Google Pixel 8a Review
Google Pixel 8a Review

Has Google aced its newest ‘a’ Series smartphone?

We’ve been partial to Google’s ‘a’ series smartphones that typically land around May each year, the same time as the Google I/O. This bias started with the Pixel 6a that came with a whole bunch of camera features. Google took this a step further with the Pixel 7a and now we think the Google Pixel 8a might be the best ‘a’ series device the company has ever launched. This time it’s more than just it’s camera tricks.  


Premium vibe


Google Pixel 8a review inside image 1


It’s the same familiar Pixel design template but there are a couple of key changes. The first is the matte finish, a departure from the glossy and sometimes slippery finish of the Pixel 8a. We checked out the more sedate Obsidian colour option; it’s the Aloe colour way that’s likely to be the star this year The device features slightly rounded corners to keep it more in the same design zone as the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro that debuted in October last year. Google opts for a plastic back and a refined aluminium frame but it can pass off for glass just like its predecessors could. Google manages to keep the heft under 190 gm, the device feels really good in hand your hand. It’s a tad lighter than the Pixel 7a despite a slightly larger (4492 mAh) battery under the hood. Battery life is acceptable. We sailed through an entire day with a mix of multimedia usage.  


Key updates


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One of the big updates is the display. You get the same 6.1-inch display (1080 x 2400 pixels) but it’s brighter and smoother. The Pixel 8a features a 120Hz refresh rate display and it now peaks at 2000 nits just like the Google Pixel 8, making it much more vibrant than the Pixel 7a. We love the compact size of the display, making it easier for one-handed navigation. The other key update is Google’s Tensor G3 chipset that also powers the Pixel 8 twins. It certainly improves performance. We also found the battery performance more reliable but wish Google had upgraded the charging speed. You get the same 18W charging and 7.5W wireless charging that make it slower to charge compared to most of it’s rivals at this price range.  


That Pixel cam


Google pixel 8a


If there’s one reason we have recommended Pixel devices, it’s the rear cam. While the dual rear cam (50MP primary lens + 13MP ultra-wide lens) is similar to the Pixel 7a, there’s a marginal improvement thanks to the newer chipset. This is also one area where the Pixel 8 camera has a slight edge over the Pixel 8a. The Pixel 8a is easily one of the best cameras in this price band and scores with excellent low light images. Google has aced the power of computational photography longer than most of its rivals. Aside from regulars like Photo Unblur, Night Sight and Magic Eraser, the Pixel 8a comes with cool-new AI tools like Audio Magic Eraser feature (that allows you to scrub out audio segments within your video) and  Best Shot that we first checked out on the Pixel 8.  


Should you buy the Pixel 8a?




It’s a tough decision if you have to choose between the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8a. We’d suggest you make this decision depending on the best deal you can snag on either phone. The Pixel 8a lands at Rs 52,999 but comes with a Rs 4,000 cashback also comes with a few exchange offers. You might also find some deals on the Pixel 8. The Pixel 8 offers a slightly better camera experience and also better ingress protection (IP68 vs IP67 for the Pixel 8a). The other compelling reason to get the Pixel 8a is seven years of OS updates and a whole suite of on-device AI options. You get Google’s Gemini baked in and all those useful features like Circle to Search and Live Translate that make the Pixel 8a one of the most engaging smartphone experiences right now.


The Google Pixel 8a costs Rs 52,999 (8GB/128GB) and 59,999 (8GB/256GB) and comes in Aloe, Bay, Porcelain and Obsidian colour options. Google is offering an instant discount of Rs 4,000 on select cards and other launch offers.

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