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Google Pixel 8a Review: Tensor Chip, OLED Screen…

Now, there’s a new addition. The Pixel 8a has a Tensor G3 chip. It can handle the same advanced AI features as Google’s top-tier phones.

Google’s A-series Pixels have a simple formula. They blend high-quality cameras with a bright screen. All this is packed into a proven design, and the price is fair.

Think about this. You get all these features for just $499. This isn’t just a leading midrange Android phone. It could be one of the best phone deals available today.

The Pixel 8a, equipped with Google’s Tensor G3 chip, offers useful AI capabilities. It also features a stunning 120Hz OLED screen, top-notch cameras, and an impressive battery life, all for a mere $499.

Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a

Pros

Cons

Google Pixel 8a Score List

Display

85/100

Battery Life

90/100

Camera

95/100

Performance

80/100

Design

80/100

Value for Money

95/100

Google Pixel 8a Specification

Specification Details
Display 6.1-inch, 1080×2400 pixels, OLED, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Battery 4492 mAh, Fast charging, Wireless charging
Camera 64 MP (main), 13 MP (ultra-wide), 13 MP (selfie)
Performance Google Tensor G3 chipset, 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage
Design Aluminum frame, plastic back, IP67 dust/water resistant
Price $499

Google Pixel 8a review: Design and Display

The Pixel 8a introduces a fresh aloe color. In my view, it’s the standout choice. The design closely mirrors the standard Pixel 8, with minor differences. The larger bezels on the Pixel 8a stand out when you compare them. This impacts the screen size, which is 6.1 inches, slightly smaller than the 6.2-inch display on its more expensive counterpart.

Despite this, the Pixel 8a boasts a vibrant OLED panel. It delivers deep blacks and rich colors. It also has a faster 120Hz refresh rate, an upgrade from the 90Hz on the previous year’s Pixel 7a.

The phone’s frame is still aluminum, which feels premium. The metal camera bar at the back is a bit thinner, giving the device a sleeker look. Google replaced the Pixel 8’s glass back panel with plastic. However, a new matte finish, designed to resemble cashmere, ensures it doesn’t feel cheap.

Its IP67 rating for dust and water resistance is a step down from the Pixel 8. But it can still survive being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Quite impressive!

Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a

Google Pixel 8a review: Performance

Google’s Tensor chips have faced criticism. They don’t match the raw performance of Apple or Qualcomm chips. But with the G3 chip in a $499 phone like the Pixel 8a, this is less of a concern.

In everyday use, the Pixel 8a is quick and responsive. This includes gaming. Games like Marvel Snap and TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge runs smoothly. The only time I saw noticeable lag was with more intensive games like Call of Duty: Mobile.

The G3 chip also brings on-device AI features to the Pixel 8a. These include Audio Magic Eraser, Best Take, and Magic Editor. Unlike Google Photos’ free users, who are limited to 10 pictures, you can use these features as much as you want.

Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a

Google Pixel 8a review: Cameras

The Pixel 8a comes with the same 64MP main and 13MP ultra-wide sensors as last year’s P7a. Google’s budget-friendly phones deliver impressive results. So, I decided to test the Pixel 8a against the Samsung 24 Ultra. It held its own quite well.

In bright light, the Pixel 8a could be the better choice. It captures accurate colors and detailed images, unlike Samsung’s warmer and often oversaturated colors. This was evident when photographing a single yellow rose. The S24 Ultra rendered the flower’s center as orange and highly contrasty, which didn’t match the real-life view.

In low light, the S24 Ultra’s large 200MP main sensor took the lead, producing sharper and better-exposed images. However, Google’s Night Sight mode kept the Pixel 8a close behind. This is impressive for a phone that’s $800 cheaper.

Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a

Lastly, the Pixel 8a may not have extra hardware features, but it does have a solid 13MP selfie camera. Google’s AI enhances your photos even more. Best Take lets you capture several group photos and swap people’s reactions. It’s user-friendly and helps you create a picture where everyone is smiling. Magic Editor is a fun tool for removing distractions or rearranging subjects in your photos. It might not be a daily necessity, but it can save a photo you’d otherwise discard. So, even if AI doesn’t interest you, Google is adding value with machine learning.

Google Pixel 8a review: Battery Life

The Pixel 8a’s battery is slightly smaller at 4,492 mAh compared to the standard model’s 4,575 mAh. Yet, it offers a bit more battery life, possibly due to its smaller screen. In our video test, the 8a lasted a solid 20 hours and 29 minutes, just outlasting the regular Pixel 8’s time of 20:16.

As for charging, wired and Qi wireless speeds remain the same. You get up to 18 watts with a cable, but a slower 7.5 watts with an induction pad. This might not matter if you charge overnight or top-up casually. But for a quick charge, you’ll need a cable.

Note: Video From “Made by Google” YouTube Channel

Google Pixel 8a review: Conclusion

The Pixel 8a doesn’t reinvent the wheel. But its mix of top-tier cameras, excellent display, robust battery life, and sleek design is timeless, especially at just $499. Plus, it now includes AI features previously exclusive to Google’s flagship phones.

The Pixel 8a also offers a 256GB storage option for the first time in the A-series (only on the Obsidian model). It also promises seven years of Android and security updates.

Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a

The deciding factor might be its siblings’ prices. At $499, the Pixel 8a is a great deal compared to the standard $799 Pixel 8. But we’ve seen deals dropping the Pixel 8 to as low as $549. At that price, you might consider spending an extra $50 for the full flagship experience.

However, if you don’t want to wait for a discount or don’t mind slower wireless charging, the Pixel 8a isn’t just the best midrange Android phone. It’s a fantastic bargain.

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