Google Pixel 8a vs 7a: A Close Fight?


The Google Pixel 8a is one of Google’s more affordable smartphones right now, and it brings a lot of the company’s useful smartphone features at a reasonable price. On one hand though, it is priced starting at 500 bucks, which might still be expensive for a lot of folks out there.

READ: Google Pixel 8a, One Month Later: Misunderstood?

As such, users looking for an even cheaper Pixel phone might want to check out the Pixel 7a, which is a lot more affordable than the 8a. There are some key differences between the two handsets, but are these negligible in the long run? Let’s take a look.

Design and Display

In terms of looks, the Pixel 8a comes with a newer and rounded design similar to the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, keeping a consistent look across Google’s current smartphone portfolio. In contrast, the Pixel 7a has a boxier look akin to the Pixel 7 and even Pixel 6 series from a few years back – it’s a very subjective matter, although there are few other differences which we’ll go into more detail later. One thing that stands out though is that the 8a’s rear panel has a more fingerprint-resistant matte finish, a much nicer change versus the 7a’s glossy plastic.

The Pixel 8a takes a major leap forward in display quality with a much brighter screen that maxes out at 2,000 nits, making it perfect for viewing under direct sunlight. This is around double the brightness of the Pixel 7a’s display, which was a weak point when using the phone outdoors. The 8a’s display is also smoother thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate versus the 7a’s 90Hz, although one could argue that this is a minor change.

Internal Upgrades

The Pixel 8a packs the latest Tensor G3 chipset, which outperforms the older Tensor G2 chip inside the Pixel 7a. Based on my experience using both devices, the G3 was able to provide less overheating and improved battery life, making it more ideal for extended usage. Both phones will be able to handle most Play Store games, but the Tensor G3 offers an edge during prolonged use.

For the first time in Google’s affordable Pixel line, the 8a also offers a 256GB storage option (currently only available in Obsidian Black). It also comes with a slightly larger battery at 4,492 mAh compared to the Pixel 7a’s 4,385 mAh cell.

Biometrics and Software

Like the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, the Pixel 8a features improved Face Unlock with Class 3 security, which allows for secure transactions like bank payments, unlike most Android phones that rely on fingerprint scanners. This makes the 8a one of the few Android phones with secure face unlock – by comparison, the 7a’s face unlock feature is a bit more basic, and its in-display fingerprint scanner is a bit less reliable as well.

READ: How Long will your Pixel Phone Keep Getting Updates?

Another significant advantage of the Pixel 8a is its extended software support. Google promises up to 7 years of updates, including major Android version upgrades and security patches. This is ideal if you plan to keep your phone for a long time. Meanwhile, the Pixel 7a only receives 5 years of support, with one year already passed.

What Stays the Same?

Upgrades aside, the Pixel 8a retains some hardware specifications as its older sibling – you get the same 6.1-inch screen size and 1080×2400 resolution, the same Gorilla Glass 3 protection, and a very similar camera setup which consists of a 64MP primary lens, a 13MP ultrawide lens, and a 13MP front-facing camera. Finally, the 8a also retains the same slow 18W wired charging and 7.5W wireless charging found on the 7a.

A Matter of Price

For pricing, the Pixel 8a starts at $500, matching the 7a’s launch price; However, the 7a has since dropped to around $300-$350, making it a cheaper option from the get-go. If saving money is a priority, the 7a is the clear choice, although the 8a might be available with carrier deals or trade-in offers, potentially lowering its price.

The Pixel 8a undoubtedly offers welcome upgrades over the Pixel 7a, especially in display quality, performance, software support, and battery life. However, the 7a remains a compelling option at a lower price point. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your needs and budget, and if you prioritize the latest features and software support, then the Pixel 8a is the way to go.

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Mike Viray
A writer and content creator with a love for tech and music, Mike is also an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.

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