Google Pixel 7a First Impressions: The Pixel ‘A’ Series Goes Premium
Google’s Pixel ‘A’ series is designed to target the budget smartphone segment globally, but that doesn’t aways line up with the “budget” segment in India. For example, the Pixel 3a was launched in India at Rs. 39,999 and it offered segment-leading camera quality (with just one camera), but also fell short in terms of processing power, lack of waterproofing, etc. The Pixel 6a was the first smartphone in the series to come close to justifying its Rs. 43,999 launch price. But in our review, we found that it still lacked that premium oomph compared to the competition, and fell behind on some basic features.
With the launch of the Pixel 7a, Google seems to have taken a big leap forward and has gone all-guns blazing, whether it’s specs, design, or premium features. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new and different about it.
The Google Pixel 7a is available in a sole 8GB RAM and 128GB storage option, but it comes in three colours – Charcoal, Snow and Sea. The device is priced at Rs. 43,999 in India which is the same what the Pixel 6a launched at. There’s still no charger bundled in the box, just a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a quick-switch adapter.
The Google Pixel 7a’s design has got a refreshed look. The display on the front gets Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, while the rear panels (above and below the camera band) are still made of plastic. The camera band and frame now have an upgraded look which is very similar to the Pixel 7 series. The band itself with the two rear-facing cameras is now made of metal and blends seamlessly with the rounded metal frame on the sides.
The Pixel 7a has also maintained its IP67 rating for dust and water resistance just like the previous model. All-in-all, it looks and feels quite premium especially when compared to the older Pixel 6a.
Also upgraded, is the display. It still has the same form factor as the previous model but the refresh rate has been given a bump up to 90Hz. The 6.1-inch full-HD+ OLED display also comes with HDR playback support. Apart from making the Android 13 software experience fluid, it should also come in use while playing fast-paced games.
Another major upgrade in the Google Pixel 7a is the Tensor G2 SoC. This processor can also be found in more premium devices such as the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro. For the first time ever, Google has equipped a Pixel A-series device with 8GB of RAM as previous models have been limited to 4GB or 6GB only.
The cameras have also gotten an overhaul. There’s now a 64-megapixel primary camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), which should (in theory) help capture better zoom images thanks to Google’s Super Res Zoom feature. Accompanying it is a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and you get a 13-megapixel selfie camera upfront, both of which have also been upgraded over the previous model.
The Google Tensor G2 SoC in the Pixel 7a also enables new camera features such as Unblur in the Photos app, faster Night Sight and Long-exposure modes, which are not possible on the Pixel 6a.
Battery capacity is the only thing which has taken a bit of a step back. It has dropped to 4,385mAh from the previous 4,410mAh on the Pixel 6a. Google has added wireless charging on the Pixel 7a, a feature that has gradually made its way to many more mid-range devices such as the Nothing Phone 1.
Google’s Pixel 7a seems like a solid upgrade over the Pixel 6a. It definitely feels more premium, both, in terms of design and added features. But are these upgrades enough for it to compete against the current crop of Android phones in India, and more importantly, does it justify its price tag? We’ll find out in our full review.