Google’s annual I/O event is the perfect opportunity to showcase its new hardware and software. This year, the search giant has revealed the Pixel 6A and Pixel 7. It also announced a Pixel is in the works.
The Pixel 6A is a mid-range device, but it packs impressive specs. However, a feature stands out for its absence; the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Google made sure to roast Apple when it pulled the move with the iPhone 7 back in 2016, inspiring other top phone makers to ditch the tested and trusted feature. Google made the headphone jack a key feature on the A-series, even releasing an ad highlighting it in the Pixel 5A while ridiculing the iPhone.
This, however, is not the first time Google has eliminated the headphone jack from its devices. The company did not include it in the Pixel 2.
The Pixel 6A gets Google’s latest in-house chipset and new design language while retaining its predecessor’s $449 price tag. The new phone resembles the Pixel 6 with the two-tone color scheme and camera bump running the width on the back. The fingerprint scanner has also moved to the back.
Google slimmed down the OLED display a bit at 6.1 inches. This would be great for users that feel the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are too big. However, the screen refresh rate is limited to 60 Hz. As a mid-range device, the screen refresh rate is more than adequate.
Meanwhile, even though similar to the 6-series, the Pixel 6A has less powerful cameras. This is a change of strategy for Google because the A-series usually had the same camera as the flagship line. The 6A offers a 12 MP primary camera on the back with optical image stabilization, a noticeable downgrade from the 50 MP on the flagships. The primary camera is joined by 12 MP ultrawide and 8 MP selfie cameras.
Google also reduces battery capacity from 4,680 mAh in the 5A to 4,400 mAh. However, the company says you will still get a whole day of use and three days if you enable the Extreme Battery Saver mode. The latter is a full day longer than what the 5A offered. If the claims hold, it means Google has achieved higher hardware efficiency and software optimization.
There is 5G on board, but you won’t find a charger in the packaging; another example of Google following Apple’s minimalism lead.
The Pixel 6A is still available in only one configuration; 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal memory. Google will sell the new phone in more places, unlike the 5A, which was only available in the US and Japan. Pre-orders will open on July 21st, while shipping will start a week later.
Google also teased the next flagship, the Pixel 7, at the event. One of the standout features is the camera system on the back. While still using a raised bar to house the cameras, the Pro will get pill-shaped and circular arrangements, while the standard Pixel 7 would get only the pill-shaped cut-out. However, the bar, made from aluminum, blends into the phone’s body on both sides instead of being raised.
The 7-series will get the next-generation Tensor chip and come with Android 13. Google will release it this fall.
Google also teased an Android tablet slated for 2023. It will mark the company’s return to the category, which is not surprising, given its latest focus on the tablet side of the Android OS.