Enlarge / Is that Pixel6? Nope! It’s the mid-range Pixel 6a.
OnLeaks x 91Mobiles
The Pixel 6 only recently launched, but since we regularly have six month lead time for smartphone leaks these days, it’s time to talk about its mid-range cousin, the Pixel 6a. This weekend OnLeaks and 91Mobiles decked out the internet with a rendering of what the phone should look like, based on CAD files to be distributed to accessory manufacturers.
Our final thoughts on the Pixel 6 review expressed the hope that Google would get on with its Pixel 6 work and build something that finally felt like a cohesive line of products, rather than the annual reboot crap the Pixel line does since its inception. With the Pixel 6a at least, it looks like Google is following this path. The 6a looks exactly like the Pixel 6, with a large rear camera bar, a two-tone design, a flat front screen with a centered hole-punch camera, and an in-screen fingerprint reader. This Pixel 6a rendering is almost indistinguishable from the Pixel 6.
A major difference will be the size. While the Pixel 6 Pro will be 6.7 inches and the Pixel 6 6.4 inches, the 6a will be 6.2 inches. CAD files should be fairly accurate dimensions for accessory manufacturers, and OnLeaks says the phone is 152.2 × 71.8 × 8.7mm. Again, this is a big step down from the 75.9mm wide Pixel 6 Pro and 74.8mm wide Pixel 6.People who are screaming for a smaller Google phone will have a little closer to that with the Pixel 6a what they want, and a smaller size is a great way to cut the cost of this mid-range device.
Enlarge / The camera bar of the Pixel 6a is thinner than that of the Pixel 6. The mid-range phone should have a camera downgrade so the bar doesn’t have to be that big.
OnLeaks x 91Mobiles, Google
The black camera bar on the back of the Pixel 6 instantly made it one of the most iconic phones out there. While the Pixel 6a carries on this design motif, the width of the camera bar is noticeably reduced compared to the Pixel 6. The camera hump won’t be that big either, the phone measures 10.4 mm including the bar. while the Pixel 6 with the bar is closer to 12 mm. We don’t have any specific specs for the Pixel 6a yet, but a camera downgrade is quite likely. Google has used the same primary camera sensor – a Sony IMX363 – in most of its Pixel phones, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the same sensor shows up in the Pixel 6a.
The Pixel 6a’s flagship design means it comes with some design accents that people may or may not be happy with. The report says the phone has an in-screen fingerprint reader. These are usually not as fast as the back capacitive readers that the Pixel A-line used to use. It looks like this will also be the first time the Pixel A line has made the headphone jack obsolete.
Enlarge / Here you can see the flat screen and the flat camera hump.
OnLeaks x 91Mobiles
Without saying a word about the specs, we can only speculate which SoC this phone will have. Google did a big deal with the introduction of its first in-house chip, the Google Tensor SoC, in the Pixel 6. It seems like the Pixel 6a doesn’t have the budget to incorporate a flagship SoC, so Google has to come up with something else. Since we haven’t heard of a mid-range variant of the Tensor, we assume that Google will return to Qualcomm on its mid-range phone.
As always, it is really difficult to pinpoint the release date of the latest Pixel A phone. The Pixel 5a launched in August 2021, and we’re now getting Pixel 6a leaks in November 2021. Since OnLeaks had rendered both the Pixel 5a and Pixel 6 six months prior to launch, we’re assuming we have a release will see in May date.