Google Pixel 7a Review: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

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In 2022, Google stunned many when it determined to deliver its Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional smartphones to India.  Between the 2, the Pixel 7 was launched at Rs. 59,999, however can now be discovered at round Rs. 55,999 on-line, making it extra accessible than any of its predecessors. Google not too long ago launched the Pixel 7a in India, its ‘pocket-friendly’ model of the Pixel 7. This new telephone has obtained a number of upgrades over its predecessor, the Pixel 6a, and surprisingly comes in on the similar value of Rs. 43,999 for the only real variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. 

And not using a large value distinction between it and the Pixel 7, do you have to pay a further Rs. 12,000 for the extra premium mannequin, and is the Pixel 7a value upgrading to from a Pixel 6a? Let’s discover out.

Google Pixel 7a design

The Google Pixel 7a could seem premium at first look, but it surely’s simply as a lot of a smudge and dirt magnet because the Pixel 6a was. These smudges are fairly exhausting to note on the Snow end, however the Sea and Charcoal finishes most likely will not be so forgiving. For the reason that rear panel is fabricated from plastic similar to the Pixel 6a, it tends to get scratched simply. Whereas its design mimics the premium look of the Pixel 7, it is undoubtedly not the identical in the case of high quality of supplies used.

I discovered the sides of the rear panels to be barely misaligned on my unit as they did not have a seamless match the place they met the metallic body. The identical additionally applies to the metallic rear digital camera band, which might have benefitted from higher ending as it’s noticeably sharper in comparability to the higher made digital camera module on the Pixel 7. The earlier Pixel 6a didn’t have any such imperfections, so it is disappointing to see this on the brand new mannequin. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to merely slap on a case and overlook all about it.

The Google Pixel 7a’s rear panel is made out of plastic

The Google Pixel 7a additionally feels a bit heavy at 193g however remains to be fairly compact and good for one-handed use. The Pixel 6a is so much lighter at 178g however the extra weight of the brand new mannequin might be all the way down to the addition of wi-fi charging. This may be the explanation why Google went with a smaller battery for the 7a, however extra on that in a bit.

What I like in regards to the Pixel 7a’s design is that similar to its predecessor, it’s nonetheless one of many only a few smartphones in this section to supply an IP67 score for mud and water resistance, with Samsung’s now dated Galaxy S20 FE 5G being the opposite.

Google Pixel 7a specs and software program

The Pixel 7a gives the newest and biggest from Google in the case of processing energy. The Tensor G2 SoC which can also be current in the Pixel 7 and seven Professional fashions (in addition to the not too long ago introduced Pixel Fold) now involves Google’s inexpensive A sequence. Other than being extra highly effective and power-efficient in comparison with the older Tensor processor, it additionally provides some extra digital camera and picture modifying options.

Google nonetheless doesn’t supply any RAM or storage variants and the 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage may not be sufficient for everybody, because the Pixel 7a doesn’t assist expandable storage. There isn’t a free cloud storage choice (anymore) both, other than a couple of gives which expire in a few months. Nevertheless, it is good to lastly see 8GB of RAM being made out there on a Pixel A sequence machine for the primary time ever.

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The Pixel 7a (proper) seems much more premium in comparison with the Pixel 6a (left)

The fingerprint reader is embedded in the 6.1-inch full-HD+ OLED show, which has a 90Hz most display refresh fee. Fortunately, it is not as troublesome because the Pixel 6a’s fingerprint reader when it was launched and labored reliably out of the field. Communications requirements embrace Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC and assist for a mess of 5G bands. There is a single nano-SIM slot however customers can add a second telephone quantity to their machine by utilizing the eSIM characteristic.

The Google Pixel 7a is powered by a 4,385mAh battery, which is smaller than final 12 months’s mannequin. Charging speeds have been capped at 18W for wired charging and seven.5W for wi-fi charging. As at all times, Google doesn’t present a charger in the field.

The software program expertise on the Google Pixel 7a is often Google with Android 13 and the marginally customised Pixel software program expertise. There are not any extra apps or bloatware as one would anticipate from a Pixel machine. There’s nothing new right here in comparison with what I skilled on the Pixel 6a and even the Pixel 7 fashions which we reviewed final 12 months. Google guarantees three years of software program updates and 5 years of safety updates. There’s additionally the standard characteristic drops, which ought to instil confidence in consumers who’re new to the Pixel model.

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The general design of the Google Pixel 7a seems very very like the premium Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7a efficiency

By way of efficiency, Android 13 ran easily with none hiccups. The 8GB of RAM in the Google Pixel 7a additionally helped when it got here to multitasking, maintaining apps in reminiscence for some time. The 90Hz refresh fee additionally helped with the software program expertise by a big margin, making all the interface seem fairly fluid in comparison with the 60Hz panel on the Pixel 6a.

Colors, when considered in the ‘Pure show’ color mode, are fairly correct and the show was shiny sufficient when used outside in the course of the day. It’s also HDR10-certified and most apps like Netflix, Youtube and Prime Video supported the identical, with content material showing as anticipated.

As for uncooked efficiency, the Google Pixel 7a scores higher than the Pixel 6a in most benchmarks and produces numbers which might be on par with the premium Pixel 7. The 7a managed 7,16,837 factors in AnTuTu, and 1,396 and three,116 factors in Geekbench’s single and multi-core assessments respectively. By way of graphics, the Pixel 7a managed 90fps, 85fps and 60fps in GFXBench’s T-Rex, Manhattan 3.1 and Automotive Chase take a look at suites, respectively.

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The Google Pixel 7a packs a formidable 90Hz refresh fee OLED show


Gaming efficiency was fairly good total. I attempted out Name of Responsibility: Cellular and will comfortably play it at its default settings (Very Excessive graphics and framerate) with none lag or stuttering, which was not potential on the Pixel 6a. Contact sampling fee was sufficient for taking part in such cell titles and I used to be capable of make full use of the 90Hz refresh fee by switching to Extremely framerate in the sport’s settings.

The telephone does get heat when taking part in Name of Responsibility at Extremely settings. Nevertheless, I didn’t discover any efficiency drops even when gaming for as much as half-hour at a stretch. 

Regardless of the processor improve, the Google Pixel 7a has to maintain up with the calls for of a 90Hz show and achieve this with a smaller battery than final 12 months’s mannequin. Our commonplace video loop battery take a look at on the 7a fared worse than the Pixel 6a, managing simply 12 hours, 39 minutes on a single cost, which is common for a small telephone, however beneath common for its section.

With my typical every day use, which included scrolling by way of social media apps, video streaming, some digital camera utilization and about an hour of gaming, the Pixel 7a barely made it by way of a full day with about 10 p.c cost left in the tank. All-in-all, this undoubtedly is not a telephone for energy customers.

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The Google Pixel 7a is the primary A-series Pixel to come back with wi-fi charging


Since there is no charger in the field, I plugged the Google Pixel 7a right into a 61W USB PD charger. Regardless of the claimed 18W charging pace by Google, the telephone took a superb two hours and 7 minutes to totally cost, which may be very gradual. The 7a does include wi-fi charging, which is one other first for a Pixel A-series machine. That is good for maintaining it topped up always when not in use, offered you could have a number of wi-fi charging pads in your own home or workplace. Certainly, I’d have most well-liked an even bigger battery or quicker charging, as a substitute of wi-fi charging and smaller battery.

Google Pixel 7a cameras

The cameras on the Google Pixel 7a are one other space to have obtained noticeable upgrades. The first digital camera has been upgraded to a 64-megapixel sensor with OIS. The ultra-wide digital camera has additionally been bumped up from a 12-megapixel sensor to a 13-megapixel sensor. And the identical goes for the selfie digital camera, which has been bumped up from an 8-megapixel digital camera to a 13-megapixel digital camera. Regardless of the various sensor resolutions, all three cameras seize 12-megapixel binned photos by default, however the setup nonetheless lacks macro pictures functionality.

The Tensor G2 SoC additionally brings some helpful digital camera tips as we now have seen with the Pixel 7 and seven Professional fashions. There is no Motion Pan mode like on the premium Pixel 7, however you do get a Lengthy Publicity mode which manages some high quality lengthy publicity photographs with out using a tripod. The brand new Evening mode is sort of twice as quick because the Pixel 6a’s Evening Sight mode and this additionally applies to the publish seize processing. Additionally out there, is the Picture Unblur characteristic which mainly removes the minor blurring from photos which have it. I discovered this particularly helpful when attempting to run and seize photographs of my child.

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The Pixel 7a’s Tensor G2 SoC permits options comparable to Lengthy Publicity mode


What I did discover whereas capturing photographs and movies outside is how rapidly the Pixel 7a heats up. This will increase rapidly when utilizing the extra processor intensive digital camera modes like Portrait mode or Lengthy Publicity. On a number of such events, when switching to video mode to document 4K movies, I did get a pop-up notification stating that the machine is simply too sizzling and that video high quality could also be lowered, however the digital camera app didn’t shut. I additionally had background picture back-ups disabled when reviewing it, so clearly that didn’t contribute to the heating.

Fortunately, the Google Pixel 7a’s imaging chops are fairly succesful. To offer you an thought in regards to the 7a’s digital camera enhancements, I’ve included some comparability samples with final 12 months’s Pixel 6a.

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Google Pixel 7a vs Pixel 6a daylight digital camera samples (faucet to see full dimension)


Daylight imaging high quality is kind of spectacular. The brand new cameras and processor deliver enhancements in dynamic vary and total particulars. These are initially exhausting to identify except you “pixel” peep, however a majority of photographs taken with the Pixel 7a mange to seize these further textures which might be both lacking or seem delicate in photographs taken with a Pixel 6a. The Pixel 7a additionally finally ends up delivering extra correct color tones total. There is no macro mode like on the Pixel 7 Professional, however I managed to get some close-ups which appeared nearly similar on each gadgets.

The brand new ultra-wide digital camera gives a noticeably wider area of view in comparison with the older one. There’s noticeable barrel distortion together with purple fringing, however these are nonetheless the most effective ultra-wide photographs you may get on a smartphone at this value level.

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Google Pixel 7a vs Pixel 6a portrait selfie digital camera samples (faucet to see full dimension)


Selfies from the Google Pixel 7a in daylight got here out a bit delicate and confirmed much less element in comparison with the selfies from the Pixel 6a. The brand new 13-megapixel selfie digital camera additionally has a a lot tighter body when taking pictures selfies, which makes it exhausting to incorporate greater than two topics in the body, except you could have very lengthy fingers. In low gentle, the Pixel 6a managed higher selfies than the 7a, which was a bit of shocking.

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Google Pixel 7a vs Pixel 6a low-light digital camera samples (faucet to see full dimension)


Capturing with the rear cameras in low gentle was a a lot better expertise on the Pixel 7a. The Tensor G2 processor makes it way more succesful for capturing sharper photos of transferring children or pets (topics that by no means keep nonetheless). When utilizing the devoted Evening Sight mode, the Pixel 7a manages sharper and extra blur-free photographs of transferring topics or objects in any given scene. The extent of element is comparable with each the 6a and 7a, however colors are higher on the latter. In additional dimly-lit scenes, the Pixel 7a comes out of high providing barely higher element and sharpness. The ultra-wide digital camera captures first rate high quality photos in low gentle when used with the Evening Sight taking pictures mode, however showcased a whole lot of crushed blacks in the shadows.

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The Pixel 7a’s digital zoom manages superior photos in all sorts of lighting circumstances due to the bigger sensor and Tremendous Res Zoom expertise


Whereas Google’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional fashions fared so much higher, the Pixel 7a doesn’t pack sure digital camera {hardware} such because the multi-directional PDAF, laser autofocus, and extra. It additionally lacks HDR10 recording functionality, which is feasible on the Pixel 7. Regardless, 4K 30fps video recording on the Pixel 7a had good particulars in daylight however showcased purple fringing in the brilliant spots. 4K 60fps video appeared so much higher in comparability with a gentle framerate. In low gentle, the Pixel 7a managed higher high quality video with so much much less noise than the Pixel 6a, when recording at 4K 30fps and 60fps.


From the varied upgrades the Google Pixel 7a has obtained, the selfie digital camera and lowered battery life appear to be the one essential compromises. The Pixel 7a is lastly on par with the competitors due to the Tensor G2 SoC and comes with a clear Android 13 interface which can’t be matched at this value level. In additional methods than one, it is undoubtedly a worthy improve even for these utilizing a Pixel 6a (Evaluate).

If you’re on the lookout for quicker charging, then the OnePlus 11R 5G (Evaluate) is a a lot better selection with higher battery again up and 100W wired charging at your disposal, but it surely lacks wi-fi charging and an IP score. This makes the Pixel 7a a really distinctive providing because it gives good worth and a really distinctive set of options at Rs. 43,999, which incorporates very succesful cameras.

Its solely actual competitor is the Pixel 7 (Evaluate) which is at present priced at Rs. 55,999, which gives a bit extra polish in the case of design and construct high quality, extra succesful digital camera {hardware}, and dependable battery life. For energy customers, this stuff would matter and spending that premium over the 7a may be value it for some. 

Google I/O 2023 noticed the search large repeatedly inform us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable telephone and Pixel-branded pill. This 12 months, the corporate goes to supercharge its apps, providers, and Android working system with AI expertise. We focus on this and extra on Orbital, the Devices 360 podcast. Orbital is offered on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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