Pixel 6a teardown shows off bendy, plastic back, soldered-in USB-C port

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Enlarge / The Pixel 6a back is very flexible.

PBK Review

What’s in the Pixel 6a? PBK Reviews has gotten ahold of the device and ripped it apart. It features fairly basic innards for a fairly basic phone.

The screen is glued on and has plastic reinforcement clips. Once that’s heated up and pried off, you’ll be greeted with a large graphite heat sink. Like the bigger Pixel 6s, the motherboard has the USB-C port soldered onto it, which will make repairs on the port more difficult than a plug-in solution.

The back is plastic and comes off just like the front, with some glue and plastic clips to defeat. Once you pry the back off the frame, it’s super bendy. There’s also a suspiciously large cutout in the Pixel 6a frame that PBK Reviews says was at one point meant for wireless charging, but the phone never shipped with that feature.

For whatever reason, iFixit doesn’t do Pixel teardowns anymore (despite an official collaboration with Google for parts, oddly), but PBK gives the phone a repairability score of 7 out of 10. The phone gets dinged for the soldered-on USB-C port and a fingerprint reader that probably won’t separate from the screen without being damaged. For the Pixel 6 Pro, PBK Reviews took issue with the copious amount of glue used to hold the battery down. Removing it required soaking the battery in alcohol and a lot of prying. On the Pixel 6a, the battery just comes off when you pull the pull tab, which is a nice improvement.

We also see the first sign of Google’s shaky quality control, with PBK saying his unit arrived scratched due to some debris in the box. We’ll know more when the phone starts shipping on July 28.

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