Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 5a: Which Is Best?

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Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 5a: Which Is Best?

Google’s own Tensor processor made its debut with the Google Pixel 6. Aside from the new CPU, Google redesigned the Pixel series in a variety of ways to make it better than prior Pixel phones. While newer phones might be exciting, buying choices are influenced by a number of factors.

Here’s a Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 5a comparison to assist you make an educated decision if you’re trying to decide whether to purchase or considering upgrading to a newer model.

Design

Google-pixel-6-design
Image Credit: Google

The design of the Pixel 6 may entice people to upgrade from the 5a. The Pixel 6 series saw the firm revamp its design, presenting them in a manner that seems fresh and out of the ordinary.

The Pixel 6 has a big camera bump on the back that runs from side to side. While that design may not be to everyone’s taste, it does make the phone stand out. It also moves the Pixel 5a’s camera cutout from the corner to the center top of the display.

The Pixel 6 comes in a range of colorful hues (Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, and Sorta Seafoam) as opposed to the Pixel 5a’s single black color. In contrast to the Pixel 6, the 5a has a more typical square camera bump.

The Pixel 6 swaps the rear fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 5a for an in-display one. Another thing that you can tell just from holding the two on your hands is the lack of a headphone jack on the Pixel 6. The available 3.5mm headphone jack on the 5a is a plus, making it more suitable for audiophiles.

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Finally, the Pixel 6 has a glass back and front with an aluminum frame, while the Pixel 5a’s back is made out of aluminum.

Display

Moving to the screen, the Pixel 6 packs a slightly bigger display. It features a 6.4-inch 90Hz AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution, and has Corning’s latest and greatest Gorilla Glass Victus on top as well. On the other hand, the Pixel 5a has a 6.34-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with the old Corning Gorilla Glass 3 atop.

Another compromise with the Pixel 5a’s display is the lack of the 90Hz refresh rate, which has become commonplace on mid-range phones.

Camera

In the camera department, you get two dedicated lenses on the rear of both phones—a wide and an ultrawide shooter. The older Pixel 5a uses Google’s well-liked 12.2MP f/1.7 wide camera with dual-pixel PDAF and optical image stabilization (OIS) (OIS).The secondary camera on the Pixel 5a is a 16MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens with a 119-degree field of view.

The Pixel 6 is upgraded to a 50MP f/1.9 wide camera (laser autofocus and OIS alongside available) and a 12 MP f/2.2 ultrawide with a 114-degree field of view.

Both phones can shoot up to 4K video at 30 or 60fps. And finally, for selfies, they rely on an identical 8MP f/2.0 wide lens, similar to what was available on the Pixel 5.

The Pixel 6 ships with different camera features. Examples include Face Unblur, Magic Eraser, and Motion Mode.

Related: Pixel 6 Camera Features That Will Elevate Your Photography Game

Performance

Google Tensor chip
Image Credit: Google

In terms of sheer performance, the Pixel 6 outperforms the 5a, and the processor is its strongest suit. It employs Google’s AI-powered Tensor processor, which incorporates a number of AI and machine learning methods. Tensor employs a 5nm chip, which is much more powerful than Qualcomm’s 7nm Snapdragon 765G, which powers the Pixel 5a.

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On the Pixel 5a, the Snapdragon 765G is paired with 6GB of RAM. Although the pair is no match for Qualcomm’s more powerful CPUs, it does have 5G capabilities. The Pixel 5a comes with 128GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, no alternative memory/storage combination is available.

If you need additional memory and storage, the Pixel 6 is the way to go. The standard edition has 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM, but for a little more money, you can purchase a 256GB variant with similar memory.

Software

When it comes to software, you get the same pure Pixel experience that you’ve always had. The Pixel 6 comes with Android 12 out of the box, while the 5a can be upgraded to Android 12. Nonetheless, the Pixel 6 has a little edge owing to the increased software support.

Thanks to Google’s Pixel 6 update policy, the Pixel 6 will get security upgrades for five years, two more than the standard three. However, both phones will get three major Android upgrades. However, since the Pixel 6 was released later, it will get up to Android 15, whilst the Pixel 5a will only receive up to Android 14.

Battery and Charging

woman holding google pixel 6 smartphone feature
Image Credit: Google

The battery capacity of the 6 and 5a are not much different. The Pixel 5a is powered by a 4680mAh battery, whereas the Pixel 6 is powered by a 4614mAh battery. The Pixel 6 is distinguished by its capabilities for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. The latter enables you to charge compatible gadgets like as the Pixel Buds using your mobile.

The Pixel 6 supports cable charging up to 30W (the Pixel 5a is limited to 18W) and wireless charging up to 21W. The 30W charging brick (available separately) can charge the phone up to 50% in 30 minutes, according to Google.

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Related: Is Fast Charging Bad for Battery Life?

Price

Although there have been numerous changes between the Pixel 5a and the Pixel 6, the retail price has not increased considerably. The Pixel 6 128GB costs $599, while the 256GB model costs $100 extra. The Pixel 5a, on the other hand, costs just $449. However, it is only accessible in the United States and Japan.

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 5a: Which Should You Buy?

The Pixel 6 offers better value for money than the Pixel 5. Although it is somewhat more costly than the previous generation, the increased features like as Google’s Tensor processor, camera enhancements, greater storage and memory, wireless charging compatibility, longer software support, and quicker charging make it worthwhile to pay the extra money.

The Pixel 5a seems a touch older right now, with an outmoded design that struggles to compete with newer mid-range handsets.

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