Google Pixel 6a vs Nothing Phone (1): Which of these midrange phones should you buy?
Google Pixel 6a vs Nothing Phone (1): The Google Pixel 6a has arrived in India on par with the rest of the world, thereby keeping the Pixel series of smartphones alive here. Globally, this is Google's most affordable smartphone offering and it draws a lot from the flagship Pixel 6 models. At the same time, it cuts some corners to attain the lower price, which means it could upset the spec nerds. This is where the Nothing Phone (1) comes in.
The Nothing Phone (1) is all about a higher-end premium experience and with its fancy Glyph lights, it surely is a looker! It takes a different approach to the Android experience – an absolute clean OS, a great build, a stunning design and all the specs to keep the geeks happy. It also has another ace up its sleeves – a much lower price. Hence, if you have to spend almost Rs. 40,000 on either of these smartphones today, which one should you pick?
Google Pixel 6a vs Nothing Phone (1)
This is such a tough choice to make. The Pixel 6a has the charming dual tone design with the camera visor and an edge-to-edge display. It looks funky. On the other hand, the Nothing Phone (1) goes for a futuristic look with a transparent back showing its decorated insides that are further made pretty by the Glyph lights. The flat sides and surfaces also make this a stunning thing to behold. Design wise, its your pick! Build wise though, it is the Nothing Phone (1) that takes the lead with its glass back; the Pixel 6a has plastics on the back.
Nothing Phone (1) takes the lead here too with its 6.5-inch FHD+ OLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, Gorilla Glass 5, and symmetrical bezels. The Pixel 6a only offers a 6.1-inch 60Hz OLED display with Gorilla Glass 3.
The tables turn here! The Pixel 6a uses the Google Tensor chip from the flagship Pixel 6, which means you are assured of top-class performance. The Tensor chip in the real world offers comparable performance to the Samsung Exynos 2100 that powered the Galaxy S21 Ultra. In terms of raw performance, it will beat the Snapdragon 778G+ chipset on the Nothing Phone (1) any given day. That's not to say the Nothing Phone (1) is slow by any means – our usage so far reveals a finely optimized Android experience without lags and stutters.
Google's Pixel UI experience or the Nothing OS – this is where you need to make a choice. The Nothing OS is clean, no-nonsensical, and easy to use. The Pixel 6a gets the Google version of Android 12 with Material You theme, which looks funky. Both don't have ads and bloatware in the UI, which is a big change for a phone of this segment. Both Google and Nothing promise three OS updates but Google takes the lead with monthly security patches; Nothing will deliver security patches every two months.
The Pixel 6a offers its iconic camera performance with a 12MP main and 12MP ultra-wide camera setup on the back. The Nothing Phone (1) is close in terms of overall camera performance with its 50MP Sony IMX766 main camera and 50MP JN1 ultra-wide camera.
Google also offers more camera features to play with and has the industry leading Night mode. The Nothing Phone (1) camera system offers the bare minimum required in a phone camera; except that it lets you use the Glyph light as a fill light for portraits and macro photos.
4410mAh battery on the Pixel 6a is almost the same as the 4500mAh battery on the Nothing Phone (1). Both should be able to deliver a day's battery life easily. However, the Nothing Phone (1) supports faster 33W charging compared to the 18W charging on the Pixel. Additionally, you also get 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging on the Nothing. Both miss out on the chargers though.
The Nothing Phone (1) pulls off another win here. With its price of Rs. 31,999 for the base 8GB/128GB variant right now, it is much cheaper than the sole 6GB/128GB variant of the Google Pixel 6a at Rs. 43,999. In fact, the top-end 12GB/256GB variant of the Phone (1) at Rs. 37,999 is much cheaper than the Pixel 6a's base model.
Google Pixel 6a vs Nothing Phone (1): Which one should you buy?
Based on all this, the Nothing Phone (1) seems like an easy pick of the two. It is built better, looks exciting, has a nice and smoother display, good battery life and faster charging, a clean Android experience, and most importantly – a much cheaper price tag. The Pixel 6a will be worth the extra price for those who value Google's Android experience and better camera performance.