With the recent announcement that Google is moving into the smartwatch game, the company is getting more aggressive at expanding its customer base. If the Google Pixel 6a is any indication, the company intends to woo customers by offering value. For example, many users may find the 6a not only has a better price than last year’s Google Pixel 6, but it may also be a better overall phone for their needs. This is the very definition of value: greater worth at a lower price.
Google launched its a-series back in 2019 with the Google Pixel 3a. In general, the a-series of Google phones is the more affordable option, but not necessarily a budget option. These phones still have an impressive array of features. For some, they are a better reason to upgrade than the higher-priced option.
While the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have been available since late October 2021, the Pixel 6a only went up for pre-order on July 21, 2022 and became available in stores on July 28.
You don’t have to pay a premium for these incredible offerings; they come standard on all Pixel 6 phones, whether you are getting the Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 6 or the Pixel 6a.
The overall Pixel experience has been modernized and streamlined. You can find things quicker and navigate more intuitively. The system even has a built-in spell checker, so you can avoid those embarrassing mistakes that often arise from thumb-typing.
The Tensor is an in-house chip that is faster at handling tasks such as real-time language translations, text-to-speak without an internet connection, image processing and more. This means better security and improved battery life because it doesn’t need cloud connections.
The camera system on the Pixel 6a features Real Tone. This software has improved facial detection for all skin tones, along with an auto-white balance and an auto-exposure that helps ensure correct color in all conditions. The auto-enhance and face unblur features allow you to capture and enhance details, even in low-light situations.
For security, the Pixel 6a has a fingerprint unlock feature, so you are the only one who can open your phone. Additionally, the Tensor processor works with the Titan M2 security chip to create a custom-designed security subsystem that handles sensitive processes, such as pass code protection, encryption, and secure transactions.
The Pixel 6a is a 5G compatible device. This means you get the fastest downloads and best streaming currently available.
With software updates, you will get more than what you paid for. Every time an improvement comes along, you will automatically get those new features. In short, it is like getting a new device with every upgrade.
Bigger isn’t always better— especially when convenience and portability are primary factors. By comparison, the Amazon Fire 7 has a 7-inch screen, and that is considered a tablet. The Pixel 6 Pro screen is less than a half inch smaller, which doesn’t make it as convenient for carrying in your pocket. The display size of the Pixel 6a, however, is roughly the same size as the iPhone 13, which makes it a much more portable size.
The more RAM a system has, the more efficiently it can operate. Since the Pixel 6 Pro has the most RAM, it will offer the best possible performance. However, 6GB of RAM is still more than adequate for the average smartphone user. By comparison, the iPhone 13 has 4GB of RAM.
Pixel 6 Pro: 24-hour plus battery life and wireless charging
Pixel 6: 24-hour plus battery life and wireless charging
Pixel 6a: 24-hour plus battery life and no wireless charging.
While the Pixel Pro 6 has a higher energy capacity, each model is designed to last for over a day, which should be more than enough for most users. If you had your heart set on wireless charging, you won’t be able to do that with the 6a, however. But this feature only offers a minor degree of convenience — set the phone down instead of plugging it in to charge.
The Pixel 6 Pro has the advantage here, but the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6a have very similar camera systems. The Pixel 6 has a higher definition wide rear camera and a laser sensor to help focus, but the pictures you take with the Pixel 6a will still be impressive.
The glass cover of the Pixel 6a has not been strengthened to reduce the damage that may occur from dropping. If you are prone to dropping your phone, both the Pixel 6 Pro and the Pixel 6 offer better protection.
Pixel 6 Pro: from $899
Pixel 6: from $599
Pixel 6a: from $449.
This is where we see the true value of the Pixel 6a shine. Many of its features are the same as the higher-priced models, while others offer only a slight disadvantage for the average user. For many, this is enough to make the Pixel 6a a better overall option than the 6 or the 6 Pro.
Google doesn’t just offer phones, it has laptops, earbuds, smart home offerings and more.
This is Google's latest smartphone. It has a custom-made processor, all-day battery life, advanced security features and more. This delivers arguably the best value in the company’s Pixel 6 line.
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The Pixel 6 phone is a step up from the 6a. It offers a slightly larger screen, wireless charging and more RAM. The Corning Gorilla Glass Victus cover glass provides superior protection in the event of an accidental drop.
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This is the top-of-the-line offering. It has a slightly larger screen than the Pixel 6, significantly more RAM and storage capacity, a triple rear camera and wireless charging.
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The Pixelbook is a Chromebook laptop that lasts for up to 12 hours. It is lightweight, can start up quickly and features an 8th generation Intel core processor. The HD touchscreen display and dual stereo provide an exceptional streaming experience.
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Take control of your energy bill with one of Google’s top-selling smart devices. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat learns from you and adjusts the temperature even after you leave. With the Nest app, you can control your thermostat no matter where you are, check energy usage and more.
These high-quality earbuds have a flush design, three ear tip sizes and a stabilizer arc, so they stay in place. You can get up to five hours of listening per charge and control your music with your voice. The water-resistant design means these earbuds are safe for workouts and rainy days.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.