Review: Google Pixel 7a

Google demonstrates how things should be done with the Pixel 7a

Pixel's cheaper model is getting closer to the Pro model, but at a significantly lower price!

Published 2023-05-12 - 8:00 am
Google Pixel 7a
Jonas Ekelund

It’s only been about six months since the Google Pixel 6a was launched in Scandinavia, so why is the sequel coming so soon? Well, it’s because the cheaper a-model is set to arrive six months after the flagship Pixel 7, which saw the light of day in October. In other words, it was the 6a that arrived six months behind schedule in Scandinavia. Google’s strategy is that much of the technology from the top model will now move down to the a model, and then we can look forward to Pixel 8 in the autumn.

Three siblings: Pixel 6a, Pixel 7a, Pixel 7 Pro (Photo: Jonas Ekelund)

So what’s the difference between the Pixel 7a and the Pixel 7 Pro, which costs twice as much? The Pro model has a larger, higher resolution, faster screen with better image quality. It has more memory and comes with significantly more storage. The Pro model has an additional camera, a telephoto with 5x optical zoom. The battery is slightly larger and charges faster. It’s also slightly more robust.

Pixel 6a Pixel 7a
Display 60 Hz 90 Hz
Processor Google Tensor Google Tensor G2
Memory 6 GB 8 GB
Main camera 12,2 Mp 64 Mp
Ultrawide 12 Mp 114˚ 13 Mp 120˚
Selfie camera 8 Mp 13 Mp
Battery 4410 mAh 4385 mAh
Charging Kabel Kabel/trådløs
Weight 178 gram 193 gram

Design and construction

The Pixel 7a now has the same sleek design on the camera module as the pro model, and the quality feel is far from that of a cheaper model. With its solid metal frame, it also feels stable. In our comparison of mid-range phones, the Pixel 6a was the smallest, and the Pixel 7a retains the comfortable format. However, it has become noticeably heavier. Where the 6a was among the lightest in the comparison, the 7a would have been among the heaviest.

Pixel 7a shares the same design language as the 7 and 7 Pro (Photo: Jonas Ekelund)

The display

With an OLED screen, we get the great depth and contrast that really makes colours pop. However, it is also not as bright as LCD screens. Google claims that the screen has improved brightness, but if so, this is not immediately apparent. The bigger news is that the screen has finally been upgraded to 90Hz refresh rate, so there’s a better flow when scrolling the screen.

Camera

The main camera has been upgraded to a much more high-resolution one, but Google didn’t want to reveal more than that. Image quality is very good, with correct white balance and fine colours and more detail, but a lot of that is also down to Google’s fantastic image processing. HDR images are excellent, on par with the Pro in fact, with detail in the shadows without burning out the highlights. The Pixel was already the best in its price range when it came to dark images, and now they’ve taken it a step further.

PXL7a wide PXL7a ultrawide PXL7a zoom
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Pixel 7a 2x digital zoom (Photo: Jonas Ekelund)

The ultra-wide angle is also new, with marginally higher resolution and a slightly wider wide angle. We’re not particularly satisfied with it, though, as it doesn’t seem as sharp as the one on the Pixel 6a, and has less detail.

PXL_20230509_173227012.NIGHT PXL7a colors PXL7a flowers PXL7a HDR
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Pixel 7a colors (Photo: Jonas Ekelund)

Comparing 2x digital zoom, the 6a is overly sharp, the 7a softer and the 7 Pro far more detailed. With the optical zoom in the Pro model, the difference is almost laughable. Let’s just say that Google’s talk of ‘Super Res Zoom’ in the 7a is somewhat of an overstatement.

Sound

The Pixel has neither a real speaker at the top nor a headphone jack. If you want really good sound, you’ll have to use an adapter. However, we still think the speaker sound is better than on the Pixel 6a. The volume seems a bit louder, there’s no distortion, and the sound is probably a bit fuller. It’s stretching it to say that listening to music is a pleasure, but it doesn’t sound as bad as on many other mobiles.

Interface (Screen dump: L&B)

Usage

As expected, you get a pure Android experience, but enhanced with unique Pixel features like camera quick launch, magic eraser in the photo app, and live translations. In contrast to its predecessor, wireless charging is now available.

Facial recognition is actually among the best we’ve seen on Android mobiles.

You also benefit from the instantaneous distribution of updates. Google guarantees three major Android upgrades and a full 5 years of security updates for the phone.

Performance

The big news is that the Pixel 7a has the same processor as the Pixel 7 Pro. In other words, it’s basically just as fast! However, it’s not as big a step as you might think, as the Tensor G2 processor is actually not as big a generational shift as, for example, Apple’s upgrades usually are. And when it comes to graphics, the three are actually pretty much equally fast, depending on which test you rely on. What really stands out is the battery life, which we measured at 17 hours and 14 minutes, the best we’ve seen in years!

3DMark diagram Geekbench pixel7a
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Chart: L&B

 

Conclusion

We already praised its predecessor for its performance and camera, and now they’re even better! We complained about the slow screen and the lack of wireless charging, both of which Google has now fixed. The mobile phone also has incredible battery life. However, the price has gone up by 10 per cent.

There’s not much to worry about anymore, if you want a reasonably priced mobile phone at a reasonable price, the Pixel 7a is the one to go for right now!

 

Karakter
Google Pixel 7a
Premium

We think

Awesome battery life, fast as hell for its class, even better cameras, guaranteed updates, fast wifi. Noticeably heavier than its predecessor. Still slow charging.

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