Cloud Gaming On The Pixel 6a

One of the biggest benefits of cloud gaming is that you do not need the latest and greatest hardware in order to enjoy your games. So in a world of premium flagships, how does the budget friendly Google Pixel 6a perform as a cloud gaming device? Read on and find out.

A Feast on The Eyes 

Specs aren’t everything. Even though the specifications for the Pixel 6a’s screen are not going to get anybody excited, the experience is superb. The 6.1 inch OLED display is not the biggest or the brightest display. And, at a resolution of 1080 x 2400 (429ppi), it isn’t the crispest. Even the refresh rate is capped at 60hz. Whilst it may sound like I am crucifying the Pixel here, gaming on this thing actually feels fluid and looks great! From playing Rocket League on GeForce Now to Townscaper (serious question, what is this game?!) on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, I had no complaints. The colors of the different houses looked bright and vibrant. Racing around the arena chasing a giant ball felt immersive and smooth. Smooth enough for an amateur like myself to bag a few points and lead my team to victory. Yes, even at 60hz… 

Pixel 6a Review
Pixel 6a Cloud Gaming Review

Don’t be fooled by what’s on the device’s description, gaming on this mobile display was a dream. In all situations bar one, in direct sunlight. Peak brightness on the Pixel 6a was not enough to compete with the bright autumnal sun. So, if you’re competing for a win on Fortnite whilst getting some fresh air, you may want to seek the shade of a tree

Roaming Free

Other than struggling to contend with bright sunlight, playing games out and about was problem free. The antennas on the Pixel 6a provide a great connection in my own experience using both Vodafone and EE in the UK. Whether gaming on 5G or 4G, playing Blacknut, Xbox Game Pass, GeForce Now, the experience was stutter free and the connection never dropped. 

The excellent wireless experience wasn’t exclusive to outside of the home. In my testing I found that the Pixel 6a stayed connected to the WIFI in more places in the home than other devices. I was also using the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Tab S8 ultra. Both would sometimes lose connection in the furthermost rooms of the house. The Pixel however would maintain a strong and stable connection.

Just Keep Playin’

Whilst the 60hz display may be something of a pain point for some people it does have it’s benefits when it comes to battery life. As cloud gaming doesn’t require much heavy lifting from the processor, the overall battery usage here is minimal – allowing you to keep playing for longer. The 4410 mAh battery may be relatively small compared to today’s flagships, but it’s no slouch and will allow for hours of cloud gaming. 

How Does It Feel?

Ths Pixel 6a’s size and weight is a definite sweet spot. The screen size and screen to body ratio is small enough to whip out and play anywhere without feeling cumbersome. Yet big enough to see gameplay clearly. Of course as the games are originally designed with bigger screens in mind, some text elements may be harder to read. But this isn’t a fault of the pixel. 

Thanks to its mostly plastic design, holding the pixel 6a for longer game sessions will not require extreme arm muscle endurance. Even when paired up with the Razer Kishi V2 (which fits nicely – see the picture above) the overall weight is light enough to enjoy longer gaming sessions. 

Pixel 6a Back
A clean and classic look

My Verdict

With dedicated cloud gaming devices on the rise, there is still a compelling argument for the Pixel 6a – offering a similar screen size whilst being more compact and offering a lot more functionality (amazing camera for one). The Pixel 6a may be the best way to go for people not looking to break the bank or carry multiple devices. The entry model Logitech G Cloud and the recently announced Razer Edge actually start at the same price. If you are in the market for a new phone and want to take gaming beyond the living room, the Pixel 6a is a solid bet. 



Pedder is a Dad of 3, a Tech Geek, a Video Maker, and a Casual streamer. Follow on Twitter: @Just_Pedder, YouTube: Pedder Games and Buy Pedder a Coffee

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