Pixel 6a Unboxing & Hands-on!
Today we finally got our hands on the Google Pixel 6a, the latest mid-range smartphone from Google’s Pixel A-series. It comes with a lot of good features, and for this one, we’re going to take you through a quick unboxing tour and a hands-on overview of the device.
The Pixel 6a is one of many budget smartphones that were launched this year, and it goes head-to-head with other newly-introduced Android handsets like the Nothing Phone 1, which come at a similar price tag, albeit with significant differences in hardware specifications. However, we think that this might just be one of the best budget smartphones around.
Join us as we take a look at what Google’s latest smartphone has to offer – let’s get started.
Packaging and Contents
The Pixel 6a comes in very straightforward packaging, which is somewhat more “reserved” than the box on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro devices. Upon opening it, you get the phone itself with very minimal wrapping, as well as some additional accessories.
Like its more expensive brethren that came before it (and a ton of other smartphones nowadays), the Pixel 6a lacks a proper charging brick and instead comes with the “bare necessities” which include a USB Type-C charging cable, sim ejector tool, a USB adaptor plug, and some paperwork.
If you have other Pixel chargers laying around, then those should be compatible with the 6a, as with most other USB-C charging bricks.
Design and Display
The Pixel 6a comes with a 6.1-inch OLED display, which is smaller than the screen on the larger Pixel 6 models and is capped at a 60Hz refresh rate. It’s also limited to Gorilla Glass 3 protection, as opposed to the Gorilla Glass Victus found on the more expensive Pixels.
With that said, we imagine that 60Hz won’t be too much of an issue for a majority of folks who are just after an affordable Android phone from a reliable brand, and the OLED display does make for a vibrant viewing experience, with deep contrast and good color reproduction.
The sides of the Pixel 6a are made of metal, which is where you’ll find the volume and power buttons, sim card tray, speaker grille, and the USB-C charging port. The buttons are matte this time around instead of the glossy plastic on the Pixel 6.
The back panel however is not made from glass, despite the glossy sheen. It’s made from polycarbonate, and while it does evoke the feeling of a glass surface at times, it is more prone to scratches than the Gorilla Glass back on its premium counterparts. We’d recommend getting a case for the Pixel 6a if you want to keep the back looking pristine. Overall though, it’s a solidly-built device and is lightweight thanks to its slightly smaller size. It also comes with IP67 protection to protect it from dust and splashes.
Inside the Pixel 6a is Google’s Tensor chipset, the same processor found in last year’s flagship Google phones. This is paired with 6B of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. This is the only memory configuration available for the phone though, and there’s no micro-SD expansion, unfortunately.
With that said, you do get a fast and powerful chipset, capable of running most graphic-intensive games on the Playstore. For moderate use, the phone should have no trouble zipping through your apps and the user interface.
As for the battery, the Pixel 6a is powered by a 4410 mAh battery, which should get you through a days’ worth of use. One gripe some users might have is that the battery tends to charge slower compared to other midrange Android phones, a lot of which come with fast-charging support.
One field where the Pixel 6a excels at is photography. Despite coming with only a pair of 12-megapixel sensors for the main lens and ultrawide shooter at the back, Google’s computational photography manages to get good shots thanks to the optimized camera software. The rear lenses are housed in the signature camera window that Google began using on the design on last year’s Pixels, although this time around the area surrounding the camera is made of plastic.
The front-facing camera embedded in a central hole-punch only measures up to 8-megapixels, but again, Google’s camera software excels at getting users good shots.
Of course, you do get a suite of Google camera features like Night Sight, astrophotography, as well as slow-motion and time-lapse video modes, to name a few.
In short, the Google Pixel 6a is a great little smartphone with a killer camera, a very capable chipset, and a premium-looking design. For folks moving up from cheaper entry-level handsets and would still like an Android phone that doesn’t go beyond £500, then the 6a is definitely a great option to get.
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