Google exec confirms: new under-display fingerprint scanner for Pixel 6a

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Google exec confirms: new under-display fingerprint scanner for Pixel 6a
Ask a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro user to tell you the most aggravating issue that he or she has dealt with since buying the new Google flagship phone and you're likely to hear that it is the fingerprint sensor. The under-display fingerprint sensor used by Google is a cheaper optical version and at times it doesn't register the user's fingerprint.

Pixel 6a to feature an improved under-display fingerprint scanner

To say that Pixel 6 series owners were infuriated would be an understatement. While subsequent software updates have greatly improved the performance of the biometric reader, there is still plenty of room for improvement. There has been speculation that Google was planning on including its Face unlock facial recognition system with the Pixel 6 Pro but decided against it at the last minute.

Still, there is even more speculation surrounding the possibility of adding Face unlock on Pixel 6 Pro models during an upcoming Pixel Quarterly Feature Drop. Recently, we explained how a Sony sensor might allow the Google Pixel 6 Pro to create a depth map of the user's face making it possible to offer a secure facial recognition system even though it was added to the phone via a software update.

So what about the under-display fingerprint scanner on the just-announced Pixel 6a mid-ranger? Android Central spoke yesterday with Google's senior vice president of devices and services Rick Osterloh who confirmed that the Pixel 6a will employ a different sensor than the one used in the Pixel 6 series. Hopefully, Google now understands that when you try to save some money on certain components, it can backfire-especially if it is for your firm's new premium flagship phone line.

It will be interesting to see how Google approaches the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 7 series expected to touch down in October. If the scanner used on the Pixel 6a passes its audition, that is the model Google could use for the sequel models. Another possibility would be for Google to cut its profit margin to equip the 2022 flagship Pixels with an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor similar to the one used on the Samsung Galaxy S22 line.

Want a flagship-sized Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro?

Google Pixel 6

The Pixel 6 is also available at BestBuy with our without carrier plan activation. All storage and color versions are in stock.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Same BestBuy conditions apply to the Pixel 6 Pro too. You can get an unlocked version or a version with a carrier plan.

While we don't know why Samsung put the kibosh on facial recognition for the Pixel 6 Pro, this remains a possibility for the Pixel 7 series. Google, though, is facing something of a public relations problem here. How will owners of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro respond if the fingerprint scanner on the cheaper Pixel 6a seriously outperforms the scanners on the more expensive flagship units?

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Pixel 6a is expected to be released on July 28th priced at $449

As for the Pixel 6a, pre-orders will begin on July 21st with the device priced at $449 or 24 monthly payments of $18.71. The handset features 6GB of LPDDR5 memory and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The phone will be released a week later on July 28th sporting a 6.1-inch OLED display with an FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2400 and an aspect ratio of 20:9. The cover glass will be protected with Corning's Gorilla Glass 3.

Under the hood, you will find the same Google Tensor chipset used in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The rear facing camera array includes a 12.2MP dual-pixel wide camera with an aperture of f/1.7 and Super Res Zoom up to 7x. There is a 12MP ultrawide camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 114-degree field of view.

The battery (4410mAh) will last over 24 hours according to Google, and with the Extreme Battery Saver set to refuse delivering power to certain apps, the company says to expect up to 72 hours between charges.

Color options for the Pixel 6a include Sage, Chalk, and Charcoal.

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