Google Pixel 6a promises Pixel 6 Pro performance at a lower price

The Pixel 6a is Google ‘s new bet for the mid-range cellphone market. Despite the lower price, the model of the “a” line maintains some more sophisticated features of the high-end editions of the smartphone, such as the Tensor processor manufactured by the company itself. Check out, in the following lines, the details of the launch of the new device, presented this Wednesday (12), during Google I/O 2022.

The highlight of the Pixel 6a is the presence of the Google Tensor processor in its datasheet. The company’s proprietary chipset debuted in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones to replace traditional Qualcomm chips. By using the same component, the Pixel 6a should deliver performance similar to that seen in the more advanced models of the line.

Google Tensor is also responsible for improving the photographic suite and security of Pixel phones. In addition to producing better quality photos and videos, the ARM-based component promises to protect sensitive hardware and user data using the Titan M2 chip.

Thanks to the Tensor chip, the Pixel 6a will support 5G networks and artificial intelligence features that promise to enhance the user experience, such as voice recognition, real-time conversation translation, Real Tone, Night Sight, Magic Eraser, and more.

In terms of design and construction, the Pixel 6a has a look inspired by the most advanced models in the line, with a two-tone back cover, separated by a black strip where the photographic set of two cameras is located – a main 12 megapixel camera and an ultrawide one.

The compact aluminum-built body accommodates the 6.1-inch screen with integrated fingerprint reader. The front camera is located on top of the panel, with a hole shape.

Without giving specific details, Google still promised battery life of up to 72 hours in “Extreme Battery Saver” mode. The phone will be one of the first to receive Android 13 and will have five years of security updates.

Google Pixel 6a pricing and availability

Like other models in the mid-range line, the Pixel 6a is priced lower compared to its more powerful brothers. The new smartphone has a suggested price of US$ 449 (about R$ 2,300 in direct conversion ). In comparison, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro cost US$599 and US$899, respectively.

Launching July 21 in the US, the Pixel 6a will be available in three colors: black, white and green. For now, there is no forecast for the smartphone to arrive in Brazil officially.

Google finally announced the Pixel 6a today at Google I/O. Following up on both the Pixel 5a and Pixel 6, the new Pixel promises to bring the best of what Google has offered in the past year at a lower price. With Tensor powering the 6a, this is set to be the most powerful cheap Pixel yet. But despite what Google says, the Pixel 6’s battery life for many is bad — and the same Tensor that’s in the Pixel 6a could be to blame.

When I reviewed the Pixel 6 over a long-term period for Digital Trends, I noticed that the battery life was not as good as advertised. This held on my Pixel 6 Stormy Black, as well as the Sorta Seafoam model that replaced it. As the weather warmed up and I started spending more time outdoors and less time at home, it became clear to me that the Pixel 6 was incapable of lasting the promised 24 hours from a charge, frequently losing 15% to 20% before stepping off a train after just listening to music and reading via the Kindle app. I’m not alone on this. Early reviews for the Pixel 6 noted wildly differing battery claims, with some reviewers seeing fantastic battery life while others noted average to poor battery life. Moving away from the immediate launch coverage of the Pixel 6, you can also see the phone underperforming on (admittedly unscientific) battery tests on YouTube, as well as complaints on Reddit and Twitter.

Google finally announced the Pixel 6a today at Google I/O. Following up on both the Pixel 5a and Pixel 6, the new Pixel promises to bring the best of what Google has offered in the past year at a lower price. With Tensor powering the 6a, this is set to be the most powerful cheap Pixel yet. But despite what Google says, the Pixel 6’s battery life for many is bad — and the same Tensor that’s in the Pixel 6a could be to blame.

When I reviewed the Pixel 6 over a long-term period for Digital Trends, I noticed that the battery life was not as good as advertised. This held on my Pixel 6 Stormy Black, as well as the Sorta Seafoam model that replaced it. As the weather warmed up and I started spending more time outdoors and less time at home, it became clear to me that the Pixel 6 was incapable of lasting the promised 24 hours from a charge, frequently losing 15% to 20% before stepping off a train after just listening to music and reading via the Kindle app. I’m not alone on this. Early reviews for the Pixel 6 noted wildly differing battery claims, with some reviewers seeing fantastic battery life while others noted average to poor battery life. Moving away from the immediate launch coverage of the Pixel 6, you can also see the phone underperforming on (admittedly unscientific) battery tests on YouTube, as well as complaints on Reddit and Twitter.

If Tensor’s to blame, and it looks like it, it’ll be a downgrade from the Pixel 5a in an area of the phone that’s quite noticeable. Reviewing the Pixel 5a 5G, Digital Trends wrote: “Battery life is a big step up over the Pixel 4a 5G. With a 4,680mAh cell, it’s one of the beefier batteries I’ve seen on a midrange phone and significantly longer-lasting than the 3,885mAh cell on the Pixel 4a 5G. I averaged around one-and-a-half to two days of regular use before needing to top up, with standard daily usage consisting of some browsing, checking Twitter, playing games, and snapping photos.” With the Pixel 5a (and the 5 before it), Google nailed battery life. Now, it’s taken a step back, without any super-fast charging shenanigans to make up for it.

It’s not as though using Tensor is a bad choice though. It’s a very powerful chip — more so than any Snapdragon 600 or 700 series that would typically be substituted. It also supports all of Google’s AI wizardry, for better or worse. It’s the iPhone SE of Android, a well-built, semi-compact, inexpensive phone.

At the same time, battery life is the heart of any good mobile phone. Without being able to last untethered from a wall, quite a few features lose their luster. Much like the heart that’s in your body, you really shouldn’t spend much time thinking about it if it’s working well. With a 4,000 mAh+ battery, the Pixel 6-series should outperform the Pixel 5 and below. Whether as a result of the unusual Tensor core configuration, the Exynos modem, or whatever else, it does not do so consistently. It’s not a problem for you or me to work on — it’s for Google to fix with Tensor 2 and the Pixel 7. Till then, you can expect the Pixel 6a to perform better than the Pixel 5a. Just don’t expect it to last anywhere as long.

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