The rumored Pixel 6A could be here as early as this week. Google I/O 2022 begins on Wednesday, May 11, and rumors point to a potential reveal of the phone at the big event. If the phone went official, it would likely retain some of the best parts from its high-end sibling, the Pixel 6, but with a cheaper price. Google has released a budget “A” version of every Pixel since the Pixel 3 2018. Historically, these cheaper “A” phones have kept the best camera features of the Pixel phone, and the Pixel 6A might get the new one too. Tensor chip that Google designed in-house.

While we wait for an announcement, we’re keeping an eye out for all the rumors and leaks surrounding the Pixel 6A. Here’s everything we’ve heard about Google’s next budget phone.

What is the Pixel 6A and is it real?

The Pixel 6A isn’t official yet, but believe it or not, the company may have let the secret slip in a Google coloring book. The book index reportedly included a Pixel 6A in a product listing. In a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Google may also have listed early specs for Pixel 6A phones for different carriers.

The Pixel 6A looks likely to take the best parts of the Pixel 6, such as the new Tensor chip, and bring them to a cheaper mid-range phone. An FCC filing from Google, spotted by Droid Life, appears to reflect multiple phone models with at least one including compatibility with the faster but hard-to-find millimeter wave version of 5G.

Different filings may relate to different versions of the phone for carrier compatibility. This would match how the Pixel 6 release last fall included a $599 model that didn’t include millimeter wave and a $700 Verizon model that included it.


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Release date: When can you get a Pixel 6A?

Rumors suggest two likely timelines for the Pixel 6A release: May and August.

the Pixel 4A was released in August 2020 due to several delays in the early days of the pandemicand the Pixel 5A launched a year later in August 2021. The Pixel 6A could follow suit with an August release date.

But before the pandemic, Google launched its original Pixel A device, the Pixel 3A, in May 2019 during the Google I/O conference that year. And while the delays ultimately pushed the 4A’s release date back, the 4A was originally expected in May 2020. It’s possible the 6A could return to the original May release cadence, which means we could see the Pixel 6A as of May 11, the first day of Google I/O 2022.

This theory is supported by leaker Max Jambor, who tweeted in January that the 6A is scheduled for May this year. Later in March, tech YouTuber Jon Prosser tweeted that Google will announce the 6A when I/O 2022but that it won’t launch until July 28 in most markets.


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Processor: How fast will the 6A be?

A widely cited leak from 9to5Google suggests Google will likely power the 6A with its new Tensor chip, which it used for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. This means that the budget 6A will benefit from all the advantages of this processor increased speed, artificial intelligence functions, longer battery life and special functions.

According to a Geekbench listing spotted by Android Headlines, purported benchmarks for the Pixel 6A seem to lend credence to this. The reference page also refers to the Pixel 6A with 6GB of RAM. If that were true, the Pixel 6A would have as much power as the Pixel 6, even with the lower price. It would also somewhat mimic what Apple did with the latest iPhone SE — take its newest and most powerful chip, but put it in a cheaper phone.

Design: what will the Pixel 6A look like?

A to run away A US carrier’s inventory system shows a 128GB Pixel 6A in three color options: black, white, and green.

Renders published by 91Mobiles courtesy of Steve Hemmerstoffer show a 6.2-inch OLED display with hardware measuring 152 x 72 x 8.7mm. It’s a bit more user-friendly than the Pixel 6, which has a 6.4-inch OLED display and measures 159 x 75 x 8.9mm. Unlike previous Pixel A devices, there’s no headphone jack shown in these 6A renders.

The Techxine website – an obscure blog whose accuracy is unclear at this point – also posted an alleged box image of the 6A. The design is very similar to the Pixel 6, Techxine says, but with a smaller rear camera module.

Camera: How do the Pixel 6A’s cameras compare to the Pixel 6?

Hemmerstoffer’s renders show the dual 6A rear cameras in a similar position to the Pixel 6’s: they’re aligned on a horizontal bar next to the flash. The aforementioned Techxine image shows the same arrangement. Like the Pixel 6, Hemmerstoffer’s 6A renders also feature a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera, allowing the screen to take up more of the phone’s surface area.

Analysis by 9to5Google suggests that instead of getting the main 50-megapixel camera from the Pixel 6, the 6A will feature the same 12.2-megapixel sensor as every Pixel since the Pixel 2. However, it says that the 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera will remain the same as the Pixel 6. Techxine rumor supports these camera specs.

If the Pixel 6A is powered by the Pixel 6 Tensor Chip rumor has it the phone is computational photography capabilities would also expand, bringing cool photo features like magic eraser to Google’s low-cost phone line.

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The Pixel 5A’s camera delivered solid performance for a value phone, according to our review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Price: How much will the Pixel 6A cost?

Considering the price of previous Pixel phones, the cost of the Pixel 6A will likely be somewhere in the $400 range. Historically, we’ve seen significant price differences between A devices and their flagship counterparts: the Pixel 5A costs $250 less than the Pixel 5, and previous versions of the Pixel A got even bigger discounts.

Given that the Pixel 6A might have the same new processor as the $599 Pixel 6, and it’s possible that the only major quality compromise on the 6A will be the main camera, don’t expect a drop. Spectacular pricing here.

If you’re looking for more rumors about Google’s upcoming Pixel devices, check out our roundup of Buzz Pixel 7. Here is everything we heard about Android 13, which will arrive first on Google phones. And be sure to take a look at our list of best android phones you can buy in 2022.