For the last two pandemic-ravaged years, Google’s Pixel A Series phones arrived in August. But it looks like this year’s Pixel 6a could be here as early as spring, according to a leaker with a well-deserved reputation for precision.
According to Max Jambore, the Pixel 6a is currently slated to arrive in May. That might seem early given recent form, but it’s likely to be the routine schedule Google would have established in a pandemic-free world. The original Pixel 3a and 3a XL debuted in May 2019, and the Pixel 4a was going to follow suit in 2020 until the coronavirus pandemic delayed that model’s launch until August.
While there’s no indication that last year’s Pixel 5a would be a spring release, it was a phone made under exceptional circumstances. Indeed, Google had to respond to reports claiming it was canceled in April 2021, warning buyers not to expect it later in the year; when the Pixel 5a finally appeared, it was only available in the US and Japan, suggesting that all was not well with supply chains.
Hopefully that won’t be the case this time around, although it’s hard to know for sure given the unpredictability of the current flea crisis. That said, it looks like Google will have more control this time around, as the Pixel 6a is expected to use the company’s own Tensor SoC, which debuted in the Pixel 6 late last year. This would set the Pixel 6a apart from previous ‘A’ devices, as the Pixel 6 was a flagship phone with flagship speed and eye-catching AI powers.
If that’s correct, and Google doesn’t have a weaker Tensor chip for non-flagships, that suggests the company imagines the A-line as looking more like the iPhone SE in the future – the same chipset found in the more expensive models, but reductions elsewhere, most likely in the camera and body. Indeed, the aforementioned report suggests that the Pixel 6a will use the same 12.2MP Sony IMX363 sensor as previous Pixel A models, rather than switching to the 50MP camera of last year’s flagships.
Although Jambor doesn’t specify when in May we might expect the Pixel 6a to land, prolific leaker Jon Prosser recently predicted that the Pixel Watch would arrive on Thursday, May 26. Although it is possible that the two will be announced separately, it is possible that the two products could appear together, especially with the Google I/O developer conference which is traditionally held in May.