Pixel 6a lands at the FCC with four different models

OnLeaks' rendering of Pixel 6a.  Here you can see the flat screen and the low-profile camera bump.
Enlarge / OnLeaks’ rendering of Pixel 6a. Here you can see the flat screen and the low-profile camera bump.

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As pointed out by Droid-Life, Google’s next mid-range phone, the Pixel 6a, has appeared at the FCC.

What is most surprising about the listing is the timing. Pixel 6a’s FCC arrival in April is the earliest we’ve seen for the A-Series in a long time. Pixel 5a was listed on the FCC in July 2021 and launched a month later in August, while Pixel 4a hit the FCC in June 2020 and was also released in August. The first Pixel A phone, Pixel 3a, had an FCC listing in February and launched on Google I / O in May. This year, Google’s (virtual) I / O event is May 11, 2022, so that day is currently the preferred release date for the phone.

There are four different models in the FCC, where only one device has mmWave functionality. mmWave adds $ 50- $ 100 to the price of a phone and has almost no use in the real world because providers have not rolled out mmWave in many places. Given the huge cost of mmWave, we’d rather save the money.

The list of four American models also points to a broad rollout, and we could see the phone land at several large companies. Hopefully this will also result in more international support. Pixel 5a is only for sale in the US and Japan, probably due to the worldwide chip shortage. The many listed models may indicate that Google has fixed its storage issues and may go back to the more normal 13-country Pixel rollout.

We already know a lot about Pixel 6a. The design leaked in November, and it showed that Google continued the excellent Pixel 6 design in the midrange model. Pixel 6’s trademark camera bar stores the cameras, while providing a solid base to rest on a table, so you avoid the unstable wobble you get from a camera bump outside the center. This will be the first Pixel A phone with a fingerprint reader on the screen, which will mark a major change from the rear capacitive fingerprint reader in previous models.

Pixel 6 is the first phone with a Google-made SoC, Tensor, and a report from 9to5Google in November said that Pixel 6a would also come with a Tensor chip. In March, a Geekbench listing appeared for a Pixel 6a; it featured a Google Tensor SoC and 6GB of RAM. Score and frequencies are identical to the more expensive Pixel 6, indicating that it is the same Tensor chip that would provide a seriously competitive mid-range phone.

We’re simply looking at specs, but the Pixel 6a looks like it could be a small powerhouse of a phone, and it may even force people to reconsider buying the flagship Pixel 6. The Pixel 6a’s only major “downgrade” is its minor 6.2 -inch screen size compared to 90 Hz, 6.4-inch screen on Pixel 6 and 120 Hz, 6.7-inch screen on Pixel 6 Pro. If the Pixel 6a screen is 60 Hz (the refresh rate is not ready at the moment), this can be a significant deciding factor. The second downgrade is the camera system, which has only two sensors, and the main camera is reportedly the proven 12.2 megapixel Sony IMX363, which was the primary camera on Pixel 2, 3, 4 and 5. However, it should still be a good camera.

The Pixel A series is a great buy if you are looking for an uncomplicated Android phone. If the price is right, Google may have another winner on hand.