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Google Pixel 6a could get this big display upgrade

Alleged Google Pixel 6a renders
(Image credit: 91mobiles / OnLeaks)

Update: An alleged Pixel 6a case leak teases the design and camera changes.

The latest Google Pixel 6a rumor has claimed that an upgrade we really wanted — but thought wouldn't happen — may arrive after all.

Leaker Yogesh Brar posted a list of key specs for Google's next budget Pixel on Twitter, some of which match up with previous leaks. However, the mention of a 90Hz display caught our attention because that would be a big upgrade we've been wanting from Pixel A-series phones for a long time.

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The Pixel 6a display's alleged 6.2-inch size and the rumored under-display fingerprint sensor beneath it (moved from the back where it lived on previous Pixel A-series phones) seem to be widely agreed upon by those with insider information. The refresh rate though is dividing opinion in the leaker world. And the answer is pretty important, as this is the feature that could make or break the Pixel 6a.

While Google's software and photography experiences should make the Pixel 6a stand out among its rivals, those same rivals, like the OnePlus Nord 2, all offer 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rates. It wouldn't look good (figuratively and literally) for the Pixel 6a to stick with 60Hz, no matter how muscly its chipset is in comparison.

The other thing to note is Brar claims that despite sharing the name with the chipset used in the regular Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 6a's Tensor chip is different from them. He doesn't explain how, but our initial thoughts for would be that the Pixel 6a gets a less powerful version of the original chip. Or that it's armed with a new chip that's the same as or related to the Google Pixel 7's expected Tensor 2 chip.

Moving past the display debate, the consensus of leaks and rumors seems to be that the Pixel 6a will use a Google Tensor chip with 6GB or 8GB RAM, and 128GB storage. It'll apparently have a pair of 12MP rear cameras (main and ultrawide) and an 8MP selfie camera. The battery is said to be a chunky 4,800 mAh unit, with up to 30W wired charging on offer.

Google launched the Pixel 5a in August last year, so we could expect a similar launch time for the 6a this year. However, there's the possibility it could be revealed at Google I/O, the company's Android-focussed conference that will take place from May 11.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.