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Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a


The Google Pixel 8a is the company’s brand new mid-range smartphone. We’ve already compared it to both the Pixel 7a and Pixel 8, and it’s now time to dig up one of its older siblings. In this article, we’ll compare the Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a. The Pixel 6a is a phone that some people are still rocking, as it’s still performing well. It was, however, launched two years ago, and for some, it’s time for an upgrade. Is the Pixel 8a the phone to upgrade to, as it kind of seems logical?

Well, if you’re aiming to get a somewhat compact Pixel phone, the Pixel 8a and Pixel 8 are the options if you’re looking to upgrade. The Pixel 8 is often discounted lately and gets close to the Pixel 8a price tag. Still, the Pixel 8s is the main contender to consider here. We’ll compare the two phones in this article, and that will hopefully help you out when making a decision. We’ll first compare their specs, and then move to a number of other categories.

Specs

Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a, respectively

Screen size:
6.1-inch OLED display (120Hz, HDR, 2,000 nits)
6.1-inch OLED display (60Hz, HDR)
Display resolution:
2400 x 1080
SoC:
Google Tensor G3
Google Tensor
RAM:
8GB (LPDDR5)
6GB (LPDDR5)
Storage:
128GB/256GB (UFS 3.1)
Rear cameras:
64MP (wide, f/1.9 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS), 13MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree FoV, 1.12um pixel size)
12MP (wide, f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS), 12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 17mm lens, 1.25um pixel size, 114-degree FoV))
Front cameras:
13MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.12um pixel size)
8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 1.12um pixel size)
Battery:
4,492mAh
4,410mAh
Charging:
18W wired, 7.5W wireless (charger not included)
18W wired (charger not included)
Dimensions:
152.1 x 72.7 x 8.9mm
152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm
Weight:
188 grams
178 grams
Connectivity:
5G, LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5.3/5.2
Security:
In-display fingerprint scanner (optical) & facial scanning
OS:
Android 14
Android 12 (upgradable to Android 14)
Price:
$499+
$409+ (no longer officially available)
Buy:
Pixel 8a (Best Buy)
Pixel 6a (Amazon)

Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a: Design

When it comes to the design, the Pixel 8a does look a bit different than the Pixel 6a. The Pixel 6a was the last phone that had a camera visor on the back that is covered by glass, not metal. Also, the shape of the phone is different. The Pixel 8a comes with rounded corners, flat display, and a centered display camera hole. The Pixel 6a has sharper corners, and also a flat display, and a centered display camera hole. The bezels on both smartphones are not exactly thick, but not flagship-level thin either. They’re also not uniform on either device.

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If we flip the two phones over, we’ll see even more differences. Both smartphones have a camera visor on the back. The one on the Pixel 8a is covered by metal. The one on the Pixel 6a is not, it’s covered by glass. Both of those camera visors stretch from the frame on the left side to the frame on the right, across the back. There’s a plastic backplate on both phones, but the Pixel 8a has a matte back side. The physical buttons on both phones sit on the right-hand side. The power/lock button sits above the volume up and down keys on both phones.

These two devices are actually very similar in terms of size too (they have the same display sizes). They’re almost identical in terms of height, while the Pixel 8a is around 1mm wider. They’re identical in terms of thickness, while the Pixel 6a is 10 grams lighter at 178 grams. Both of them are IP67 certified for water and dust resistance. That’s always nice to see on budget phones. Both devices also have an aluminum frame. Both of them feel nice in the hand, though both are also quite slippery.

Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a: Display

The Google Pixel 8a is equipped with a 6.1-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display. That panel is flat, and it supports HDR output. It has a 120Hz refresh rate, and its brightness goes up to 2,000 nits. The display aspect ratio on this display is 20:9, while the Gorilla Glass 3 protection sits on top of the display.. The screen-to-body ratio on this panel is at around 81 percent. We’re looking at 430 ppi here.

Pixel 6a Photo 7

The Pixel 6a, on the other hand, has a 6.1-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display too. This panel is also flat, and it also supports HDR content. The thing is, this display is limited to 60Hz when it comes to refresh rate. The display aspect ratio is 20:9, while the screen-to-body ratio sits at around 83 percent. The Gorilla Glass 3 protects this display, while we’re looking at a ppi of 429 here.

While the Pixel 6a display is decent. The Pixel 8a’s panel has several advantages. The first one is the fact that it’s a lot brighter. That’s something you’ll easily notice when using the phone outdoors, especially in direct sunlight. On top of that, the Pixel 8a’s panel has a 120Hz refresh rate, and the difference is easily noticeable while scrolling, for example. Do note that you need to enable ‘Smooth Display’ in the settings, though, when you start using the phone. The Pixel 8a’s display also looks slightly more vivid, while the viewing angles on both are good. The display protection could be better on both phones, though. Gorilla Glass 3 is dated and has proven to be prone to micro scratches.

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Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a: Performance

The Google Tensor G3 fuels the Pixel 8a, Google’s latest processor, a 4nm chip. The phone is also equipped with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and utilizes UFS 3.1 flash storage. The Pixel 6a, on the flip side, is fueled by the original Google Tensor, which is a 5nm processor. It comes with 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and UFS 3.1 flash storage too. The Pixel 6a ships with Android 12, but it’s upgradable to Android 14. The Pixel 8a comes with Android 14 out of the box.

Having said that, while the Pixel 6a still performs well, the difference is noticeable. We haven’t really finished our Pixel 8a review yet, but it does seem to be a bit snappier, and that 120Hz display helps with the general feel of it. Don’t expect a major difference in sheer speed of day-to-day use, but the Pixel 8a will feel like an improvement, that’s for sure. We are talking about a two-year difference here, of course.

Neither of the two processors, or phones, are made for gaming. Still, they both can play games, but the Pixel 8a is better equipped for it, mainly due to its chip. If you plan on playing a lot of graphically-demanding games, though, you may want to steer clear from both of these phones. Still, they can play the vast majority of games with ease, as long as they’re not too demanding. Just to be clear, you can run those demanding titles, but the performance may not be great. It all depends.

Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a: Battery

The Google Pixel 8a has a 4,492mAh battery on the inside, while the Pixel 6a comes with a 4,410mAh unit. The difference here is not that big. Do note that the Pixel 8a does have a higher refresh rate display, and its chip is a bit more power efficient. What does that mean for battery life? Well, the Pixel 8a should be able to do better in that regard, and not just because it’s a newer phone.

We haven’t yet fully tested the Pixel 8a, but it should be able to provide somewhere between 6.5 and 7 hours of screen-on-time for most users (if you enable Smooth Display, possibly more if you don’t). The battery life will also differ from one user to the next, of course. We’re expecting a similar battery life to the Pixel 8. The Pixel 6a was able to provide us with around 7 hours of screen-on-time back when we used it. It had its ups and downs, though, so it will also depend on how old the device is, of course. The two phones should generally have somewhat similar battery life, which is not surprising.

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When charging is concerned, these two phones are on the same playing field, at least in terms of wired charging. They both support 18W wired charging (PD 3.0). Wireless charging is supported only on the Pixel 8a, though. 7.5W wireless charging. Neither of the two phones has a charger in the retail box. If you don’t have one at home, you’ll have to buy it separately.

Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 6a: Cameras

The Google Pixel 8a has the exact same camera setup as the Pixel 7a. It is an improvement over the Pixel 6a, that’s for sure. It includes a 64-megapixel main camera, and a 13-megapixel ultrawide unit (120-degree FoV). The Pixel 6a has a very old 12.2-megapixel main camera, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide unit (114-degree FoV). The Pixel 8a has a considerably larger main camera sensor compared to the Pixel 6a.

Pixel 6a Photo 14Pixel 6a Photo 14

The Pixel 6a can still provide a solid picture, but the improvements that the Pixel 8a brings are quite noticeable, as we’ve already seen on the Pixel 7a. You’ll notice way less noise in low light, while the images will be sharper in general. Google’s image processing does a good job of pulling out the best images possible from that 12.2-megapixel camera, but its age is noticeable at this point. Even the Pixel 8a’s ultrawide camera should be able to provide better pictures compared to the one on the Pixel 6a.

Neither of the two phones include a (periscope) telephoto camera on the back. That’s a shame, but you do need to keep in mind these are budget smartphones. Google does have good processing for digital zoom, which could prove very useful on the Pixel 8a. The bottom line is, the Pixel 8a does have a better camera setup, and it will provide better pictures. The Pixel 6a can still hold its own, though.

Audio

Both of these smartphones do have stereo speakers. They’re not the best around, but they do the job. The Pixel 8a should be able to offer a better experience, but not by much. Both sets of speakers could be a bit louder, but most people won’t mind.

You will not find an audio jack on either of these two phones. Both of them do include a Type-C port at the bottom, which you can use to connect your wired headphones. Most of you will probably opt for wireless audio, though. The Pixel 8a supports Bluetooth 5.3, while the Pixel 6a comes with Bluetooth 5.2 support.



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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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