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The Pixel 6a is fixing one of the Pixel 5a’s biggest issues

The Google Pixel 6a is still a month away from hitting the shelves, but the phone has already been listed on Best Buy, complete with pricing, financing plans, pictures, and shipping date in tow. The listing carries a lot of weight, as it fixes one of Pixel 5a’s biggest mistakes – extremely limited availability worsened by constrained sales channels.

The Pixel 5a, which arrived in August last year, was only sold via the official Google Store. No carrier stores had it, and neither did any third-party retail partners. On top of it, the phone was only available in the U.S. and Japan, skipping markets like India where its predecessor had done quite well.

Three colors of Google Pixel 6a
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It appears that Google wants to rectify those mistakes with the ambitious Pixel 6a. At Best Buy, the Pixel 6a is listed in all three colors – Charcoal, Sage, and Chalk – all of which are priced at $449 for the unlocked version with 128GB of onboard storage. Carrier-locked versions for T-Mobile and Verizon are also on offer, but the latter comes at a $50 premium.

Best Buy’s 12-month installment plan is priced at $37.42 per month. The release date is listed as July 28, which matches what Google had originally announced at its I/O 2022 event a few weeks ago. Pre-orders for the Pixel 6a will open a week earlier on July 21 via the official Google Store. However, it is unclear if other outlets like Amazon and B&H will also carry the phone in the coming months.

Wide reach & big ambitions

Coming to the regional availability part, aside from the U.S., Google previously confirmed that the Pixel 6a will be up for grabs in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and the U.K. It appears that Google is bullish about the Pixel 6a’s market uptake prospects, and it actually makes sense.

For that asking price, the Pixel 6a offers a standout design with a flagship-tier Tensor chip inside. The phone will get at least three Android OS upgrades, with timely software updates on a monthly basis and a healthy number of exclusive features. The dual-camera setup with the famed Pixel formula is another draw for potential buyers, as is the relatively compact build compared to the Pixel 6 series flagships.

Google Pixel 6a in green
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google hasn’t really cut any major corners for the Pixel 6a, save for ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. At $450, the Pixel 6a looks like a phone with barely any direct rivals, with the closest competitors being Apple’s old-but-new iPhone SE 5G and the Samsung Galaxy A53. Leaks suggest that a cheaper Fan Edition version of the Galaxy S22 is not in the cards, so that’s one less formidable rival to duke it out with.

As far as OnePlus goes, there is no phone in its portfolio to challenge the Pixel 6a head-on. There was some hope that the Nothing Phone 1 would shake things up a little bit, but the Carl Pei-led upstart has decided to skip a U.S. launch for its first phone. In a nutshell, Google has a very realistic chance of making a solid dent in the market with the Pixel 6a, and less frustrating retail availability is definitely going to help achieve that goal.

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Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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