Google Pixel 7a assessment: Ok to make the Pixel 7 out of date

Google made its finances cellphone so good that it may need to cease making finances telephones altogether.

Rumors are swirling(opens in a brand new tab) that Google may kill the Pixel A-series line in 2024, and for good motive: The cheaper handsets are beginning to resemble the earlier yr’s flagships just a little too a lot. That’s undoubtedly the case with the $500 Pixel 7a, Google’s latest cellphone and probably the ultimate A-series Pixel. 

Introduced throughout the 2023 Google I/O presentation, that is basically a $100 cheaper Pixel 7 with a barely smaller display, however little else in the way in which of compromise. Its efficiency and battery life stay distinctive, whereas its important digicam bought a megapixel improve whereas retaining the entire identical software program wizardry that made final yr’s Pixel 7 telephones so nice. 

In different phrases, the Pixel 7a is perhaps the cellphone the Pixel 7 ought to’ve been all alongside. Android lovers in want of an improve could need to leap on this deal earlier than Google kills the best worth in smartphones.

A well-known face

Feeling blue.
Credit score: Molly Flores/Mashable

As is custom with Pixel A-series telephones, the Pixel 7a didn’t get a major facelift from its costlier older sibling. The signature metallic digicam bar on the again returns, together with the single-tone colour scheme that sadly made the Pixel 7 loads much less distinctive than the Pixel 6. That stated, the colour selections this time are good: white, black, orange, and lightweight blue.

Actually, the one mildly surprising factor in regards to the Pixel 7a is how a lot its specs resemble the Pixel 7, lower than a yr after that cellphone got here out. Every thing listed beneath is identical because the Pixel 7, except famous in any other case:

  • 6.1-inch show with 90Hz refresh charge (was 6.3-inch on Pixel 7)

  • 8GB RAM

  • 128GB storage (Pixel 7 had a 256GB choice)

  • Tensor G2 chipset

  • 64MP important rear digicam (was 50MP on Pixel 7)

  • 13MP ultrawide lens

  • 4,385mAh battery

There are a few notable and really welcome inclusions right here that assist justify the Pixel 7a costing $50 greater than final yr’s Pixel 6a. First up is face unlock, which makes unlocking the cellphone a lot quicker that you could be end up by no means utilizing the under-display fingerprint sensor once more. The Pixel 7a additionally boasts wi-fi charging, giving it one other large leg up over its earlier A-series brethren.

I additionally shouldn’t simply breeze previous the 90Hz refresh charge, a primary for Pixel A-series. It’s not a step up from the Pixel 7, however with that and all the pieces else being practically equal, it’s an enormous motive to discourage anybody from shopping for a Pixel 7 at this level. It’s additionally unquestionably a bonus over the Pixel 6a, which was locked to 60Hz.


Google Pixel 7a

It is a robust little cellphone.
Credit score: Molly Flores/Mashable

That easy refresh charge bolsters a efficiency profile that’s each bit as elegant because it was final yr.

Put merely, this cellphone doesn’t hitch or decelerate or something like that all through the course of a standard day. Maybe there’s one thing you are able to do with it that might trigger slowdown in excessive situations, however the Tensor G2 chip powering the Pixel 7a holds up underneath all the pieces resembling regular circumstances that I noticed.

Google additionally introduced over the AI-powered software program enhancements from the Pixel 7. Issues like graphical person interfaces for automated cellphone calls, speaker tags for transcribed voice recordings, and clearer-sounding cellphone calls all return from final yr, as nicely. None of that’s new, but it surely’s good to have in comparison with the Pixel 6a.

In fact, none of that issues if the cellphone doesn’t have a sturdy battery. Excellent news: It does! 

I bought just a little greater than 24 hours of regular use (social media, streaming music and movies, internet shopping) out of a full cost. That’s a really minor step up from the roughly 22 hours I bought out of the Pixel 7, however at that time, you’re splitting hairs. You’ll solely should plug this cellphone in as soon as per day at most.

Go Professional if you’d like the best digicam

Google Pixel 7a camera

You solely get two lenses right here.
Credit score: Molly Flores/Mashable

I’m going to preface the purpose I’m about to make by saying the Pixel 7a’s digicam array is sort of good. As you’ll see quickly, pictures taken on this cellphone look incredible and the suite of software program options to reinforce pictures is nearly as good as ever.

That stated, I nonetheless assume individuals who fancy themselves cellular photographers ought to go together with the Pixel 7 Professional over the Pixel 7a. The principle motive I say that’s as a result of the Pixel 7 Professional’s zoom lens is likely one of the most spectacular issues I’ve ever seen on a smartphone, whereas the 8x zoom on Pixel 7a can look just a little janky underneath sure situations.

Pixel 7a 8x zoom example

An instance of the 8x zoom wanting fairly good.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

Pixel 7a 8x zoom example

And an instance of it not wanting so good.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

Zooming in on one thing with out lots of element produces a clear sufficient picture. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to see the place the software program steps in to appropriate issues for those who zoom in on one thing like a tree. The picture begins to look cartoony and pretend in a very off-putting approach.

Except for that, although, it’s exhausting to complain in regards to the outcomes I bought from my digicam testing. Pictures taken on the principle lens on default settings look sharp, colourful, and vibrant. 

Pixel 7a graffiti photo

Gotta love graffiti.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

Portrait mode continues to supply a number of the best depth-of-field results within the smartphone sport.

Pixel 7a portrait mode example

Love this man.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

And Night time Sight remains to be arguably the best nighttime pictures mode within the enterprise. Google is de facto good at brightening photos with out shedding the nighttime ambiance. It solely takes a few seconds to generate every picture, too.

Pixel 7a night sight example

Night time Sight remains to be nice.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

Pixel 7a night sight example

No mistaking this for daytime.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

Lastly, Google ported over a number of the Pixel 7’s AI options to the digicam, as nicely. The large one is Picture Unblur, which may take mildly blurry pictures (even these taken on different telephones) and make them sharper. It’s powerful to check as a result of the digicam frankly doesn’t take blurry pictures except you attempt actually exhausting, however the outcomes are just about as marketed.

Photo Unblur example on Pixel 7a

Unblur at 0.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

Photo Unblur example on Pixel 7a

Picture Unblur at 100.
Credit score: Alex Perry/Mashable

If that is it, Google went out on high

The aforementioned (rumored) demise of the Pixel A-series could transform false. Typically individuals get it mistaken. That’s high-quality. 

However whether it is certainly true, Google’s newest and doubtlessly final Pixel A-series cellphone is an excellent one. The Pixel 7a offers you all the pieces the Pixel 7 supplied, simply with a barely smaller display and $100 shaved off the value. 

All of these fancy Tensor G2 AI options are right here. One other glorious digicam array (although not as glorious because the Pixel 7 Professional’s) is right here. All-day battery life is right here. And most significantly, it simply works as you’d anticipate, with no efficiency issues to talk of in my time with the Pixel 7a.

At simply $500, the Pixel 7a is the Android cellphone to get for those who don’t really feel like spending flagship cash.