How many OS updates will the Google Pixel 6a receive?
The Pixel 6a is built on the same Tensor chipset as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and is likely to receive the same number of OS updates after its launch on Android 12. Pixel 6a is expected to receive three OS updates, as well as being amongst the first to be updated to Android 13 with five years of security updates.
How long will Google's budget phone stay up-to-date?
Cheap Pixel phones have been over-delivering in the price category since they were introduced, and the latest Pixel 6a looks like it may be one of the best value and longest-lasting smartphones from any manufacturer. Google will start taking pre-orders on July 21, with orders shipping a week later in the U.S. on July 28 at $449. This phone will launch with Android 12 and will be among the first to get updated to Android 13.
Under the hood, this phone looks a lot like the base Pixel 6 with the same Google Tensor CPU, though RAM takes a bit of a hit coming in at 6GB. This phone also supports much of the same wireless tech with Wi-Fi 6E and 5G supported on all carriers, including a Verizon version with mmWave. The battery should have no trouble reaching the end of the day with 4410mAh of battery capacity. The Google Pixel 6a should be one of the most performant phones at its price.
Since the Pixel 6a is based on the same platform as its older siblings, it’s set to get a very similar number of updates. With three expected OS updates, your Pixel 6a should receive updates through Android 15 with security updates for at least five years. While OS updates are nice to have, security updates are the most important thing when it comes to being able to safely and confidently use your phone into the future, especially if you plan to hand it down when you upgrade.
One interesting development in Android longevity has come from Samsung with its Galaxy A series of phones. Samsung’s Galaxy A53, for example, was announced to receive four OS updates, as well as five years of security updates with the same price tag as the Pixel 6a. While the rest of the A53’s specs look less likely to stand the test of time, Google is no longer alone when it comes to long-term Android commitment.
With more Android phones committing to longer support, Android enthusiasts are finally able to confidently use the platform for years without needing to wonder if the most recent update will be the last any time the phone stutters. It's no surprise that these are some of the best Android phones money can buy. Google, Samsung, and others showing long-term love to lower-end phones gives users the confidence the Android platform has long deserved.
Get in on Tensor sooner with the Pixel 6. This phone sports fast performance on a high-end OLED display running at 90Hz. Like all Pixels, this phone raises the bar on photographs with some of the most realistic skin tone representations on any smartphone.
When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.
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