Pixel 6a Dilemma: Top Reasons That Can Make Or Break Your Purchase Decision

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The Google Pixel series smartphones generate a lot of interest in India, but that doesn't always translate into good sales figures. You can put it on Google for the unusual launch timelines and higher-than-expected pricing or can blame the stiff competition from Chinese brands that have spoiled Indian consumers. For example, the newly released Pixel 6a, a scaled-down version of the flagship Pixel 6-series, may suffer the same fate.

 
Pixel 6a: Top Reasons That Can Make Or Break Your Purchase Decision

Launched at Rs. 43,999 for the lone 6GB/128GB variant, the smartphone is no doubt an attractive proposition but the spec-heavy rivals easily outshine it in most aspects. But as we say and firmly believe that specs don't always tell the real story, we spent some time with the Pixel 6a to evaluate its performance as a value-flagship smartphone in 2022.

Here we summarize our experience of using the Google Pixel 6a in easy-to-understand points. Let's take a look.

Reasons To Buy The Google Pixel 6a

Compact Form Factor For Easy One-Hand Use

Compact Form Factor For Easy One-Hand Use

The smartphone market gradually steered towards big-screen handsets in the past few years, leaving a void for compact one-hand friendly devices. The Pixel 6a fills the gap. The relatively compact size makes it much more convenient to use with one hand. The Apple iPhone SE is also extremely compact but the size comes with its limitations.

With the Pixel 6a, Google has ensured a perfectly sized phone that also performs well as a multimedia device.

Good Camera Performance
 

Good Camera Performance

If you have used a Google Pixel phone, you must have an idea of Google's humble camera hardware capable of creating pure magic with color science and computational photography measures. The Pixel 6a is no different. It uses a modest 12MP + 12MP camera system, which seems too basic for a value-flagship phone in 2022; however, it can still blow your mind.

The camera captures human subjects with natural skin tones. There's no unwanted skin smoothening or tone shifting happening, it's all very realistic. According to Google, the 'Real Tone' feature is baked into the Pixel 6a's core camera algorithms to ensure the camera accurately represents the nuances of different skin tones authentically. And it works very well with different skin tones, textures, and subjects.

Impressive Dynamic Range

Impressive Dynamic Range

Additionally, the camera sensor also captures impressive dynamic range, and perfect shadows and ensures realistic colors with a good HDR output for both still photography and videography. The portraits turned out excellent too. Most importantly, the photography on the Pixel 6a is an effortless experience. If you don't want to get yourself into those 100s of modes and filters or a manual mode per se and yet want good results, the Pixel 6a is the phone for you.

Where the camera falters is the detailing in the pictures. Since the handset is still using a 12MP sensor, the pictures aren't very crisp and lack the finer details that one expects from a phone of this price in 2022.

Best-in-Class Software Upgrade Support

Best-in-Class Software Upgrade Support

Android as we know it has a troubled history of software updates; however, the new Pixel handsets beg to differ. With the new Pixel 6a, you are bound to experience the best-in-class software cycle. Our Pixel 6a review unit arrived with Android 12. It is now running on Android 13 and will be eligible to receive major Android OS updates through July 2025 and security updates until July 2027.

Additionally, the new Pixel 6a comes with three months of YouTube Premium and Google One subscription and offers access to 100 GB of cloud storage from Google One.

Smooth Day-To-Day Performance

Smooth Day-To-Day Performance

The Pixel 6a is very fast and responsive and never felt underpowered. It easily handles multiple apps at once and can even run the most demanding games; however, it isn't a phone crafted for gamers. Due to the smaller screen, games don't look very immersive and the phone tends to heat up with 10 to 15 minutes of intense gameplay.

Casual gamers won't find any issues though. Other than this, the Pixel 6a feels very capable. The new Tensor chip seems to be very efficient at handling all day-to-day things. Moving on, the haptic feedback is good and our unit didn't unlock with non-registered fingerprints. It is pretty much secure but we can't ignore some reported isolated incidents. Google is yet to respond and address the security-related incident.

The software works flawlessly and even the 60Hz screen runs reasonably well. As far as the battery life is concerned, the Pixel 6a can easily last a day with regular usage. There's no charger in the box and the 4,410mAh battery only supports 18W charging speed.

Reasons To Give It A Pass

Better Options At The Same Price

Better Options At The Same Price

The Pixel 6a is currently available at Rs. 37,500 on Amazon.in for the lone variant (6GB RAM + 128GB storage). This price bracket has some of the most feature-packed handsets, which offer far better value for money than the Pixel 6a. The list includes- the Nothing Phone (1), OnePlus 10R, Realme GT Neo 3, iQOO 9 SE, OnePlus Nord 2T, and the Xiaomi 11T Pro. These devices bring better and more fluid displays, faster-charging speeds, powerful chipsets, and much more.

What they might lack is the unique compact form factor, Google's long software upgrade support, and intuitive software experience.

Poor Aftersale Service & Resale Value In India

Poor Aftersale Service & Resale Value In India

Google's aftersales support for hardware devices including the Pixel-series handsets is still very sketchy. The brand does not have local service centers, however, it provides device home pick-up and delivery services in most of the locations in India. Google has a centralized repair & service system with B2X as the company's authorized repair partner.

If you ever face any issue with your Pixel 6a, your device will be sent to the centralized service factory in Mumbai for diagnosis & repair.

Also, the resale value of the Google Pixel-series phones is extremely poor. If you are someone who frequently purchases and sells devices, you might want to reconsider buying a Pixel phone.

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