In the Pixel 6 series of smartphones, Google introduced the Pixel 6a as the entry-level model with a lower price point. It appears that one of its features was software locked due to the fact that it was sold at a lower price. Despite the fact that it did ship with some specifications that had been weakened.
The absence of a display with a high refresh rate was cited as one of the most significant drawbacks by users in their feedback. According to the official notes, the OLED display on the Pixel 6a measures 6.1 inches in diagonal and has a refresh rate of a standard 60 Hz. In contrast, the OLED display on the Pixel 6 measures 6.4 inches diagonally and can refresh at a rate of 90 hertz. Therefore, one of the ways the company cut corners to lower the price tag was the display. Other downgrades were also made in the camera department.
On the other hand, it would appear that the display on the Pixel 6a can only run at 60 hertz not because of a limitation imposed by the hardware itself, but rather by the industry giant that is Google. A developer by the name of Nathan posted on Twitter (using the handle @TheLunarixus) that he discovered Samsung’s OLED panel on the Pixel 6a has a refresh rate of 120Hz, but it can only function at a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz. In other words, Google intentionally limited the functionality of the feature.
The explanation for this is really quite straightforward. The price of the Pixel 6 begins at 599 US Dollars, while the price of the Pixel 6a begins at 449 US Dollars. Both models feature the same proprietary Tensor chipset, the same design, and even mostly similar camera specifications, so the downgrade was made to justify the additional cost of $150 US. Both models also share the same design. Because the Pixel 6a has a smaller battery capacity than last year’s Pixel 5a and even the Pixel 6a, the lower refresh rate helps save battery and even pushes people to go for the more expensive entry in the series. In addition to this, the Pixel 5a had a lower resolution display than the Pixel 6a.