Google’s A-series telephones have been a number of the greatest offers available on the market relationship again to the unique Pixel 3a. And whereas the price of latest units has crept up a bit, they’ve additionally change into extra well-rounded. However with the Pixel 7a, it appears like Google has nailed the steadiness between worth and efficiency. We’re speaking a Tensor G2 chip, a 90Hz show, wi-fi charging and a higher-res rear cam–all beginning at simply $499. And while you consider its design, the Pixel 7a delivers all the pieces I like in regards to the common Pixel 7 for $100 much less. So in the event you’re the type of one who simply needs a strong cellphone for an important worth, the Pixel 7a has all the pieces you want.
From the surface, the 7a seems to be like a carbon copy of the usual Pixel 7. It’s acquired a well-known two-tone design with IP67 water resistance and an nearly equivalent digicam bar. However in the event you peer somewhat nearer you’ll discover a pair variations like a barely smaller 6.1-inch OLED display (versus 6.3 for the common Pixel 7) and a really barely thicker and barely lighter physique. And despite the fact that the 7a options what Google calls thermal-formed polycarbonate (a elaborate approach of claiming “good plastic”) on its again, it just about feels the identical too. Actually, I needed to faucet a coin on the again of the cellphone to ensure, as a result of up till then I assumed each telephones used the identical materials.
In the meantime in entrance, the 7a nonetheless will get a stunning full HD (2400 x 1080) OLED show with an in-screen fingerprint sensor, besides now it contains a 90Hz refresh price. Granted, that’s not fairly as quick as you get on the Pixel 7 Professional or different flagships, however coming from the 60Hz panel on final yr’s cellphone, it’s a really welcome improve. And while you mix that with a Tensor G2 chip, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, you find yourself with a very easy consumer expertise. Textual content simply glides down the display while you’re scrolling by means of web sites. And whereas its smaller show means the 7a most likely isn’t going to be a cell avid gamers first alternative for handsets, I nonetheless had a blast enjoying titles starting from extra demanding fare like Honkai: Star Rail to informal stuff like Marvel Snap.
As for images, the 2 large modifications are that the Pixel 7a contains a new high-res 64-MP major cam in again, whereas the 13-MP selfie digicam can document movies in 4K. Previously, the Pixel A-line has crushed principally each different cellphone in its worth vary. So this time to present the 7a extra of a problem I in contrast it to each the Pixel 7 Professional and the S23 Extremely. And whereas the 7a doesn’t have a number of the extra superior options like a devoted zoom, relating to pure picture high quality this $499 cellphone greater than holds its personal.
For instance, in a daytime shot of a flower Pixel 7a did a approach higher job of preserving particulars and highlights in comparison with an identical shot by the S23 Extremely. And in a pic of a dandelion, the Pixel 7a captured each fluffy seed. You don’t get a devoted telephoto lens, however Google’s Tremendous Res can produce some high quality long-range photos. Although, as you’ll be able to see when in comparison with the S23 Extremely, it’s nonetheless not so good as having a devoted telephoto lens. Additionally, despite the fact that I don’t love taking selfies, I gotta say pics look sharp there too.
In low gentle, Google’s Night time Sight mode stays among the many greatest within the enterprise, although the Pixel 7a’s 64-MP digicam does add somewhat extra noise to images than I anticipated. In a nighttime shot of a mural, regardless of the Pixel 7a’s pic trying a contact underexposed, it has a greater white steadiness in comparison with the S23 Extremely whereas nonetheless preserving lots of particulars. It’s solely while you zoom in that you just discover a bit of additional graininess. And in one other image taken at a area people backyard, the 7a produced a pic that’s actually near what I acquired from telephones twice its worth.
Gallery: Pixel 7a picture samples | 8 Photographs
Gallery: Pixel 7a picture samples | 8 Photographs
One other spotlight is that the mixture of a comparatively small display and a decent-sized 4,385 mAh battery leads to nice longevity. On our native video rundown check, the Pixel 7a lasted 17 hours and 41 minutes which, unsurprisingly, is admittedly near what we acquired from final yr’s Pixel 7 (17:54) and an hour longer than the Pixel 7 Professional’s time of 16:42. Nevertheless, for many who want a very long-lasting machine, larger telephones just like the OnePlus 11 and S23 Extremely are nonetheless the higher alternative, with each telephones lasting over 19 hours on our checks.
I additionally actually recognize the addition of Qi wi-fi help, even when charging speeds cap out at 7.5 watts. After I’m charging the cellphone in a single day or attempting to maintain the cellphone topped up throughout the day, the comfort of slapping a cellphone on a wi-fi pad can’t be beat. Apart from, in the event you want some juice in a jiffy, there’s nonetheless the choice of wired charging at 18 watts, which isn’t blazing, but it surely’s adequate.
I’ve at all times appreciated that Google has by no means tried to do an excessive amount of with its Pixel A telephones. The Pixel 7a is a straightforward machine that packs a pleasant display that’s now even higher due to a 90Hz refresh price, strong efficiency and cameras that may hold with rivals twice its worth. And now for 2023, you get helpful upgrades like help for wi-fi charging, to not point out all the good present Pixel-specific options like Maintain For Me, Clear Calling and my private favourite–the Pixel Recorder app. For those who’re somebody who must document conversations or interviews on the common, I’d argue that app by itself is definitely worth the worth of a 7a.
My two minor complaints are that whereas the 7a’s audio system are usually tremendous, they sound a bit shallow. And, in the event you’re somebody who cares about mmWave 5G, you’ll need to shell out an additional $50 to get help for that (and that mannequin is just accessible from Verizon). As an entire, the 7a is type of a shock as a result of it delivers 95% of what you get from the usual Pixel 7, however for $100 cheaper. Often, machine makers don’t cannibalize their very own units like this. However Google didn’t draw back and the result’s an enormous win for shoppers. Would I prefer to have a devoted zoom lens or a bigger display? Certain, however that’s [kind of] why the Pixel 7 Professional exists.