Google Pixel 7a Evaluation: The Mid-Vary Champ

The Google Pixel 7a is a rarity. It’s a mid-range cellphone that performs above that spec in lots of areas, making it exhausting to cross particularly when the worth begins at $499.

This places the way forward for the A sequence into query as a result of the road between the Pixel 7a and Pixel 7 blurs a lot that the 2 gadgets are nearly indistinguishable from each other. It’s $100 much less to go together with this cellphone, however even in the event you look past Google’s lineup, there are a number of the explanation why this can be your best option for these on a price range.

Design and Construct High quality

The Pixel 7a falls proper consistent with Google’s present design language, together with the strip housing the rear digicam array. A brushed steel end helps it stand out much more, although it has restricted safety because it protrudes out. As a substitute of glass, the again panel is manufactured from polycarbonate supplies, which may make it much less prone to cracking, however equally susceptible to fingerprints and smudges. I didn’t have a case for my assessment unit, however I might advocate getting one.

Google Pixel 7a

It’s good to see a mid-range cellphone get a 90Hz refresh price for the display screen for smoother navigation. It’s off by default and you may flip it on within the settings, the place considerably surprisingly, it doesn’t sap battery life as a lot as you would possibly count on. The 6.1-inch OLED is identical panel because the Pixel 6a, although it’s 200 nits brighter this time. Google additionally managed to enhance the fingerprint sensor and convey Face Unlock to the Pixel 7a, although the latter solely works for unlocking the display screen, not for any biometric passwords on different apps.

Google Pixel 7a

Beneath, the cellphone runs on the identical Tensor G2 processor the opposite Pixel 7 telephones do, opening up numerous useful options obtainable to these two. That additionally goes for a lift in RAM to 8GB with the acquainted 128GB of storage. The Pixel 7 has one benefit in that there’s a 256GB variant.

Regardless of a smaller 4,385mAh battery, it runs extra effectively right here due to the Tensor G2, lasting a couple of hours longer per cost, on common. Plus, Google lastly brings wi-fi charging to the A sequence right here with solely 5W charging energy, so it’s slower than your common charger.

Digicam Options

Figuring out Google’s behavior for sticking to acquainted {hardware}, I used to be shocked to see it go together with a brand new digicam module in each the rear and entrance cameras. If this can be a signal of issues to return, we could begin to see a better emphasis on {hardware} to match the software program in future Pixel gadgets.

This time, the Pixel 7a will get a brand new 64-megapixel fundamental digicam (26mm equal), a Sony IMX787 sensor that additionally marks the primary time an A sequence cellphone will get a Quad Bayer Kind 1/1.73 sensor with 0.8µm. It additionally has an f/1.9 aperture and optical picture stabilization. The 13-megapixel ultra-wide (14mm equal) has a 120° area of view and f/2.2 aperture. It additionally makes use of a Sony sensor, the IMX712. The 13-megapixel entrance digicam, which has an ultra-wide 20mm equal focal size, can be new to the Pixel line.

Google Pixel 7a

As at all times, there’s no telephoto lens (solely the Pixel 7 Pro has one), so it’s important to depend on Google’s secret sauce within the type of Tremendous Res Zoom to salvage cropped images with out pixilation ruining them. That goes as much as 8x zoom, with a 2x shortcut at all times obtainable within the digicam app, which is critical as a result of the earlier Pixel A sequence telephones have been at all times neglected of Google’s hybrid zoom options.

Software program Options

Google’s fashion was at all times to sprinkle its software program prowess from the flagships into the A sequence telephones to develop a gradual shooter at a extra reasonably priced value. That premise stays the identical, solely it feels just like the hole is shrinking quick.

Google Pixel 7a
Night time Sight

The entire commonplace onscreen controls apply, be it the sliders for highlights/shadows and colour temperature, in addition to automated assist that steps in, like how Night time Sight can activate inside the principle Digicam mode in low-light situations. Google additionally properly introduced in Lengthy Publicity mode as an additional within the interface, although nonetheless no signal of Motion Pan from the flagships. Nor do you get Cinematic on the video aspect.

Google Pixel 7a
Lengthy publicity

You’ll be able to shoot in RAW, however not at full decision in both RAW or JPEG, so the principle digicam at all times shoots with pixel binning at 16 megapixels. Sadly, no guide controls, both.

Google Pixel 7a
Shot in RAW, edited in Lightroom.
Google Pixel 7a
Magic Eraser

The opposite software program options obtainable in Google Pictures additionally stand out, led by Magic Eraser to take away individuals and objects from photographs. Camouflage, which debuted within the Pixel 6a, additionally returns, together with the Unblur and Portrait Blur instruments launched within the Pixel 7 flagships. Google added an additional one known as Sky, the place you possibly can apply color tone adjustments to the sky in any photograph.

Picture High quality

Fundamental digicam

With totally different {hardware} beneath mixed with Google’s software program computation, the Pixel 7a feels prefer it jumped ahead farther from its predecessor. Not solely is Night time Sight twice as quick because it was earlier than, all picture render quicker whatever the mode. Whereas I might’ve preferred extra granularity all through, I can’t actually complain about what I captured when utilizing a cellphone that prices a lot lower than a typical flagship as of late.

Google Pixel 7a
Shot with the Google Pixel 7a

Google additionally correctly acknowledged the place it wanted to train some warning. The automated Night time Sight throughout the Digicam mode (which is elective) doesn’t at all times activate in low-light situations when it deems there’s sufficient gentle to go with out it. There will likely be instances it steps in unnecessarily, however I can’t say it ever actually ruined a photograph. Nonetheless, typically much less is extra, and it’s good to have the choice to disable that software onscreen.

Google Pixel 7a
Shot with the Google Pixel 7a.

All of this appears like a welcome shift in comparison with the typically aggressive method taken with the Pixel 6a. This cellphone does a greater job locking on focus and never excessively sharpening the ultimate composition. Even with RAW, outcomes got here out higher after engaged on them in publish. Dynamic vary is superb for a mid-range cellphone, with few that I can consider coming as persistently shut because the Pixel 7a does.

2x Zoom

Portrait mode is restricted by the shortage of a telephoto digicam, however once more, digital zoom is surprisingly efficient. That’s additionally true when zooming in at 2x on any topic, considerably negating the shortage of true optics that can assist you get nearer. Lengthy Publicity is a welcome addition due to the way it invitations experimentation, solely I want there was a approach to manually management the size of the publicity.

Google Pixel 7a
Portrait Mode


This can be a fastened focus lens, so that you lose out on a macro mode to shoot up shut. Regardless of that, the ultra-wide accords itself nicely in most conditions. Very like the principle digicam, although, low-light photographs worsen the additional away the topic is. The sphere of view is broad sufficient to squeeze rather a lot into the body, so perspective typically received’t be an issue. It simply relies on what you’re taking pictures and the angle you wish to take.

Google Pixel 7a Review

The excellent news is dynamic vary comes out trying wealthy with these images, too. Google tends to lean in direction of extra distinction by default with its digicam, which you’ll at all times alter utilizing the sliders, however I preferred that I didn’t have to fret as a lot about dramatic variations in gentle throughout the identical body.

Video Options

Not like nonetheless pictures, nothing dramatically modified on the video aspect with the Pixel 7a. You’ll be able to nonetheless document in 4K at 60fps, although it’s important to knock that all the way down to 30fps when utilizing the ultra-wide lens. If you really want the broader angle and a quicker body price, then it’s important to shoot at 1080p/60fps. Dynamic vary simply doesn’t have fairly the identical steadiness right here, leaning a bit an excessive amount of towards contrasty tones that don’t at all times look true-to-life.

That’s to not say all footage is dangerous, simply that you’ll want to regulate brightness typically. Sadly, there’s no approach to management each shadows and highlights like you would with stills, so the obtainable instruments provide you with much less to work with. Speech enhancement now works with each the rear and entrance cameras, providing you with some flexibility in the way you seize audio.

A Very good Mid-Vary Shooter

It ought to shock nobody who is aware of the Pixel lineup that the Pixel 7a is a aggressive mid-ranger, given the historical past of the A sequence. What stands out is how a lot the road blurs between the 7a and the 7, elevating questions for me as to what Google plans to do about it. Does it take away the “Professional” suffix from its flagship and simply launch one cellphone in a single dimension, leaving the A sequence to take over because the smaller different? Or, does it attempt to ramp up what the flagships supply to place a long way between them and the extra budget-friendly A sequence?

Google Pixel 7a

It’s exhausting to inform till the Pixel 8 sequence comes out, however for now, the Pixel 7a stands out as the most effective telephones $500 can purchase. When your digicam wants are modest otherwise you need a competent shooter you possibly can depend on with out paying a small fortune, it’s exhausting to see one which performs higher from prime to backside for the worth.

Are There Alternate options?

The obvious different must be the Samsung Galaxy A54, which additionally follows an identical path whereby Samsung is attempting to maximise what it could actually deliver to its mid-range line. It gives an additional lens, plus extra guide controls, however could not fairly match the software program for producing the identical high quality photographs.

The Vivo V27 Professional has much more than Samsung does, however is considerably hindered by a murkier software program replace cycle relative to the commitments Google and Samsung promise. You can also’t rule out the iPhone 14 if you would like an even bigger cellphone that retains a lot of the identical digicam means of its Professional siblings.

Ought to You Purchase It?

Sure, even if you’re considering of upgrading from the Pixel 6a. Google plugged a number of function gaps right here, making this cellphone really feel achieved and full as a extra reasonably priced possibility.

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