A less pricey Pixel

mobile phones

A Google Pixel 6 (Image credit: Future)

The eventual launch of the Google Pixel 6a could be good news for people who like the look of the Pixel 6, but aren’t as keen on the pice tag Google has given it.

Google’s Pixel a series of phones are budget alternatives to its main series – for example, the Pixel 5a was a more affordable version of the Pixel 5 – and with the Pixel 6 family being pricier than their predecessors, the Pixel 6a is doubly important.

While we don’t know anything for sure about the Google Pixel 6a yet, the design and some of the specs and features have started to leak, so we’re beginning to get a good idea about it.

Below you’ll find everything we’ve heard so far, along with information on the possible release date and price, and we’ll update this article as soon as we hear anything new about Google’s next handset.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next mid-range Pixel
  • When is it out? Sometime in 2022
  • How much will it cost? Expect a mid-range price

Google Pixel 6a release date and price

So far there’s no news on when the Google Pixel 6a might be announced or released, but the Google Pixel 5a was unveiled in August 2021, so there might be a while to wait, especially as the Pixel 4a similarly was launched in August 2020.

So does that mean we’ll be waiting until August 2022 for the Google Pixel 6a? Perhaps, but not necessarily. For one thing, the Pixel 3a came out in May of 2019, so Google hasn’t always stuck with this pattern.

Plus, the Pixel 5a was only sold in the US and Japan, so Google might want to soon make a more widely available mid-range model. The fact that we’ve already seen a number of Pixel 6a leaks also suggests that it could land before too long.

There’s no news on what the phone might cost either, but the Google Pixel 5a retailed for $449 (around £325 / AU$610), and the Pixel 4a 5G was $499 / £499 / AU$799, so somewhere in that region seems likely.

Design and display

We have a good idea of what the Google Pixel 6a might look like, as unofficial renders have been shared by OnLeaks (a leaker with a good track record) and 91Mobiles. You can see some of these below, and if you’ve seen the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro then the design here will look very familiar.

Image 1 of 2

mobile phones

(Image credit: @OnLeaks / 91Mobiles)

Image 2 of 2

mobile phones

(Image credit: @OnLeaks / 91Mobiles)

The design shown includes a large camera block running horizontally across the back of the phone, housing a dual-lens camera. There’s also a three-tone color scheme, a punch-hole camera on the front, and a flat screen.

You can also see power and volume buttons on the right edge, and a USB-C port along with speaker and microphone grilles on the bottom edge. There’s no sign of a headphone port.

According to the source, the Google Pixel 6a has a glass back and comes in at 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.7mm (or 10.4mm including the rear camera bump). That would make it slightly smaller than the Pixel 6, which makes sense as this phone also apparently has a smaller 6.2-inch OLED screen.

Exactly the same design can be seen in the photos below, which show what’s purportedly an aluminum dummy unit of the Pixel 6a. Dummy units are sometimes used by accessory makers and the like to help design products prior to a phone’s launch, though it’s not clear exactly where this one came from.

Image 1 of 2

mobile phones

(Image credit: xleaks7 / Fathom Bracelets)

Image 2 of 2

mobile phones

(Image credit: xleaks7 / Fathom Bracelets)

Camera and battery

While the Google Pixel 6a will probably inherit the design of the rest of the Pixel 6 range, it might not inherit their cameras, as code found in the Google Camera app suggests that this phone will have the same 12.2MP main camera as the Pixel 5a – and most other Pixels prior to the Pixel 6.

That would be in place of the 50MP one found on the latest models. However, the same code suggests that it will at least get the same 12MP ultra-wide snapper as the Pixel 6, and the same 8MP front-facing camera, so it might only be the main sensor that differs.

There’s no news yet on the Pixel 6a’s battery, but assuming it has a smaller screen than the Pixel 6 – as has been rumored – it’s likely to also have a smaller battery. For reference, the Pixel 6 has a 4,614mAh one, so somewhere between that figure and 4,000mAh is probably likely.

Specs and features

The Google Pixel 6a could live up to the Pixel 6 name, as not only might it have the same basic design as the rest of the range, but also the same chipset, as code found in the Google Camera app suggests as much.

That means it might have a Tensor chipset, designed to power advanced features like Live Translation.

Elsewhere, we’ve heard that the Pixel 6a might have an in-screen fingerprint scanner, 128GB of storage, and 6GB or 8GB of RAM – along with running Android 12 out of the box. We’d expect it would also support 5G, since that’s a fairly standard feature now.

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