Pixel 6a set for May launch, and here’s what we want to see from it

Google’s next mid-range smartphone is strongly expected to arrive in May, and it could be joined by the brand’s much-awaited smartwatch too.

Evidently, Google is eager to follow up on the success of the premium Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with an affordable option, because the latest reports indicate that the tech giant has got a new mid-range handset on the way in a matter of months.

In a short and sweet tweet, tipster Max Jumbor announced that the Pixel 6a is scheduled for release in May of this year:

Pixel 6a release date

On top of this handset, there is also plenty of conjecture that the very same launch event might be the one where we finally get to see the much-rumoured Pixel Watch, Google’s first own-brand smartwatch intended to rival the likes of the Apple Watch Series 6. We’ll just have to wait and see if that comes to pass, but it’s certainly plausible that the two devices could share the stage.

What we want from the Pixel 6a

Whether or not the device materialises in May of this year, we’ve still composed a wishlist of the features we’d like to see the Pixel 6a rocking if it’s to be a successful sequel to the premium Pixel 6 handsets that blew us away at the end of last year. Here are the top four features we’re crossing our fingers for:

Camera Upgrade

The Pixel 5a had the same camera apparatus as the Pixel 5 and even the Pixel 4a 5G. That it’s an excellent snapper is beyond doubt, but it’s surely time to tweak the formula a bit with this new release.

Refresh Rate Boost

Google seems to have lagged behind its Android competitors a little when it comes to display refresh rates; even the Pixel 6 Pro can only offer 60Hz, while the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 boast a super smooth 120Hz. We’d like to see the Pixel 6a join its siblings on 90Hz, but this might be a forlorn hope.

Slicker Software

A highlight of the Pixel 6 was just how well the software worked in tandem with the brilliant hardware. Of the Pixel 6, our Editor Max Parker stated that “it packs some of my favourite software features ever on a phone” (including Magic Eraser and Live Translate among other neat tricks), so we’d love to see these come to the mid-range line as well.

Wider Availability

If you’re sat here wondering why you don’t remember the Pixel 5a then there’s a good reason for that; it was exclusive to the US and Japan. We’d love to see the sequel come to our shores as well, because Google’s mid-rangers tend to offer a winning balance between an affordable price and top-end camera performance that it’s hard to beat.

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