Pixel 7A Review: There’s A Lot To Love, But…

Pixel 7A Review
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Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well! So for the past 30 days, I have been using the Google Pixel 7A as my daily driver and I am absolutely loving it. Talking of its availability, the device is unlikely to launch here officially just as the previous Pixel devices. Importing from India could have been a good option but MDMS will get you to pay an extra amount to make the device legal. 

With the current MSRP of INR 44,000 in India or $500 in the US, the Pixel 7A simply doesn’t offer the best value. But the great thing about Pixel phones is they always get a lot cheaper after a month or two. Just look at last year’s Pixel 6A, which is now 34% cheaper than what it initially launched for. Similarly, the Pixel 7 originally went for INR 60,000 but is now available for INR 50,000.

So if we consider that price drop in the future, the Pixel 7A is an incredible midrange phone to buy! I think Google has compromised in the right areas to deliver a well-balanced phone here! Plus, with the recent updates, some of the issues such as overheating, battery drain, and camera stopping after a few minutes of recording – have all been fixed. And I think this is the right time for me to drop the Pixel 7A Review.

Pixel 7A Review: Specifications

  • Body: 152.4 x 71.12 x 10.16mm, 192.77 gm, IP67 rated
  • Display: 6.1″ FHD+ OLED, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 3
  • Chipset: Google Tensor G2 5G (5nm)
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB UFS 3.1 storage (fixed)
  • Software: Android 13
  • Rear Camera: Dual (with LED flash)
    – 64MP f/1.89 primary sensor, 1/1.73″, OIS
    – 13MP f/2.2 ultrawide sensor, 120° FoV
  • Selfie Camera: 13MP f/2.2 sensor, 95° FoV
  • Battery: 4385mAh, with 18W wired and 18W wireless charging
  • Security: Fingerprint sensor (optical in-display)

Pixel 7A Review:

Design

Like always, let me start with the things that I really liked about the Pixel 7A. And its form factor is definitely on the top of my list. It’s currently the cheapest compact phone you can buy right now, and it feels incredibly comfortable to hold and use with one hand.

The back here is similar to the more expensive Pixel 7 and 7 Pro while this camera layout is also much better looking than last year’s Pixel 6A for me.

To keep the cost down, Google has used plastic on the back, but it doesn’t feel cheap or anything. In fact, I initially thought it was glass! But since plastic tends to get scratched easily, which btw I have already got some, it’s better you case it up!

Other than that, you do get aluminum frames and a nice heft overall. It held up to Jerry Rig’s bend tests admirably well, it is IP67 dust and waterproof, and the metal buttons on the side have a nice tactile feedback to it as well. So the overall construction of the Pixel 7A is pretty darn good!

Display

Upfront, you get a good-quality display too. It’s a Full HD 90Hz OLED panel with very good touch response, nice haptics, and super accurate colors.

But having tested so many good midrange phones lately, I must say that the Pixel 7A’s display is simply not as good as the competition! At a similar price, you will get a much brighter display with thinner bezels and a more fluid 120Hz refresh rate from companies like OnePlus, Vivo, and even Samsung!

Pixel 7A Media playback
Display

That being said, I didn’t have any problem with this screen. Yes, the bezels could have been slimmer like the one on the Galaxy A54 and maybe the brightness could have been higher for better outdoor visibility, but for watching movies or just interacting with the phone, I have no complaints.

BTW, HDR playback also works well here when watching movies and series on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The speakers are fairly decent, but nothing extraordinary. But, I got to admire the location of this fingerprint sensor & it’s quite fast too!

What about the Performance

Ok, let’s now talk about the performance and this is the one aspect where Google has been facing a lot of criticism recently because of the Samsung-made Tensor chipset.

And the Pixel 7A is powered by the same Tensor G2 chip that we saw on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. But since the 7A is a much cheaper device, I think we can go easy on the Tensor G2. So for the price, the 7A’s performance is really good!

It’s smooth and I never got a hint of any stutters. It performs much better than the Galaxy A54, that’s for sure. The Pixel experience here is also more polished coming in 2023, and the bugs are also nonexistent.

Pixel 7A Gaming
Gaming

Likewise, In my 1 month of testing, I also never faced any overheating issues during my regular usage and that’s coming from someone who’s on mobile data all the time. However, the Tensor G2 does heat up while gaming and it throttles the performance with a big dip in fps numbers.

For casual gamers like me, I was getting stable 60fps in games like PUBG and COD by lowering the graphics settings. You can also play high-fps-ready games like Mech Arena at 90fps, but unoptimized and heavy titles like Genshin Impact are only playable in medium settings.

And even so, the phone gets quite hot and toasty if you play these games for more than 30 minutes. So, for gamers, the Pixel 7A is of course a no-go! You should be looking at the OnePlus 11R or the Poco F5 instead. But what those phones don’t offer is a reliable and consistent camera!

Camera

With the Pixel 7A in my pocket, honestly, I didn’t miss my S23 Ultra like… 90% of the time because it was able to pull out great-looking photos; both during daytime as well as nighttime. As with all Pixel phones, you get accurate colors that are slightly on the vibrant side, but it still looks pleasing to the eyes.

I also like the portraits & selfies. This time, compared to last year’s Pixel 6A, you get better skin tone, and the background blur is done nicely too. But I did miss the dedicated telephoto lens since its 2X portraits don’t maintain too many details.

You also get an improved ultra-wide angle lens with a wider field of view, which is pretty good considering its price. It’s much better than the one you get on the Galaxy A54 and the OnePlus 11R.

The videography aspect is also okay, but this was one aspect where I missed my S23 Ultra since Pixel 7A’s stabilization is just not as good as a flagship phone. It also struggles to lock focus at times, but if you look at the positives, you can click 4K videos from all the 3 lenses and if you have a gimbal and good lights, you can get some good footage.

Battery and Charging

Likewise, there are a couple of things that could have been better in the Pixel 7A. First, I think the battery could be more optimized. It’s just average right now, giving me less than 5 hours of Screen On Time and I have to plug it in as early as 6 PM in the evening.

Pixel 7A Charging

And the charging speed here is painfully slow too! You only get 18W charging support, which takes the phone to just 35% in half an hour, while a complete refill takes a full 2 hours!

Maybe Google could’ve bumped the charging speed to 30W here since its battery life as I said is pretty meh!

Pixel 7A Review: Conclusion

So overall, if you look at everything this phone has got, I think Google should have priced it more aggressively, rather than gradually decreasing the price. And yeah, you should definitely play a waiting game if you want to get the best value out of the Pixel 7A.

Pixel 7A Camera

However, if you can’t wait, I still believe last year’s Pixel 6A is still a fantastic phone that offers a very similar experience to the 7A! That phone is available at as low as INR 27,000, which for me is a steal considering its cameras are almost as good as the 7A.

Google Pixel 7A Review: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Super Clean Stock Android UI
  • Versatile Cameras
  • Good Performance
  • Decent Display Quality

Cons

  • Subpar Battery Life
  • 18W Charging
  • Heating while gaming
  • Not so good stabilization for videos
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
8.5
Display
9
Performance
7
Back Cameras
9.5
Front Camera
9.5
Audio & Haptics
7.5
Battery
6.5
Value for Money
6
pixel-7a-reviewThe Pixel 7A carries the legacy of versatile Pixel camera setup with Google's top notch post processing power. Powering the core is Google's own Tensor G2 which is solid for day-today usage but it's not the same case for heavy gaming. All in all, you get a clean stock Android experience while the battery life is on the underwhelming side. And yes, its pricing is not so appealing at all, at least for now!