Google Pixel 6a will have an older camera – but that’s okay

As with Google’s other A-series phones, the Pixel 6a appears to be a quality budget smartphone. But, to get to its $449 price tag, it won’t have one of the best features of the Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro.

First shown at Google I/O 2022, the Pixel 6a could likely outperform the cheapest iPhone. And it might fix the Pixel 6 fingerprint reader issue as well.

But, the Pixel 6a will sport a 12.2MP main camera and 12MP ultra-wide lens, not the larger 50MP sensor we see on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. This is different from the A-series phones we’ve seen in the past, which have all brought the flagship cameras to the cheaper variants, making us feel like we’ve got the best of both worlds; it’s worth noting that Google has stuck with 12MP sensors since the original Pixel phone, only changing things up with the latest flagship Pixels).

In fact, the Pixel 6a’s 12MP sensor is the same one we’ve seen in the Pixel 5, 5a, Pixel 4 and Pixel 3.

Another gripe we have with the Pixel 6a is that it also ditches the headphone jack – but that’s for another story – and arguably not so bad when wireless headphones are common, check out our guide to the best headphones wireless.

But while Google doesn’t include its best cameras on the Pixel 6a, it does pack in its flagship Tensor chipset that powers the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. For previous Pixel models, the “core experience”, as Google calls it, was the cameras; now it has become Tensor.

Still, that might be enough, as the Tensor chip allows for some pretty neat photography tricks, such as the magic eraser. So even if the hardware is a cut below our expectations, maybe the software will make up for it.

Tensor also powers features like live speech recognition. Google even showed off the Pixel 6a’s Night Mode at Google I/O, though it could have been Google’s response to Apple — or the lack of Night Mode on the 2022 iPhone SE.

Getting a powerful and smart Tensor chip on a non-flagship phone is definitely a highlight and we can’t wait to see how the Pixel 6a performs when it launches in July for $449 / £399 / AU$749.

If you are already convinced, here is how to preorder the google pixel 6a before its launch.

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