We knew it was coming, but it still caught us by surprise – Google unveiled the Pixel 8a a week ahead of Google I/O. Does this mean that something even bigger is coming next week? We wouldn’t hold our breath for the Pixel 9 series, so let’s focus on the 8a.

Google Pixel 8a in: Obsidian
Google Pixel 8a in: Porcelain
Google Pixel 8a in: Bay
Google Pixel 8a in: Aloe

Google Pixel 8a in: Obsidian • Porcelain • Bay • Aloe

Compared to the Pixel 7a, it brings a faster, brighter screen at 120Hz and 2,000 nits (up from 90Hz, 1,000 nits) and the noticeably improved Tensor G3. Compared to the Pixel 8, you lose some display quality (no HDR10+ and no GG Victus), the sensor in the main camera is smaller (1/1.73” vs. 1/1.31”), water resistance is worse (IP67 vs. IP68) and charging (both wired and wireless) is slower.

So, it all comes down to price, so let’s look at the prices. Keep in mind that the Pixel 8 has routinely fallen to $550 in recent months and it has been as low as $500. The Pixel 7a meanwhile can can often be found under $400 and as low as $350. And note that this is the first a-series model with a 256GB storage option.

Google Pixel 8a
128GB 256GB
US $500 $560
EU €550 €610
IN ₹53,000 ₹60,000

These are the prices without a trade-in. For example, an old Pixel 7a in good condition can knock $200 off the price.

Still, is the Pixel 8a worth it? Well, we’ll try not to influence your opinion before the poll. But we’re pleased to report that the Pixel 8a will receive 7 years of support, up from the 3/4 OS updates and 5 years of security patches that Pixel 7-series and earlier devices got. So, even with mid-rangers you should no longer feel pressured to upgrade early from hardware you like just because of software.

We will also point out that the Pixel 7a MSRP was $500/€510/₹44,000 and as mentioned above, you can find it for $100-$150 less now. This is to say that the launch price of the 8a won’t hold for long.

With a Tensor G3, the Pixel 8a can run Gemini Nano
With a Tensor G3, the Pixel 8a can run Gemini Nano

Pixels aside, what else can you get? The OnePlus 12R is $500/€/₹40,000 for an 8/128GB unit. In Europe, only 16/256GB models are available at €650. This gets you an LTPO display, more powerful (and more efficient) Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and even faster charging. The dust and water resistance rating is only IP64, though.

The Samsung Galaxy A55 is €480/₹43,000 (but can be found for less), the A35 is $400/€380/₹31,000. The A55 gets a mid-range chip, but it’s a decent performer and it has great battery life. The two phones also have microSD slots but no 3.5mm headphone jacks, neither do the Pixels or OnePlus. In terms of software support, they fall short of the Pixel 8a.

Google is still keeping Pixel availability relatively limited and in those markets it inevitably faces against the Apple handsets. The iPhone 15 is similarly sized with a 6.1” display, though it runs at only 60Hz. On the plus side, the phone will be running the latest iOS for years to come. An iPhone 15 will cost you $800/€950/₹80,000.

OnePlus 12R
Samsung Galaxy A55
Samsung Galaxy A35
Apple iPhone 15

OnePlus 12R • Samsung Galaxy A55 • Samsung Galaxy A35 • Apple iPhone 15

With all that in mind, would you be pre-ordering the Google Pixel 8a?

And if you are getting a Pixel 8a, how much storage will you opt for?

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