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Should you buy the new Google Pixel 6a or the OG Pixel 6?

By Sanuj Bhatia July 21, 2022, 7:45 am
Google Pixel 6a Featured Source: Google

Google Pixel 6a is finally available to preorder starting today. Priced at $449, the new smartphone from Google offers packs a great camera, excellent software experience, and fast internals. For those who are looking for a new mid-range Android smartphone, the Google Pixel 6a is an excellent option.

Another Google smartphone that's available around the same $500 price range is the OG Pixel 6 from last year. The Google Pixel 6 is still a great buy, but now that the Google Pixel 6a is available for even a cheaper price, you must be wondering whether you should buy the new Pixel 6a or the OG Pixel 6. That's exactly what we'll try to answer in this guide.


Reasons to buy Google Pixel 6a over Pixel 6

Low price

Pixel 6a price availability Source: Google

The unlocked Pixel 6a is now available for $449, while the Pixel 6 starts at $599. Since the Pixel 6 has been available in the market for over eight months, you can get a good deal on it. But, there is still a $150 price gap between the unlocked starting variants of the Pixel 6a and the Pixel 6. Coupled with carrier offers, you can get a great deal on the Google Pixel 6a. If you're tight on a budget but are still looking for the Pixel experience with great cameras, the Pixel 6a seems like a better buy than the Pixel 6.

Faster fingerprint sensor

Early hands-on videos have shown that the under-display fingerprint sensor on the Google Pixel 6a is much faster than the one on the OG Pixel 6. While we are yet to test the device ourselves, the Google Pixel 6 has always been criticized for the fingerprint sensor. Many users have complained that the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 6 is slow and often doesn't work. If you're someone for whom the fingerprint scanner can be a deal-breaker, we recommend you prefer the Pixel 6a over Pixel 6.

Same chip as flagship Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6a Tensor chip Source: Google

For $150 less, one of the advantages that the Pixel 6a has over the Pixel 6 is that it comes with the same flagship Google Tensor processor. This not only means that you will be able to enjoy the pro-grade performance on a mid-tier device, but it also means that you get access to the same set of software features that are available on the Pixel 6, such as Google Assistant voice typing, Live HDR, on-device translations, and photo-editing features like Face Unblur and Magic Eraser.

Better battery life

Both Google Pixel 6a and the Pixel 6 come with ~4500 mAh batteries (4616 mAh on the Pixel 6 vs. 4410 mAh on the 6a). While Google claims that both the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6a can deliver more than 24 hours of battery life, we believe that the battery experience on the Pixel 6a will be better than the 6 due to its 60Hz display.

The 90Hz display on the Pixel 6 guzzles a lot of juice, thus resulting in average battery life. Make sure you're subscribed to Pocketnow's YouTube channel for the full review of the Google Pixel 6a, wherein we'll not only talk about the smartphone's battery life but the camera and overall experience as well.

Google Pixel 6a Featured 2 Source: Google

Lightweight and compact

The Google Pixel 6a is both lightweight and compact compared to the Pixel 6. While the Pixel 6 weighs over 205 grams, the Google Pixel 6a weighs only 178 grams. The Pixel 6a, with its slightly smaller 6.1-inch display, is also smaller in dimensions meaning it would fit in your hands better than the Pixel 6. If you're looking for a smartphone that's easy to carry and gives a compact feel, the Google Pixel 6a is an excellent option.

PBI Google Pixel 6a Sage Color

Google Pixel 6a

Now available for preorder!

Google Pixel 6a is the latest budget smartphone from Google. Despite being affordable, the Pixel 6a comes with best-in-class features and specs, such as a Google Tensor chip, the same camera software as the Pixel 6 series, a new design, and more. Preorders for the Google Pixel 6a will start on July 21.

Reasons to buy Google Pixel 6 over Pixel 6a

Premium materials

Google Pixel 6 front and back Source: Pocketnow

While the design of the two smartphones is almost similar, there's a huge difference in the materials used to build the two smartphones. The Pixel 6a with a metal frame, but Google has opted to use a 3D thermoformed composite back, making the phone feel less premium in hand. It also features almost a decade-old Gorilla Glass 3 on the front. On the other hand, Google Pixel 6 comes with the much newer Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and the back and an aluminum metal frame, retaining the premium feel.

Higher-refresh rate display

Moving onto the display, the Pixel 6 offers a much better display than the Pixel 6a. Not only the Pixel 6's display is larger (6.4-inch on the Pixel 6 vs. 6.1-inch on the Pixel 6a) — allowing you to see everything on your screen at once — it also supports a higher 90Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 6a comes with a 60Hz screen.

In this day and age, when even social media apps are resource-intensive, having a high refresh rate display ensures that customers have a smooth experience using the smartphone. If you're someone who's nit-picky about the display, stutters, and lags, we would recommend you to prefer the Google Pixel 6 over the 6a. And oh, it's worth noting that both the smartphones have OLED displays that support HDR playback and boast FHD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080 pixels).

Higher-quality cameras

Google Pixel 6 camera featured

While both the Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6a come with a dual-camera setup — one primary camera and one ultra-wide camera — the Google Pixel 6 features higher quality lenses. The Pixel 6 features a 50MP wide primary camera with f/1.85 aperture and OIS and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with 114-degree FoV. On the other hand, the Pixel 6a comes with a 12MP primary sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor.

The lower pixel count doesn't mean that the camera on the Pixel 6a is bad. In fact, you might not be able to tell the difference in real life due to the smartphones featuring the same ISP, but it certainly won't be as good as the Pixel 6. The photos captured by the Pixel 6 would slightly be higher in detail and brightness, giving it an edge over the 6a.

Faster wired charging, support for wireless charging

While both smartphones come with similar battery capacity, the Pixel 6 supports slightly faster-wired charging. The Pixel 6 comes with 21W fast charging support, while the 6a only supports up to 18W wired charging. While the difference isn't a huge one, the faster charging on Pixel 6 could come in handy when you're in a hurry. Another advantage that the Pixel 6 has over the 6a is that it supports Qi wireless charging — something that is totally absent on the 6a.

Want more storage and RAM

Pixel 6 in hand Source: Pocketnow video

Pixel 6 also offers more RAM and storage than its younger sibling. It comes with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and is available in 128GB and 256GB configurations. On the other hand, the Pixel 6a comes with only 6GB RAM and 128GB storage — there's no option to extend the storage via MicroSD, and there is no 256GB variant available as well. If you're someone who captures a lot of photos or stores a lot of media on your smartphone, we would recommend you to go with the Pixel 6 instead of the Pixel 6a.

Google Pixel 6 Coral Color

Affordable flagship from Google!

Google Pixel 6

The latest Google Pixel 6 smartphone is one of the best Android smartphones you can get right now. It comes with Google's own custom Tensor chipset, 50 MP camera, Android 12.1, premium materials, and much more! Check out the deals on the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro using the links given below.

PBI Google Pixel 6a Sage Color

Now available for preorder!

Google Pixel 6a

Google Pixel 6a is the latest budget smartphone from Google. Despite being affordable, the Pixel 6a comes with best-in-class features and specs, such as a Google Tensor chip, the same camera software as the Pixel 6 series, a new design, and more. You can now preorder the Pixel 6a using the links given below.


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