While the recent OnePlus 10T snapped like a twig in a recent durability test, the Pixel 6a emerged relatively unscathed after facing tortuous smartphone tests from Zack Nelson (aka JerryRigEverything).
Nelson’s classic durability tests examine where areas of concern may lie, and with the Pixel 6a things are pretty obvious. That doesn’t mean it’s going bad, far from it. Considering this is a $449 smartphone, it performs incredibly well. In many ways, it passes this overblown stress test given that there are a number of key component rebates to help keep that cost in check.
While we never like to see a smartphone put to the test with a razor or lighter, Nelson’s series of tests stresses a smartphone in ways it probably never will. The Pixel 6a’s Gorilla Glass 3 display scratches quite a bit during durability testing when a level six Mohs selection is applied. All in all, that’s not that terrible given that the glass technology used in the Pixel 6a is, as even Nelson claims, nearly a decade old at this stage.
This time, Nelson even tested the fingerprint under the screen after scratching it to see if it still works. He manages to recognize his fingerprint even with deep scratches made with the level seven Mohs selection. Google has made great strides after replacing the in-display scanner used in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which has been complained about by many since its launch.
The plastic back panel takes the brunt of damage once a razor blade is applied. This may sound like overkill, but mishap a few keys in your pocket with the Pixel 6a and you too might have some truly epic artwork to prove it.
What’s interesting is that the side rails are confirmed to be metal, which is a huge step forward for those of us in the rest of the world. The Pixel 5a may have included a metal chassis, but it was not available outside of the US and Japan. That said, the plastic power button and volume rocker could be prone to chips.
The final curve durability test sees the Pixel 6a pass with flying colors. Even using cheaper materials, the 6a withstands the wrath of Nelson’s palms with minimal flex, no cracking, warping, or major damage. If you use your device carelessly and without a screen protector, it might be a bit more durable than you initially expected.
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