Reach out for a more affordable Pixel

The Pixel 7a delivers real value

Google made the Pixel 7a to retain as much of the power and functionality inherent in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro as it could. This smartphone is no slouch, especially as a mid-range and affordable option worthy of competing with the industry’s best in the same price range.

It’s small and sizeable all at once, courtesy of a 6.1-inch OLED display that is both bright and vibrant, complete with an onscreen fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock to get past the lock screen in an instant. Flip it over and you get a dual camera array containing much of the software magic that makes Pixel phones so unique for mobile photography.

The IP67 protection means the Pixel 7a can shake off a splash or dip in fresh water down to one meter for up to 30 minutes. Safe to snap pics in the pool or watch a show or podcast in the tub, this phone is made to hold its own. Tough glass covers both sides, but with a good case, you can truly protect it and keep everything intact.

How does the Pixel 7a compare to the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro?

Google didn’t cut as much out of the Pixel 7a as it may seem. It runs on the same Tensor G2 processor equipped in the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, also running the same version of Android, putting together an excellent mix of optimized hardware and software. Smaller than the others, it stands out as the best option if you’re looking for a smaller footprint in your hands.

Google’s Tensor G2 system-on-a-chip (SoC) is a computation marvel when paired with the company’s software and artificial intelligence (AI). Features known from the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro like Hold for Me, Call Screen, Clear Calling and Direct My Call are central to how it all works, with Voice Typing an efficient way to message with friends and family. The Recorder app can not only capture the audio, but also transcribe the words in real time.

You get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage with the Pixel 7a, including a 4355mAh battery that matches the one in the Pixel 7, only this time you also get wireless charging for added convenience—something not available in the previous Pixel 6a. The screen’s 90Hz refresh rate matches that of the Pixel 7, though is lower than the 120Hz rate available in the 7 Pro.

The colour options also get a little interesting, with Charcoal and Snow to go with Sea and Coral.

Camera offers plenty

The dual camera array in the rear starts with the 64-megapixel wide lens that uses pixel binning to increase the size of each pixel for impressive low-light results. The 13-megapixel ultra-wide lens provides a 120-degree field of view to squeeze a lot into every frame. Add the 13-megapixel front-facing camera and Guided Frame to help capture better selfies, and you have a complete setup on both sides of the Pixel 7a.

Google’s software computation works wonders before, during and after you’ve snapped a photo. Night Sight remains one of the most effective at illuminating dark scenes, while Long Exposure lets you add blur effects to a moving subject. Real Tone treats different skin tones with a natural touch, and Super Res Zoom helps mitigate the lack of a telephoto lens when you get closer to anything you want to capture.

Even after you’ve captured your images, neat features like Magic Eraser let you remove unwanted photobombers and objects to make your photo look the way you want. Photo Unblur can bring subjects back into focus within reason, helping rescue an image you might’ve otherwise parted with. The best part is you can use these tools with any image, not just those you shot with the Pixel 7a.