Pixel 6a is the latest smartphone marketed in Italy by Google. Very similar to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which arrived in our country at the beginning of the year, the Pixel 6a is defined by the Big G itself as “the cheap Google phone”: in fact, it brings with it the many and innovative functions already seen on the two older brothers and, in our opinion, the best Android experience that can be found on a smartphone, at a more accessible price.
The main features
Google Pixel 6a is very light and comfortable to handle and carry in your pocket and has a form factor which allows you to use it completely with one hand. It is sold in three colors, anthracite gray, light gray and sage green (we tried the latter – with a slightly retro taste but which does not go unnoticed) and under the hood it houses 128 gigabytes of storage space, 6 gigabytes of Ram. and the same new Google Tensor processor as its 6 and 6 Pro siblings, which makes it always fast and responsive, even when using multiple apps together. A processor that is also at the base, recall from Google, of some specific features such as live translation and which interacts with the Titan M2 security chip making the phone, they say, more “resilient to attacks.” Very fast unlocking with l ‘footprint, IP67 certification against small quantities of water is present.
The software and the battery
As always, there are many software features present on the Pixel 6a: in addition to the real-time translation of texts and voices between two languages, there is the useful automatic transcription, an innovative security dashboard that can help the user to protect the phone, app and password, (for the English language) the automated management of calls to call centers and a feature called Extreme Energy Saving that allows you to extend the battery life of 4,400 mAh up to 72 hours (much more than the 30 hours on average) . Very nice to see the Material You interface, which adapts all the colors of the phone to the image chosen as the background (excellent wallpaper gallery present).
The photos and videos
The main photographic compartment of Google Pixel 6a is located on the back of the phone arranged in a sort of horizontal embossed tile: it houses a double 12 megapixel camera with ultra-wide lens while in the front there is an 8 megapixel selfie cam. Always super-interesting is the Magic Eraser feature that allows you to remove unwanted people or objects from the background of photos (an operation that the phone performs with impressive speed and precision): this is a very useful function in our opinion and that we have not encountered in any other phone, except by installing third party apps. With the Sharp Face feature, it increases the sharpness of moving faces while Real Tone reproduces the nuances of various skin tones in photos in a more natural way. The rendering of the photos we have taken in the most diverse situations is always very good and natural; we have something to say about the ultra-zoomed photos and videos (the 6a gets to zoom up to 5x in the videos and 7x in the photos): they didn’t really satisfy us.
Pixel 6a immediately convinced us for the price, the innovative features, the handling. The 6.1-inch display is also good, clearly visible even at noon under the sun. In our opinion, battery recharging is a bit slow, compared to many other smartphones that are getting us used to shorter times: there is no adapter in the package and in our test, with the charger of the previous Pixel, we loaded it smartphone from completely empty to 100% in about an hour and 40 minutes (in 30 minutes it exceeds 40%, in an hour 70%). Finally, there is no facial recognition to unlock the screen.
Pixel 6a, Pros and Cons
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Innovative features and price
- Battery charging is not super fast
- A little disappointing ultra-zoomed photos and videos
Pixel Buds Pro, the new headphones from Google
Together with the Pixel 6a this summer Google also presented the Pixel Buds Pro, wireless headphones evolution of the Pixel Buds released last year that are characterized by a high level sound and a great simplicity of configuration and use. The headphones come in 4 colors (anthracite gray, smoke gray, cedar green and coral) and in the package we find three ear adapters: medium (pre-installed), small and large. The insertion in the ears is quite simple and, after some initial tests, wearing the headphones will be child’s play (the software function “Insert insulation check” is very useful, which allows you to understand if we are wearing the headphones well and if they are doing well. with our ears). The Pixel Buds Pro have active noise cancellation (ANC) with a 6-core chip and algorithms designed by Google engineers and use a technology called Silent Seal to adapt to the ears by measuring the pressure in the ear canal with sensors to ensure a optimal noise cancellation. The headphones can be controlled through light touches, useful the possibility of raising and lowering the volume by swiping to the right or left with your fingers on one of the two earphones. When connected to an Android device, the headphones can act as a voice assistant, read notifications and translate over 40 languages on the fly.
During our test we used Pixel Buds Pro connected (often simultaneously) to the Pixel 6a and our laptop to listen to music, watch videos, make phone calls and attend meetings. We specified “at the same time” because one of the features that most impressed us about these headphones is the ability to connect to two different devices (not necessarily Android), in such a way – for example – to be able to answer the phone while looking at a movies on your tablet without removing the headphones and without having to change menu settings. The headphones are very light and have the characteristic of remaining very stable inside the ears, even during running, brisk walking or trekking, and even after several hours of use we did not experience any discomfort or pain. The quality of the conversations is very good thanks to the microphones able to focus on the voice, preventing other noises (such as the wind) from “entering” the conversation. Very good phone calls and audio even in our classic test on the noisy line 3 of the Milan metro. The sound quality is very satisfying: jazz standards, classical music but also podcasts, films, light music: Google’s approach to music convinced us, with not exaggerated bass, attention to detail (such as the sound of individual instruments when listening to high quality music), automatic adjustment of musical dynamics. And with the next update, spatial audio will also arrive. Finally, the battery life is good (which can also be recharged wirelessly): with an average use from morning to evening (phone calls, music, podcasts, videos, sports) we can use the headphones without recharging them for at least two days. The list price is not low: the Pixel Buds Pro cost 219 euros.
Pixel Buds Pros, Pros and Cons
- Sound quality and noise cancellation
- Comfortable to wear
- An Android smartphone is required to use most of the “premium” features of the headphones