The Google Pixel 6a is the most affordable entry in the Pixel 6 family, but users who need wireless charging may want to look elsewhere. Ever since Google introduced its A-series smartphones in 2019 with the Pixel 3a, it’s been clear that the company has the chops for crafting well-balanced budget devices. Every Pixel-a device has struck an excellent balance of specs, features, compromise, and price — resulting in some of the best affordable phones of the last few years.
And that’s something Google hopes to continue with the Pixel 6a. Announced in May 2022 and set to go on sale this July, the Pixel 6a makes significant upgrades over its Pixel 5a predecessor. With a custom Google Tensor chipset, faster RAM, additional camera features, and a much sleeker design, the Pixel 6a drives a hard bargain for its $449 price tag. But that’s not to say the Pixel 6a is perfect.
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Wireless charging stands out as one of the most convenient smartphone features in recent years. Have a low battery on your phone and want to get it charging as quickly as possible? If it supports Qi wireless charging, simply place it on a wireless charging pad/stand and be on your way — no fumbling with cables required. While wireless charging is more readily available today than it’s ever been, there are still some phones that lack the feature. Unfortunately, the Pixel 6a is one of them. Per Google’s spec sheet for the Pixel 6a, the phone only supports up to 18W wired charging. While wireless charging would have been a great addition to the Pixel 6a, it didn’t make the cut.
Why The Pixel 6a Doesn’t Have Wireless Charging
Is that lack of wireless charging on the Pixel 6a disappointing? Yes. But is it surprising? Not at all. For all the years Google has had its Pixel-a lineup, never has the series offered wireless charging. The Pixel 3a didn’t have wireless charging, the Pixel 4a didn’t, nor did the Pixel 5a, and now we have the Pixel 6a without wireless charging. Google needs to differentiate its budget smartphones from its flagship ones, and as it stands, omitting wireless charging is one of the ways it achieves that.
It’s good to have an explanation why wireless charging isn’t on the Pixel 6a. But what should folks do who still need the feature? If you want a Pixel smartphone and need one with wireless charging, your best bet is the standard Pixel 6. It has the same Google Tensor chip as the Pixel 6a, more advanced cameras, a more fluid 90Hz display, and Qi wireless charging support. And with a price tag of $599, it’s not that much more than the Google Pixel 6a.