Google’s Pixel 6a may not have formally hit the market yet, but that has not stopped any reviewers from getting a device early, testing it out and showing in some ways that the cheap Google phone does not quite belong with the Pixel 6 family.
The Malaysian tech youtuber, Fazli Halim, managed to get a retail-ready Pixel 6a try in early June and gave it unboxing treatmentbut now he’s back with a full review, where we see 6a’s fingerprint sensor compared side by side with the line’s current top dog, Google Pixel 6 Pro.
While both phones have optical fingerprint sensors on the screen, in Halim’s review, the Pixel 6a’s sensor turns out to be both consistently faster to read and unlock the phone, as well as more consistent compared to the Pixel 6 Pro.
It is surprising given the lower specification (and thus the price) of the Pixel 6a that the performance would have been so much better – but early signs seem to suggest so much.
Analysis: a light touch
Sluggish and dull fingerprint sensor performance was just one of the many peculiarities that bothered Pixel 6 and 6 Pro around the launch in late 2021, with Google only partially addressing some of the issues the phones have faced through subsequent software updates.
With this in mind, it was encouraging to hear that the Pixel 6a would use a different fingerprint sensor than the 6 and 6 Pro, something Senior VP of Devices & Services at Google, Rich Osterloh, confirmed during Google I / O 2022 when Pixel 6a was first officially announced.
While Halim’s video gives us our first real look at the Pixel 6a, consumers will have to wait until July 28 to officially purchase the phone, which replaces several key hardware attributes found on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro to achieve a lower price of $ 449 / £ 399 / AU $ 749, which gives it the potential to compete as one of best cheap phones out there.
The fingerprint is just a tweak that the Pixel 6a offers compared to its siblings, with a smaller one 6.1-inch 60Hz Full HD + OLED screena 12.2 MP primary camera with lower resolution (compared to the 6 and 6 Pros 50 MP main unit, which makes them some of the best camera phones currently on the market) and a basic memory and storage configuration of 6 GB and 128 GB respectively.
Where the Pixel 6a stays is with the same Google-made Tensor SoC and, of course, the faster fingerprint sensor, which – along with the lower price tag – may be the perfect combination for some.
Then again we have it Pixel 7 just around the corner after Google inexplicably showed it at I / O earlier this year – and it’s probably coming with a new PIxel 7a model not long after, so the search giant has not made it easy to decide when to go for a new phone, it seems.