Is Google's high-performance budget phone worth it?

Are you looking for the latest budget phone that won't break the bank? Look no further than Google's Pixel 6a. This new handset offers a lot of features and power that you might not necessarily find in other phones in its price range. In this review, we'll be going over all the specs, features, and design of the Pixel 6a and why it might be just right for you

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I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on the Pixel 6a, Google’s new budget phone. I’ve been using this phone for a little over a week, and it has certainly exceeded my expectations.
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Google phone
Google phone
Google phone
(Photo: Amazon)
What sets the Pixel 6a apart from other budget phones is all the features packed into it. From the outside, it has the two-tone colors that make it unmistakably a Pixel, with a camera bar across the middle. Inside, it is IP 67 rated and has no wireless charging, but it does have a glass back.
The most notable feature of the Pixel 6a is its 6.1 inch flat, 1080p OLED display that supports HDR. This display is decently sharp and color accurate, but I did notice some serious off-axis rainbowing. Additionally, the in-display fingerprint reader is a bit slow. Though this might be an acceptable trade-off for a budget phone, I found that the 60 hertz display made the phone feel a bit sluggish. This may not be noticeable to those coming from an older phone, but coming from a world of 120 and 165 hertz flagship phones, the difference was stark.
Still, the Pixel 6a packs in a ton of features at a budget price. Google’s smartest features, such as Call Screening and Live Translate, are present, and the haptics are great. The stereo speakers are also a nice touch.
The battery life of the Pixel 6a is also good, as expected considering the 60 hertz display. The camera setup is a bit of a let down though. The 12 megapixel setup for both the standard and ultra-wide cameras is the Sony IMX 363 sensor, which has been used in the Pixel 2, 3, 4, and 5. Though this is an older, smaller, low-resolution sensor, Google’s computational photography chops still make it capture crisp and contrasty photos. Additionally, the Pixel 6a takes decent looking 4K video up to 60fps.
Overall, the Pixel 6a is a great budget phone. Those looking for a Google software experience, the cameras, and some basic features will be happy with the Pixel 6a. However, those looking for a smooth and responsive experience at a budget may do better to look elsewhere.
Overview of the Design of Google's Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 6a comes with a 6.1 inch flat, 1080p OLED display at 60 hertz with a top centre hole punch and an in-display fingerprint reader. It also features two-tone colors and the infamous camera bar across the middle. The two-tone colors with the camera bar makes this phone easily recognisable as a Pixel device. Furthermore, it is also IP67 certified, has no wireless charging functionality, and no headphone jack. On the positive side, it has a glass back, aluminum rails, decent specs and a stereo speaker.
How Does the Pixel 6A's Display Measure Up to Other Budget Phones?
How are the Battery and Haptics on the Pixel 6a?
The Pixel 6a comes with a 4,400 mAh battery which provides good battery life, without needing to rely on wireless charging. In addition, the haptics are also quite good, providing a pleasant experience while using the phone. It's clear that the Pixel 6a is a great budget phone with reliable components.
What Software Features Come With the Pixel 6a?
The Pixel 6a boasts Google's trademark software experience, full of intuitive features and dynamic colors. Special smart features include Call Screening, Live Translate, and assistant technology for enhanced speech to text capabilities. Plus, the Pixel 6a is guaranteed three years of software updates. With the power of Google's Tensor chip, users can enjoy fast loading apps, great haptics, stereo speakers, and a 6.1 inch flat OLED display with a top center hole punch and in-display fingerprint reader. All these features make the Pixel 6a an excellent choice for budget-savvy techies.
Comparing Pixel 6a Camera to Other Models
The Pixel 6a has a 12 megapixel camera setup compared to its more expensive counterparts, such as the Pixel 5 and 6. Despite having a lower number on paper, its Sony IMX 363 sensor has long been praised by tech enthusiasts for its reliable quality. Plus, with its Tensor Chip that offers quick processing and the added benefit of its ultra wide feature, the Pixel 6a still produces crisp, contrasty, and confident shots. Its dynamic range and handling of highlights is an additional bonus, making it an easy top-two budget smartphone camera. Ultimately, it is a great choice for those who value the Google software experience and camera over everything else. Google Pixel 6A 5G 128GB 6GB RAM Factory Unlocked (GSM Only | No CDMA - not Compatible with Verizon/Sprint) Global Version - Charcoal
How Does Google's Pixel 6a Stack Up Against Other Budget Phones?
With the arrival of Google's new budget phone, the Pixel 6a, there's now something of a race to the bottom when it comes to budget devices. The Pixel 6a is a good phone overall and comes with familiar features from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, such as the two-tone color scheme, aluminum rails, and a top center hole punch for a fingerprint reader. However, there are some differences that set it apart from the more expensive Pixel models, such as no wireless charging, no headphone jack, and a slower 60Hz display.
Pixel 6a has an unmistakable design and two-tone colors.
Pixel 6a has great haptics, stereo speakers, and Google’s smartest features like Assistant Call Screening and Live Translate.
Pixel 6a has a tried-and-true camera setup with excellent image quality.
Pixel 6a lacks wireless charging and has no headphone jack.
Pixel 6a has a flat 1080p OLED display with off-axis rainbowing, slow auto brightness, and an in-display fingerprint reader.
Pixel 6a is choppy and not very smooth due to its 60 Hz display.
All in all, Google Pixel 6a is an excellent budget phone in terms of its software experience, with access to Google's smartest features and reliable cameras. Battery life and haptic feedback is also good for a budget phone. However, the 60Hz display and lack of wireless charging affects the overall smoothness of the phone's performance and, considering the competition, you may wish to consider other options if any of these features are deal-breakers. But if access to Google's features is especially important to you, the Pixel 6a is a great choice.
What is Google's new budget phone?
Google's new budget phone is the Pixel 6a. It features a 6.1 inch flat 1080p OLED display with a top center hole punch and an in-display fingerprint reader. It also has the same chip, software experience, and two-tone colors as the flagship models, as well as an IP67 rating and USB C port. Google Pixel 6A 5G 128GB 6GB RAM Factory Unlocked (GSM Only | No CDMA - not Compatible with Verizon/Sprint) Global Version - Charcoal
What are the features of the Pixel 6a?
The Pixel 6a features a 6.1 inch flat 1080p OLED display at 60 Hz with a top center hole punch and an in-display fingerprint reader. It has the exact same chip and software experience as the flagship models, as well as an IP67 rating and USB C port. It also has two-tone colors, aluminum rails, power and volume buttons on the right side, a notch between them, stereo speakers, and no headphone jack.
How does the Pixel 6a compare to other budget phones?
The Pixel 6a stands out from other budget phones due to its Google software experience, which includes material u, Google's widgets, dynamic colors and stock apps. It also has the same chip as the flagship models and has a tried-and-true12 megapixel camera setup. However, it does not have wireless charging or a 120 Hz display, which some other budget phones have.

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First published: 11:33, 01.11.23
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