Disappointing Google Pixel 6a gets a 12MP main camera downgrade

Google Pixel 6a
(Image credit: Google)

Google has confirmed the Pixel 6a smartphone, which will be available in July. Happily, the new mid-range phone will inherit many of the features we see on the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro, but sadly this doesn’t stretch to the camera system.

Rather than the 50MP sensor seen in Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the Google Pixel 6a camera has a12.2MP f/1.7 main camera, as seen in the Pixel 5, Pixel 5A, Pixel 4 and Pixel 3 – it’s almost retro. The Pixel 6a’s main camera is joined by a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide and the camera disappointment sadly continues in the 8MP front-facing selfie camera.  

Camera features that are carried over from the Pixel 6 include Magic Eraser (allows you get rid of unwanted elements in photos) and Real Tone (allows for accurate skin tone balancing in portrait mode). The Google Pixel 6a also allows for video recording in up to 4K quality at up to 60fps.

Google Pixel 6a: Specifications 

(Image credit: Google)

The Google Pixel 6a features the same Google Tensor chip as its older siblings, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, under-display fingerprint scanner and stereo speakers. The new phone will run on Android 12 – receiving a update to Android 13 in due course. The battery capacity is 4,410mAh, with 30W charge speed, which Google says will last for over a day of use.

Display wise, the Google Pixel 6a has a 6.1-inch OLED screen, protected by protected by Gorilla Glass 3, with a punch-hole cut-out as we’ve come to expect on Pixel 6 phones. It has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 with 429 pixels per inch and HDR support, and a slightly disappointing 60Hz refresh rate. 

The phone looks much as we would have expected – easy on the eye, like its siblings with the same camera bar, albeit with smaller lens cut-outs. It measures 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm and weighs in at 178g. It comes with an IP67 rating, which means it's dust and water resistant.

Google Pixel 6a: Price and availability 

The Google Pixel 6a will come in chalk, sage and charcoal colorways. It will be available from 28 July in the US and Australia with pre-orders starting on July 21. The UK release date has yet to be announced, but will definitely be getting the phone. It will be priced at £399 / $449 / AU$749. 

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Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com, she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.