Google’s Pixels (2022) should stop treating 120 Hz displays like a luxury
The $449 Pixel 6A deserves more than a 60 Hz display
At $449, Google’s newly launched Pixel 6A is the most affordable smartphone in its lineup.
It makes a strong case for itself with a flagship-grade Tensor chip and a potent camera setup partly borrowed from the pricier Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. But with sub-$200 phones offering smooth 120 Hz displays, the Pixel 6A’s 60 Hz OLED display is disappointing.
The $599 Pixel 6 sticks to 90 Hz, letting the $899 Pixel 6 Pro flaunt a 120 Hz display as an “upgrade.”
Google isn’t the only manufacturer guilty of this.
It’s a tactic that Apple also uses to differentiate its $799 iPhone 13 and $999 13 Pro. And while the Cupertino giant’s move is less forgivable, Google isn’t exempt from scrutiny because Android phones handily undercut the Pixel 6A on value before it’s even out in the wild.
Case in point, Realme’s Narzo 50. 120 Hz at under $200.
True, Google’s Pixel 6A offers a vanilla Android experience coupled with a potent processor and solid cameras. It also retains the visor aesthetic of its premium siblings, albeit in plastic. But at $449, a 60 Hz display just isn’t competitive like the rest of its spec sheet.
Fast charging is another omission that hurts the Pixel 6A’s ambitions.
High refresh rates are the industry standard for a reason
A refresh rate boost is a quality-of-life enhancement that can be felt by casual users and hard-core ones alike. From app surfing to scrolling through web pages, everything feels smoother on a 90/120 Hz display. Games can also take advantage of these displays to offer a silky-smooth experience.
Generational leaps in performance seldom affect real-world usage.
But a 120 Hz display makes everything feel snappier, even on a budget device.
It’s the same bone I picked with Apple’s new $429 iPhone SE. The Pixel 6A, however, isn’t in a different ecosystem like the iPhone. That means competing with everyone from Xiaomi to Oneplus.
And at $450, the Pixel 6A will have to contend with the flagships of yesteryear too.
While Pixel phones have always attracted the Android puritan crowd, a substandard 60 Hz display will give many enthusiasts a reason to pause. The rest of the package is certainly tempting. But a 120 Hz display would have rounded out the 6A’s solid spec sheet.
It’s about time Google changed with the times.