people looking for a phone that takes good photos for social media, considering the company’s integration with Snapchat.
It should have the same 12-megapixel ultrawide camera as the Pixel 6, as well as the same 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
Google Pixel 6a specs
As with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 6a is expected to be equipped with a Google Tensor chip. The Pixel A-series has always featured a weaker processor, so this would be the first time Google would take an Apple-style approach of equipping all the phones it sells with flagship-class chips.
If the report is true, then the Pixel 6a would compare favorably to phones from Xiaomi Europe, as well as the cheaper OnePlus Nord phones in the U.S. The Pixel 6a is also expected to have an in-display fingerprint sensor, at least 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage.
What about the Pixel Fold and Pixel Watch?
Google is also expected to debut a new Pixel Fold, as well as a Pixel Watch. They are expected to showcase the company’s Android 12L and Wear OS 3 operating systems, respectively. The Pixel Fold was expected to make its debut in late 2021, but issues with the supply chain have reportedly led to it being pushed back to late 2022. Google has shown off Android 12L and released it to Pixel phones, but the lack of Google-owned hardware to go with this release (or any hardware at all) lends credence to past reports of a foldable of sorts being intended to accompany that release.
Google is also expected to release a new Pixel Watch. This is said to be making its debut alongside the Pixel 6a at Google I/O in May. The company may not release it then. Instead, as with prior Pixels, it may simply announce and show off the product, with a launch coming much later in the year.