Smartphones & Tablets | May 23, 2023
A few hours ago, Google hosted Google I/O 2023, the most important event of the year for Google, where numerous products were introduced, such as the Pixel Fold or the Pixel Tablet. But the most important device for us.
We have been using it for a couple of weeks, as we mentioned in its recent review, but we have also had the opportunity to compare it with the Pixel 6a, a phone that we have talked about on several occasions because it has become the de facto standard in the mid-range segment.
In this article, we are going to compare these two products as direct rivals while the Pixel 6a is still available. However, we will approach the comparison from the perspective of the average user of these smartphones, someone who is looking for a capable device but is not concerned about specifications and values the camera above all else.
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: The Pixel 7a has been announced at a price of 509 euros, which is somewhat high but within expectations. The Pixel 6a was released last year at 459 euros, slightly lower, but that’s not the most important aspect.
What’s significant is that the Pixel 6a has been available for several months now at a reduced price of 359 euros, making the difference between the two devices 150 euros, which is almost one-third of the price of the Pixel 7a and nearly half the price of the Pixel 6a.
Taking that into account, it’s obvious that the Pixel 6a is more budget-friendly, and those who prioritize cost when making a smartphone purchase will likely hesitate to pay an extra 150 euros.
However, it seems that Google will continue selling the Pixel 6a at 409 euros, although it’s unclear whether this will be a permanent price adjustment or if there will be access to discounts as there have been in the past.
It’s clear that the Pixel 7a offers an improvement in certain aspects, but not as many as one might think.
While their screens are practically identical, the Pixel 7a has slightly higher brightness, which is appreciated, and the refresh rate can be set to 90 Hz. Additionally, the automatic brightness is better than in the 2022 model.
On the other hand, although there aren’t many changes in the battery department, wireless charging is included, which is one of the most anticipated features in Google’s A-series family.
In terms of software, there are also new features, with one of the most significant being facial unlock, which is one of the capabilities we missed the most in the 2022 model.
Regarding what they are almost identical in, in terms of design, it is true that the Pixel 7a appears more premium, with better finishing, even though the aesthetic line is very similar.
We also don’t see differences in battery life or charging speed, and neither of them comes with a charger in the box.
One would have expected the Pixel 7a to have higher performance, as it features the Tensor G2 instead of the Tensor G1 found in the Pixel 6a. However, if you look at benchmark tests, you’ll see that the numbers are almost identical. In fact, they are slightly higher in the case of the Pixel 6a.
In day-to-day use, we also observe that the smoothness, performance, and overall experience are nearly identical, with no noticeable difference between the Pixel 7a’s 8 GB of RAM and the Pixel 6a’s 6 GB.
We saved the photography section for last, where there are no significant differences, but there are a few notable ones.
In daylight conditions, the results are very similar, as you can see in the simultaneous shots we took. Perhaps the Pixel 7a captures slightly more detail and handles HDR slightly better, but it also has higher contrast, which makes the photos from the Pixel 6a appear more natural.
In this aspect, there isn’t a difference that justifies the price jump.
The same holds true for low-light situations, with the Pixel 7a capturing slightly more detail, but not enough to justify switching from one phone to another.
As for the front-facing video, we liked both, preferring certain shots from one model and others from the other.
The rear video on the Pixel 7a is indeed better, thanks to improved stabilization, recording capabilities, and sound quality. While the difference may not be drastic, if these factors matter to you, it’s safe to say that the change is noticeable.
As we can see, the main issue with the Pixel 7a is its predecessor, which is available at a much lower price. If the price difference were around 50 euros, as seen in their original retail prices, the Pixel 7a would be a better option due to the extra year of updates, facial unlocking, and wireless charging.
However, with a 150 euro difference, the Pixel 6a offers better value for money.
It’s worth noting that the official price for the Pixel 6a in 2023 is 409 euros, exactly 100 euros below the Pixel 7a.
We don’t know if there will be any upcoming deals on Amazon, as we’ve seen in recent months, or if the Pixel 7a will be included in those offers.