Google’s latest midrange phone offers a string of new features found elsewhere in the Pixel 7 lineup, but it also costs $50 more than its predecessor.
The new Pixel Fold wasn’t the only smartphone Google introduced during this year’s Google I/O keynote. The budget-friendly Pixel 7A, a phone that essentially functions as a stripped-down version of last year’s Pixel 7, is already available at multiple retailers for $499.
At 6.1 inches, Google’s latest Pixel phone is just as small as its predecessor, the Pixel 6A, but this year, it comes with a few extra perks not present on the last-gen model. That includes support for wireless charging, a new chipset, and a higher-refresh display for smoother scrolling — factors that surely play into the phone’s $50 price increase.
Of course, despite the extra features, there are some tradeoffs you’ll still have to make if you plan on buying the Pixel 7A over the $599 Pixel 7 and $899 Pixel 7 Pro. Google’s newer phone lacks a triple-camera array, for instance, as well as more robust waterproofing and extra storage options.
That’s just a small glimpse of the differences between the Pixel 6A, 7A, and the rest of Google’s Pixel 7 lineup, though. To help you better understand how the phones compare, we’ve summarized some of the key differences below. We’ve also organized some of the raw specs into a table just in case you’d like to explore these features in more detail.
The phones compared
First up, let’s talk refresh rates, one area where the Pixel 7A has a leg up on the prior model. If you spend a lot of time gaming on your phone, it may be worth forking out the extra $50 on the Pixel 7A over the Pixel 6A. That’s because the Pixel 7A, just like the Pixel 7, offers a 90Hz refresh rate compared to the Pixel 6A’s 60Hz. That, combined with an extra 2GB of RAM, should make for a more seamless experience when scrolling and switching between apps on the Pixel 7A and Pixel 7.
Of course, the Pixel 7 Pro offers the fastest experience thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate and 12GB of RAM. The Pixel 7 Pro is also the sharpest of the lot thanks to its 1440p OLED display, which makes for a nicer viewing experience.
When it comes to performance, the Pixel 7A — like the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro — also uses Google’s new Tensor G2 chip. In addition to being faster than the Pixel 6A, that also means the phones sport some exclusive features. For instance, all of the Pixel 7 phones tout a new setting called Photo Unblur, which can sharpen blurry photos, even older images taken by non-Pixel cameras.
The Pixel 7 series also comes with a new Clear Calling feature, which reduces loud noises in the background while you’re talking on the phone. In contrast, the Pixel 6A is equipped with the still good yet older Google Tensor chipset. That means it lacks such features, though you can still do cool stuff like erase distracting photobombers with the Magic Eraser and sharpen the faces of moving subjects with Face Unblur.
Speaking of cameras, generally, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro offer the most capable ones, with a triple-camera array that boasts the highest-resolution sensors. Only the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro sport 50MP wide cameras and 10.8MP front cameras, though, the 7 Pro’s ultrawide camera offers a wider 125-degree field of view as well as autofocus. The Pixel 7 Pro adds a 48MP telephoto lens with up to 5x optical zoom as well, allowing you to capture even more detail. Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are capable of capturing 4K video at 60fps, as can the Pixel 7A’s main camera.
However, the Pixel 7’s ultrawide camera and all of the Pixel 6A cameras can only capture 4K video at 30fps. The Pixel 6A and Pixel 7A also only sport dual-rear cameras, yet the 7A’s appear to be better on paper. While the 6A offers a 12MP main camera and 8MP front camera, the Pixel 7A offers higher-resolution sensors, with a 64MP main camera and 13MP shooter on the front. Interestingly, the Pixel 7A also boasts the highest-resolution ultrawide camera of all the phones, including the highest-end models, albeit at just 13MP as opposed to 12MP. We should note, however, that the main sensor on the 7A is physically smaller than that of the 7 and 7 Pro, meaning it’s not going to offer the same level of performance.
Finally, when it comes to battery life, the Pixel 7 Pro is equipped with the largest battery capacity. Strangely, though, the Pixel 6A’s battery is bigger than that of the Pixel 7A and Pixel 7. Yet, as we noted in our reviews, both the Pixel 6A and Pixel 7 offer great battery life, so regardless of size, they should all likely last you at least a full day. That said, when it comes to charging, the Pixel 7 lineup trumps the Pixel 6A, allowing you to do so wirelessly. Even the Pixel 7A offers 7.5W wireless charging — a first for an A-series Pixel phone.
That’s just a rough summary of some of the main differences between Google’s various phones. If you’d really like to get into the specifics, we’ve organized all the relevant specs in the table below.