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Google Pixel 7a Review

The a-series of the Pixel phone line-up has finally landed around the world, and those who enjoy many premium Google phone features at a discounted price are going to be very excited. This year, Google has opted for even less disparity between the Google Pixel 7 and the Google Pixel 7a, and with only (MSRP) $200.00 separating the two at retail in Canada, I wondered which provided the better value. Let’s dive into the Pixel 7a and see how it compares to the Pixel 7 in quality and features.


When you unbox the Google Pixel 7a and take a quick look at the design and body of the device, it’ easy to already begin pinpointing the differences between the two devices. Most notably, while both are using Gorilla Glass for the front of the display, Google has cut down on the cost of materials by using a plastic back panel on the 7a, as opposed to the Gorilla Glass panel used on the standard 7. While I would prefer a glass backed phone, the 7a still feels really good when I’m holding it, and since I case-up my phones anyway, how much extra value is the Gorilla Glass backed 7 providing in design and build quality? The 7a is still a quality phone, and shares the same small camera bump on the back, and aluminium casing around the edges.


The 7a screen is slightly smaller at 6.1 inches compared to the 6.3 inch screen on the – the cameras are also almost identical, with the 7a getting a 64mp main camera and 13mp ultra wide, while the standard 7 has a 50mp main camera with a 12mp ultra wide. While the battery in the 7a is just slightly larger than that in the 7, the wireless charging is at 18W opposed to 21W for the 7. That means wireless charging with the 7a is not going to be great, and after some testing, it really is almost a waste of time.

Both devices are using the Google Tensor G2 chip, so performance on both phones is again almost identical. It is worth noting that while the 7a does have 90hz refresh rate, it’s not toggled on by default, so you will need to toggle it in the settings to get that super smooth experience. This 90hz refresh rate is new to the ‘a’ line-up of Pixel phones, and a welcome addition for sure.

When you fire-up your Pixel 7a, you can expect all the great features that were lauded by critics when the 7 was announced. You will get the outstanding voice-to-text recorder, you’ll be able to snap photos to translate signs, menus, and more. Yes, you will be able to remove things from images to make sure that you always have the perfect shot. While the Pixel 7a is more expensive than previous ‘a’ series phones from Google, and while it has almost priced itself out of the mid-range phone space, the value here in my opinion is incredible.


I’ve used Pixel phones from the 3XL until the 5a, missing the Pixel 6 generation entirely. During that period, I moved off of Android back to iOS and iPhone. Going back to Pixel with generation 7 has been an eye opening experience. So many of the great features I remember Google implementing, along with all these new features from generation 6 and 7, have made the Pixel 7a my go-to daily use phone right now.

I still love what Google is doing in the camera space as well – while I would like to see some improvement in the video quality, I still would take the picture quality of the Pixel phones over most phones, any day of the week.

I’ve been playing a lot of Star Wars: Shatterpoint thanks to my friends at Asmodee Canada and Atomic Mass Games. Shatterpoint is a tabletop skirmish game that uses painted miniatures and terrain on table.

I’ve been using the Pixel 7a to snap some absolutely gorgeous shots of Lord Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi duelling atop a building, and pictures of Ashoka leading her Clone Troopers into battle against Count Dooku. The pictures quality has been phenomenal (as you can see), and I’ve been getting some praise via online forums for the game, not just because of the quality of the paint job on the miniatures, but for the quality of the photos.


Google Pixel is back in my life, and I really couldn’t be happier. Outside of lackluster wireless charging, there are very few things I want to complain about. Without a case, I would be slightly concerned about how quickly the back panel of the phone would scratch up, and what would happen should the plastic body hit the ground. While I would recommend casing-up your Pixel 7a should you get one, I still think long term you will be OK without, as long as you provide the same care you would to this phone as you would any other phone.

If you are in the market for a new smartphone in 2023, you can spend a lot more than what you’ll spend to get the Pixel 7a. And even with the Pixel 7 going on sale rather frequently lately, I’m not sure I’d entertain buying that over this.


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel