The Pixel 7A Raises the Bar for the Pixel 8



We did not hear concerning the Pixel 8 at Google’s I/O convention, however the firm did launch the Pixel 7A — a extra wallet-friendly various to the Pixel 7. It is nice information for Pixel followers, for the reason that 7A gives lots of the identical advantages because the Pixel 7 — equivalent to an important digicam and the brand new Tensor G2 processor — for $100 much less. But it surely additionally makes me ponder whether Google’s A-series telephones are starting to overshadow its flagship Pixels. 

Now that Google has narrowed the hole between the Pixel 7 and 7A, it ought to suppose extra rigorously about its audience for the Pixel 8. If the Pixel 7A is for many who desire a fundamental Pixel expertise with out compromising on efficiency and digicam high quality, and the Pixel 7 Professional is for pictures fans, then who’s the Pixel 7 for? That is the query I am hoping Google solutions with the Pixel 8, together with another routine enhancements to software program help and battery life. 

Google sometimes releases new Pixel telephones within the fall, so we’re anticipating to study extra concerning the Pixel 8 in a couple of months.

The Pixel 8 wants to face out from Google’s subsequent A-series telephone 

With the Pixel 8, Google must do extra to make its upcoming mainline Pixel telephone stand out. The $499 Pixel 7A already has lots of the options most individuals are in search of in a brand new telephone, equivalent to an important digicam, easy efficiency, easy-to-use software program and respectable battery life. 

The primary variations between the Pixel 7 and 7A come all the way down to the previous’s barely extra sturdy design, bigger display screen and battery share. That latter characteristic enables you to cost suitable equipment by resting them on the again of the telephone, basically turning it right into a wi-fi charger. The Pixel 7 additionally has a bigger digicam sensor that is extra mild delicate in accordance with Google, however I did not discover a lot of an enchancment when evaluating photographs from each telephones.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7A really feel like they’re concentrating on the identical viewers: Android followers who desire a general-purpose telephone with an important digicam and a fairly sized display screen. The Pixel 7 Professional stands out for its bigger display screen, additional telephoto digicam and macro pictures. It additionally is available in a 512GB storage choice, not like the Pixel 7, and has a display screen with a better, 120Hz refresh charge for even smoother scrolling. Working example: There are many components that distinguish the Pixel 7 Professional from the Pixel 7, however not as many who differentiate the Pixel 7 from the 7A. 

Shifting ahead, there are a couple of modifications Google might make to repair that. Maybe it might barely enhance the Pixel 8’s show dimension to six.4 inches as a substitute of 6.3 inches. That may put extra distance between the Pixel 8’s display screen and a future Pixel 8A, assuming Google retains the identical 6.1-inch show dimension for upcoming A-series telephones. 

Google might additionally give the Pixel 8 a pace increase in terms of charging, for the reason that Pixel 7 and Pixel 7A supply related charging speeds (as much as 18W on the Pixel 7A versus as much as 21W on the Pixel 7). Rising the charging pace to create extra of a gulf between the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8A might make the case for getting the Pixel 8 slightly stronger. Rising the bottom storage of the Pixel 8 to 256GB, very like Samsung has carried out with the Galaxy S23 Plus, together with providing a further 512GB storage choice might additional distinguish the Pixel 8 from a future Pixel 8A. 

These modifications mixed with the prevailing variations between the Pixel 7 and 7A might definitely make the Pixel 8 really feel like a compelling alternative over upcoming finances Pixel telephones. In fact, that is assuming Google maintains its present technique of releasing new flagship and Professional telephones within the fall and a less expensive A-series telephone within the spring or summer season time-frame. 

Prolonged Android model help

Software program is a giant a part of what makes Pixel telephones so interesting, from the decision help options within the telephone app to Google’s clutter-free model of Android. The issue, nonetheless, is that Google typically gives Android model updates for under three years following a Pixel telephone’s launch. 

Although it does present safety help and different updates past that time, Google lags behind Samsung and Apple in terms of working system model help. Samsung sometimes gives as much as 4 generations of Android platform updates on new telephones, whereas Apple’s most up-to-date software program is suitable with iPhones as outdated because the iPhone X and iPhone 8 era, which launched in 2017. 

If Google might match Samsung’s 4 years, or surpass 5 years, that will make the Pixel line much more aggressive.

Longer battery life

Battery life can by no means really feel lengthy sufficient, which is why I am hoping to see some enhancements within the Pixel 8. The Pixel 7’s battery life was lengthy sufficient to get by way of a full work day after which some in my expertise. However I would need to pack a charger if I anticipated a very lengthy day. 

The Pixel 7A additionally carried out higher than the Pixel 7 in CNET’s three-hour battery take a look at, throughout which I streamed a YouTube video at full brightness and tracked the battery share at every hour. It could be nice to see Google make some enhancements on this regard on the Pixel 8.

Pixel 7A vs. Pixel 7 battery take a look at

Pixel 7A Pixel 7
1 hour 96% 95%
2 hours 90% 88%
3 hours 85% 81%

We cannot know what to anticipate from the Pixel 8 till Google pronounces its new telephones, which can doubtless occur within the fall. The digicam has been a focus for Google’s Pixel sequence, so I am anticipating to see some developments in that space, together with a brand new model of the Tensor processor within the Pixel 8. If Google makes these modifications whereas providing longer battery life, further Android help and extra unique options that differentiate the Pixel 8 from its A-series telephones, Google’s subsequent $600 telephone could possibly be a success.