- This is a long-term user experience review of the Google Pixel 6a after using it for more than three months as my primary device.
- This article explains why the Pixel 6a is a unique device in the mid-range smartphone segment and what makes it so popular among users.
- We have also shared our opinions on whether you should consider purchasing the Pixel 6a over any other smartphone in a similar price category.
The Pixel 6a is my favorite smartphone of 2022, which is a strong statement that should not be taken lightly, so that I will explain it further. The Pixel 6a combines modern hardware with excellent software to give users a truly worthwhile experience.
It is an underrated device in the Android smartphone market. The smartphone market received some much-needed boosts in 2022 with offerings like the Nothing Phone (1) and the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4. The Pixel 6a does not particularly stand out in terms of design or features, but the experience it offers the end user is something other brands have yet to achieve.
Let me tell you why the Pixel 6a is my favorite smartphone of 2022.
What Is Good About the Google Pixel 6a?
The Pixel 6a was launched at a price that was not very attractive to consumers, especially in developing markets like India. But when the discounts started, the Pixel 6a came down to a much more affordable price point, and that’s when it started to make a lot more sense to get the Pixel 6a instead of another smartphone in a similar price range.
The Pixel 6a offers excellent build quality with a lightweight and compact design; this alone was a reason for many people to get it as their smartphone of choice. The Pixel 6a features a 6.1-inch AMOLED panel that is bright and vibrant, offers good HDR support, and is probably the perfect size for one-handed operation compared to the huge smartphone displays of recent years.
Although the display only has 60 Hz, it offers one of the smoothest experiences in terms of fluidity on UI. The weight of 178 g with the aluminum frame and the two-tone polycarbonate back make it a lightweight device that is easy to handle and offers a pleasant experience when using it.
The stereo speakers and haptic feedback are a couple of surprises on the Pixel 6a. Both features are flagship-level, without compromise. Together with Google’s excellent software, which was developed specifically for the Pixel series, and the AI and computing capabilities that the dedicated Tensor chip brings, the Pixel 6a is a must-have device.
Let us face it; Google Assistant is the best voice assistant available on smartphones. It is very well integrated throughout the Pixel 6a’s UI. I love using the dictation feature when writing messages and tweets, the call screening feature is a boon to avoid spam calls, and the transcription feature helps decode audio when I am in the mood to record a podcast. “Now Playing” is also a feature that works in the background, and you do not even notice that it keeps a list of all the music you could not identify yourself.
Finally, let us talk about the cameras on the Pixel 6a. This is one of the areas where no one really doubts that the Pixel smartphones take some of the most impressive photos. I myself have taken thousands of pictures with my Pixel 6a and am sometimes very surprised when I see the results. The phone uses a four or five-year-old sensor, but the computational photography that Google has implemented keeps delivering good, consistent results. It even won MKBHD’s blind smartphone camera test. There is no doubt that the Pixel 6a takes great pictures.
The compact design, coupled with the good cameras, makes it a compelling device. But yes, it also has its weaknesses, although not very many. We will talk about them in the next section.
Google Pixel 6a Has Some Issues
While the Pixel 6a is a great smartphone for everyday use, it does have its flaws. While using the device, I noticed some basic issues related to performance, temperatures, managing RAM, etc.
It has the Google Tensor chipset at its heart. The Tensor chipset brings some interesting and important AI-related features to the Pixel 6a, but it also brings some issues as it is an Exynos 2100 chipset at its core with some Google flavors on top.
The device works great for everyday tasks, but as soon as you push it a bit, such as using a mobile hotspot for some time or using the phone under direct sunlight or higher ambient temperatures, or even using the camera for an extended period of time, the phone heats up a lot and starts to throttle performance, leading to app crashes and other issues.
The next problem is related to RAM management. Whenever we use the camera app while another app is running in the background, for example, YouTube Music, the music app crashes every time. This becomes very annoying very quickly.
All in all, the positives outweigh the negatives, but the problems mentioned above are a reason for many consumers not to buy the device. In conclusion, let us talk about how the Pixel 6a differs from the others and why it is my favorite smartphone of 2022.
How Is the Pixel 6a Different?
When it comes to the overall experience of smartphone use, the Pixel 6a has quite a bit ahead of the competition. Several manufacturers in the Android space have tried to make their software as intuitive and feature-rich as possible. Still, most of them have failed to recognize what consumers actually need. Google has built features like Real Tone into the camera to make skin tones as realistic as possible. Google Assistant has additional features like call screening and smart scheduling and is also able to show the right times to call a business, along with many similar smart features.
All of this, combined with the AI capabilities of the Tensor chipset and the flagship-level haptic experience, make the Pixel 6a a truly unique device in the budget smartphone category. The Pixel 6a is not about raw power or a ton of features but about the experience and the seamlessness of all the features delivered, along with the simplicity and fluidity of the PixelUI based on Android 13.
All this together makes the Pixel 6a a device that cannot be judged without experiencing it yourself.
The Pixel 6a Is My Favorite Smartphone of 2022
Pixel smartphones have a loyal following, especially A-series devices. These devices offer an almost flagship-level experience at a much more affordable price, and that’s exactly why I love my Pixel 6a.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope I was able to convey my thoughts properly with these words. You can leave the name of your favorite 2022 smartphone below in the comments section.