Google Pixel 6a might drop a Pixel 6 feature that you never used anyway

Google Pixel 6
(Image credit: Future)

The anticipated Google Pixel 6a is expected to be a budget spin-off of the Pixel 6, and the big question is 'what will Google drop to keep the price low?' - a question we've potentially just heard an answer to.

Google's camera app is used between different Pixel phones, with the same modes appearing throughout. However according to developer Kuba Wojciechowski, as spotted by XDA Developers, Motion Mode won't show up on the Pixel 6a. 

The code for the tips pop-up, which helps you understand how to use a mode the first time you try it out, apparently explicitly mentions that it won't show up on a phone codenamed 'bluejay', which we've previously heard was the Pixel 6a.

If the tips pop-up won't show up, it's highly likely that that's because the mode isn't available at all. Motion Mode is a tool that lets you capture multiple pictures of a moving object, and machine learning will show you a sharp photo with a stylized blurry background.

So it sounds like Motion Mode will be one dropped feature for the Pixel 6a - but we're not sure that people will mind too much.

Analysis: Motion Mode isn't a huge loss

Google Pixel 6 camera samples

Here's a Motion Mode snap from our Google Pixel 6 review. (Image credit: Future)

Motion Mode wasn't one of the big selling points of the Google Pixel 6 series - the company made a much bigger song and dance about Magic Eraser, which lets you scrub out unwanted objects or people in the background of shots.

That's likely because Motion Mode is highly situational - there are rarely times that you'll want to take a picture of a moving object, especially with how stylized the snaps are.

You can tell that Pixel owners aren't as passionate about this camera feature as others. Searching for Motion Mode in the r/Pixel6 subreddit on Reddit, shows it was last mentioned in February 2022, or two months prior to this article being written. In contrast, Magic Eraser was last discussed only half a day before this article.

If Magic Eraser was dropped for the Pixel 6a, we can see users being annoyed, but we don't envision many users minding if Motion Mode doesn't show up on the upcoming device.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.