Google Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: Is it time to improve?

Renders of the Google Pixel 8a and Google Pixel 6a.
The Google Pixel 8a (left) and Pixel 6a Digital Trends

Ahead of Google I/O 2024, Google revealed the most recent entry within the Pixel lineup: the Google Pixel 8a. This budget-friendly Pixel possibility is full of loads of new options, together with a brand new design and colours, the Tensor G3 chip, extra storage, and a crop of latest AI-powered instruments.

But what should you nonetheless have a Google Pixel 6a? Are all of those new options value an improve? Let’s look at each telephones that will help you make an knowledgeable choice.

Google Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: specs

Google Pixel 8a Google Pixel 6a
Size 152.1 x 72.7 x 8.9 depth mm (6.0 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches) 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm (5.99 x 2.83 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 188 g (6.8 ounces) 178 grams (6.28 ounces)
Screen dimension 6.1 inch OLED 6.1-inch OLED
Screen decision 2400 x 1080 pixels (430 pixels per inch), 120Hz. 2,000 nits peak brightness 2400 x 1080 pixels (429 pixels per inch), 60Hz, 876 nits peak brightness
Operating system and updates Android 14 w/seven years of OS, safety, and Feature Drop updates Android 12 w/three years of OS updates, 5 years of safety updates.
Storage 128GB or 256GB 128GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Processor Google Tensor G3/Titan M2 safety coprocessor Google Tensor G1/Titan M2 safety coprocessor
Camera 64MP primary digicam, 13MP ultrawide digicam, 13MP entrance digicam 12.2MP primary digicam, 12MP ultrawide digicam, 8MP entrance digicam
Video Up to 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) Up to 4K at 60 frames per second (fps)
Bluetooth model Bluetooth 5.3 Bluetooth 5.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Water resistance IP67 IP67
Battery 4,492mAh

18W wired charging

7,5W wi-fi charging (Qi-certified)


18W wired charging

No wi-fi charging

Colors Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay, Aloe

Chalk, Charcoal, Sage

Price From $499 $449 (at launch)

Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: design, show, sturdiness

Someone taking a phone call on the aloe Google Pixel 8a.

Since the Google Pixel 6 collection, the Pixel lineup has retained the identical general aesthetic, with a couple of minor tweaks in design.

Both the Pixel 6a and Pixel 8a have the identical common look, however whenever you look nearer, there are particular adjustments in design. The Pixel 8a options far more rounded and softer corners on the chassis, whereas the Pixel 6a has extra conventional sq. corners. The digicam bar on the again of the Pixel 8a can be aluminum now, as an alternative of plastic like on the Pixel 6a, so it appears extra pure when extending into the aluminum body.

You additionally get extra colour choices with the Pixel 8a, because it is available in Aloe (inexperienced), Bay (blue), Obsidian (black), and Porcelain (white). The Pixel 6a solely is available in three colours: Chalk, Charcoal, and Sage.

Google Pixel 6a in hand.
Digital Trends

Both the Pixel 6a and Pixel 8a have a 6.1-inch OLED show with 1080 x 2400 pixel decision, 430 pixels-per-inch density, and always-on capabilities.

However, the Pixel 8a has double the refresh charge at 120Hz in comparison with the Pixel 6a’s measly 60Hz. This means you’ll get a lot smoother scrolling and animations, and utilizing apps on the whole will probably be a significantly better expertise. The Pixel 8a show may also attain as much as 2,000 nits of peak brightness, which is significantly better than the Pixel 6a’s most of about 876 nits.

In phrases of sturdiness, each the Pixel 6a and Pixel 8a use Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and have an IP67 score for mud and water resistance.

Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: efficiency, battery life, and charging

Render of Google's Tensor G3 processor.

When you’re contemplating a brand new smartphone, it’s all the time essential to try how they carry out. In the case of the Pixel 8a and Pixel 6a, there’s a fairly large distinction right here.

The Pixel 8a makes use of the latest Google Tensor G3 chip with Google’s Titan M2 safety coprocessor, the identical one that you just’ll additionally discover within the mainline Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. The Pixel 6a makes use of the first-generation Google Tensor G1 chip, which isn’t a nasty chip, however it’s a bit dated in comparison with the brand new G3.

The Pixel 6a additionally solely had one storage possibility: 128GB with 6GB RAM. The Pixel 8a has two: 128GB or 256GB, and each choices have 8GB RAM. The further RAM pairs properly with the improved efficiency and effectivity of the G3 chip.

A photo of someone holding the Google Pixel 8a.

The batteries on the Pixel 6a and Pixel 8a are comparable, at 4,410mAh and 4,492mAh, respectively. So, you do get an even bigger battery with the Pixel 8a, and with the efficiency and energy effectivity of the newer G3 chip, that also needs to imply extra battery life.

Unfortunately, charging has remained unchanged. The Pixel 8a nonetheless solely has 18-watt wired charging just like the Pixel 6a. However, the Pixel 8a does assist 7.5W wi-fi charging, whereas the Pixel 6a lacks wi-fi assist fully. (The Pixel 7a was the primary Pixel A-series telephone to have wi-fi charging assist.)

Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: cameras

The Google Pixel 6a. Someone is holding the phone with the camera app open.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Google Pixel telephones have a stable status for taking good pictures, however the {hardware} nonetheless issues. And the distinction between the Pixel 6a and Pixel 8a is sort of vital.

The Pixel 6a simply has a 12.2MP primary digicam with a 12MP ultrawide lens, in addition to an 8MP selfie digicam. But the Pixel 8a includes a huge soar as much as 64MP primary digicam with a 13MP ultrawide lens, and the selfie digicam is 13MP.

Though the Pixel 6a nonetheless takes good pictures, the Pixel 8a undoubtedly has higher specs that may end in even higher pictures. With an enormous soar in megapixels for the principle digicam, your pictures could have far more decision and element, which is healthier should you ever plan to print out your pictures.

The Pixel 8a additionally has higher software program instruments for serving to you get one of the best picture attainable, together with Best Take and Magic Editor, that are attainable right here as a result of higher efficiency of the G3 chip. Best Take helps you to take a number of group pictures after which mix one of the best faces from every one right into a single picture. Magic Editor helps you to improve your pictures with numerous AI-powered filters and results.

But the Pixel 6a isn’t with out some AI magic of its personal. The Pixel 6a nonetheless has the Magic Eraser software, which helps you to do away with undesirable objects in a photograph.

Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: software program and assist

Android 14 logo on a Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Another essential factor to think about when getting a brand new telephone is how lengthy the {hardware} and software program will probably be supported. After all, not everybody buys a brand new telephone yearly, proper?

The Pixel 6a got here out in 2022 and shipped with Android 12. At the time, Google promised three years of Android OS upgrades and 5 years of safety updates. This implies that the Pixel 6a will final by means of Android 15, which ought to come out later this 12 months.

The Google Pixel 8a ships with Android 14, and Google has upped the ante with seven years of assist throughout the board, identical to with the principle Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. So, the Pixel 8a will final by means of Android 21. This can be the primary Android telephone that may have Gemini Nano AI capabilities for beneath $500.

Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: worth and availability

A render of the Bay blue Google Pixel 8a.

Since the Google Pixel 6a is an older telephone, you’ll be able to’t purchase it from the Google Store anymore. However, retailers like Amazon nonetheless appear to have some inventory left, with costs beneath $300. While this may occasionally sound like an excellent deal, do not forget that it gained’t be supported for for much longer at this level.

The Pixel 8a is on the market now, beginning at $499 for the 128GB model and $559 for the 256GB mannequin. You also can avoid wasting cash on a Pixel 8a by in search of particular trade-in offers and different gross sales.

Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 6a: is it value upgrading?

The Google Pixel 6a. We see the back of the phone as it's laying on top a piece of wood.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

It’s fairly clear that the Pixel 8a is an enormous improve over the Pixel 6a. Considering that the Pixel 6a is getting near the top of its life at this level, it will be an excellent time to improve, and the Pixel 8a is a implausible selection.

The Pixel 8a has a brand new design and colours, and the 120Hz refresh charge on the 6.1-inch OLED show gives a significantly better expertise than the 60Hz on the 6a. With a most brightness of as much as 2,000 nits, the Pixel 8a can be a lot simpler to make use of outdoor in vibrant daylight.

For images and video, the Pixel 8a will certainly impress with its 64MP primary digicam, 13MP ultrawide lens, and 13MP selfie digicam. This is nearly pretty much as good because the common Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and it’s an enormous step up from the Pixel 6a. And with cool AI options like Best Take and Magic Editor, getting one of the best pictures is a breeze.

The Tensor G3 can be a lot improved over the primary two iterations of the chip and even has much less tendency to overheat. The barely bigger battery will get you thru the day higher, and also you even have wi-fi charging. The Google Pixel 8a comes with Android 14 and will probably be supported by means of seven years of Android updates, so this telephone will certainly final some time.

The Pixel 8a is well top-of-the-line worth funds handsets this 12 months. If you’re nonetheless holding on to your Pixel 6a, it’s best to undoubtedly contemplate upgrading this 12 months.

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