With the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro attracting plenty of plaudits, it seems likely that we will once again see a more affordable version of Google's flagship phone arrive at some point – and it could be showing up earlier than normal.
As per the usually reliable Max Jambor (opens in new tab), the Google Pixel 6a is going to make its bow in May 2022. That's around the time of the annual Google IO 2022 event, though Google hasn't made this year's show official yet.
Only yesterday a separate source suggested that the long-awaited Google Pixel Watch would be getting unveiled on May 26, which makes us think that these two pieces of Google hardware could show up at the same time.
Pixel 6A scheduled for MayJanuary 22, 2022
The history of the mid-range Pixels
To recap, the Pixel 5a (which only launched in the US and Japan) arrived in August 2021, the Pixel 4a 5G showed up in September 2020, and the Pixel 4a was announced in August 2020.
This time, the 'a' phone looks likely to launch earlier – and it's worth noting that the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL made their debuts in May 2019. That leaves more breathing room from the main flagship launching later in the year of course.
A May launch might indicate Google recovering from the effects of the pandemic on its supply chains, though we'll have to wait and see how widely available the Pixel 6a actually is in terms of international markets once it shows up.
Analysis: the Pixel 6a shows promise
Several details about the Google Pixel 6a have already been leaked: based on what we've seen already, it seems that the Pixel 6a might look identical to the Pixel 6 that came before it – though obviously stripped down in terms of specs and features.
The phone is expected to retain the same two-toned colour scheme and a horizontal camera strip seen on the Pixel 6 line-up, although to cut down on costs the rear camera could be the same dual-lens setup that we saw with the Google Pixel 5a.
Other specs rumored so far include a 6.2-inch AMOLED panel (slightly smaller than the Pixel 6), 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage. 5G should be on board, and the phone is likely to run on Google's own Tensor chipset.
As always, pricing will be crucial, and Google has always done well in making this 'a' series phones appealingly affordable. How much the Pixel 6a costs will go a long way in determining how popular it ends up being with buyers.
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