Berlin With the new Pixel 6a, Google is also bringing this digital steam hammer, which specializes in artificial intelligence, to the middle class. This is a first. For the A variants, there has always been a little less performance since the Pixel 3a.
A lot of computing power
On the one hand, the computing power ensures that all apps and games start quickly and run smoothly. In the practical test, it was also not noticeable that the 6a only has a slightly barely dimensioned main memory of 6 gigabytes (GB) (8 GB in the Pixel 6, up to 12 GB in the Pixel 6 Pro).
The flash memory for storing photos, images, apps and documents comprises 128 Gbytes and is unfortunately not expandable by an external memory card. Therefore, every now and then you have to clean up or move the storage to the cloud.
A distinctive wide camera strip
Visually, at first glance, there is little difference from the top models. The distinctive camera strip is also available, as are the stereo speakers and the front-filling display with camera hole. Compared to the similarly sized Pixel 6, the 6a is 29 grams lighter. The back is made of plastic instead of glass. The case feels just as solid and well made as its larger sibling model. It’s just a little more scratch-sensitive than the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s Gorilla Glass Victus.
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The display is slower, but fast enough and bright
We experienced a little surprise in the practical test: the smaller 6.1-inch OLED display of the 6a lacks the fast refresh rate of the Pixel 6. In terms of brightness, we were able to measure an excellent value of 1000 candela for the entry-level model. The two more expensive Pixel models, on the other hand, “only” came to an equally bright 800 candela. Otherwise, the display of the 6a appears razor-sharp and colorful.
The Pixel 6a has two 12-megapixel cameras on the back: a main and an ultra-wide-angle camera. The pictures can be seen. The shots in daylight turn out sharp and colorful. In terms of colors, the Pixel 6a, unlike many models from Asian manufacturers, also does not exaggerate. And the less ambient light is available, the better the 6a performs. There is hardly any color noise in the dark. Night vision mode gives great results.
Zoom nay, artificial intelligence yay!
The zoom qualities are a little less convincing – due to the lack of a telephoto lens. With the digital zoom with 2x magnification, everything still looks very good. At the 7x magnification, however, the details are blurred. The portrait mode, on the other hand, is convincing. It works on objects and pets as well as on people.
The performance of the Tensor chip system is fully reflected in the camera app. Thus, the pixel 6a can effectively reduce the color noise in night mode. Artificial intelligence also ensures that a wide variety of skin tones are displayed true to life. There is also the “Magic Eraser”. This is a digital eraser with which you can delete unwanted image elements at the touch of a finger.
A clever recorder that also writes along
The recorder app is exclusive to the three current Pixel models. It can not only record spoken speech as an audio file, but also convert it into written text in real time. The pixel doesn’t even have to be online to do this.
A very decent battery life also contributes to the practicality of the Pixel 6a. Our test device only gave up after nine hours and 30 minutes of continuous use. By comparison, the Pixel 6 Pro lasted just under ten hours.
Conclusion: A lot of performance, good price
The Pixel 6a has been on sale since the end of July for just under 460 euros. This is an excellent price / performance ratio. For comparison: for the Pixel 6 you have to pay 110 euros more in the 128 GB variant. The Pixel 6 Pro with 128 GByte RAM then costs almost 800 euros. The Pixel 6a is supported by the bright OLED display, the excellent camera, which works at its best in low light, and the AI performance. Some photo friends will miss a telephoto lens.