Google Pixel 6a Evaluation | Finest Android Telephones Below $500

The Takeaway: Google’s $449 Pixel 6a is a powerhouse of funds telephones, geared up with a vigorous OLED display screen and a pointy digicam that processes photos utilizing the perfect AI. All the things flows out of the corporate’s proprietary Tensor chip, which is optimized to squeeze probably the most efficiency and longest battery life out of an Android telephone. Within the week I used it as my main handset, I discovered the synergy between Google’s {hardware} and software program offered fluid visuals in demanding 3D video games and easy multitasking—with out the crashes frequent on mid-range Android smartphones.

Trying past the Android panorama, the Pixel 6a competes with the $429 iPhone SE (2022). These two sub-$500 smartphones do not feel entry-level, as they pack flagship-level processors — nonetheless competing with mid-range telephones twice the worth. The Pixel 6a can deal with on a regular basis duties higher and is the perfect telephone of the yr.

Smartphone Google Pixel 6a

Smartphone Google Pixel 6a

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Key specs

display screen: 6.1 inch OLED (2400×1080)
CPU: Google Tensor
Storage: 128 GB (non-expandable)

Snug Design Creates a Huge, Huge Display

The Pixel 6a’s compact physique measures simply 6 x 2.8 inches and weighs simply 0.4 kilos. Its slim candy-bar form makes it straightforward to carry and function with one hand whereas offering vertical house for extra info above. The perimeters are curved to suit higher in your hand – a welcome addition on this period of chunky, sq. metallic iPhone brackets. From the entrance, solely the OLED display screen and the aluminum body are seen. Google lower prices by changing the again glass on the Pixel 6 for a plastic cowl.

On the left aspect, you will see that solely a single pinhole for the SIM tray, and on the correct is the ability button simply above the quantity rocker. Flipping the telephone over reveals the Pixel’s signature visor digicam, which is extra compact than on its pricier siblings. Throughout my time with 6a, it survived falling from the desk and my pants pocket with out a lot as a smudge or scratch. And I had no drawback typing texts or making calls after submerging it to check the IP67 waterproof and dustproof score. Whereas the supplies could also be much less sturdy than the costlier Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Professional, the 6A continues to be a strong telephone.

task call on google pixel 6a

Trevor Raab

The colourful 6.1-inch OLED display screen pushes out a mean of 750 nits of brightness—greater than most telephones at this worth level. This massive, high-contrast show brings the surroundings to life with vibrant colours, whether or not you are taking a look at pictures you’ve got taken or watching movies. With no distracting notch chopping into the display screen house, I can focus extra on the sport I am enjoying. Because of this, in a top-down sport like Stardew Valley, I can see a bigger a part of the map, and my first-person view in Name of Obligation is sweet and vast. Whereas the iPhone SE ditches its massive brother’s notch to present you a full-screen picture, it feels wasted on a squished 4.7-inch display screen at 1334×750 pixels (non-HD) that is noticeably dimmer at a most brightness of 625 nits. The Pixel 6a’s 1080×2400, 60-hertz OLED display screen outshines it and, on the floor, is sort of equal to the $799 base iPhone 14, aside from the truth that it can’t be vibrant.

There’s loads of room to navigate across the Pixel’s non-bloated Android launcher. Paired with gesture navigation, the expertise is frictionless; swipe left to see your Google Information feed, drag as much as present all of your apps, and pull down from the highest for the short menu. Though the Pixel is capped on the identical 60-hertz refresh price because the iPhone SE, it feels sooner to open the app tray or scroll by way of pages. Whereas different funds Android telephones just like the Samsung A53 have a 120-hertz show, their processing energy cannot match Google Tensor.

Google Tensor Offers Highly effective Android Efficiency

Each on paper and in use, the octa-core Tensor chip powering the Pixel 6a (the identical one within the flagship $899 Pixel 6 Professional) is a beast. I didn’t expertise sluggish downs and fewer than a handful of crashes when switching between demanding functions. Modifying video clips was snappy, and I performed graphic- and resource-demanding video games at excessive visible settings with out a perceptible drop in body price. The Pixel makes use of this extra computing energy not solely to enhance operation, but additionally unique options corresponding to Direct Translation of textual content or audio in addition to Now Taking part in, which passively identifies the songs the machine is listening to within the background with out draining the battery.

Here is the picture

Each Google and Apple have shared the identical highly effective chip of their flagship telephones and their entry-level fashions. This pits the Tensor head-to-head with the A15 Bionic, which is probably the most highly effective cellular chip in a telephone. Within the Geekbench 5 process processing check I used, the iPhone SE A15 Bionic introduced 1722 single- and 4546 multi-core scores to the Pixel’s 1052 and 2946. So whereas the Pixel 6a overpowered its closest Android competitor, the Samsung Galaxy A53 (which scored 681 and 1778), Apple nonetheless has a far stronger chip. However in most every day use, the distinction is imperceptible.

Searching the online, opening pages, watching animations, and launching apps is sort of the identical on a telephone. In actual fact, sharper textual content and visuals on the Pixel’s 2400x1080p display screen are even higher. However crack open the video editor and the ability hole comes into play. The place the Pixel can export an edited video clip in 46 seconds, the iPhone SE makes the identical clip in simply 22. And when unpacking the supply recordsdata of heavy functions corresponding to Diablo Immortal or Name of Obligation Cell, the iPhone SE works at a velocity of 5. megabytes for each 1 megabyte on Pixel for sooner set up.

display google pixel 6a

Trevor Raab

Gaming on the Pixel 6a runs easily and scores excessive within the 3DMark GPU Wildlife Take a look at graphics benchmark. This benchmarked the telephone’s 40.5-frame-per-second common at 89 p.c higher than the outcomes of all different units. On cellular Name of Obligation on excessive settings, it typically stutters when some animation results—corresponding to flying sparks and a swinging coat tail—enrich the telephone. Nonetheless, the in-game graphic efficiency was secure, with out main drops or artifacts, on par with mid-range Androids. In the meantime, the iPhone SE averaged 46 FPS in the identical check. In my time with the iPhone, I did not see any of the occasional visible hiccups like on the Pixel. Whereas the telephone’s smaller display screen won’t be probably the most immersive, the SE’s energy is plain. As a gamer, I am not turned off one bit by this hole. On a bigger TV, I count on 4K at 60 FPS. However on telephones with smaller screens, the distinction is negligible. I want gaming on the Pixel’s larger, brighter display screen, which gives a greater window into the digital world.

As for battery life, the Pixel lasted a full 24 hours in my real-world use of sending messages all through the day, moderate-sized gaming classes, and looking by way of social media feeds. However in our battery drain check, which repeatedly streamed video and dwell commentary at 20 p.c brightness, the Pixel lasted 8 hours and 43 minutes from a full cost.

Digicam For Content material Creators

The Pixel’s vast, ultra-wide 12-megapixel rear digicam takes benefit of Google’s picture processing know-how with sharp, punchy colours. Within the photograph beneath, you’ll be able to see how the digicam brings out extra pink within the pepperoni items and the sharper background textual content on the umbrella within the background. Then again, the iPhone SE’s single digicam is not any slouch, however the hotter tones nearly look like there is a filter on the pictures. Equally, snaps through the day on the Pixel precisely relayed life-like colours just like the darker black of the tee shirt the place the iPhone SE made a picture that made the shirt look grey. Shifting on to low-light capturing, and the SE’s lack of an evening sensor left darkish photos taken with out flash too noisy to be usable. Evening Imaginative and prescient on the Pixel 6a appears sharp and extracts a powerful quantity of coloration from an nearly pitch-black room.

→ Google Pixel 6a & iPhone SE digicam samples

pepperoni pizza on an outdoor table

With the Pixel, you’ve gotten extra capturing varieties and modes. Tensor additionally extracts extra particulars from photos so that you’re much less more likely to lose them in shadows and highlights. And in contrast to the iPhone SE, it might probably shoot in RAW format for extra freedom in modifying. The Pixel’s built-in modifying instruments lack Photoshop, however the telephone does have AI-assisted know-how like Magic Eraser. This device makes it straightforward to circle and delete objects rapidly with a faucet. I exploit the impact on clear outcomes – eradicating distractions like cables, photobombers, and trash on the bottom. However each infrequently, it should fill the realm I modified with a distracting sample or go away a visible goof just like the reflection of a lower object (as you’ll be able to see with the paper towels beneath). On different telephones, you want third-party apps to take away undesirable objects from photos, and so they provide you with worse outcomes.

using the eraser on the google pixel 6a

Trevor Raab

use the eraser tool on the google pixel 6a photo

Trevor Raab

The Pixel captures video in 4K decision at 60 frames per second or 1080p as much as 240 FPS, which is best than most funds telephones. It is even nearer to $500, the tools is excessive out round 4K 30. The stationary clip that I shot with out a tripod was jitter-free, however the pixels have panning and moving-stabilization choices. I discovered this mode to be efficient, even eradicating the nasty bobbing from clips I took whereas jogging. However since this know-how captures in seize to stabilize your picture, it compresses the export to 1080p decision. In the meantime, the iPhone provides aggressive 4K 60 however with weaker zoom-in efficiency and fewer capturing modes.


The Pixel 6a is the perfect Android telephone you will get for below $500. Optimum dimension and balanced energy rips by way of every day duties and runs the most recent video games. Google’s strategic cuts permit for a premium show and digicam so it would not grow to be a compromise. However if you’re somebody who pushes the graphics to the utmost settings and / or usually edits movies, then the velocity and energy of the iPhone SE (2022) and the A15 chip are unmatched. For most individuals, the Pixel 6a’s bigger display screen, slimmer physique, and extra highly effective dual-lens digicam make it the higher selection.

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