Big moves in budget circles [Video]

With some substantial upgrades, the Pixel 7a improves on the Pixel 6a formula without a significant price increase. Is it worth the upgrade though? Here’s everything you need to know.

It’s hard to argue with the previous Pixel A formula. Mixing in some key specs such as a camera system with a competent processor and an attractive price brings out the best in the Pixel without the huge financial outlay.

thanks for the Cassitive To sponsor 9to5Google on YouTube!

hardware

With the Pixel 6a sitting at the end of the Pixel 6 series and the Pixel 7a sitting at the end of the Pixel 7 series, the designs overlap previous and current flagships. The camera bar is where the most notable changes come in. Google mimicked the metal “camera bar” of the Pixel 7 on its latest A-series model. It’s actually plastic while the 6a retains the glass panel that was prominent on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

The changes don’t stop there. Somewhat unfortunately, the matte black side rails have been removed. Instead, it’s matte metal around the bezel. This has a twofold effect. First, it should help with durability with fewer issues with paint chips and chips. It also frames the screen differently. Reduce the visual impact of large bezels because the frame color is different from the screen edges.

Google Pixel 6a Google Pixel 7a
measuring 6.1 inches 6.1 inches
Dimensions 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm (5.99 x 2.83 x 0.35 in) 152.4 x 72.9 x 9.0 mm (6.0 x 2.87 x 0.35 in)
an offer 60 Hz / AMOLED / FHD + / Gorilla Glass 3 / 2400 x 1,080 pixels / 429ppi 90 Hz / FHD + / Gorilla Glass X / 2,400 x 1,080 pixels / 431 ppi
Slices Google tensor Google Tensor G2
ram 6 GB DDR5 8 GB DDR5
storage 128 UFS 3.1 128 UFS 3.1
battery 4,410 mAh 4385 mAh
back camera 12.2MP Wide / 12MP Ultra Wide 64MP Wide / 12MP Ultra Wide
front camera 8 megapixels 13 megapixels
Biometrics In-display fingerprint scanner In-display fingerprint scanner
Colors Sage / Charcoal / Chalk Arctic Blue / Carbon / Coral / Cotton
Weight 178 grams 193 grams
The electronic identification number level IP67 IP67

Display quality is one of the biggest differentiators. Every smartphone is still rated at 1080p – which is pretty good for a screen this size. The caveat here is that the Pixel 6a screen is clocked at 60Hz while the Pixel 7a now has a 90Hz screen. Content flows well and the added frames elevate every interaction with your phone. It’s set to 60Hz at 7a out of the box, so we’d recommend turning it on right away.

See also  Amazon drops AirPods 2 and Pro prices, starting at just $99 today

The combination of a higher refresh rate and increased brightness makes it one of the most significant upgrades to the Pixel A-series phone since its inception. One of the nicer bonuses is that since the slabs are the same size, you can actually use Pixel 6a screen protectors this year, too — I’d recommend this one Three packs.

The only thing to note is the weight gain. The Pixel 6a comes in at 178g, and the Pixel 7a has added some heft at 193g. It may not seem like much, but it could be important to you. You also get additional color options this year with 4 for 3 only on the Pixel 6a.

Programming

Both phones run the latest Android 13 and the core experience remains identical. A few exceptions is the inclusion of Google One VPN for the Pixel 7a. This is completely free and offers free VPN service to all users for at least 5 years.

While the in-display fingerprint scanners are mostly identical and reliable, the 7a has also gained support for software-based face unlock. This is a nice extra unlock option and it’s just as smooth as it is with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.

Google Pixel 6a Google Pixel 7a
Programming Shipped with Android 12 Shipped with Android 13
Features In-display fingerprint scanner
magic eraser
Blurry face
Movement modes
Live translation on the device
In-display fingerprint scanner
face unlock
The image is not blurred
Google One VPN

The software package may be identical but the update schedule is naturally different. The 6a has received one of the three promised OS updates and will be eligible for Android 15. While the Pixel 7a is set to get Android 14 through Android 16. With 5 years of security patches also available, you’ll get support for up to July 2027 and July 2028, respectively.

See also  Microsoft Bing now uses OpenAI's DALL-E AI to convert text into images

One of the most notable performance improvements is the higher refresh rate screen. This enhances interactions and while 6a is not slack, it does feel slower as a result. The RAM boost to 8GB should also mean the 7a gracefully steps out with more apps that can take advantage of the added memory.

battery

With similar dimensions come similar internal cell sizes, but last year’s Pixel 6a has the advantage here — not by much. There are a few factors that come into play when it comes to the lifespan of each phone. First, the Pixel 6a has a 60Hz screen. The first generation Tensor processor seems to be more power hungry in our experience.

Even with the screen set to 90Hz, the Pixel 7a can get close to the Pixel 6a’s lifetime levels. It can last longer at 60Hz and with the improved Tensor G2 power draw. Either phone can be relied on all day long and can handle some heavy usage without experiencing issues.

Google Pixel 6a Google Pixel 7a
battery size 4,410 mAh 4385 mAh
Shipping speed 18W wired 18W wired
7.5W Qi wireless

Upgrades have come to 7a’s charging options. Wired charging sticks at 18W, which takes a few hours to charge your phone to 100%. The defining piece is undoubtedly the addition of wireless charging. It’s annoying at a maximum of 7.5W, but you can now use the Pixel Stand and enjoy the ability to charge without plugging in cables.

cameras

If you want the best camera, the Pixel 7a offers the first A-series upgrade since 2019. Google ditched the 12MP Sony IMX363 camera and also improved the ultrawide and selfie cameras. Visually, you may not notice subtle differences at first, but the added sharpness and larger 64MP main sensor are a great combination for crisp, pixel-clear images.

See also  Best Weekend Deals: New Apple iPad Air, Lots of PC Games, and More

Zoom is where you’ll see massive improvements though. The larger main sensor enables improved Super Res Zoom. The sensor cropping and improved processing mean that 2x photos will look much better, while 8x photos are much better on the Pixel 7a versus the 6a.

A number of functions have not been carried over to the Pixel 6a while the Pixel 7a benefits from a slew of 7 Series options including improved 8x zoom, guided bezel, Real Tone 2.0, and more. Some of this is based on Tensor G2 processor improvements but may be important to some people. It gains these options while also including all 6a still image and recording functions such as Locked Focus, Cinematic Pan, and more.

Google Pixel 6a Google Pixel 7a
main sensor Sony IMX363
12.2 megapixels
f1.7 aperture
Sony IMX787
64 megapixels
f1.9 aperture
secondary sensor Sony IMX386
12 megapixel ultra wide angle
f2.2 aperture
114˚ field of view
Sony IMX712
13MP Ultra Wide Angle Camera
f2.2 aperture
120˚ field of view
front sensor Sony IMX355
8 megapixels
f2.0 aperture
Sony IMX712
13 megapixels
The lens aperture is f / 2.2
Camera hardware features OIS
EIS
PDAF
OIS
EIS
PDAF
Camera software features night photo
Portrait light
4K UHD 60fps
true tone
movie
Focus locked
active mode
8x magnification
Prompt frame
4K UHD 60fps
4K UHD 30fps (portrait and wide)
10-bit HDR10 video
True Tone 2.0

The ultrawide improvements seem minimal at first, but when you use the camera you can zoom out to 0.6x instead of 0.6x. This extra 6-stop increase in your field of view can be useful by allowing you to get a little more frame before you hit the shutter button.

Selfie shots are also improved with a big bump from 8MP on the Pixel 6a to 13MP on the 7a. This upgrade was necessary to enable Face Unlock, which requires high-resolution facial data.

Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7a: Which should I choose?

Pixel 6a pixel 7a

about the upgrade: 9to5Google He often makes specific recommendations about the product. Sometimes, we may suggest not to Upgrade, for various reasons including, but not limited to: increased device cost, negligible performance gains, or environmental impact. Whether or not to upgrade is always your call, but our goal is to help you make as informed a decision as possible.

For anyone on a budget or looking for a backup device, Google made the sensible decision to keep the Pixel 6a in the lineup for another year. However, the Pixel 6 may be a better choice if you want to opt for an older model. However, Google made the right decision keeping the 6a at $349, and it’s still a great entry-level package.

The Pixel 7a hits many of the marks that previous Pixel flagships have targeted. This makes it one of the most compelling budget options in every region in which it will be sold. $499 gets you a lot of a phone. It also suffers a bit from its predecessor. The Pixel 7 has some significant upgrades that make it worth a look.

In our eyes, the Pixel 7a is the improved A-series device we should have seen Google launch last year. Sure, it seems a year too late but it has enough in the tank to be a great affordable Android phone for years to come.

FTC: We use affiliate links to earn income. more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *