Google’s Pixel 6a may not have officially launched yet, but that hasn’t stopped some reviewers from getting their hands on a device early, giving it a try and showing some ways that the budget Google phone doesn’t quite belong with the Pixel 6 Family.
Malaysian tech YouTuber Fazli Halim has managed to get his hands on a retail-ready device Pixel 6a rehearsal in early June and gave it the Unboxing treatmentbut now he’s back with a full test in which we compare the 6a’s fingerprint sensor side-by-side with the current leader of the line, the Google Pixel 6 Pro.
While both phones have optical in-display fingerprint sensors, the Pixel 6a’s sensor in Halim’s test proves to be both consistently faster at reading and unlocking the phone, and more consistent compared to the Pixel 6 Pro.
Given the lower specs (and therefore cost) of the Pixel 6a, it’s surprising that performance would be so much better – but early signs seem to suggest so.
Analysis: a lighter touch
The fingerprint sensor’s sluggish and lackluster performance was just one of the many small quirks that plagued it Pixel6 and 6 Pro around their launch in late 2021, with Google only partially addressing some of the issues the phones faced through subsequent software updates.
With that in mind, it was encouraging to learn that the Pixel 6a would use a different fingerprint sensor than the 6 and 6 Pro, something Google’s senior VP of Devices & Services Rich Osterloh said. Approved during Google I/O 2022 when the Pixel 6a was first officially announced.
While Halim’s video gives us our first proper look at the Pixel 6a, consumers will have to wait until July 28th to officially buy the phone, which swaps several key hardware attributes of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro for a lower asking price $449 / £399 / AU$749, giving it the potential to be one of those in the running best cheap cell phones out there.
Fingerprinting is just one tweak the Pixel 6a offers compared to its smaller siblings 6.1″ 60Hz Full HD+ OLED displaya lower-resolution 12.2-megapixel primary camera (compared to the 50-megapixel main unit on the 6 and 6 Pro, which has some of the best camera phones currently on the market) and a base memory and storage configuration of 6GB and 128GB respectively.
Where the Pixel 6a holds up is with the same Google-made Tensor SoC and, of course, that faster fingerprint sensor, which – coupled with the lower price – might be the perfect combination for some.
On the other hand, we have them Pixel7 right around the corner after Google inexplicably showed it at I/O earlier this year – and that’s likely to come not long after with a new PIxel 7a model, so the search giant hasn’t made it easy to decide when it will should choose a new phone it seems.