We Finally Have A Hint At When The Google Pixel 6a Could Launch

An unannounced Google phone has just received an FCC nod, most likely pointing to the highly-anticipated Pixel 6a midrange phone expected to launch in the near future. As spotted by the folks over at Droid Life, the FCC database lists four models — GX7AS, GB17L, G1AZG, and GB62Z – all of which are listed with the FCC as near-identical in terms of their internal hardware. The FCC listings mention that GX7AS is the parent model, while the rest are variants with similar innards. The GB62Z actually offers mmWave 5G support, the faster flavor of 5G that can potentially deliver download speeds of around 1,000 Gbps. The other three are limited to Sub-6 GHz 5G support. It is worth noting here that the Pixel 5a 5G was also limited to Sub-6 GHz 5G while the Pixel 4a 5G could latch on to the mmWave 5G network.

Now, the FCC listings do not mention the majority of the phone's specifications, except for Wi-Fi 6E and NFC compatibility, but the agency's certification window gives a hint about a release timeline. The Pixel 5a 5G made its debut in the FCC books in July 2021 and was officially revealed in August. Going by that logic, the Pixel 6a might well be announced by Google next month, most likely at the Google I/O in May. Google is no stranger to introducing phones at its developer event. The company has revealed and launched multiple devices at Google I/O events in the past, including, (importantly), the Pixel 3a in 2019.

The most exciting Pixel in a while

Hopefully, the Pixel 6a one will make it to more markets than the Pixel 5a 5G, which got an extremely limited market release. So far, Google hasn't shared any official details about the Pixel 6a, but alleged renders of the phone and an image of the retail package have already popped up online. As per leaks, the Pixel 6a will look identical to the Pixel 6a, sporting a similar dual-tone design and a thick black bar at the back housing the camera lenses. However, the camera hardware will be downgraded to cut costs. Rumors predict a 12-megapixel primary camera and another 12-megapixel sensor for ultrawide photography.

The Pixel 6a was recently spotted on a benchmarking platform with the Tensor SoC in tow, which also powers the Pixel 6 and its Pro sibling. Benchmark listings are susceptible to being tricked, but if this one turns out to be legitimate, the Pixel 6a could turn out to be one of those mid-rangers that offer flagship-tier processing firepower. The only other mid-ranger that lives by a similar mantra is the iPhone SE, with the 2022 refresh packing the same A15 Bionic chip as the flagship iPhone 13 for just $429. It is unclear how much the Pixel 6a is going to cost, but a sub-$500 price tag would probably be a safe bet. After all, the Pixel 6 starts at $599, and Google would like to maintain a meaningful price gulf here.