Google Pixel 6a review

Read our full review to find out how the Google Pixel 6a differs, what our opinion of it is and whether it's worth the money.
Added by on 11.22.21 | Last update 01.27.23
Google Pixel 6a ревю
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3.31 / 5



Before reading the full review, you can familiarize yourself with the detailed Google Pixel 6a specs or watch the video below the article.

  • The Google Tensor chipset continues to impress
  • A flagship quality camera
  • Amazing screen with accurate color


  • The regular Pixel 6 isn't much more
  • The display is only 60Hz
  • No face unlock or microSD expansion


  • Release date: 2022, May 11
  • Colors: Chalk, Charcoal, Sage
  • Dimensions: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm.
  • Weight: 178 g.
  • Screen: 6.1" inc, 1080 x 2400, AMOLED
  • Camera : Dual, 12MP
  • Chipset: Google Tensor (5 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2x2.80 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2x2.25 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4x1.80 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM
  • Battery: 4410, Li-Po, non-removable
  • Network: GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
  • Operating system: Android 12, upgradable to Android 13
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer

what you should Know

Google followed Apple's iPhone SE strategy by matching the processing power of its flagship and making cuts elsewhere. The Pixel 6a uses Google's own Tensor chip, giving it the same processing and graphics as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. This is backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of inbuilt storage.

That's not just a positive in itself: it also means the Pixel 6a is just as fast as the flagship version, which is probably why Google feels confident enough to promise security updates for at least five years. And given that Pixel phones are the first to get access to new versions of the mobile operating system, this should not be underestimated.

The Pixel 6a has a smaller 6.1in, 1080p, 60Hz HDR OLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and an under-screen fingerprint reader. It's gone back to the 12.2MP main camera used in the previous three Pixel generations, as opposed to the 50MP that debuted in the Pixel 6, but you'll also find a 12MP ultrawide sensor and an 8MP selfie camera.

Design and key features

At first glance, the Pixel 6a doesn't look too different from its peers. It's smaller in size, measuring 152 x 72 x 8.9mm, but retains the massive horizontal camera band from the regular Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. This spans the entire width of the phone.

Instead of describing it as plastic, Google says the Pixel 6a has a "thermoformed composite" back and aluminum frame. The other Pixel models have glass-coated backs to help protect against scratches, although when placed side by side you can't tell the difference.

The Pixel 6a is IP67 rated against dust and water, meaning it should withstand submersion up to a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes, and the front is covered with a protective layer of Gorilla Glass 3. The phone comes with a choice of three colors: Sage, Chalk, Charcoal.

The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor has been removed, and in its place is an under-screen scanner, which turns out to be slightly less accurate. Sometimes the screen shows a message asking you to hold your thumb in place for a bit longer before it unlocks, which isn't ideal.

Google still refuses to add facial recognition, a feature that all its competitors have supported for unlocking for years, so its absence here is jarring.
There's also no room for a microSD card, which means if you end up filling your built-in storage completely, you'll either have to start deleting stuff or pay for a Google One subscription.


As expected, the Pixel 6a's display is the smallest of the three Pixel phones at 6.1 inches. It's still an HDR-certified OLED panel, but with the same overall resolution as the regular Pixel 6 (2400 x 1080) – the only key difference being that the refresh rate is just 60Hz.

Performance and battery life

The most exciting addition this year is the introduction of Google's Tensor processor. It's a 5nm, octa-core chipset clocked at 2.8GHz, and in the case of the Pixel 6a, it works alongside 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

The performance improvements between the now two-year-old Pixel 4a 5G and the new Pixel 6a are colossal.
In the Geekbench 5 CPU testing benchmark, the Pixel 6a's Tensor chip outperformed the Pixel 4a's lackluster Snapdragon 765G by roughly 75% in both single-core and multi-core processing. These are broadly the same results as those achieved by the Pixel 6, with the 6a absolutely smashing its similarly priced rivals – only the Xiaomi 12 Lite's multi-core score is different here.

Battery life is the only area where the Pixel 6a doesn't do so well. This was to be expected – we found the Tensor to be particularly power-hungry, with the model lasting roughly three hours less. Still, the result of about 20 hours is very good and should be enough to last almost two days on a single charge.

The slow 18W charging is also a bit of a bummer. The regular Pixel 6 supports a maximum power of 30W (with wireless and reverse wireless charging), so it's a bit disappointing not to see it here.


The Pixel 6a, like the Pixel 6 before it, launches with Android 12. At the top of the list of new features is "Material You," a revamped user interface with a list of new custom app icons, widgets, and color schemes. There's a lot of choice here, and you can even match the color and style of the Google home screen app icons to your chosen theme.
There are also a few smaller quality-of-life changes, including new translation options – such as live translation in the recording app – and new Google Assistant features.


On the other hand, there isn't much new in terms of camera hardware. The Pixel 6a's main camera is the same 12.2MP (f/1.7) sensor previously used by the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, while the 12MP (f/2.2) wide-angle module is identical to that found in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. An 8-megapixel (f/2) selfie camera sits in a central notch on the front of the phone.

The main camera captures depth and detail well, which is simply unmatched by its competitors, with impressive capabilities even in low-light conditions.
The Pixel 6a's picturesque images are simply stunning, producing sharp, intricate detail and accurate exposures every time you press the shutter button.

Still images are just as impressive, even in low light. The Pixel 6a does a great job of lighting the entire scene without changing the hue of the image, and it also minimizes side light.
The Pixel 6a's ultra-wide camera isn't as impressive, but there's still plenty to like. With a wide 114-degree field of view, you can fit a lot into the frame, but the caveat here is that there's a slight loss in detail compared to the main camera.

Face Unblur works very well by taking images from both the main and ultra-wide cameras and combining them to reduce blur on a moving subject. There's also good background blur reduction, with clear outlines – even separating individual strands of hair from the rest of the scene.

As for video, the Pixel 6a can record 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. All modes are fully stabilized and footage looks very good, recording jitter-free video with a good amount of detail, even in dark conditions.


There's a lot to like about the Pixel 6a, no surprise - after all, Google's pedigree is well documented at this point - but the Pixel 6a should still be applauded for cramming so much into such an affordable phone .

Very few phones can match the caliber of images they can capture, and those that can are usually flagships costing twice as much as the Pixel 6a.
The performance is also perfect, not to mention that it uses one of the most accurate color displays.

The Pixel 6a's battery life is weaker than its predecessor (but still good), and the lack of a microSD slot and lack of face unlock continue to be annoying.

Google Pixel 6a video review

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the Google Pixel 6a and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by Google.

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor is a technology expert and journalist based in the UK. With a degree in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham, he provides insightful analysis and expert reviews of the latest smartphones and technology. His technical expertise, passion for technology and years of experience make him a trusted source in the industry.

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