Google made its budget phone so good that it might have to stop making budget phones altogether.
Rumors are swirling(opens in a new tab) that Google might kill the Pixel A-series line in 2024, and for good reason: The cheaper handsets are starting to resemble the previous year’s flagships a little too much. That’s definitely the case with the $500 Pixel 7a, Google’s newest phone and possibly the final A-series Pixel.
Announced during the 2023 Google I/O presentation, this is essentially a $100 cheaper Pixel 7 with a slightly smaller screen, but little else in the way of compromise. Its performance and battery life remain exceptional, while its main camera got a megapixel upgrade while retaining all of the same software wizardry that made last year’s Pixel 7 phones so great.
In other words, the Pixel 7a might be the phone the Pixel 7 should’ve been all along. Android lovers in need of an upgrade may want to jump on this deal before Google kills the best value in smartphones.
A familiar face
As is tradition with Pixel A-series phones, the Pixel 7a did not get a significant facelift from its more expensive older sibling. The signature metallic camera bar on the back returns, along with the single-tone color scheme that unfortunately made the Pixel 7 a lot less distinctive than the Pixel 6. That said, the color choices this time are nice: white, black, orange, and light blue.
Really, the only mildly shocking thing about the Pixel 7a is how much its specs resemble the Pixel 7, less than a year after that phone came out. Everything listed below is the same as the Pixel 7, unless noted otherwise:
6.1-inch display with 90Hz refresh rate (was 6.3-inch on Pixel 7)
128GB storage (Pixel 7 had a 256GB option)
Tensor G2 chipset
64MP main rear camera (was 50MP on Pixel 7)
13MP ultrawide lens
There are a couple of notable and very welcome inclusions here that help justify the Pixel 7a costing $50 more than last year’s Pixel 6a. First up is face unlock, which makes unlocking the phone so much faster that you may find yourself never using the under-display fingerprint sensor again. The Pixel 7a also boasts wireless charging, giving it another big leg up over its previous A-series brethren.