For about US$150 less, you get a slightly smaller Pixel 6 with an aesthetic that is virtually indistinguishable from the flagships. While looking nearly the same, the material does not appear to be the same.
The Google Pixel 6a is listed with a 3D thermoformed composite back (and not glass) with a tactile alloy frame. However, it is still fingerprint-resistant coating and the build is IP67 rated (as opposed to IP68 on the flagships).
The display isn’t by any means small. At 6.1-inch, it is a good size but it is the smallest of the three.
The display is an FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080) OLED item with the same 20:9 aspect ratio as the regular Pixel 6. However, the refresh rate maxes at 60 Hz. Furthermore, it has a “lesser” Corning Corilla Glass 3 cover glass instead of the higher end Victus. Beyond that, the display is pretty much the same in brightness and whatnot.
Under the hood, it shares the same Google Tensor chip, and the same type of memories (i.e. LPDDR5 and UFS 3.1) but with just one configuration: 6 GB + 128 GB.
Also present are the Titan M2 security coprocessor, security core, under-display fingerprint sensor, and a slightly smaller capacity battery of 4,410 mAh. Fast charging is supported. However, wireless charging is not.
Another major difference is the camera system. While the selfie camera appears to be the same 8 MP item found on the regular Pixel 6, the dual-camera setup has a different main camera.
Where the Pixel 6 gets a 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera, the Pixel 6a has a 12.2 MP dual pixel wide-angle camera with f1.7 aperture, autofocus with dual pixel phase detection, and OIS + EIS.
The second camera appears to be the same 12 MP ultrawide with lens correction. Camera features are pretty much the same too, except for the 6a does not support Motion Mode.
The new Google Pixel 6a will be available to order starting at US$449 on July 21, with availability on July 28. You can follow this link to see if the new Pixel device will be available in your country of residence.