Google’s Pixel 7a was officially announced at I/O 2023 last week. It is Google’s latest mid-ranger Pixel phone and there are many things to like about it. But at the same time, for the price that you are paying, there are alternative smartphones out there, like the Samsung Galaxy A54 which is a contender for one of the best mid-range smartphones for 2023.
So, the question is, with $500 burning a hole in your pocket, which phone should you get? Will it be Google’s brand new Pixel 7a? Or will it be the Samsung Galaxy A54? In this guide below, we’ll be going over the specs and features of either handset that will help you make a more informed decision.
|Google Pixel 7a||Samsung Galaxy A54|
|Processor||Google Tensor G2||Exynos 1380|
|Display||6.1-inches 1080 x 2400 @ 90Hz||6.4-inches 1080 x 2340 @ 120Hz|
|Cameras||64MP wide, 13MP ultrawide||50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro|
|Battery||4,385mAh 18W charging
|5,000mAh 25W charging|
Design is an extremely subjective thing to talk about. Neither phone looks bad, but some might prefer Google’s design language over Samsung’s, and vice versa. We can, however, talk about the build materials.
Samsung has opted to use Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back of the phone, along with an aluminum frame. The Pixel 7a, on the other hand, features a Gorilla Glass 3 cover on the front, an aluminum frame, and plastic on the back. You could argue that this makes the phone lighter, but at the same time it also makes it look and feel “cheap”.
In terms of performance, this is where the Pixel 7a might have a slight edge. The Pixel 7a uses the same Tensor G2 chipset used in Google’s flagship Pixel 7. Obviously Google had to compromise on certain features of the phone, but at least in terms of performance, you can expect a flagship level performance.
Benchmark comparisons have also found the Tensor G2 outperforms the Exynos 1380 chipset, which is used in the Galaxy A54. The Tensor G2 handily beats the Exynos in both single and multi-core tests, as well in GPU performance, so if you like gaming on the go, the Tensor G2 is the clear winner here.
It also offers marginally better energy efficiency than the Exynos 1380, but that won’t matter as much as we’ll get to that later on in the article.
When it comes to the display of the phone, we reckon the Galaxy A54 is the winner in this category. The Galaxy A54 has a larger 6.4-inch display versus the Pixel 7a’s 6.1-inch, but size is a hard comparison. This is because some users might actually prefer a smaller display because it’s easier to navigate with one hand and might find larger displays a bad thing.
Perhaps more objective comparisons would be on the refresh rates of the displays. The Galaxy A54, despite it being cheaper, has a 120Hz refresh rate which makes it smoother when scrolling through pages, watching videos, and playing games. The Pixel 7a only has a 90Hz display. If you’ve used 120Hz displays before, then going back ti 60Hz might be a hard sell.
Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. On paper, the Galaxy A54 is “better” as it features a triple camera setup. More lenses means more data captured, which in turn could result in better photos. But if there is one area that Google’s Pixel phones excel in, it would be the camera software.
While many handset makers were putting out phones with dual lenses back in the day, Google continued to use one, but yet somehow managed to pull off much more impressive portrait photos and night photos due to its excellent algorithms. These algorithms are present in the Pixel 7a so if you’ve always liked how Google handles photos, the Pixel 7a might be a better choice.
We mentioned earlier that Google’s Tensor G2 chipset has a slight edge over the Exynos in terms of energy efficiency, but we also said it probably doesn’t matter all that much. The Galaxy A54 packs a 5,000mAh battery which is considerably bigger than the Pixel 7a’s 4,385mAh battery, so we doubt any energy efficiencies would have made up for that 600mAh+ difference in battery.
The Galaxy A54 also has the added benefit of 25W charging versus the Pixel 7a’s 18W charging. The main difference here is that the Pixel 7a supports wireless while the Galaxy A54 does not, but it’s not an issue and can be easily resolved with third-party accessories.
One of the major reasons people get Google’s phones is due to the software experience. While in the past Google’s Nexus devices offered a vanilla Android experience, Google’s Pixel phones offer up a “Google” experience which offers tighter integration with the company’s products and services.
It is also the first amongst Android devices whenever it comes to software updates, which some might view as very beneficial and important. While Samsung has been pretty quick in recent years with its updates, it’s hard to beat Google on this front, so if you value the Google experience and prompt software updates, the Pixel 7a is the obvious choice.
Now, for budget and mid-range phones, customers might be more price sensitive compared to flagship customers who might be willing to drop $1,000 or more on a phone. After all, price is potentially one of the reasons why you might be considering the Pixel 7a or Galaxy A54 instead of devices like the Galaxy S23 series or the Pixel 7.
So if pricing is something that matters to you, the Pixel 7a will cost $499, making it pricier than its predecessor. It also makes it more expensive than the Galaxy A54 which you can get for about $50 cheaper. In fact, you could probably get it cheaper as there are Amazon listings that have it priced as low as $365, saving you well over $100 in the process.
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