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Google Pixel 6a unboxing proves how fast the new fingerprint scanner really is

Google Pixel 6a unboxing
(Image credit: Google France)

What you need to know

  • Google France accidentally released a Pixel 6a unboxing video on its YouTube channel and took the video down a short while later.
  • The video is being hosted at an alternate mirror and features a Google employee unpackaging the Pixel 6a and the box contents.
  • The phone isn't used much in the video, but the fingerprint sensor is shown off and it looks much faster than what's on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

When Google officially debuted the Pixel 6a at Google I/O 2022 just two weeks ago, many people were excited about the possibility of getting a better fingerprint sensor than what’s currently in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Based on one leaked unboxing video from Google France, that new sensor could make a huge difference for folks picking up Google’s newest phone when it lands in late July.

That video was originally posted to YouTube (opens in new tab) (via 9to5Google (opens in new tab)) and, while it has since been taken down on YouTube, you can still watch the original video via this mirror (opens in new tab). As you might expect from a $450 phone (opens in new tab), there’s not too much in the box aside from a USB cable, a USB transfer dongle so you can easily transfer data from another phone, a SIM eject tool, and the phone itself. However, once the gentleman in the video gets to the unlocking part, things get quite interesting.

Google is still using an optical fingerprint sensor for the Pixel 6a (opens in new tab) but the company confirmed that it’s using a different physical sensor than what’s in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Unlocking the Pixel 6a is clearly a bit faster in this video — even if he only does it once — and the fact that he unlocked it from a slightly awkward angle gives even more hope that this fingerprint sensor will solve all the issues folks have had with the one in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

Beyond that, as we know from the official unveiling, the style and overall design of the Pixel 6a mirrors that of the more expensive Google Pixel 6. It’s got the same camera bar design on the back, and small, centered punch-hole camera on the front, and a unique overall style that’ll immediately let everyone know you’re using a Pixel 6.

It’s even got IP67 water and dust resistance, which isn’t always a given for a phone in this price range. Preorders for the Pixel 6a start on July 21 and the phone releases just a week later on July 28 in the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India.

Nicholas Sutrich
Nicholas Sutrich
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu