Google has announced that the Pixel 6A and Pixel Buds Pro are available for pre-order on the Google Store. There has been a lot of buzz and expectation around both products since they were announced alongside other Google devices at Google’s I/O 2022 developer conference.
Google Pixel 6A
The Pixel 6A is a follow-up device to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which were launched in October 2021. The Pixel 6A has some similar features to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, while other features are either unavailable on the new device or have been removed to achieve the 6A’s $499 price tag.
Google has promised to give the Pixel 6A an impressive five years of security updates, which extends the device’s usefulness.
But perhaps The highlight of the Google Pixel 6A device is the custom-built Google Tensor chip which it inherits from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. According to Google,
Google Tensor powers AI and machine learning features like:
- Live Translate: This allows you to chat in 11 languages, interpret face-to-face conversations, and translate signs with the camera, all without needing an internet connection.
- Better real-time transcription
- HDR video recording at the camera’s highest resolution and frame rate.
The chip improves everything that Pixel phones do, and by making it the highlight of the Pixel 6A device, Google is giving Pixel fans access to the same performance levels as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro at a much lower price.
The Pixel 6A screen is a 1080p FHD+ OLED panel with a 60Hz refresh rate. While it is much slower than the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which have 90 Hz and 120 Hz refresh rates, the OLED panel is refreshing for a phone below $500. Midrange phones typically feature an LCD panel as a cost-cutting measure.
The Pixel 6A carries over the design language of the 6 series. It also has a punch-hole camera in the front and the Google Pixel series’ signature horizontal camera bump on the back.
The Pixel 6A has just one memory variant: 6GB RAM + 128GB storage, and the device has no SD card slot for expansion. The smartphone is also missing a headphone jack, and there is no charger included in the box.
For security, the Pixel 6A features an in-screen fingerprint scanner and a Titan M2 chip and security core. According to Google,
“Tensor is the first processor with security core built-in, and it works with the Titan M2 security chip to make Pixel even more resilient to attacks.”
If you are familiar with the Pixel 6 series, then you probably worry about the responsiveness of the 6A’s in-screen fingerprint scanner since the scanners in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have been established as poor performers.
Although some reviewers who got units of the Pixel 6A for pre-launch testing say it responds quicker sometimes, rigorous testing is required to know for a fact how the fingerprint scanner in the Pixel 6A performs.
The Pixel 6A has a 4,410mAh battery. And while this may seem small on paper, coupling the Google Tensor chip with Google’s Android platform could produce better battery-life performance than other typical midrange android phones with larger batteries.
According to Google,
“By learning your favorite apps – and saving power on those you rarely use – Pixel’s Adaptive Battery can last all day.” And you can “get hours of power in just a few minutes with fast wired charging.”
The Pixel 6A has a 12-megapixel f/1.7 primary camera which receives a boost from the Tensor chip. One of the features supported by the Tensor chip is Face Unblur, which allows you to “capture every moment, even in motion.” Face Unblur supports the primary camera with the ultrawide camera and machine learning to produce a sharper and brighter photo.
Two other exciting features are the Magic Eraser and Real Tone feature. Magic Eraser allows you to remove unwanted objects in your photos and change an object’s color and brightness, so it blends in with the rest of the photo. Real Tone allows you to see all the nuances of skin tone authentically.
Google is giving away a pair of Pixel Buds A-Series for free to customers who pre-order the Pixel 6A. The tech giant is also offering $300 worth of trade-in credit with the purchase.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
The highlight feature of the Pixel Buds Pro is audio switching technology, which allows earbuds users to seamlessly switch between devices.
In a blog post, Google’s Angela Hsiao explains,
“Our audio switching technology builds on top of Fast Pair to use contextual information on what you’re listening to in order to switch the audio based on your actions. We have more categories that are ranked to determine how to prioritize sounds between phone calls, media, and all of the sounds your devices may make.”
The Pixel Buds Pro will retail for $199.99.