Tensor-powered Google Pixel 6a could land in May

Leaker and journalist Max Jambor reports that the Pixel 6A will land in May. This timeline could see Google bring its A-series phones back to their prior Google I/O announcement — last year’s Pixel 5a landed later than expected in August.

Other details like a firm date or specific hardware information for the upcoming mid-ranger weren’t provided, but leaks have already been pretty illuminating.

The physical design of the upcoming phone had doubly leaked, indicating a family resemblance with the Pixel 6 series, right on down to the camera visor on the back. That similar-looking camera configuration probably won’t mean it gets the big new primary camera, though. According to recent teardowns, the Pixel 6a will have the old IMX 363 that the Pixel 5, 5a, and many prior models had, though it will get the new ultra-wide IMX 386 sensor in the Pixel 6.

A Tensor GS101 chipset (the same as the Pixel 6) is also supposed to be included, but the Pixel 6a may lose one important feature: The headphone jack. Still appreciated in models as recent as the Pixel 5a, Google has seemingly decided even the mid-range market is ready to give up a consistently reliable audio connection.

Other expected specs include a 6.2″ OLED display with a centered hole-punch camera. While leaked dimensions have this new phone set to be smaller than the Pixel 5a, it’s not a return to the Pixel 4a’s diminutive size, to the chagrin of most of our readers, just a few mm shaved off the top.

The Pixel 6a has big shoes to fill — Google’s A-series phones are big winners, and last year’s model was no exception. The only bummer was the timing: After the Pixel 3a landed during Google I/O, both the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5a were released later in August of their respective years. While I’d like to see Google simply bring the release schedule for all its phones together in the summer, and the last few years seemed to indicate a move in that direction, this new development could indicate a return to a Google I/O launch — though who knows if that will happen in-person this year, since it was canceled in 2020 and fully remote in 2021.