There will be some hardware similarities between the Google Pixel 6a and the Pixel 6 flagships, but certainly, one camera function may not be exclusive to the Pixel 6a. It appears that the Pixel 6a does not support the Pixel 6 / Pixel 6 Pro’s “Motion Modes” feature for capturing objects moving with distorting effects, as recently discovered code snippets suggest.
The absence of Motion Modes on Pixel 6a was first spotted by Kuba Wojciechowsk. There is a “smoking gun” in the Pixel Tips app that reveals a Motion Mode-related suggestion is programmed not to display on “bluejay” devices—the hardware codename for the future Pixel 6a. The only explanation we can conceive of why the Pixel Tips app would exclude giving tips about Motion Mode on the Pixel 6a is if the smartphone doesn’t have the ability to use those capabilities.
Camera hardware for the Pixel 6a is believed to differ from that of the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, with the primary sensor expected to continue to be used in the Pixel 6a as it was in last year’s Pixel 5a, though an upgraded ultra-wide sensor may be prevalent. The Sony IMX363 sensor, which is believed to be utilised in the Pixel 6a, is so old that it may be unable to support Motion Mode due to technical limitations. When it’s theoretically possible, Google hasn’t shied away from bringing new functionality to lower-end phones in the past.
The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s Motion Mode offers two distinct camera functions: Action Pan and Long Exposure. Each of these methods works in an entirely different way to apply motion blur to certain areas of a photograph. While Long Exposure fades a moving subject while holding the rest of the picture in focus, Action Pan mimics the pan shot technique to blur the background, giving the subject a sense of speed. The Pixel 6a might omit these functionalities, which would be a shame.