Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: Which is Best?

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 05/21/22 •  4 min read

Which Pixel 6 should you get?

Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: It’s the comparison Pixel fans have been agonizing over. Which phone is better? That’s not as easy a question to answer because cost is involved. 

The Pixel 6 is $599, while the Pixel 6a is only $449 – $150 cheaper.

But let’s dive in and take a look at how the phones compare to one another and see if the higher cost of the Pixel 6 is worth it…

Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: Which is Best?
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Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: Specs

Pixel 6 Specs:

Pixel 6a Specs:

Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: Display

The Pixel 6’s display is superior to the Pixel 6a. While the Pixel 6a has a slightly higher pixel density, the Pixel 6 display is not only larger at 6.4-inches, but it also features a higher refresh rate of up to 90 Hz.

Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: Battery

The Pixel 6a comes out ahead in the battery life department, however. Though it has a slightly smaller battery and also has a 24+ hour battery life, if you use the Extreme Battery Saver mode, the Pixel 6a can last for up to 72 hours, while the Pixel 6 can only last up to 48 hours.

Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: CPU, RAM & Storage

When it comes to the insides, the Pixel 6 comes out on top. While both phones use the Google Tensor chip, the Pixel 6 comes with 25% more RAM at 8GB. The Pixel 6 also comes in two storage options: 128GB or 256GB. The Pixel 6a only comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: Cameras

OK – this is where the Pixel 6 DESTROYS the Pixel 6a. While both phones have an 8MP front camera, the rear cameras couldn’t be any different.

The Pixel 6a features a 12.2 MP dual-lens rear camera system with a 12 MP ultrawide camera. It has an ƒ/1.7 aperture with autofocus with dual pixel phase detection.

Now compare that to the Pixel 6 and its 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera that features a ƒ/1.85 aperture with laser detect autofocus. 

It’s no contest, the 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera on the Pixel 6 blows away the 12.2 MP dual-lens rear camera system on the Pixel 6a.

Pixel 6a vs Pixel 6: Verdict

So, which Pixel should you buy? There’s a $150 difference between the 128GB versions of the phones. If you buy the 128GB Pixel 6 for $599, that $150 extra gets you a bigger screen with a higher refresh rate, 25% more RAM, and a vastly superior rear camera system.

Many people will say the superior rear camera is worth the $150 extra alone.

However, at just $449, the Pixel 6a is nothing to laugh at. It’s a terrific mid-level Android phone with some pretty great specs for that price point.

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.

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