Google's Cheaper Pixel 6A Is Coming Soon, and It Looks Promising
The $450 Pixel 6A will arrive July 28.
Eli BlumenthalSenior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming,
Google will soon launch the Pixel 6A, a more wallet-friendly version of the Pixel 6 that it announced nearly two months ago during its I/O conference. As expected, the Pixel 6A includes many of the Pixel 6's highlight features like the Tensor chip at a lower price of $449.
Coming July 28, the new 6.1-inch Pixel will serve as a successor to last year's Pixel 5A. As rumored, it will feature a design similar to last year's Pixel 6 line, including a camera bar in the middle of the back of the phone for its 12-megapixel ultrawide and main cameras. Preorders begin on July 21.
Google's custom Tensor chip will power the phone alongside 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Google says the 6A will be capable of the same tricks the Pixel 6 offers, including camera features like Night Sight, Real Tone and Magic Eraser -- with the last of these getting an improvement that will allow you to "change the color of distracting objects in your photo."
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The phone will support 5G and all three major US wireless carriers will offer the phone, though Verizon's version will run $500 since it supports millimeter-wave 5G. Google is promising roughly three years of Android software updates and five years of security updates. The company says the 6A will be "among the first Android devices to receive the upcoming Android 13" update later this year.
Like the Pixel 6, the 6A will have an under-display fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone. The fingerprint reader may even be more responsive than the Pixel 6 Pro's, according to a video posted by a Malaysian YouTuber that obtained the device early. While the 5A had a headphone jack, the 6A will not. Like the Pixel 5A, the new phone will be IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, and will not support wireless charging.
"[The] Pixel 6A is about maximizing the user value," Google said in a statement to CNET. "To maintain a $449 starting price point we needed to make some trade-offs, one of which was the exclusion of wireless charging."
The new phone will come in charcoal, chalk and sage colors.
The launch also comes at a time when rivals like Apple and Samsung are focusing more on their competitively priced devices. Apple released a new 5G-enabled version of the iPhone SE in March, which at $429 is just $20 cheaper than the Pixel 6A. Samsung debuted the $450 Galaxy A53 5G in during that same month.