Categories: Tech

The Pixel 6a review and Google’s software magic

All the magic of Google at a low price: we tested the new one Pixel 6a for this review and we must tell you immediately, it impressed us. The chip Tensor e artificial intelligence developed in Mountain View make it do things that other smartphones simply cannot do. And then taking pictures and editing them has never been so simple and effective. But to get to the price of 459 euro, Pixel 6a has to give up something and it is not necessarily the smartphone suitable for everyone. Though finding a smarter one is really difficult.

So we will tell you i defects and merits about this mid-range smartphone that’s truly unique in our Pixel 6a review (and all the software magic it is capable of).

Our Google Pixel 6a review

The Pixel 6a packaging is among the smallest we’ve ever had in our hands. There is if only the bare minimum or almost: the Pixel, in a USB-C / USB-C cable and a USB-A adapter with USB-C output. No charger, that’s right. But we must say that the packaging itself is very neat, without plastic and very easy to open, while remaining resistant.

Opening the box we found that our model was that Anthracite Gray (there is also the Light grey and the Sage green). We have already seen the look in the “main” Pixel 6 and 6 Pro series, but here the side band for the cameras is thinner, albeit with a sharp relief that you feel by swiping your finger over it. Stay there duotone between the top and bottom of the camera barand, even if with these gray shades it does not catch the eye.

The “G“In the middle remains the only other note of style for this smartphone, which proves to be more discreet and less recognizable than the” big brothers “, despite being inspired by the same design. Unfortunately, the back holds fingerprints a lot, so much so that we used the silicone cover almost all the time (sold separately by Google).

The horizontal distribution of the cameras allows you to do not make the smartphone wobble sideways if you use it without a cover on your desk, a convenience that we really appreciated (and we don’t understand why it is no longer common).

With a size from 71.8 x 152 .16x 8.85 mm it is a relatively handy smartphone, even considering the weight from 178 grams. But perhaps due to the weight distribution it is not too light in the hand, instead giving a feeling of compactness that we are not at all sorry about.

Screen and Material Design

One of the specs on Google has tried to save without a doubt is the screen. In fact we find a panel from 6,1 pollici OLED FHD+slightly smaller than the Pixel 6. But mostly it uses a glass in Gorilla Glass 3 instead of the stronger Gorilla Glass Victus. Although what the most experienced eyes will immediately notice is the 60Hz refresh rate instead of 90Hz.

By quickly scrolling through the menus and using a few games, the update difference of note. But it is also true that we test smartphones all the time and have a trained eye. For most users it won’t be an insurmountable difference. Also because thehe image quality is very good.

The brightness is really good and the color rendering (especially if you choose the ‘adaptive’ ones in the Settings) it turns out perfect. We watched a couple of episodes of a series on Sky Go and a comedy special on Netflix, as well as the usual quality tests on YouTube. It is a good quality screen, with only a few specs less than its big brothers.

We are less enthusiastic about the unlocking the screen fingerprint: there are faster and more precise ones. However, it remains perfectly usable, only we would have expected something more.

Instead we loved the new Google Material Design on the smartphone, which adjusts the colors of the entire operating system according to the background you choose. We tested one that was cooler than the base one and immediately the tones turned teal in the Settings and system apps (for example the calculator).

We also tried several of the suggested icons (although we prefer the basic ones). It feels like using a dedicated launcher, yet it does it all Google’s artificial intelligence: it tastes good.

Pixel 6a review, performance and software

The thing that was important not to spare was the processor: Google launched the new one chip Tensor (con Titan M2 to store passwords and fingerprints for maximum security) and kept us wearing it in all of his devices, even in this mid-range smartphone. The only difference is in 6GB RAM instead of 8GB: but the smartphone never had a problem managing background apps.

The performance is comparable to that of a top of the range in everything, including gaming: if you want to do better you have to focus on gaming phones. We do not have never seen slowdowns of any kind in ‘normal’ operations, indeed everything runs smoothly.

But this smartphone isn’t just for ‘normal’ things. Having access to the power of Google’s intelligence directly in the chip makes a difference for all smart features.

All the magic of Google

The skill in dictation really amazed us. Even speaking quickly and switching languages, Google still managed to transcribe everything practically in real time. Lmachine translation is even more impressive. By saying “Hey Google, translate to Spanish” we started talking at normal speed of this and that, with Google repeating everything in perfect Castilian. Apart from a few mistakes on the names of brands that he didn’t understand, he didn’t miss a beat, no matter how hard we tried to put him in trouble. In many different languages.

The Len’s interpreter modes even shocked us. Just frame a text in a language other than yours with the camera to see the edited and translated image on your smartphone. And Google Assistant translates easily i speeches in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish also offline, with 48 other languages ​​online. If you go abroad, the Google Pixel 6a becomes your interpreter of both the signs and what they tell you on the street: impressive.

In addition, there is also the possibility of using the “Quick Commands”. When the alarm goes off, you don’t have to say “Ok, Google: interrupt”. Instead it will suffice: “Interrupt”. And in the same way, you can say “Accept” or “Decline” when a call comes in.

And in general, the Google Assistant’s ability to understand us and execute commands is truly unrivaled. This is the first smartphone with which we would feel like interact solely by voice. We could go on for another thirty thousand words to talk about how impressed we were the ability of Tensor and Google’s AI to make it easier to use the smartphone. We promise not to bore you for so long – but at least let us talk about how Tensor revolutionizes mobile photography.

Camera: all the magic of Google and Tensor

Smartphone cameras are becoming more and more impressive, with huge sensors and practically mirrorless quality. Pixel 6, while not reaching the top of its category, had for example an excellent 50MP sensor. Instead the Pixel 6a model features the ‘usual’ main 12.2MP cameraee a ultra-wide da 12MP, hoping that the software can save it: and in this review we have to admit, it fully succeeds.

Of course we would have liked better quality sensors, even the less passionate about photography would like to take excellent shots. But on the other side, watching the mediocre image we took increase in quality before our eyes after a second of processing by the chip it impressed us.

In the simplest shots, without touching any of the settings, the almost perfect color balance. They remain perfectly natural (especially note the green in the plants of the samples), while becoming slightly brighter than those in reality. Many other smartphones increase the contrast excessively, or explode the colors to make the images more vibrant. Google’s software, on the other hand, knows where to stop.

When shooting in portrait mode, the background blur it is among the most accurate we have seen, undoubtedly among those in this price range. And the night mode astounds: the image in the viewfinder is chock full of noise, but after Google collects enough data (stabilizing our unsteady hands) it manages to get extremely clean shots, without ‘fading’ the images too much.

Also there selfie camera is only 8MP, but it manages to produce good quality shots. Reproducing skin tones very well, in a natural way.

The videos are of excellent quality, including quelli in slow-motion e in timelapse. Google really manages to take rather modest hardware to the next level. You can also enable the rendering feature clearer the dialogues, removing background noise. It works really well. And with Live HDR+ the colors really come to life – you’ll feel like you’re shooting videos with a phone that costs twice as much.

Here the samples, below we talk about the possibilities of modification.

The magic of Tensor in photo editing

The first night we tested Google’s Pixel 6a for this review, we left the house without moving the our SIM (we had little time). So we tried to take some shots, just using it as a camera since we didn’t have internet access. We tested some …

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Walker Ronnie

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