Google Pixel 7A Review: The New Midrange Standard

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Deal Score0

The previous week has been one of many busiest I’ve ever had. I flew to Dallas, Texas, for a good friend’s wedding ceremony, drove to Austin to go to an in-law, drove again for the marriage festivities, then flew again to New York, solely to go out to San Francisco the subsequent day for Google I/O 2023. The excellent news is that the brand new Google Pixel 7A has been in my pocket all of the whereas, by means of each leg and layover, and it is by no means felt restricted in any deal-breaking means. This is a $499 telephone, and it is simply extra proof that you just actually need not spend rather more than that to get a very good expertise lately.

Is it the right telephone? No. There are options lacking right here that some people would need. Also, battery life is simply OK, and the worth has been hiked up $50 from final 12 months’s mannequin. To treatment this, Google is constant to promote final 12 months’s Pixel 6A at a lower cost—$349—although you’ll be able to routinely discover it on the market at $299. That telephone remains to be a very good purchase at both of these costs, however must you really feel the necessity to spend a bit extra, the Pixel 7A has nearly every thing you’d want.

The New Standard

The Pixel 7A mimics the design of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 sequence that got here earlier than. It’s clear and distinctive, and it is simple to identify in a sea of iPhones and Samsungs—good for those who need to really feel totally different. It is available in Charcoal (black), Sea (child blue), Snow (white), and Coral (orangey pink), the latter of which is unique to the Google Store. The blue is just a little too faint for me—it typically seems to be white—however the Coral is drop-dead attractive. I really like a flashy telephone.

The telephone’s body is fabricated from recycled aluminum, and the again is a plastic composite that certainly not feels low-cost. (It’s additionally one much less spot for cracked glass in case you drop the telephone!) The entrance is made with Gorilla Glass 3, a product which is a number of years outdated at this level and is not as scratch- and crack-resistant as fashionable formulations from Corning, the corporate that creates the hardened glass. Using older Gorilla Glass is among the simple methods to convey down the worth of a handset. Safe to say, even when the again cannot crack as simply, it is price getting a case. This Pixel is IP67-rated for water and mud resistance although, so a drop within the pool will not destroy it.

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

The 6.1-inch OLED display screen hasn’t proven any weaknesses, even once I stared at it whereas strolling in full solar (to not point out 94-degree warmth paired with disgusting ranges of humidity) in Austin. Is it as brilliant because the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, the Pixel’s closest competitor? No, however I hardly ever needed to squint to learn the show. You’re handled to a 90-Hz refresh charge as effectively, which suggests every thing from enjoying video games to scrolling Instagram feels extra fluid, because the display screen is outputting extra frames per second than conventional 60-Hz screens. It’s a pleasant perk.

Performance shouldn’t be a difficulty both. The Pixel 7A packs Google’s Tensor G2 chipset with 8 gigabytes of RAM, the exact same stack that powers its flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. I’ve by no means seen the 7A stutter in my time with the telephone. This chipset means you get entry to most of the identical G2-specific software program options that debuted on the Pixel 7 sequence, resembling Long Exposure within the digital camera app and Photo Unblur, which did successfully unblur some faces in my images of the dance flooring on the wedding ceremony.

The Pixel 7A is among the few sub-$500 telephones to function wi-fi charging, and it is about rattling time this began displaying up in cheaper telephones. It’s a lot nicer to plop your telephone on a stand as an alternative of looking for a cable. That stated, the 7A does skip another niceties you may need appreciated to see, like a headphone jack, a microSD card slot, and a wall charger within the field (although you do get a USB-C to USB-C cable). The telephone can also be restricted to 128 GB of inner storage; it would be good if Google took a web page from Motorola and began providing 256 gigs.

Google has lengthy had a lackluster in-display fingerprint sensor, and sadly the Pixel 7A follows that very same path. On my first day of use, I needed to put my thumb on the sensor just a few instances for it to unlock. It bought drastically higher over time, however I nonetheless wanted to be extra acutely aware and deliberate about finger placement than I used to be on different telephones such because the aforementioned A54. It’s simply not an amazing sensor.

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