Google’s Pixel ‘A’ series is designed to target the budget smartphone segment globally, but that doesn’t always line up with the “budget” segment in India. For example, Pixel 3a launched in India for Rs. 39,999 and offered segment-leading camera quality (with only one camera), but also fell short in terms of processing power, lack of waterproofing, etc. The Pixel 6a was the first smartphone in the series to come close to justifying its Rs. 43,999 launch price. But in our review, we found that it still lacked that premium oomph compared to the competition and fell behind on some basic features.
With the launch of the Pixel 7a, Google seems to have taken a huge leap forward and fired all guns be it specs, design or premium features. Let’s take a look at what’s new and different about it.
The Google Pixel 7a is available in a single option of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but it comes in three colors – Charcoal, Snow and Sea. The device costs Rs. 43,999 in India, which is the same as the Pixel 6a launched. There’s still no charger included in the box, just a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a quick-change adapter.
The design of the Google Pixel 7a has an updated look. The front screen gets Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, while the back panels (above and below the camera track) are still made of plastic. The camera band and frame now have an updated look, very similar to the Pixel 7 series. The strap itself with the two rear facing cameras is now made of metal and blends in perfectly with the rounded metal frame on the sides.
The Pixel 7a has also retained its IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, just like the previous model. Overall, it looks and feels quite premium, especially when compared to the older Pixel 6a.
Also updated, is the viewfinder. It still has the same form factor as the previous model, but the refresh rate has increased to 90Hz. The 6.1-inch full-HD+ OLED screen also comes with support for HDR playback. In addition to making the Android 13 software experience fluid, it should also be used during fast-paced games.
Another major update on the Google Pixel 7a is the Tensor G2 SoC. This processor can also be found in more premium devices like the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. For the first time, Google has equipped a Pixel A-series device with 8GB of RAM, as previous models were limited to just 4GB or 6GB.
The cameras also underwent an overhaul. There’s now a 64-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), which should (in theory) help capture better zoomed images thanks to Google’s Super Res Zoom feature. Accompanying it is a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and you get a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, both of which have also been upgraded over the previous model.
The Google Tensor G2 SoC on the Pixel 7a also enables new camera features like Unblur in the Photos app, faster Night Sight and long exposure modes, which aren’t possible on the Pixel 6a.
Battery capacity is the only thing that has taken a step back. It’s down to 4,385 mAh from the Pixel 6a’s previous 4,410 mAh. Google has added wireless charging to the Pixel 7a, a feature that has gradually made its way to many other mid-range devices such as the Nothing Phone 1.
Google’s Pixel 7a looks like a solid upgrade over the Pixel 6a. It definitely looks more premium, both in terms of design and additional features. But are these upgrades enough to compete with the current crop of Android phones in India, and more importantly, do they justify their price tag? Let’s find out in our full review.