Despite launching with several admirable qualities, Google’s Pixel 6’s fingerprint sensor proved to be the phone’s Achilles heel. Google’s Pixel 6a is ditching that for a much faster fingerprint sensor. And now, a video has emerged to show just how fast its improved sensor really is.
Google had typically offered some of the best fingerprint sensors on smartphones with its ‘Pixel Imprint’ sensors. Debuting on the original Pixel in 2016 and running all the way through the Pixel 5a, the Pixel Imprint’s location on the rear of the phone made unlocking an easy and convenient task, with Pixel phones being unlocked as soon as they came out of pockets.
The Pixel 6 didn’t have that luxury, as Google switched to a more futuristic — but ultimately unreliable — front-facing in-display sensor. A slew of software updates have rolled out to attempt to fix it, but software can only go so far to cover for flawed hardware.
An early review of the Pixel 6a shows the faster fingerprint sensor in action, and it truly competes more than favorably with the 6 Pro despite the phone being much cheaper. By way of comparison, our Pixel 6 Pro review called out that fingerprint sensor for being “rubbish,” “slow,” and “unreliable.”
Google’s seemingly learned from the reception of the Pixel 6 and targeted areas where it can squeeze out a tangible improvement, despite the Pixel 6a being a more affordable and less technically impressive handset. It has the first-generation Tensor chipset, warts and all. It also touts the older camera of the Pixel 5 and 5a, a smaller battery, and a slow 60Hz display where Android rivals from the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi feature 90Hz or even 120Hz displays. Still, the Pixel 6a should be a good phone for the price — especially if you need something with a fast and reliable fingerprint sensor. The 6a is set to launch on July 28.