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Google Pixel 8A Review: A Clear Choice Over the Pixel 8

Pros

  • Great digicam
  • 7 years of tool updates
  • Many of the similar options because the Pixel 8
  • Good battery lifestyles

Cons

  • 256GB garage no longer to be had on all fashions
  • Zoomed and occasional gentle photographs are not as transparent because the Pixel 8’s

After the usage of Google’s new $499 (£499, AU$849) Pixel 8A, I’ve one giant query: Why would any person pay $200 extra for the $699 Pixel 8? While there are a few notable variations between the 2, the Pixel 8A hits the entire vital notes, which makes Google’s pricier telephone really feel misplaced within the Pixel lineup. 

At a time when tech giants are stuffing their merchandise with flashy new AI options, the Pixel 8A feels delightfully easy. It inherits a few of Pixel 8’s AI gear and methods, like Circle to Search and Best Take, however does not deliver the rest new to the desk. 

Read extra: Best Phone to Buy in 2024

And that isn’t a foul factor. The Pixel 8A shines as it nails the fundamentals at a worth that feels quite reasonably priced and available. Given Google’s observe report of updating Pixel telephones with new options through the years, we will be able to be expecting it to achieve much more smarts, too. It’s laborious to pinpoint what I loved maximum about the usage of the Pixel 8A as a result of it is not about one specific development, however reasonably how the entirety comes in combination. 

There is one giant caveat that may make the Pixel 8 price purchasing as a substitute: gross sales and reductions. Carriers and shops from time to time cut price the Pixel 8, bringing it all the way down to round the similar worth because the Pixel 8A. Some wi-fi provider suppliers additionally be offering promotions that make the Pixel 8 necessarily unfastened. 

However, the ones offers generally require you to satisfy explicit instances, comparable to opening a brand new line on a selected plan or buying and selling in an eligible tool. And offers expire, that means you won’t all the time have the ability to get the Pixel 8 for a cheaper price. Google in most cases reductions its A-series telephones too, that means we would possibly see the Pixel 8A at a cheaper price in the end as smartly. 

Unless you’ll be able to get the Pixel 8 for $500 or much less at a cut price, the Pixel 8A is most definitely your best option for Android fanatics that need to keep smartly under the $1,000 mark. 

Read extra: Google Pixel 8A vs. Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

1716304072 516 Google Pixel 8A Review A Clear Choice Over the

Watch this: Google’s Pixel 8A Is Here: What’s New and Different

Pixel 8A vs. Pixel 8

Google Pixel 8 Google Pixel 8

The Pixel 8

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 8A and Pixel 8 have so much in commonplace, however there are reasonably a couple of variations between the 2 units as smartly. Google’s less expensive telephone has a moderately decrease capability battery and a display that is only a hair smaller (6.1 inches as opposed to 6.2). You would possibly not get Battery Share, the function that allows you to use your telephone as a wi-fi charger for different appropriate equipment, at the Pixel 8A. 

The Pixel 8 additionally helps quicker stressed charging and is rated for IP68 water resistance as a substitute of the Pixel 8A’s IP67 ranking. That could also be vital to imagine in case you spend a large number of time open air and like to not use a case. The distinction within the rankings implies that the Pixel 8 will also be submerged beneath extra water (1.5 meters as opposed to 1 meter) than the Pixel 8A.

The cameras additionally vary, despite the fact that you can get a large and ultrawide rear digicam on each fashions. The Pixel 8A’s digicam has a better answer, however the pixels are not as vast and the digicam lacks laser locate autofocus and a macro focal point mode. You additionally would possibly not get spatial audio, which creates a encompass sound-like impact, with the Pixel 8A.

That would possibly sound like so much. But for this worth, they are good compromises that most probably would possibly not make a distinction to the general public. 

Pixel 8A design and demonstrate

The Pixel 8A being held in someone's hand The Pixel 8A being held in someone's hand

The Pixel 8A has a 6.1-inch demonstrate, making it moderately smaller than the Pixel 8’s.

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 8A’s design strongly resembles the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Google rounded out the sides, giving it a softer really feel in comparison with the Pixel 7A. The again additionally has a pleasing matte end that feels extra top class and could also be most probably much less at risk of fingerprint smudges in comparison with the shiny Pixel 7A and Pixel 8. 

You have 4 colour choices to choose between: Aloe (inexperienced), Bay (gentle blue), Obsidian (black) and Porcelain (white). I’ve been the usage of the Aloe inexperienced colour, and I’m in point of fact playing it up to now. It’s like a moderately bolder and brighter mint color of inexperienced. 

The drawback, on the other hand, is if you wish to have extra garage, you will have to go for the Obsidian colour since that is the handiest variant to be had in a 256GB configuration. Otherwise, you will have to be content material with 128GB because the Pixel 8A does not give a boost to expandable garage, like most present telephones. That’s one facet that makes the competing $400 Samsung Galaxy A35 5G distinctive; it is probably the most few new units to give a boost to expandable garage as much as 1TB. 

The bezels framing the Pixel 8A’s display are noticeably better than the Pixel 8’s, despite the fact that you might be no longer going to be interested by this until you are looking on the two telephones aspect by way of aspect. They were not sufficiently big to really feel distracting or noticeable in on a regular basis use, although, and they are small compared to the brow and chin on Apple’s similarly-priced $429 iPhone SE. 

Google says it boosted the Pixel 8A’s demonstrate brightness in comparison with ultimate yr’s Pixel 7A, which I used to be satisfied to listen to taking into account the former type’s display regarded dim to me open air. I nonetheless to find myself cranking the brightness up open air, however it does not really feel like as giant of an issue as Pixel units I’ve examined up to now. 

Pixel 8A digicam

The back of the Pixel 8A The back of the Pixel 8A

The Pixel 8A’s digicam is basically the similar because the Pixel 7A’s.

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 8A necessarily has the similar digicam because the Pixel 7A: a 64-megapixel major digicam with a 13-megapixel ultrawide digicam. That would possibly sound like a step above the 50-megapixel major digicam at the Pixel 8’s rear digicam device (which additionally features a 12-megapixel ultrawide shooter), however answer is not the entirety. 

The Pixel 8A’s digicam has a smaller pixel width, which will also be vital in figuring out total symbol high quality since better pixels can take in extra gentle. There’s additionally no laser autofocus at the Pixel 8A, and also you additionally would possibly not get macro focal point mode both. Perhaps the absence of macro mode is why I realized some footage of meals dishes taken up shut misplaced their sharpness in positive portions of the picture. That mentioned, I do not believe this can be a deal-breaker for the general public. Those who simply need to seize footage of pals, circle of relatives, pets and holidays will to find the Pixel 8A’s digicam to be greater than have compatibility for the task. 

Overall, the Pixel 8A excelled when it got here to paint accuracy, offering pictures that felt colourful however no longer exaggerated, as is from time to time the case with Samsung telephones I’ve examined up to now. Whether I used to be photographing plant life, meals or difficult and busy scenes like a baseball (generic term) or a bustling Queens side road nook, the footage felt lifelike and true to lifestyles. But on a telephone like this, you should not be expecting to get a crystal transparent zoom. If you in point of fact desire a tool that may take sharp footage from afar at a live performance or pageant, splurge on a telephone with a devoted telephoto digicam.

Still, the Pixel 8A has a forged digicam device that carefully competitors the Pixel 8’s. As I reviewed greater than part a dozen units of footage taken on each telephones, I discovered myself with one habitual concept: These footage glance so much like those captured with the Pixel 8. 

Google Pixel 8A

A photo of a purple flower shot on the Pixel 8A. A photo of a purple flower shot on the Pixel 8A.

A photograph of a red flower shot at the Pixel 8A. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Google Pixel 8

A photo of a purple flower taken on the Pixel 8. A photo of a purple flower taken on the Pixel 8.

A photograph of a red flower taken at the Pixel 8.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Pixel 8’s pictures from time to time regarded crisper and extra detailed than the Pixel 8A’s, however I incessantly needed to view them on a big display, like a computer or observe, to note. The distinction between the 2 cameras was once extra evident in difficult capturing instances, comparable to in a dim surroundings or when zooming in. 

Take a have a look at the footage under and you can see what I imply. The Pixel 8’s model of each footage is moderately sharper than the Pixel 8A’s.

Google Pixel 8A (low gentle)

A cocktail on a table in a dim bar. A cocktail on a table in a dim bar.

This photograph was once taken in a dim bar at the Pixel 8A. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Google Pixel 8 (low gentle)

A cocktail on a table in a dim bar. A cocktail on a table in a dim bar.

The Pixel 8 captured a good photograph of this cocktail in a dimly lit bar. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Google Pixel 8A (2x zoom)

A bush with pink flowers A bush with pink flowers

This photograph was once taken at a 2x zoom at the Pixel 8A. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Google Pixel 8 (2x zoom)

A plant with pink flowers. A plant with pink flowers.

This was once taken at the Pixel 8 at a 2x zoom. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

There is, on the other hand, a bigger hole in symbol high quality between the Pixel 8A and Galaxy A35 5G, in spite of there handiest being a $100 distinction between the 2. The Pixel 8A typically produced extra correct colours and lit the topic extra calmly in maximum eventualities. In the photograph of my cat under, as an example, the colour of his fur appears extra correct within the Pixel 8A’s depiction in comparison to the Galaxy A35’s.

Google Pixel 8A

A gray and white cat sitting on a couch. A gray and white cat sitting on a couch.

It’s a miracle that Buddy sat nonetheless lengthy sufficient for this photograph to be taken. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

A gray and white cat sitting on a couch. A gray and white cat sitting on a couch.

In this photograph, the colour of Buddy’s fur has a slight tint to it. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The final analysis? The Pixel 8A’s digicam is good enough for the general public, particularly for a telephone at this worth. You’ll get a step up with the Pixel 8, however it is not really extensive sufficient to justify the distance in worth. 

As an advantage, here is one in every of my favourite footage shot at the Pixel 8A. The streetlights bleed a little bit bit, however the distinction of the darkish, cloudy evening sky towards the illuminated side road is hanging.

A photo of a bridge in the distance at night A photo of a bridge in the distance at night

The Pixel 8A takes respectable footage at evening. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Pixel 8A additionally inherits some AI-powered photograph and video modifying options from the Pixel 8, comparable to Best Take, Magic Editor and Audio Magic Eraser. Those first two options, which allow you to switch an issue’s facial features after a couple of pictures were taken in a row and take away or manipulate items in a photograph, paintings the similar means they do at the Pixel 8. Samsung’s AI modifying options have not made their method to the Galaxy A35 5G, despite the fact that I would not be shocked in the event that they in the end arrived thru a tool replace. 

Pixel 8A battery, efficiency and tool

The Pixel 8A against a yellow background The Pixel 8A against a yellow background

The Pixel 8A runs on Google’s Tensor G3 processor just like the Pixel 8.

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 8A’s battery is greater than able to getting thru a complete day on a unmarried price. On a hectic day that concerned leaving the home round 8:30 a.m., spending the day on the place of work after which going out to dinner with pals, the Pixel 8A nonetheless had 66% of its battery left at 12:43 a.m. That’s kind of 16 hours of use. 

But as all the time, battery lifestyles will range relying on how you might be the usage of your tool. I had the brightness set to a minimum of 50% or upper all through the day and most commonly used the telephone for surfing social media and e-mail, taking a couple of footage, making a temporary telephone name and enjoying cell video games for approximately quarter-hour. 

The Pixel 8A additionally carried out moderately higher than the Pixel 7A in CNET’s 45-minute battery staying power take a look at, which incorporates a mixture of basic function use circumstances like scrolling thru social media, streaming YouTube, accomplishing a video name and enjoying video games. After 45 mins, the battery dipped all the way down to 95% from 100%, while the Pixel 7A was once all the way down to 92% all over the similar take a look at. 

When it involves our longer battery take a look at, which includes streaming video with the demonstrate at complete brightness for 3 hours, the Pixel 8A’s effects had been sufficient for a telephone of its worth. The battery depleted to 83% on the finish of 3 hours, hanging it about on par with ultimate yr’s Galaxy S23 (81%) and the Pixel 7A (85%). Surprisingly, it carried out moderately higher than the Pixel 8, which was once all the way down to 79% on the finish of the take a look at, in spite of the Pixel 8’s marginally better battery. 

The Pixel 8A has the similar Tensor G3 processor discovered within the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and function turns out easy up to now. Apps open temporarily, the digicam launches simply, and video games run with out factor. Benchmark exams like Geekbench 6, which measures basic computing efficiency, and 3DMark for assessing graphics, point out the Pixel 8A is not as robust as top class units just like the Galaxy S24 circle of relatives however remains to be speedier than ultimate yr’s Pixel 7A. That turns out proper at the mark for a telephone on this worth vary.

Geekbench 6

Single Core 1,675 1,439 1,605 2,255Multicore 4,076 3,560 4,134 6,875

  • Pixel 8A
  • Pixel 7A
  • Pixel 8
  • Galaxy S24
Note: Higher rankings are higher.

3DMark Wild Life Extreme

3DMark Wild Life Extreme 2,435 1,919 2,381 4,752

  • Pixel 8A
  • Pixel 7A
  • Pixel 8
  • Galaxy S24
Note: Higher rankings are higher.

Hardware is not the one similarity between the Pixel 8A and Google’s pricier Pixels; they proportion a large number of tool options in commonplace too. You’ll get options like Hold For Me, which is able to wait on cling for you when calling positive companies, and Circle to Search, which helps you to seek for just about the rest on display by way of drawing or scribbling on it.

Circle to Search is a more moderen Android function that debuted previous this yr, and it has a large number of attainable. I nonetheless to find myself going out of the best way to use it reasonably than becoming it into my herbal telephone utilization patterns, however I’ve been inspired by way of how it is been operating up to now. When I rotated a picture of the primary persona from the preferred anime sequence Attack on Titan and requested for “displays like this,” Google pulled up tales in regards to the sequence, together with one article recommending identical content material. Google has giant plans for integrating AI much more deeply into Android telephones, as the corporate showcased all over its Google I/O keynote, so I’m certain the 8A gets extra new options quickly sufficient. 

Most importantly, Google will give a boost to the Pixel 8A with seven years of Android working device upgrades and safety updates. That suits the Pixel 8’s give a boost to timeline and marks a large bounce from the three-year pledge Google made with ultimate yr’s Pixel 7A. It’s nice to look Google extending this coverage to its less expensive telephone, too. 

But the Pixel 8A does not have the entirety the Pixel 8 has. For instance, it seems like Google’s generative AI wallpapers are not to be had at the Pixel 8A. 

Pixel 8A total ideas 

Google's Pixel 8A on a yellow background Google's Pixel 8A on a yellow background

The Pixel 8A turns out like a more sensible choice for the general public in comparison to the Pixel 8. 

James Martin/CNET

Each yr, Google improves on its A-series telephones in ways in which cope with the former era’s criticisms and shortcomings. As such, the distance between Google’s common Pixel and A-series Pixel has regularly grow to be narrower. And at this level, it is so small that I’m severely wondering whether or not the Pixel 8 is worthwhile.

There’s a laundry listing of items you can get with the Pixel 8 that are not to be had at the Pixel 8A, comparable to the power to wirelessly price different units at the again of the telephone, a moderately better display, macro focal point mode within the digicam and a better sturdiness ranking. But taken in combination, those do not really feel important sufficient to make the Pixel 8 a extra compelling possibility for the general public.

With the Pixel 8A, Google has as soon as once more raised the bar for what is anticipated of a $500 telephone. But as I wrote ultimate yr, that implies Google wishes to check out more difficult with its subsequent flagship. 

Google Pixel 8A vs. the contest

Google Pixel 8AGoogle Pixel 7AGoogle Pixel 8Samsung Galaxy A35 5G
Display measurement, tech, answer, refresh price6.1-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels, 60-120Hz adaptive refresh price6.1-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60/90Hz6.2-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60-120Hz adaptive refresh price6.6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED; 60-120Hz adaptive refresh price
Pixel density430 ppi429 ppi428 ppi389 ppi
Dimensions (inches)6 x 2.9 x 0.4 in.6 x 2.9 x 0.4 in.5.9 x 2.8 x 0.4 in.6.4 x 3 x 0.3 in.
Dimensions (millimeters)152 x 74 x 10.2 mm152 x 74 x 10.2 mm150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9 mm161.7 x 78 x 8.2 mm
Weight (grams, oz.)193 g (6.8 oz..)193 g (6.81 oz..)187 g (6.6 oz..)209 g (7.4 oz..)
Mobile tool (at release)Android 14Android 13Android 14Android 14
Camera64-megapixel (major), 13-megapixel (ultrawide)64-megapixel (major), 13-megapixel (ultrawide)50-megapixel (major), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)50-megapixel (major), 8-megapixel (ultrawide), 5-megapixel (macro)
Front-facing digicam13-megapixel13-megapixel10.5-megapixel13-megapixel
Video seize4K at 30/60 FPS4K at 30/60 FPS4K at 24/30/60 FPSUHD at 30 FPS
ProcessorGoogle Tensor G3Google Tensor G2Google Tensor G3Samsung Exynos 1380
RAM/garage8GB + 128GB or 256GB8GB + 128GB8GB + 128GB, 256GB6GB + 128GB
Expandable garageNoneNoneNoneas much as 1TB
Battery4,492 mAh (18W rapid charging, 7.5W wi-fi charging)4,385 mAh (18W rapid charging, 7.5W wi-fi charging)4,575 mAh (27W rapid charging, 18W wi-fi charging with Google Pixel Stand, 12W wi-fi charging Qi chargers)5,000 mAh (25W rapid stressed charging)
Fingerprint sensorUnder-displayUnder-displayUnder-displayOptical fingerprint sensor
ConnectorUSB-CUSB-CUSB-CUSB-C
Headphone jackNoneNoneNoneNone
Special options5G (5G sub6 / mmWave), IP67 ranking, VPN by way of Google One, Circle to Search, 7 years Android OS updates, 7 years safety updates, Best Take, Audio Magic Eraser5G (5G sub6 / mmWave), IP67 ranking, VPN by way of Google One, Circle to Search, 3 years Android OS updates, 5 years safety updates5G (Sub 6,/mmWave); IP68 ranking; VPN by way of Google One; 7 years of Android OS updates, 7 years of safety updates; Best Take; Audio Magic Eraser; Magic Editor, 2x “optical high quality” zoom; macro focal point, Battery Share5G, Samsung Knox Vault, 4 generations of Android OS updates, 5 years of safety updates, expandable garage

Source: www.cnet.com

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