- Both the Google Pixel 6a and the Nothing Phone (1) might very well be the two most hyped and talked about Smartphones of Q3 2022 with very compelling features.
- The Google Pixel 6a, just like its bigger siblings comes with a rear camera visor/bar and is powered by Google’s in-house Tensor SoC.
- The Nothing Phone (1) brings in a design overhaul with its Glyph interface that lights up the overall user experience. Meanwhile, it is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778+ SoC.
- With both the smartphones being launched together it might be tough to make a buying decision. So we have come up with this in-depth comparison that compares both smartphones to determine which one suits you better.
It’s not often that we dare to compare the very first phone of a new startup with that of an old hand in the industry. But that’s exactly what we are going to do today. The Carl Pei-led Nothing Phone (1) was unveiled just a few days before Google unveiled the Pixel 6A.
While the Nothing Phone (1) was launched amidst crazy hype arguably unprecedented in smartphone history, the Pixel 6a did not even have a proper launch event. It was merely released by Google via press release. But the Pixel has one of the most loyal fan bases, and rightfully so. But is it so easy to blindly choose one or the other, either based on hype or reputation?
To answer questions like these, we have created this detailed comparison that compares all the important aspects of the Google Pixel 6a with the much-hyped Nothing Phone (1), both of which are on sale with some exciting offers in India and a few other countries.
Google Pixel 6a vs Nothing Phone (1): Design & Build Quality
Let us start with the design: the Pixel 6a and the Nothing Phone (1) offer a peculiar design that is guaranteed to turn some heads, maybe with varying intensities. The Pixel 6a has a massive rear camera visor that stretches along the top edge and a plastic back that comes in three color options: sage, chalk, and charcoal color variants. This is similar to what we have seen from Google of late.
Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone (1), available in black or white color options, is nothing like anything we have seen before. It features a dual-camera system placed above a clear glass panel that gives us a look at its innards along with its Glyph interface that combines hundreds of LEDs to create a light show when you receive a call or a notification.
As for build quality, both smartphones are equally rugged. The Pixel 6a is IP67 waterproof and has a plastic back and a rounded aluminum frame. The Nothing Phone (1), on the other hand, has a glass back with a flat aluminum frame and is IP53 water-resistant.
Whether you choose one or the other based on design and build is entirely up to personal taste. But yes, one of the two is clearly trying to shake up the status quo in mid-range smartphone designs.
Nothing Phone (1) vs Pixel 6a: Display
On the front, the Pixel 6a presents itself with a 6.1-inch FHD+ 60Hz AMOLED display that supports an under-display fingerprint scanner and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone (1) has a much better 6.55-inch flexible OLED display (with Gorilla Glass 5 on top) that supports FHD+ resolution (2400×1080 pixels) at a refresh rate of 120Hz and a peak brightness of 1200 nits. The display is also HDR10+ certified and protected by Gorilla Glass.
Visually too, the Nothing Phone (1) has symmetrical bezels around the display without a chin, thanks to the flexible OLED, which is quite rare in the Android world.
In terms of features, the Google Pixel 6a supports the Always ON display, while Nothing Phone (1) lacks it for now.
Nothing Phone (1) Vs Google Pixel 6a: RAM, Chipset & Other Internals
Now that we have looked at the outside let us look at the inside and draw a comparison.
Like its elder siblings, the Google Pixel 6a features a 5nm Tensor SoC consisting of 2x Cortex-X1 clocked at 2.8 GHz, 2x Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.25 GHz, and 4x Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz. This is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage (UFA 3.1).
Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone (1) comes with up to 12 GB of LPDDR5 memory and up to 256 GB of storage (UFA 3.1) paired with Qualcomm’s 6nm Snapdragon 778G Plus SoC. It consists of one Cortex-A78 core clocked at 2500 MHz, three Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.2 GHz, and four Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.9 GHz.
As for the other things, the Pixel 6a comes with a single nano SIM slot with an additional eSIM option, while the Phone (1) has two traditional nano SIM slots. Neither of them supports expanded storage. As for other connectivity options, both the phones support NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, and dual-band Wi-Fi – with the Pixel 6a having an additional Wi-Fi 6E support.
On paper, the Tensor SoC is superior to Snapdragon 778G+, but Google is selling just the 6GB RAM variant on the Pixel 6a. So consider both before choosing one over the other.
Google Pixel 6a vs Nothing Phone (1): Camera Setup
On paper, both smartphones have a similar camera layout that consists of a dual-camera setup on the back and a single selfie camera on the front.
The Pixel 6a has a 12.2MP f/1.7 primary sensor and another 12MP f/2.2 Ultrawide camera on the back that supports 4K@60fps video recording. On the front is an 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera with a pinhole grid.
On the other hand, the Phone (1) also has dual cameras on the back, but with a much sharper 50MP Sony IMX766 primary sensor that offers an f/1.88 lens with OIS and EIS alongside another 50MP Ultrawide sensor, both capable of 4K@30fps. At the same time, there is a 16MP selfie camera with a pinhole camera on top.
While Pixels are always known for the camera processing prowess, the Nothing Phone (1) is banking on a flagship-grade Sony sensor. We shall be coming out with a detailed camera comparison between the Pixel 6a and the Nothing Phone (1). So stay tuned for that.
Google Pixel 6a vs Nothing Phone (1): Battery & Charging Technology
The Pixel 6a has a slightly smaller and slower 4410 mAh battery that supports 18 W wired charging. Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone (1) has a larger 4500 mAh battery that supports up to 33 W fast charging, 15 W wireless charging, and 5 W wireless reverse charging, which gives it a clear edge in terms of capacity and capabilities.
Both of them support the USB PD 3.0 standards which is great, but the Phone (1) supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 as well. Unfortunately, both of them skimp out on the charger inside the package.
Nothing Phone (1) Vs Google Pixel 6a: Software & Operating System
Apart from the technical specs, both devices offer a very responsive, bloatware-free software experience based on Android 12.
The Google Pixel 6a comes with the standard Android Pixel launcher with all the Pixel-exclusive bells and whistles that unfortunately don’t find their way onto other Android devices.
At the same time, the Nothing Phone (1) comes with the new NothingOS, which aims to connect things by creating an ecosystem that works even with third-party devices like Tesla cars.
As for the update situation, the Google Pixel 6a is expected to offer three years of major software updates and five years of security updates. The Nothing Phone (1), on the other hand, promises three years of major updates and four years of security updates, making the two quite similar.
Google Pixel 6a Vs Nothing Phone (1): Pricing & Availability
As for the price and availability of the two smartphones in India, the Pixel 6a, which will only be available in a configuration with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage at a price of Rs 43,999, is already available for pre-order on Flipkart, with sales set to start on July 28.
The Nothing Phone (1), which is also being sold on Flipkart starting July 21st, is priced much more aggressively and will be available in three variants, including:
- 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant priced at Rs. 31,999
- 8GB RAM + 256GB storage variant priced at Rs. 34,999
- 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant priced at Rs. 37,999
As for Europe, the Pixel 6a has gone on sale only in the UK for £399, while the Phone (1) is selling across Europe starting at £399 / €469. Interestingly, the Nothing Phone (1) is not going on sale in the US. The Pixel 6a is priced at $449 in the States and will be sold factory unlocked.
Google Pixel 6a Vs Nothing Phone (1): Final Verdict
This is always the tricky part. Although the article is primarily based on the specs comparison, there’s more to a smartphone than sheer specs. Interestingly, both Google and Nothing talk about “Experience” when selling their respective smartphones.
On paper, Nothing Phone (1) has a clear edge. It offers a much smoother 120Hz display, a slightly larger battery that supports faster charging at 33W, and a design that is truly out of this world with the Glyph UI, all at a price that is right below Rs 40,000.
However, if you are a fan of the Pixel camera setup that is known for taking excellent photos and videos, the Nothing Phone (1) might not be able to lure you over to the Pixel 6a. Thanks to Google’s much better image processing pipeline, the Pixel 6a delivers exceptional results in bright and low-light conditions and offers support for some Pixel-exclusive features like Magic Eraser.