Google has just revealed its latest budget-focused smartphone, the Google Pixel 7a, and it’s a doozy of an update.
Not only does the Google 7a finally make the jump from 60Hz to a 90Hz like the regular Pixel 7, but huge camera upgrades with a sensor 72% larger than that of the Pixel 6a should see significant gains in the camera department, and there’s also the flagship Tensor G2 chipset on offer.
However, there’s a catch – the Pixel 7a is the most expensive Pixel ‘a’ phone to date, starting at £449/$499. Is it still worth that much or are there better mid-range phones available? Here’s everything you need to know about the Pixel 7a, from release date and pricing to key features and specs.
The Google Pixel 7a is available to pre-order right now, with the smartphone shipping from tomorrow, 11 May 2023.
The Google Pixel 7a is the most expensive a-series smartphone yet, coming in at £449/$499, representing a price hike of £50/$100 compared to the Google Pixel 6a.
However, we think the Pixel 7a is still great value even with a slight price increase, especially with the upgraded hardware on offer from this year’s model that brings it very close to the £599/$599 Pixel 7.
If you’re interested, you can pre-order the Pixel 7a from the Google Store right now.
£30 per month for the Google Pixel 7 and 100GB of data
The Pixel 7 is one of the best phones we’ve reviewed this year, especially for the price. Now you can get it for an incredible price that includes 100GB of data on the Three network for just £30 per month, making it even more affordable. If you’re a keen mobile photographer, it’s an ideal handset for you.
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When it comes to its overall look, the Pixel 7a doesn’t look too dissimilar to the flagship Pixel 7 – great for the budget model, but not so much for the flagship. In fact, reviewer Max Parker claimed that he could barely tell the difference between it and the Pixel 7 when first getting it out of the box.
There are some key differences though. While both Pixels sport the same aesthetics as previous flagship Pixels, complete with a protruding camera bar on the rear and pastel colour options, the Pixel 7a sports a slightly smaller 6.1-inch panel compared to the 6.3-inch screen of the standard Pixel 7.
The Pixel 7a is the first budget Pixel to make the move from 60Hz to the same 90Hz as the Pixel 7, which is extremely welcome considering plenty of budget- and mid-range phones these days tend to have a high refresh rate – though most of the competition clock in at 120Hz.
Elsewhere, you can look forward to IP67 dust and water resistance, and it’ll also be available in four attractive colours – Charcoal, Snow, Sea and Coral – with new matching Pixel Buds A in Sea to allow you to colour coordinate between your phone and accessories.
Aside from the display, it’s the cameras that have seen the biggest year-on-year upgrade with the 64MP main sensor boasting a sensor that’s a whopping 72% larger than that of the Pixel 6a, which should translate to impressive performance, especially as light levels begin to drop, and it can capture flagship-level 4K@60fps video too.
That’s paired with an upgrade 13MP ultrawide lens with a 120-degree FOV for expansive shots and a new 13MP front camera, both with support for 4K@30fps video capture.
Of course, hardware is only half of the story with the Pixel smartphones, and the phone uses the upgraded chipset – which we’ll come to in a sec – to provide a bevvy of AI-powered features like Super Res Zoom and Motion Unblur. There’s also a new Long Exposure mode, made possible by that new large main sensor.
As you might expect with previous ‘a’ entries using flagship chipsets, the Google Pixel 7a shares the same Google-designed Tensor G2 chipset as the flagship Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, as well as the top-end Google Pixel Fold also announced at Google I/O.
This not only provides flagship-level performance at a cheap mid-range price tag – something not offered by most rivals – but it allows the Pixel 7a to do magic with AI.
That includes the Pixel Call Assist feature in the US that allows you to automatically direct your call to the right department when dealing with automated phone systems, estimated wait times when put on hold and more. It also has the Pixel Speech features enabled by the T2 on the flagship Pixels including Live Translate, Recorder Speaker Labels and more.
It also allows for some truly impressive photo capabilities including Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur, previously exclusive to the flagship Pixels.
Google Pixel 7a specs
- 72.9 x 152.4 x 9mm
- 6.1-inch FHD OLED 90Hz display
- Google Tensor G2 chipset
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- Rear-facing 64MP main, 13MP ultrawide
- Front-facing 13MP selfie camera
- 18W fast charging
- 7.5W wireless charging
- Bluetooth 5.3
- Wi-Fi 6E