Google has formed a new tradition of releasing an “a” edition of the Pixel phone, which is normally intended to be a less expensive alternative to the company’s ostensibly premium flagships. The Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4a 5G blurred the lines a little last year, but Google appears to be reverting to normalcy. That is to say, it may release a Pixel 6a in the coming months, but these new renders raise more questions than they answer.
Unless Google decides to discontinue the Pixel “a” series entirely, a Pixel 6a is unlikely to be released in the first half of 2022. That is, assuming that component supply constraints do not push the launch date back to August. There’s also no reason to think it’ll have a different design than the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, given that it’s supposed to be a more cheap version.
With the initial batch of renders for what is reportedly the Pixel 6a, 91mobile and OnLeaks are betting on this. In every way, it resembles the Pixel 6, except that the Pixel 6a will have a smaller 6.2-inch flat OLED screen, according to the tipsters’ knowledge. The mockups also suggest that the phone feature a glass back, though this could be “classic” to save money on production.
Unfortunately, the images reveal little about the phone’s hardware, except for the fact that it will have only two cameras, just as the Pixel 6. It might even employ the same 50MP main camera as the main model, which isn’t a stretch given that Google uses the same sensors on both the main and “a” models. The phone could have 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 128GB of storage if tradition holds.
Of course, the processor will be the most important consideration. There has been no hint that Google is working on a mid-range Tensor chipset, implying that the Pixel 6a likely be equipped with a Snapdragon 700 series 5G processor instead. That will, of course, be a significant letdown for those expecting to get a taste of the Pixel 6 without investing too much money. However, the Pixel 6 is far less expensive than most flagships this year, especially if you take advantage of the new Pixel Pass deal.
However, the Tensor processor may not be required to enjoy all of the machine learning-powered capabilities available on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. According to recent reports, some of these work perfectly on earlier Pixel phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Of course, performance may still be subpar, but if Google makes it accessible for the Pixel 6a, that’s not a bad deal for the money.