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Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 7a: What’s the difference?

Google Pixel 8 Google’s latest mainline Pixel phone is really excellent, a solid refinement of what came before without rewriting things.
Google Pixel 7a $444 $499 Save $55
At a slightly lower price, the Pixel 7a is also an excellent pick, although its older chipset might mean that it doesn’t last quite as long.
It’s finally here – the Google Pixel 8 has been unveiled at last, after weeks of rumours and spec sheets leaking. It looks like a typically impressive bit of hardware from Google, too (who would have thought that would be a sensible thing to say a decade ago?).

If you’re looking to pick up a new Pixel phone, it will also leave you with a new potential dilemma after the excellent reception given to the Pixel 7a, its last phone launch. We’ve compared the Pixel 8 and Pixel 7a in detail so that you can make the right choice between these two worthy phones.

Price, specs & availability:
These two phones are both really impressive, but it’s fair to say that the Pixel 7a is a little easier to get hold of right now since it’s been on the market for months and is, therefore, really widely available.

The Pixel 8, by contrast, isn’t quite as widely sold since it was literally only unveiled today – however, it’s incredibly imminent, so pretty soon you’ll be able to buy either.

Price-wise, the Pixel 7a is on the market from $499, while the Pixel 8 should start at $699, making for a $200 difference that decides between the two even tougher. Before we break them down section-by-section, their precise specs for comparison.

Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 7aSoCGoogle Tensor G3Google Tensor G2 Display6.3-inch, Actua OLED, 2400 x 1080, 428ppi, 60-120Hz, up to 2000nits6.1-inch, FHD+, 90Hz, up to 1,000nitsBattery4575mAh, 30W fast charging, 12-18W wireless4,385 mAhPortsUSB-CUSB-COperating SystemAndroid 14Android 13Front camera10.5MP 13 MPRear camera50MP wide + 12MP ultrawide64 MP wide + 13 MP ultrawideDimensions150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm, 187g152.4mm x 72.9mm x 9mmColorsObsidian / Hazel / RoseCharcoal / Snow / Sea / CoralCharge speed30W wired / 12W-18W wireless18W wired / 7.5W wirelessIP RatingIP68IP67Display typeActua OLEDOLEDWeight187g193g

Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 7a: Design

These two phones are very recognisably from the same family of design – that’s something that Google has done a terrific job of in the last few years thanks to a much more distinctive Pixel look.

So, they both have that all-important band across the back housing the camera units, along with a range of pastel-infused colour choices to give you a few tasteful options to pick from.

There are subtle differences, but one area where the phones are nearly identical is in size and weight – they’ll feel like practically the same thing in your pocket or bag.

On balance, we slightly prefer the colour options available for the Pixel 7a, but that’s very much a matter of taste, with the Pixel 8 going for more grown-up or restrained colours.

Probably the biggest difference when you’re actually using each phone will be the bezels – the Pixel 8 has substantially reduced bezels compared to the 7a, fitting in an extra 0.2 inches of screen as a result, which underlines that it’s much more premium.

Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 7a: Display

That brings us on to display comparisons more widely – as mentioned, the Pixel 8 does have a slightly bigger display than the 7a, despite that very similar sizing. However, it’s not the sort of margin that everyone would notice in daily use.

Those bezel reductions are welcome, but perhaps the single biggest upgrade comes in terms of brightness, with the Pixel 8 able to get its display pretty much twice as bright as the 7a.

That can be really impactful if you’re using your phone outdoors or in bright light, making it way easier to read.

The Pixel 8 also gets a full 120Hz refresh rate for unbelievably smooth scrolling, compared to 90Hz on the Pixel 7a – although we’re not sure that many people you picked off the street would be able to tell the difference in every scenario reliably.

Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 7a: Hardware and specs

The Pixel lineup is where Google typically introduces the new versions of its Tensor system-on-a-chip, and that’s the case again with the Pixel 8, which hosts Tensor G3 as its heart.

Tensor G3 will be faster and more efficient and will allow for a few small features that the Pixel 7a cannot match thanks to its older G2 chip, although that shouldn’t make you think the 7a is slow.

The reality is that these are both really fast and responsive chipsets that make their respective phones feel really snappy. It just means that the Pixel 8 will get an extra year of support at some point down the line.

Much like their designs, there is a tiny difference in battery sizing that is unlikely to make a substantial difference – the Pixel 8 does have a few hundred extra mAh of battery capacity. However, with a brighter display and fancier features, we don’t expect it to have a substantial battery advantage under testing.

Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 7a: Cameras
Cameras have always been one of the best parts of a Pixel smartphone, with wizardry resulting in simply excellent results for a smartphone, but you might have read the specs comparison above and been a bit confused.

The Pixel 8 is a great example of the fact that megapixels alone do not tell the whole story of a camera system since both its wide and ultrawide lenses actually have lower megapixel counts than the older Pixel 7a.

This is testament to the 7a’s excellent camera unit, but it actually gives you a key hint – the Pixel 8’s camera hardware is refined and new, making for sharper and more detailed photos even if its raw megapixel capability is lower.

We should say you’ll get excellent photos from both phones, but the Pixel 8 has an advantage. That said, both use Google’s superb post-processing to achieve a lot of their success so that the all-important Pixel look to a photo will be manageable on either phone.

On the video side, Google says that low-light video performance and dynamic range will be much improved on the Pixel 8, so if videos are your priority you might want to opt for the newer model for that reason, too.

Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 7a: Which is right for you?
It isn’t something that we’ve focussed on that much throughout the technical comparisons above, but we really do think that budget is probably the single biggest factor determining which of the Pixel 8 or 7a you should choose. If you’re not looking to spend more than $500, there’s really only one option for you. If, though, you have a bit more money to spend, the Pixel 8 is better than the 7a in pretty much every way, even if sometimes the margin isn’t as big as you might think.

Google Pixel 8 Editor’s Choice
The Pixel 8 looks like another excellent phone from Google, and with the Tensor G3 on board and a much brighter display, it’s the top choice if you have the budget for it.

That doesn’t mean that the Pixel 7a is a total write-off, though – this phone will rightly continue to be a very popular choice, and with discounts only becoming more likely over time, you might well be able to pick it up for a massive chunk less than the Pixel 8, which is something to write home about.

Google Pixel 7a Good alternative
$444 $499 Save $55
The Pixel 7a might not be able to match the 8 for speed and display, but it’s a good chunk cheaper and is still a superb mid-range option.

Pocket-lint
https://www.pocket-lint.com/google-pixel-8-vs-pixel-7a/

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