When I reviewed the Pixel 7A again in May, I praised it for its smooth design, nice cameras and resemblance to the pricier Pixel 7. Revisiting the cellphone three months later has solely bolstered these impressions — together with reiterating different professionals and cons in regards to the machine. 

Google has a robust observe file for updating the software program on its Pixel telephones years after their launch with new options and performance, which retains its units feeling recent. And the identical ought to maintain true for the Pixel 7A. But since we’re probably simply a few months away from Google asserting its Pixel 8 lineup, the large query is whether or not it is value shopping for the Pixel 7A now or whether or not you need to await the Pixel 8.

Read extra: Pixel 8: All the Major Rumors About Google’s Next Phone

While we do not know what to anticipate from Google’s next-generation cellphone, the reply will largely rely upon the Pixel 8’s worth, and whether or not it comes with any compelling new options. Google sometimes declares its subsequent Pixel line in October, and will drastically markdown the Pixel 7 collection within the lead up which may make it a greater purchase than the 7A.

I typically suggest ready till Google holds its subsequent main product launch earlier than making a buying resolution. But in case you want a brand new Android cellphone now and are eyeballing the Pixel 7A, relaxation assured that you will get an awesome digicam and helpful software program options in a package deal that feels excellent: Not too large and never too small. 

Screen is simply the proper dimension, however too dim

Google's Pixel 7A

The Pixel 7A’s show typically seems too dim, particularly outside.

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 7A’s 6.1-inch dimension seems like the proper steadiness between portability and spaciousness. It’s sufficiently big to comfortably learn information tales, make video calls and scroll by means of social media, however would not really feel like a burden once I maintain it. 

Samsung does a greater job at cramming an enormous display right into a compact design. Take the Galaxy S23 for instance which has the same-sized display however feels smaller to carry — though at $800 it is considerably dearer than the Pixel 7A.

While I admire the Pixel 7A’s dimension, the display seems too dim outside. When I used the Pixel 7A exterior, even on an overcast day, I needed to enhance the display’s brightness all the way in which as much as comfortably view it. The $449 Galaxy A54 5G has a 6.4-inch show that may get brighter than the Pixel 7A’s, nevertheless it’s value noting that my colleague Andrew Lanxon discovered the Samsung cellphone in contrast much less favorably to Google’s Pixel telephones in most different respects.

Three months later, I nonetheless benefit from the Pixel 7A’s sharp design. I’ve courageously been utilizing it with out a case, and the “snow” white mannequin has stayed surprisingly clear. After years of experimenting with the Pixel’s design language, I believe Google lastly discovered the proper search for its telephones. Google launched the Pixel’s present aesthetic, which is smooth and minimalist however attracts consideration to the digicam, with the Pixel 6, and I hope it sticks with this path. 

Battery life is OK

Google's Pixel 7A phone

Google’s Pixel 7A is unquestionably a cellphone that must be charged in a single day.

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 7A’s battery life is enough however not noteworthy, though it is about on par with the dearer Galaxy S23 collection. On a full cost, the Pixel 7A was in a position to get me by means of a full day with some respiratory room within the night. On a typical work day, which for me entails taking my cellphone off its charger at round 8 or 8:30 a.m. and going to mattress between 11 and 11:30 p.m., the Pixel 7A had 46 to 56% of its battery left by the point I turned out the lights. 

That’s sufficient to make me really feel comfortable if I used to be going out after work and did not have time to plug in my cellphone at my desk. But like most telephones, you would not need to neglect to cost it in a single day. 

The Pixel 7A additionally carried out higher than all the Galaxy S23 lineup on CNET’s three-hour battery check, which entails streaming the identical video on YouTube repeatedly and measuring the battery stage at every hour. The Pixel 7A had 85% of its battery left after the third hour, whereas the Galaxy S23 had 81%, the S23 Plus had 84% and the S23 Ultra had 82%. 


Watch this: Pixel 7A Review: A Step Forward for Google’s Budget Phone

That might sound spectacular for a cellphone that is a lot cheaper than Samsung’s flagship lineup. But there are a number of vital caveats to think about. Samsung’s telephones have brighter shows with larger refresh charges in comparison with the Pixel 7A. 

Google’s cellphone additionally carried out barely worse than the Galaxy S23 Plus and Ultra, and about the identical because the Galaxy S23, on a separate battery check meant to simulate real-world utilization. After this 45-minute check, which entails enjoying video games, streaming video, looking social media and making a video name for 10 minutes, the Pixel 7A had 92% of its battery left. The Galaxy S23 had 91%, whereas the Plus mannequin had 95% and the Ultra had 94%. 

All instructed, the Pixel 7A has about common battery life, which roughly traces up with my findings once I reviewed it in May.

The digicam takes nice photographs for the worth

The Google Pixel 7A camera bar

The Pixel 7A has two rear cameras housed in a particular digicam bar that spans then whole width of the cellphone.

James Martin/CNET

The Pixel 7A’s 64-megapixel essential digicam takes sharp and colourful photographs, as I famous in my authentic evaluate. There’s additionally a 13-megapixel ultrawide digicam for capturing pictures from a broader subject of view. 

It would not examine to the digicam you’d get on a high-end cellphone just like the Pixel 7 Pro or Galaxy S23 Ultra, and it should not since these telephones are considerably dearer. But the Pixel 7A’s photographs nonetheless included a powerful quantity of element and distinction. In the photograph beneath, you may even spot grains of salt on the shishito peppers.

A photo of shishito peppers taken on the Pixel 7A.

A photograph of shishito peppers taken on the Pixel 7A.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

And within the photograph beneath, the shadows seen within the flower petals actually makes the picture pop.

A photo of a vase of flowers taken on the Pixel 7A

A photograph of a vase of flowers taken on the Pixel 7A.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Still, the Pixel 7A struggled with sharpness and readability when photographing teams of individuals in a dim indoor setting. Take a take a look at the photograph beneath, which was taken in Barcade in New York. The glowing neon signal and Ninja Turtles emblem on the display of an arcade cupboard are impressively sharp, however all of the folks within the scene look blurry.

A photo taken inside the bar Barcade taken on the Pixel 7A.

A photograph taken contained in the bar Barcade taken on the Pixel 7A.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Software updates carry new options

Google's Pixel 7A phone

The Pixel 7A runs on Android 13.

James Martin/CNET

I’ve come to understand Google’s tendency to launch new options for its Pixel telephones over time. Google calls these updates Feature Drops, and the Pixel 7A (together with Google’s different telephones) obtained one in June, a few month after its launch. The replace introduced new cinematic and emoji-themed wallpapers, the power to make use of security options by means of the Google Assistant, real-time location sharing with emergency contacts, and a brand new timer characteristic for the digicam app that permits you to begin a countdown by elevating your palm. The Recorder app additionally obtained some updates, together with assist for exporting transcripts to Google Drive and the power to create speaker-labeled video clips.

Thankfully, I have never had to make use of any of the security options, though it is good to see Google increasing these capabilities. The new cinematic wallpaper choice, which applies an impact to your photographs that emphasizes the topic within the foreground, is enjoyable to mess around with. However, I observed it typically crops in on topics too intently. It turned a selfie of my husband and I in Seoul right into a close-up photograph of simply his face. 

These options aren’t as impactful as what you would possibly count on from a full Android replace, and even Samsung’s One UI upgrades for its Galaxy telephones. But it exhibits that Google is considering how you can maintain its telephones feeling recent and related over time. I’m hoping to see much more on this regard as Google’s in-house Tensor processors develop extra superior. 

When Google introduced its Tensor chip in 2021 with the Pixel 6 collection, it talked about how the processor would enhance options that depend on machine studying. That consists of duties corresponding to photograph enhancing and voice-powered options like language translation and dictation. Continuing so as to add new options like this over time could be one other means for Google to make good on that pledge. 

Is it value shopping for the Pixel 7A proper now?

That reply is dependent upon a number of issues. First, it is perhaps value ready to see what Google has in retailer for the Pixel 8. That reply all is dependent upon the Pixel 8. Google normally declares new Pixel telephones within the fall, and the brand new mannequin will probably have a brand new Tensor processor, some digicam upgrades and a bigger display than the Pixel 7A.

However, the hole between Google’s A-series telephones and commonplace flagships is getting slimmer, because the Pixel 7A proved. It seems like Google is concentrating on the identical viewers with its Pixel 7A and its commonplace non-Pro Pixels: Shoppers who need an reasonably priced Android cellphone with an awesome digicam. If the Pixel 8 finally ends up being an iterative replace to the Pixel 7, the cheaper Pixel 7A may find yourself being the higher selection.

If you want a cellphone proper now, the Pixel 7 can also be presently on sale for $449 making it roughly the identical worth because the Pixel 7A which is discounted to $444. The Pixel 7 has a bigger display and a extra superior digicam (though in truth I could not see a lot of a distinction between photographs taken on the Pixel 7 and 7A). There’s an opportunity Google may very well be clearing out stock of the Pixel 7 upfront of the Pixel 8, however we’ll have to attend to know for positive. 


Watch this: Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 7A: How Do the Specs Stack Up?

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