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Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a


The Google Pixel 8a just launched, and what I’ve noticed is that quite a few people are wondering if it’s worth getting over the Pixel 8. The Google Pixel 8 is one of two Pixel flagships at the moment, and it has been available at various discounts for a while now. The Pixel 8 can often be bought at $549, while the Pixel 8a’s price is $499 for the entry-level model. In this article, we’ll compare the two phones, the Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a.

There are trade-in deals to consider in the US, plus some other things, but the bottom line is, the Pixel 8 is not that much more expensive than the Pixel 8a. So, is the Pixel 8a worth getting? Many people would say to opt for the Pixel 8, so let’s compare the two phones, and see what’s what. We’ll kick things off by listing their specifications, and will then move to a number of other categories.

Specs

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a, respectively

Screen size:
6.2-inch Actua AMOLED display (120Hz LTPS, HDR10+, 2,000 nits max)
6.1-inch OLED display (120Hz, HDR, 2,000 nits)
Display resolution:
2400 x 1080
SoC:
Google Tensor G3
RAM:
8GB (LPDDR5X)
8GB (LPDDR5)
Storage:
128GB/256GB (UFS 3.1)
Rear cameras:
50MP (f/1.68 aperture, 82-degree FoV, 1.2um pixel size), 12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 1.25um pixel size, 125.8-degree FoV)
64MP (wide, f/1.9 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS), 13MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree FoV, 1.12um pixel size)
Front cameras:
10.5MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.22um pixel size)
13MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.12um pixel size)
Battery:
4,575mAh
4,492mAh
Charging:
27W wired, 18W wireless, 5W reverse wireless (charger not included)
18W wired, 7.5W wireless (charger not included)
Dimensions:
150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm
152.1 x 72.7 x 8.9mm
Weight:
187 grams
188 grams
Connectivity:
5G, LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5.3
Security:
In-display fingerprint scanner (optical) & facial scanning
OS:
Android 14
Price:
$699+
$499+
Buy:
Google Pixel 8 (Best Buy)
Pixel 8a (Best Buy)

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a: Design

These two devices have a very similar design, but they’re not identical. Both of them come with rounded corners and a flat display. They also include a centered display camera hole at the top. The thing is, the Pixel 8 has noticeably thinner bezels around its display. The physical buttons are located on the right-hand side of both phones. The power/lock button sits above the volume up and down buttons.

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If we flip them around, you’ll see a camera visor on both devices. The pill-shaped cutout for the cameras is bigger on the Pixel 8, and that’s because of the larger camera hardware. Both of those camera visors are covered by metal, by the way. Even though it may seem that both devices feature glass backplates, the one on the Pixel 8a is plastic. It does, however, have a matte backplate unlike the Pixel 8. Both phones have a backplate that curves at the very edges.

The Pixel 8 has a slightly larger display than the Pixel 8a, but despite that, it’s shorter and narrower. That’s because of the bezel thickness. The two phones have the same general thickness. Both of these phones are also water and dust resistant, but the Pixel 8 offers IP68 certification, while the Pixel 8a comes with an IP67 certification. Both devices are quiet slippery in the hand, though, so using a case may not be a bad idea. The Pixel 8 definitely looks like a more premium smartphone, but the Pixel 8a build quality is also really good.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a: Display

The Google Pixel 8 has a 6.2-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) OLED display. That panel is flat, and it has a refresh rate of 120Hz. HDR10+ content is supported here, and the display’s brightness goes up to 2,000 nits. The display aspect ratio here is 20:9, while the screen-to-body ratio of the Pixel 8 is around 85%. The Pixel 8’s display is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus from Corning.

AH Google Pixel 8 Review (3)

The Pixel 8a, on the other hand, has a 6.1-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) display. This is an OLED panel, and it supports HDR content. It has a refresh rate of 120Hz, and a peak brightness of 2,000 nits. The display aspect ratio on the Pixel 8a is 20:9, while the screen-to-body ratio sits at around 81%. The Pixel 8a’s display is protected by the Gorilla Glass 3 from Corning, in case you were wondering.

Now, both of these panels are good, and they do get bright enough outdoors, even though they’re not the brightest around, not even close. Both displays are vivid, and have good viewing angles and touch response. The Pixel 8’s panel does have one notable advantage, its display protection. The Gorilla Glass 3 on the Pixel 8a is quite dated (it was used back on the Google Nexus 6 in 2014), and it’s known to be prone to micro scratching. Using a screen protector is advised.

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Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a: Performance

Both of these phones are fueled by the same processor, the Google Tensor G3. That is Google’s latest chip, a 4nm processor. It’s not the most advanced chip out there, nor the most power efficient, but it has proven to do a great job on the Pixel 8. It is also optimized for various AI features that Google offers. We still didn’t review the Pixel 8a, but the performance should be very similar to the Pixel 8. Perhaps a bit inferior, but very close.

The Pixel 8 utilizes LPDDR5X RAM, while the Pixel 8a uses LPDDR5 RAM. Both phones have 8GB of RAM, though, and both of them utilize UFS 4.0 flash storage. Initial impressions of the Pixel 8a’s performance are good, but we’ll talk more about that in the upcoming full review of the device. Snapdragon flagships will likely be a bit faster in day-to-day use, but these two phones can easily keep up.

Do note that the Google Tensor G3 is not made for gaming, but you can play games on phones that use it. The most graphically intensive games may not run as well as on Snapdragon flagships, but they usually run really well. The Pixel 8 has proven to be quite capable in that regard.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a: Battery

The Google Pixel 8 packs in a 4,575mAh battery, while the Pixel 8a includes a 4,492mAh battery. The Pixel 8 also has a slightly larger display than the Pixel 8a, so this difference is not exactly that important. The two phones do have identical processors, however, and the software is not all that different either. Truth be said, we do expect the battery life to be quite similar. We still didn’t test out the Pixel 8a completely, but the battery life will likely be similar.

In other words, the Pixel 8 offers good battery life, but not great. We do expect similar from the Pixel 8a. Getting around 6-7 hours of screen-on-time is the expected battery life. Your mileage may vary due to different apps, different usage, and so on. Gaming does take quite a toll on the Pixel 8, and so does 5G compared to WiFi. We’re expecting to see something similar on the Pixel 8a.

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The Google Pixel 8 does charge faster than the Pixel 8a. It supports 27W wired charging, along with 18W wireless charging, and 5W reverse wireless charging. The Pixel 8a offers 18W wired, and 7.5W wireless charging. Neither phone charges extremely fast, but the Pixel 8 sure is faster than the Pixel 8a in that regard. Do note that neither of the two devices comes with a charger in the box.

Google Pixel 8 vs Google Pixel 8a: Cameras

Both of these phones have two cameras on the back. The Google Pixel 8 features a 50-megapixel main camera, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide unit (126-degree FoV). The Google Pixel 8a, on the flip side, has a 64-megapixel main camera, and a 13-megapixel ultrawide unit (120-degree FoV). The Pixel 8 has a considerably larger and more modern main camera sensor, and it also has better ultrawide camera hardware. Both phones lack a (periscope) telephoto camera.

AH Google Pixel 8 Review (1)AH Google Pixel 8 Review (1)

With that being said, we’re not expecting to see all that much difference in the quality of the pictures from the main camera. The Pixel 7a managed to keep up with the Pixel 8 really well, even though the Pixel 8 images were better. The same is expected from the Pixel 8a, as it has the exact same camera hardware as its predecessor. Contrasty photos with great camera processing are expected from the Pixel 8a, with really good low light performance. That’s basically what the Pixel 8 offers, in addition to great HDR performance.

We have not really reviewed the Pixel 8a just yet, at the time of writing this comparison, but that’s almost certainly what’s coming. If there are any glaring issues with the Pixel 8a camera, our upcoming review will discover them. The expectations are high, though. The Pixel 8a is expected to have a great camera, especially considering its price tag.

Audio

In regards to speakers, both phones are equipped with a stereo setup. The Pixel 8 has really good speakers with good loudness, and they’re well-balanced. The Pixel 8a is expected to be a step below that, as it has the same setup as the Pixel 7a, almost certainly. Still, those speakers will be more than good enough.

When it comes to a headphone jack, neither phone has it. You can always utilize their Type-C ports for wired audio connections, though. If you’d rather go wireless, both smartphones support Bluetooth 5.3.



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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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