Hailed in our in-depth review as offering “a lot of phone for not much money” and described by one of our writers as “the iPhone SE for Android I’ve been waiting for,” Google’s recently released Pixel 6a has clearly won the hearts of many folks eyeing midrange mobiles.
But is Google’s Pixel 6a likely to stand up well to daily use? Will it easily scratch during everyday activities? Or break if you sit on it?
Popular YouTuber Zack Nelson — he of Jerry Rig Everything — recently subjected the $449 Pixel 6a to his (sort of) standardized durability test featuring scratching, bending, and even a spot of burning.
You can see how the phone fares in the video below:
After carefully scraping his various tools across the Pixel 6a’s front display, Nelson is able to confirm Google’s assurance that it does indeed comprise the robust though now rather old Gorilla Glass 3.
Next comes Nelson’s trusty box cutter. Not for the faint-hearted, the YouTuber sets about scraping the blade down the sides of his brand new handset, a somewhat extreme act that reveals a metal frame, though plastic power button and volume rockers.
Turning to the lens housing on the back of the Pixel 6a, Nelson notes: “One of the things Google has been good at over the years — besides collecting every minuscule detail of our lives — is their camera quality.” Scratching the oval-shaped glass protecting the lenses of the two 12-megapixel cameras causes little to no damage, though the rest of the camera lens housing is made of plastic and suffers badly when it meets the box cutter’s blade.
By this point the phone is badly scratched up, though it’s mainly down to the brutality of the assault. In fact, with its Gorilla Glass and metal frame, the device should hold up well during daily use, though Nelson advises owners to get a case and cover anyway.
Nelson then begins gouging out a picture of a giraffe on the back of the device in an apparent effort to prove that it’s made from plastic and not glass. At this point he also launches into a monologue packed with alliteration in an act that reveals little about the phone’s durability but much about the YouTuber’s impressive ability for verbal gymnastics.
Next, Nelson whips out his trusty lighter, applying its flame to the front display for a full 20 seconds before any damage becomes apparent. But as Nelson points out, the chances of a naked flame coming into contact with the Pixel 6a — or any smartphone for that matter — during daily use is highly unlikely. But he likes to do it anyway.
Structural integrity is of course more important, and so the YouTuber enthusiastically bends the Pixel 6a this way and that to see if it holds up. Unlike the OnePus 10 Pro that he managed to break in half earlier this year, Google’s handset remains intact and fit for use. Kind of.