Saturday, July 13, 2024
Smart Phones

Google Pixel 7a vs Pixel 7: What to expect



Intro

The Pixel 7a is one of the most anticipated mid-range phones of 2023 for a good reason: this is expected to be the Google’s first affordable phone to ship with a fast refresh rate and it is also getting the latest Google Tensor G2 chip.

This is exactly what you get with the flagship-grade Pixel 7, so… why even bother with the more expensive phone when you can have basically the same features on the Pixel 7a?

In this article, we dive deeper in the differences between the Pixel 7a and the Pixel 7 because of course there is more to this than just these specs, so let’s take a closer look.

Pixel 7a vs Pixel 7 expected differences in a nutshell:

  • Pixel 7 is a bigger phone
  • Pixel 7 has larger battery
  • Pixel 7 has faster charging
  • Pixel 7a wireless charging is depressingly slow
  • Pixel 7 expected to have more camera features

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

The Pixel 7a to be lighter and more compact

Both the Pixel 7a and the Pixel 7 are NOT gigantic phones, but if you want the more compact out of the two, that would be the Pixel 7a with its 6.1-inch screen compared to the slightly larger 6.3-inch Pixel 7.

Along with its smaller size, expect the 7a to be considerably lighter, and we actually think that compact phone lovers will really appreciate this and this alone might be one of the bigger advantages the 7a has over the more expensive Pixel 7.

While other recent affordable phones like the Galaxy A54 5G have transitioned to a glass back, the Pixel 7a is expected to still feature a plastic body versus glass used on the more expensive Pixel 7. A plastic phone might not feel as premium as one made of glass, but plastic weighs less and will not shatter when you drop the phone, so it makes it much easier to use your phone without a protective case.

Both the Pixel 7a and Pixel 7 come in a selection of three colors, but these colors are different. Here is the full list:

Pixel 7a colors:

  • Light Sky Blue
  • White (Cotton)
  • Gray (Carbon)

Pixel 7 colors:

Probably the most anticipated upgrade in the Pixel 7a is the display. It’s the same 6.1-inch OLED screen as in the last year’s Pixel 6a, but what’s different is that it now supports a fast, 90Hz refresh rate. This puts it on par with the Pixel 7 and is great news. The 60Hz screen on the A series before made the experience of using the phone choppy, and this will finally fix it.

In terms of biometrics, both phones will rely on good old optical type fingerprint scanners embedded in the screen. Pixels have been criticized to have a slightly more sluggish fingerprint reader than other popular phones, and while it’s not a dealbreaker, it is something to keep in mind.

Performance and Software

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 flexes its muscle

When it comes to phones roughly in the $500 price range, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is an absolute beast of a chip.

Both the Pixel 7a and the Pixel 7 are expected to use this same chip, and it also happens to be the same chip as used on the $900 Pixel 7 Pro.

With this upgrade, the Pixel 7a will likely remain the fastest Android phone in this price range, but purely in comparison with the Pixel 7, there should be no major difference in the performance.

We could see the Pixel 7 have a slight advantage in gaming as it is a bigger phone that should be able to dissipate heat better, plus it has 8GB of RAM, while the Pixel 7a is rumored to come with 6GB of RAM.

In terms of software, there will be no differences between the Pixel 7a and Pixel 7. Both phones are expected to launch with Android 13 in the form that Google itself envisioned it.

The best thing about Pixel phones is that they get software updates immediately after Google releases them, while Android phones from other brands have to wait for months to get those updates. Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a should get three major Android OS upgrades and four years of security updates.

Camera

Pixel 7a is expected to make the jump to a high-res main camera

Google Pixel phones mostly rely on software for their image processing, but recently the flagship series have also switched to a higher resolution camera sensor, and now the Pixel 7a is also finally expected to follow suit.

This would bring the 7a on par with the 7 when it comes to using a modern sensor.

We don’t expect to see much of a difference in terms of actual photos though. Expect both to capture images with very good dynamic range and pleasing colors, with that signature “Pixel” look.

For video recording, however, we count on the Pixel 7a making bigger strides as the previous model in the series used a big crop for video and stabilization could be better. The Pixel 7 currently has far superior video recording than the A series.

Audio Quality and Haptics

We will be updating this section once we get a hold of the Pixel 7a, but we ought to mention that the Pixel 7 already has set a pretty high bar for audio quality with quite boomy and well defined loudspeakers.

In terms of haptics, many budget phones make the compromise with a haptic motor that does not provide tight vibrations, which can definitely be annoying. Let’s see whether the Pixel 7a adopts a high quality vibration motor.

Battery Life and Charging

Pixel 7 to come with the bigger battery

Both the Pixel 7a and Pixel 7 are not giant phones, but the Pixel 7 being larger we expect its 4,355mAh battery size to be bigger than the one on the Pixel 7a.

We still don’t have specific expectations about the Pixel 7a battery size, but we do expect to see a size in the vicinity of 4,100mAh (educated guess).

Both of these phones should last you comfortably a full day, but not much more.

We will be updating this section with our independent battery tests, so make sure to check back here after the Pixel 7a launch.

One important change to the Pixel 7a is in charging. Wired charging is still expected to remain quite slow at 18W, but that is actually not much slower than the 20W charging speeds on the flagship Pixel 7.

What is new on the Pixel 7a is wireless charging, a feature previously not available on the A series. However, Google is only said to bring 5W wireless charging, which is incredibly slow. In comparison, the Pixel 7 supports 20W wireless charging.

Specs Comparison

And here is a quick overview of the most important specs on each of these phones.

Summary and Final Verdict

After months of leaks and speculations, the Pixel 7a is expected to be officially unveiled at Google I/O 2023 on May 10th with an in-store release expected to happen in the following month of June.

While we still don’t know the exact price, expectations point to a $450 to $500 price, which is just below the $600 starting price of the Pixel 7.

However, we ought to mention that the Pixel 7 has seen some huge discounts recently and these days it can be commonly found at prices of as low as $450, so there might not even be a price difference by the time the Pixel 7a launches. 

The Pixel 7 still has some advantages like the more premium build quality, faster charging (especially wireless charging), but the differences are really tiny and for us picking between these two is about deciding whether you prefer the more compact Pixel 7a or the slightly larger and heavier Pixel 7.



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