The Pixel 6a now has a new fingerprint sensor and is available in 14 countries.
Furthermore, Google has returned to normalcy following the Pixel 5a’s two-country launch.
The Pixel 6a is shaping up to be one of the year’s most exciting smartphone releases. With a flagship-class system on a chip and a $450 price tag, Google appears to be taking a legitimate shot at the iPhone SE. Since Thursday’s announcement, a few more details have emerged that were not included in the keynote.
To begin with, the Pixel 6a will be by far Google’s most widespread smartphone release to date. Remember that the Pixel 5a launch was Google’s smallest ever, with only two countries, the United States and Japan, receiving it.
Google’s device availability support page was updated on Thursday, and the Pixel 6a is now available in the original 13 Pixel launch countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
But hold on! There’s more: Google says the Pixel 6a will be available in India later this year, bringing the total number of countries to 14. That’s a new high for Google’s comparatively small phone hardware operation (Apple and Samsung ship in more than 100 countries).
India is an odd choice because it has one of the most competitive smartphone markets in the world. To compete, Google will need to significantly reduce the price of the Pixel 6a. We don’t yet know the price in India, but look at the comments on that tweet announcement, which are full of Indian consumers already dragging the phone for its assumed $450 price tag and being “only” 60 Hz. It’s going to be a difficult battle.
The Pixel 6a will not use the same fingerprint sensor as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, according to Android Central. Some users have complained about the Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor, calling it slow and unreliable (though the version on our model appears to be fine), and Google has released several patches to address the issues. The new fingerprint reader is expected to be faster and more reliable.
Overall, it appears that Google is making all of the right decisions with this phone. The final decision will be made when the phone is released in July.