Following the successful launches of the Pixel 6a in 2022 and the Pixel 7a in 2023. At Google I/O 2024, Google unveiled the Google Pixel 8a. Positioned as the mid-range variant of the Pixel 8 family, the Pixel 8a delivers many of the high-end features of its more expensive variant at a more accessible price point.

Google Pixel 8A Review: The Best Mid Range Smartphone

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Design

The Google Pixel 8a has a design that closely resembles Google’s flagship models. Design improvements include rounded corners and a matte back, replacing the glossy finish of the Pixel 7a. The matte finish gives a better grip and is more resistant to smudges.

The Google Pixel 8a retains the horizontal camera bar, USB-C port, power, and volume controls. Google uses recycled materials and offering an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance.

Display

The Google Pixel 8a features a 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. The display adopts the Actua technology from the Pixel 8, with a claimed peak brightness of 2,000 nits, higher than the Pixel 7a’s 931 nits.

The display also supports a 120Hz refresh rate, a smoother animations and a better overall experience compared to the Pixel 7a’s 90Hz refresh rate.

Cameras

The Google Pixel 8a’s camera setup includes a 64MP main camera and a 13MP ultrawide camera along with a 13MP front camera.

Despite having the same camera specs as the Pixel 7a, the Pixel 8a delivers excellent photo quality, maintaining its position as the best camera phone under $500.

In low-light conditions, the Google Pixel 8a produces high-contrast images with better detail compared to the iPhone SE (2022). Video recording supports up to 4K at 60 fps with good detail and color accuracy.

Performance

Powered by the Tensor G3 chip, the Pixel 8a offers great performance for a mid-range phone. It scored 1,581 in single-core and 4,093 in multi-core Geekbench 6 tests, outperforming the Pixel 7a.

In 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited test, it achieved 53.7 fps, compared to the Pixel 7a’s 41.1 fps. Gaming on the Google Pixel 8a is smooth with consistent frame rates even during intense action scenes.

Battery

The Google Pixel 8a features a slightly larger 4,492 mAh battery compared to the Pixel 7a’s 4,386 mAh. The Pixel 8a lasted 11 hours and 21 minutes, outlasting the Pixel 7a’s 10 hours and 5 minutes.

The Google Pixel 8a’s charging speed is slower, reaching 33% after 30 minutes with an 18W charger. Despite the longer charging time, the Pixel 8a can comfortably last a full day of regular use.

AI and Software

The Google Pixel 8a leverages AI to enhance user experience, incorporating features from the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, such as Best Take, Magic Editor, Audio Magic Eraser, Gemini, Circle to Search, Live Translate, and Call Assist. These AI features streamline tasks and improve efficiency.

Circle to Search allows users to perform Google searches directly from any app, while Magic Editor simplifies photo editing.

Call Assist uses Google Assistant to handle phone calls, providing contextual responses. The Google Pixel 8a also benefits from seven years of software and security updates.

Price

The Google Pixel 8a is available for pre-order as of May 7, with general availability starting May 14. The U.S. price remains $499 for the 128GB model.

The 256GB variant is priced at $559. UK buyers will face a £50 increase from the Pixel 7a, paying £499.

Google offers the Google Pixel 8a in four colors: Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay, and Aloe. Best Buy is offering a $100 gift card with preorders and trade-in deals can save up to $499.

Also Read: Google I/O 2024: All the Announcements About Gemini, AI Progress and More

Pros

  • Price unchanged from Pixel 7a
  • 7 years of software & security updates
  • Useful AI features
  • Matte finish design
  • Brighter screen

Cons

  • Very minor camera improvements
  • Slower charging speed

Specs

  • Starting price: $499
  • Screen size: 6.1-inch OLED (2400 x 1080, 430ppi)
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • CPU: Tensor G3
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB / No
  • Rear cameras: 64MP (f/1.89) main; 13MP (f/2.2)
  • Front camera: 13MP (f/2.2)
  • Battery size: 4,492 mAh
  • Wired charging speed: 18W
  • Wireless charging: Yes
  • Size: 6 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Weight: 6.8 ounces
  • Colors: Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay, Aloe

Price

  • Pre-orders: Started May 7
  • General availability: May 14
  • Price: $499 for 128GB storage; $559 for 256GB storage
  • UK price: £499 (up from £449 for the Pixel 7a)

Design

  • Rounded corners, polished aluminum frame, and matte back improve grip and resist smudges.
  • Horizontal camera bar remains.
  • Wider bezels still present.
  • Made with more recycled materials.
  • IP67 rating for water and dust resistance.

Display

  • Screen: 6.1-inch OLED, 2400 x 1080 resolution.
  • Peak brightness: Lab tests show 1,378 nits (1,350 nits with HDR), significantly brighter than Pixel 7a’s 931 nits.
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz (up from 90Hz on the Pixel 7a), smoother scrolling and animations.

Cameras

  • Main camera: 64MP (f/1.89) main camera.
  • Ultrawide camera: 13MP (f/2.2).
  • Front camera: 13MP (f/2.2) with a slightly wider 96.5-degree field of view.
  • Comparison to Pixel 7a: No major improvements. Similar dynamic range and detail.
  • Comparison to iPhone SE (2022): Pixel 8a produces crisper, more realistic images.
  • Low light performance: Pixel 8a has a high-contrast look, better for night photos. Pixel 7a still holds up well.
  • Video recording: 4K at 60fps. Pixel 8a boosts shadows, sometimes blowing out highlights.

Performance

  • Processor: Tensor G3 (same as Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro).
  • Geekbench 6 scores: 1,581 (single core), 4,093 (multi-core).
  • 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited test: 53.7 fps (Pixel 7a: 41.1 fps).
  • Gaming: Smooth performance with consistent frame rates.
  • Adobe Premiere Rush: Renders video in 56 seconds (same as Pixel 7a).

Battery

  • Capacity: 4,492 mAh (up from 4,386 mAh in Pixel 7a).
  • Battery life: 11 hours and 21 minutes (Pixel 7a: 10 hours and 5 minutes).
  • Charging speed: 18W wired, 7.5W wireless.
  • Charge % after 30 minutes: 33% (Pixel 7a: 43%).

AI and Software

  • Key AI features: Best Take, Magic Editor, Audio Magic Eraser, Gemini, Circle to Search, Live Translate, Call Assist.
  • AI functionality: Enhances photo editing, search efficiency, and call management.
  • Software updates: 7 years of software and security updates.
  • OS: Android 14 out of the box.

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