The Pixel 6A loses the A-series’ best feature

The Pixel 6A loses the A-series’ best feature

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One of the coolest things astir the Pixel A-series was that it was an inexpensive mode to get the precise aforesaid class-leading camera arsenic the main Pixel models. It’s 1 of the reasons I bought a Pixel 3A years agone — that, and it was successful banal astatine Best Buy with in-store pickup. It was besides 1 of the apical reasons wherefore the Pixel A-series was our go-to proposal for the champion fund Android phone for years. Everything other astir the telephone — screen, processor, artillery — was fine, but the camera was excellent.

That streak comes to an extremity successful the Pixel 6A. Unlike the A-series phones that came earlier it, the 6A doesn’t see the aforesaid camera hardware arsenic the Pixel 6 oregon Pixel 6 Pro. There’s nary headphone jack either, which stinks, too. But alternatively than a bigger, 50-megapixel sensor down those devices’ main cameras, the 6A has the aforesaid 12-megapixel sensor that the Pixel 5 and 5A used. And the Pixel 4. And the Pixel 3.

That’s benignant of a bummer. But it besides tells america a batch astir wherever Google sees the worth successful its devices going forward. Google doesn’t privation the Pixel conscionable to beryllium known arsenic the telephone with the truly bully camera. It wants the Pixel to beryllium the telephone that does truly cool, adjuvant worldly for you.

This was astir apt an inevitable move, too. The 6 and 6 Pro purpose higher successful the premium class than the Pixel 4 oregon 5 earlier them, truthful determination were much decisions to beryllium made astir what had to spell to marque a fund mentation of the phone. Google’s SVP of devices and services, Rick Osterloh, summed up the situation thusly:

Basically, what we privation to effort to bash is get the halfway acquisition to arsenic galore users arsenic possible. That’s the wide goal. Every telephone has a batch of hard components to effort to cost-reduce. And truthful without a doubt, you person to alteration immoderate of the cardinal capabilities successful the instrumentality to get it to wherever we privation it to beryllium connected the price-point side.

For erstwhile Pixel models, a large portion of that “core experience” was the camera. Now, it means Google’s customized chipset, Tensor. This is the processor that makes galore of the Pixel 6’s bundle features, similar improved code recognition, possible. It besides makes it easier for Google to make caller features for the full Pixel 6 series. Tensor has taken halfway signifier successful Google’s priorities, and the camera is playing a supporting role.

Of course, it’s worthy mentioning that 1 benefits the other. Tensor is besides down immoderate of the caller software-based camera features connected the 6 and 6 Pro, similar Magic Eraser. And really, the camera hardware connected Pixel phones has ever been secondary to the bundle that makes them enactment truthful well. But Google couldn’t outfit the 6A with the latest hardware and bundle this time, truthful it doubled down connected the latter.

Maybe that’s a reflection of our priorities arsenic radical who bargain phones, too. The quality betwixt what this year’s smartphone camera tin bash versus past year’s isn’t arsenic noticeable arsenic it was 4 oregon 5 years ago. And for a batch of us, our telephone cameras person gotten bully capable astatine the things we request them to bash that the quality betwixt a truly bully camera and a just-okay smartphone camera isn’t worthy paying an other $300 oregon $500.

Moving the camera retired of the spotlight connected the Pixel is simply a sensible move, adjacent if it makes maine a small nostalgic for the feeling that I was getting distant with thing erstwhile I bought the Pixel 3A. Maybe Pixel 6A owners volition consciousness that mode erstwhile they effort retired unrecorded code designation and find retired conscionable however bully it is. (It’s truly good.) That’s the stake that Google is making, anyway.