Google Pixel 6a vs Apple iPhone SE 3: Has Google outdone Apple with specs THIS time?
Google Pixel 6a vs Apple iPhone SE 3! This is going to be the biggest comparison battle this year, and the most asked question among buyers. The Pixel 6a is almost exactly as the leaks and rumours had predicted – Pixel 6-like design, Pixel 6-like performance, and all the essentials to deliver a quality smartphone experience. In fact, Pixel 6a is exactly the kind of phone that the iPhone SE 3rd Gen gets nightmares about. And this year, it is closer than ever, since both cost almost the same.
And, both of these will matter to Indian buyers – the iPhone SE 3 is already on sale while the Pixel 6a will be coming sometime later in the year. We had reviewed the iPhone SE 3 back in March and liked it in many ways, despite some of its critical flaws. It is a reliable smartphone though and is a great way to enjoy a quality user experience at a reasonably low price.
Hence, which one should you buy if you have got almost Rs, 40,000 to spend on a new smartphone?
Google Pixel 6a vs Apple iPhone SE 3
The iPhone SE 3 appeals with its retro design charms but it is the modern-looking Pixel 6a that grabs attention. The camera visor and the pastel colours make the Pixel 6a stand out in a sea of similar looking phones. However, the Pixel 6a only has a metal frame with Gorilla Glass 3 front, and plastic rear panel, while the iPhone SE 3 has glass front and rear, and a metal frame. Both phones have IP67 certification for water and dust resistance.
The Pixel 6a takes an easy win here! Its 6.1-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with slim and uniform bezels all around make for a much superior display, at least on paper. The iPhone SE has a vintage 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with fat bezels on two sides, making for a cramped viewing experience. Both of them miss out on high refresh rate panels.
The iPhone SE 3 wins here courtesy of its A15 Bionic chip but the Pixel 6a is close. Google is offering the Tensor chip from the Pixel 6 on the Pixel 6a, which should guarantee very fast performance. Both of them should offer nicely optimised performance.
This is where personal preference takes precedence. The iPhone SE runs on iOS 15.4.1 at the moment, offering a very polished user experience with good quality apps and services. Plus, the ecosystem integration with Apple devices makes for a much better experience if you use a Mac or an iPad. The Pixel 6a runs on Android 12 with Google's Material UI skin, which looks beautiful and easy to use. The Pixel gets smarter features periodically. iOS or Android, that is your pick but we prefer the Android experience here.
The Pixel 6a takes the lead here with its 12.2MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, while the front camera uses an 8MP camera. The iPhone SE has a single 12MP rear camera and a 7MP front camera. The iPhone SE has impressed us with its overall camera performance already but the Pixel 6a should be no slouch. Wait for our full review later in the year.
This is a mixed bag. The Pixel 6a has a 4400mAh battery that Google promises can deliver up to 24 hours of backup on a single charge when used. The 18W charging is supported by the phone but there is no wireless charging present. The iPhone SE has a smaller battery is comparison but in our real world usage, the iPhone SE managed to last an entire day with moderate to heavy usage. You will need to use the Apple 20W charger to fill up its battery.
The Google Pixel 6a starts at a price of $449 for the single variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The iPhone SE starts at $499 for its base 64GB variant and only goes upwards for the higher storage variants.