After a hiatus, Google finally got a new model at launch. Our tests should tell us how the Google Pixel 6a performs in everyday life.
First of all, I have to say that I am quite a Google fan. I don’t love everything, but I’ve really loved the Pixel series over the years. Some questionable choices are usually trivial because you know very well what to expect from a Pixel smartphone. This technique is also very well seen in the Pixel 6a.
Google is not satisfied with big numbers
Negative points first: I would have been happier with a faster 90 Hz display. Once you get used to it, the Pixel 6a’s 60 Hz is no joy. But certainly enough for most people. The otherwise very good OLED display could have been a little brighter, as you can see in the summer.
At a price of 459 euros, no one will complain about wireless charging. With only 5 or 10 watts from me. However, it’s not there yet. With 18 watts, fast charging via cable is actually anything but fast. Others also offer significantly more at a lower price range.
What else do I have to say about the device? before Market launch noticed that switching WLAN spots was not so smooth. Especially in a large apartment with several WiFi points, the Pixel 6a doesn’t switch to WiFi points that are close enough often and offer better reception. A patch can definitely fix this.
Camera: Ancient, only 12 megapixels and still good?
What Google has in common is the camera hardware. The camera sensor of yesteryear is installed here. But it’s not bad. The 12MP main camera with optical image stabilization is like a Pixel camera and can make sense in almost every situation of daily life. We get good photos that mostly look very natural and never blurry.
There is good night vision and a reasonable portrait mode. Otherwise, the camera app doesn’t overwhelm us with a variety of functions. Other smartphones are much more crowded, but the end result is not half as good. You can sum it up: You get a Google Camera that you’ve known and loved for years
Unfortunately, more expensive models don’t have long exposures. But Magic Eraser is included, which is expanded. The new feature is called “Hide”. It can match the color of the selected object to the rest of the image. That works really well.
Optically and technically like big brothers?
One of the advantages of Pixel 6a is the smaller display which is only 6.1 inches. This overall makes the compact smartphone feel much better in hand. It is also quite simple. The back is plastic instead of glass, but that’s not a huge drawback. In fact, the Pixel 6a always feels a little warmer as a result.
Google Tensor is integrated here without compromise and that’s fine. 6 GB of RAM is definitely less than 8 or 12, but in my opinion it is enough for daily use. The Pixel 6a looks almost as fast as its big brothers, but no trees. Which unfortunately also applies to the 4410 mAh battery.
I expected much longer battery life based on the display. But the Pixel 6a lasts just as long as its bigger brothers. That’s fine, but not exactly record-breaking, we know. You get through the day, even if it’s a little long.
In other respects, the Pixel 6a falls a bit short of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The two speakers aren’t as full, the vibration unit isn’t as subtle and the display isn’t as bright In return, the tech is really good, the keys are very crisp and a quick touch to see the in-display fingerprint sensor.
One of the advantages of the design is the barely overhanging camera bar:
“Pixel updates” have a five-year guarantee, although new Android versions can only be expected for three years. Not unique, but outstanding. At least in the Android world. It integrates great features like the mentioned magic eraser, live translation in chat app, call screen, recorder app with live transcript, assisted voice typing and more. The complete Google package.
Conclusion: It’s Google and it’s a good thing
Of course one should install better hardware here and there or set the price lower. Still, I think the overall package is coherent. You get a modern Google smartphone, just as you’d expect. And it’s not really about the big numbers or the latest camera sensor. It is important here that everything fits together and that no part of the phone is significantly better or worse.
I gave the Pixel 6a a good 4.5 out of 5 stars, because it’s almost unmatched in the Android world for its multi-year update guarantee and instantly available updates. still There is hardly any other phone that I would in good conscience pass on to other people, even after several years.
Most important key data for Google Pixel 6a:
- Google Tensor Processor
- 6,1 Zoll OLED display
- 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage
- 4410 mAh battery, up to 72 hours of run time
- Dual Camera – Known from Pixel 5 and Co.
12.2 megapixel main camera (IMX363)
12 Megapixel Ultraweight (IMX386)
8 Megapixel Front Camera (IMX355)
- 5G-Funk, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, eSIM-support
- Dimensions: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm (smaller than Pixel 6)
- Stereo speakers, in-display finger sensor
- 5 year guarantee for security updates
- Color: Black, White, Green
- Price: €459 RRP, from July 21, 2022
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