Google Pixel 6a – 4 ways to beat the iPhone SE 2022
You weren’t the only one following Apple’s iPhone SE (2022) unveil earlier this month, as Apple shared the ins and outs of its latest budget phone. Google was probably also paying close attention to the iPhone SE.
After all, Google is making its own budget phone in the form of the Pixel A series. Rumors suggest that the latest version – the Pixel 6a – will debut at the Google I/O 2022 conference on May 11. So why not check out the competition to see how your next phone will measure up?
Any discussion of the best cheap phones usually starts with what Apple and Google have to offer, and the iPhone SE (2022) versus Google Pixel 6a numbers will be a close contest once Google’s device joins the new iPhone on store shelves. The iPhone SE and Pixel A devices generally offer top-notch mobile photography and exceptional performance in a very affordable package. Any new feature offered by one of the phones, its rival is sure to respond.
In that sense, Google may have an advantage with the Pixel 6a. When we did our comparison between the iPhone SE (2022) and the Pixel 5a, Google’s current budget model just edged out the new Apple handset. Assuming the Pixel 6a includes modest improvements over its predecessor, you’d think it would maintain that lead over the iPhone SE (2022).
Doing enough, however, is rarely a recipe for success. If Google wants to establish itself as the undoubted choice for a budget device, here’s what the Pixel 6a needs to do to leave the iPhone SE in its wake.
Build on the Pixel’s superior cameras
As good as the single camera on the back of the 2022 iPhone SE – and it works with Apple’s A15 Bionic processor and AI-powered software to produce some pretty stunning photos – it just can’t keep pace with the Pixel 5a. It’s not just because Google’s phone has a second ultra-wide lens, although the added flexibility certainly helps the Pixel do its thing. Rather, it’s because Google includes a Night Sight feature on the Pixel A phones; there is no night mode on the iPhone SE.
Just including Night Sight with the Pixel 6a would give the phone a leg up on Apple’s device. But we’d like to see Google upping football – improving Night Sight to be better than ever, and reminding bargain hunters what they’re missing out on if they go for the iPhone.
There are other obvious things Google can do to beef up the Pixel 6a’s cameras. We expect some of the photo features that debuted with the Pixel 6 series last fall to make their way to the budget phone. This can include the Magic Eraser feature to remove unwanted people and objects from your photos and Motion mode for more dynamic action shots. The Pixel 6 also has video capture features that would be more than welcome on the Pixel 6a.
The Pixel 5a is already the best camera phone for people on a budget, and you’d expect the Pixel 6a to inherit that crown once it arrives. But that shouldn’t stop Google from doing everything in its power to extend the Pixel’s lead over the iPhone SE.
Unleash Tensor on the Pixel 6a
Google will never win a benchmark battle with Apple and its internal silicon. The iPhone SE (2022) features the same A15 Bionic chipset that powers the iPhone 13 lineup, which means premium performance in a budget device. The Pixel 6a won’t be able to go along with that.
However, Google could turn things around by turning to the Tensor silicon it introduced in the Pixel 6 lineup and using it with the Pixel 6a. Tensor’s calling card isn’t great, although it works pretty well compared to other Android phones. Rather, the selling point of the Tensor chipset is its dedicated Tensor processing unit that handles machine learning-based tasks. This enables features like some of the photo enhancement capabilities discussed above, as well as enhanced call screen and real-time transcription and translation.
Tensor has delivered many new features to the Pixel 6 that would be even more amazing on a cheaper phone like the Pixel 6a. Let Apple take advantage of its speed accolades if it means the Pixel 6a can offer bloated machine learning at a discount. And with rumors suggesting that Google will indeed be using a Tensor chipset on the Pixel 6a, it looks like we’re about to get our wish.
Improve battery life
The Pixel 5a nearly hit the average smartphone battery life when we ran it in our custom test in which a phone surfs the web through a cell phone until it runs out of power. juice. It lasted a bit longer than the iPhone SE (2022), but not by much. We’d like to see the Pixel 6a beat the average smartphone.
As Motorola has proven time and time again with its budget Moto G series of phones, a low price shouldn’t put you off the best phone battery life list. Get a decently sized battery and a chipset that works efficiently and you can easily squeeze battery life all day long.
It’s been a while since a Google phone landed among the most durable phones we’ve tested. If the Pixel 6a could pull off this feat, it would be yet another advantage over the iPhone SE.
Take the iPhone SE price
All in all, the $20 difference between the $429 iPhone SE (2022) and the $449 Pixel 5a isn’t that huge. You probably have $20 in loose bills in your wallet right now. Still, the iPhone SE has a psychological advantage: it’s cheaper than the Pixel 5a, and how many people will overlook when comparing phones.
Considering all the other changes Google could make to the Pixel 6a, we don’t know if it’s reasonable to hope that the phone maker can match – let alone beat – the price of the iPhone SE. Still, a recent story from Google gives us hope.
The Pixel 5 cost $699 when it debuted in 2020, and that was Google’s attempt to cut costs to keep the price lower than rival flagships. The Pixel 6 released last year is a demonstrably better phone than its predecessor in many ways – and yet it starts $100 less. Maybe using your own chipset is more profitable than we thought.
We don’t know if a Tensor-powered Pixel 6a could be significantly cheaper than the Pixel 5a, but every little bit counts. And any price drop on this year’s model would help erase one of the iPhone SE’s biggest advantages over Google’s budget phone.