Turning up the mid-range design
Last year Google was right with the design of the Pixel 6, and we were happy to see that the cheapest model would maintain that essence.
In this case, the back is plastic, but it has a good finish and, somewhat dark, does not catch fingerprints very much. In addition, the contrast of the green tones with the black strip suits it exceedingly well. It is an iconic mobile that is different, something that not all mobiles in this range can say.
As for the frames, we see that they are not as stylized as in the Pixel 6 Pro, although they are not much thicker than in the Pixel 6. We see that the lower part is more extensive, probably because they have not wanted to use flexible OLED panels, which are much more expensive.
This is one of the main differences (on the front) with terminals such as the Nothing phone (1), which does use this type of screen. Still, we don’t think frames are a problem.
An extra we do not usually see in these mobiles is the IP67 resistance to water and dust, which we cannot even take for granted in the most premium models.
The Google Tensor processor shows
The first hours of use of this mobile have been to install applications, configure them, play a quick game and link some devices. The sensation of speed that it has given me has been positive, and it is appreciated that the processor it mounts is high-end.
Pixel 6a Review
We are talking about the Google Tensor, the same chip that last year’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have. Imagine an OPPO mobile for 450 euros that used the Snapdragon 888 or one from Samsung with the same Exynos chip as the S22.
We have not even noticed problems with RAM, which is only 6 GB, but Google has managed to squeeze very well. This is where it is shown that without a heavy interface, there is no obligation to put a lot of random memory.
Pixel 6a Review
Of course, it has gotten a bit warm using it in the pool and after an intense game session of Honkai Impact Third. The frame grazed the critical temperature where it bothers you in your hand. It has not reached it, but Google should work more on the thermal behavior of its next processor.
However, we do not want to give the impression that the experience is that of a high-end mobile because it is not. The Pixel 6a performs very well, but when we want to push games a lot, we start to see the seams. And we have used the duplicate titles that we usually use, but this terminal is not the same as one that costs more than double, such as the Vivo X80 Pro.
Pixel 6a Review
Regarding connectivity, it seems that we are facing a high-end. We have Wifi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, or GPS, but no micro SD, FM radio, headphone jack, or micro SD card.
Let’s not leave aside the presence of a processor dedicated to security, the Titan M2 chip, which is not usually seen by a long shot in the mid-range.
Logically, all this is chosen by Google to enhance the use of its services, such as the paid version of Google Photos. Configuring my account activated high-quality storage without warning, contrary to what other mobiles do.
A decent screen with a significant problem
In this section, we can see exemplify the approach that Google has had to the mid-range. We are facing an OLED panel with a 2400 x 1080 px resolution. This screen seeks to offer a decent viewing quality without going into other manufacturers’ delicacies. Of course, being 6.1 inches, we can say that it is, more or less, contained in size.
And by delicacies, we mean a very high refresh rate (here, we stay at 60 Hz) or the latest versions of HDR. Yes, it does, but it is not the same as what we see in the models of other brands.
All in all, the screen of this terminal is correct, the right one so as not to endanger autonomy, and with decent colors and contrast. Even the glitter is suitable to be used in the pool.
Of course, we have noticed that it has a terrible ambient light sensor. So much so that more than once we have decided to use manual brightness, which is not something that is understood on mobile of almost 500 euros.
It is not the first time a manufacturer has had problems in this aspect, and we wonder if it would be possible to correct it by software because if not, Google may have a problem.
The fingerprint sensor is located under the panel, evolving with what has been seen so far in the other Pixels of the a-series. The speed is not the greatest we have seen, but the biggest drawback is that a facial unlocking system does not accompany it, so we always have to use it.
We have the possibility of using the ambient screen, which shows us the time, the temperature, and even our reminders at all times. It is one of the best uses of the ambient screen we have seen on a mobile.
Google continues betting on computational photography.
Although in its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, we have seen a level jump in the sensors, in the Pixel 6a, this is not the case. Google has enhanced this camera through software to improve skin tones, make faces always in focus using the secondary sensor, and a night mode that we fear does not always work perfectly.
There is also the magic eraser, which is similar to what Xiaomi and Samsung have, and although it has not reached what they promised in the first test versions in 2017, it offers excellent results.
Google has relied almost since its inception on computational photography when it comes to taking pictures. This implies that when we take a shot, there is a lot of difference between what we see in the viewfinder and what we finally get.
It’s not a problem, but I’ve noticed that people think the photos will turn out worse than they do. As I say, it is expected since the image has to be modified according to certain logarithms and mathematical operations. Still, a user may be surprised if he does not know it. I have seen it live.