Google Pixel 6a tipped for Pixel 6 performance but downgraded camera

The forthcoming Google Pixel 6a will reportedly run on the exact same Tensor chip as the Pixel 6, but will also represent a sizeable downgrade in the camera department.

According to leaked specs published by 9to5Google, Google’s next mid-range smartphone launch and the successor to the Pixel 5a (which never came to the UK) will see a considerable bump up in performance, courtesy of Google’s custom Tensor chip. This should also ensure the preservation of new Tensor-enabled features such as Google Assistant voice typing, Live HDR, and on-device translations.

The Pixel 5a and Pixel 4a also sported similar power to the flagship Google phone of the time, the Pixel 5, with the same Snapdragon 765 chip. But last generation’s Pixel was never an outright flagship like the Pixel 6.

Conversely the Google Pixel 6a, while looking a lot like the Pixel 6, won’t be able to match its flagship brother’s impressive camera chops. Whereas the Pixel 6 sports the impressive 50MP Samsung GN1 main camera sensor, the Pixel 6a will apparently revert to the 12.2MP Sony IMX363 used in every preceding Pixel phone since the Pixel 3.

The inclusion of that Tensor chip should see some gains on image quality, feature-set, and the all-round shooting experience versus the Pixel 5a and Pixel 4a. But the Pixel 6a simply won’t be able to suck in as much light or render as many pixels as its big brother.

That’s a bit of a shame, since these cheaper Pixel phones have always been able to more or less match their big brothers for image quality. But again, it can be seen as an inevitable result of Google going big-time with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

Elsewhere, the Pixel 6a would appear to have the same 12MP IMX386 ultra-wide and the same 8MP IMX355 front-facing camera as the Pixel 6.

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