Google Pixel 7a vs. Google Pixel 7: The key differences you should know

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A comparison photo between the Google Pixel 7a and Pixel 7.

June Wan/ZDNET

The Google Pixel 7a goes up for pre-order today, coming in four new colors and serving as Google’s new budget-friendly option for smartphone shoppers. And if you’re looking to save a bit of cash without sacrificing performance or features, the Pixel 7a is a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade their current Google phone or make the switch from other platforms.

Also: How to buy and pre-order Google Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet

Specifications

Specs

Google Pixel 7a

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Storage

128GB

128GB, 256GB

128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Memory

8GB

8GB

12GB

Processor

Google Tensor G2

Google Tensor G2

Google Tensor G2

Battery

4,385mAh

4,355mAh

5,000mAh

Camera

64MP main, 13MP ultrawide, and 13MP front

50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 10.8MP front

50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 10.8MP front

Screen size/resolution

6.1-inch OLED with 90Hz

6.3-inch OLED with 90Hz

6.7-inch OLED with 120Hz

Price

$499

$599

$799

Color

Charcoal, Coral, Sea, Snow

Lemongrass, Snow, Obsidian

Hazel, Snow, Obsidian


You should buy the Google Pixel 7 if…

Google Pixel 7 Snow in hand.

June Wan/ZDNET

1. You need lots of storage

The Google Pixel 7 has two choices for storage capacity: 128GB and 256GB. With options, you’ll be more flexible with how many photos, videos, and songs you can store locally on your phone; which is great if you’re like me and can’t bring yourself to delete the 150, nearly-identical photos of your cat. 

Also: Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: How to buy the right one for you

With this generation of the Pixel smartphone, Google did opt to remove the microSD card slot, so you won’t be able to customize your storage capacity on-the-fly. That makes your initial storage option all the more important.

2. You like larger screens and higher resolutions

The Google Pixel 7 features a 6.3-inch OLED display that goes up to 2400 x 1080 FHD+ resolution. And while it’s not quite as impressive as 4K-display models, it’s still a great screen for streaming videos, viewing photos, and making video calls to friends and family. The display is also made of Corning Gorilla Glass, which is more durable than regular glass, so your new Pixel 7 will be able to handle bumps and drops without risking damage to your screen.

3. You need fast charging

With support for 30W charging, you’ll be able to get your Pixel 7 to 50 percent battery in just 30 minutes. It’s also certified for Qi wireless charging, so you can ditch traditional power cables for cleaner workspaces and nightstands. 

Also: The best Android phones you can buy (including a surprise pick)

The Pixel 7 also can provide up to 72 hours of use with the Extreme battery saver mode; normal battery usage will give you about 24 hours of life before you need to even think about plugging in. 

You should buy the Google Pixel 7a if…

A person holding up the Google Pixel 7a in Sea Blue.

June Wan/ZDNET

1. You’re a shutterbug

Believe it or not, the Google Pixel 7a actually has better front and rear cameras than the Pixel 7. With a 13MP front and 64MP rear camera, you’ll be able to snap crystal-clear selfies and group photos with friends. You’ll also be able to record footage in 4K with up to 60 frames per second for smoother playback.

2. You want to save at least $100

The Google Pixel 7a costs $100 less than the Pixel 7. And since this phone doesn’t skimp out on premium-grade features like camera quality, VPN protection, and on-the-fly photo editing, the Pixel 7a is a slightly more attractive choice than the Pixel 7. The $499 price tag makes the Pixel 7a one of the most affordable phones on the market without venturing into “toy phone” territory.

Alternatives to consider

Two OnePlus 11 smartphones on a grey background

BEST PRICE

OnePlus 11

The OnePlus 11 offers a similar build to the Pixel 7 and 7a, however, it does offer special features you won’t find in other brands like support for both Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi 7.

samsung-galaxy-s23-beige

BEST PRICE

Samsung Galaxy S23 – Flagship quality without the sky-high price

Not only does the Galaxy S23 offer top-notch performance, but it also offers an excellent 12MP front and 50MP rear camera for all of your candid selfies and photos.

Two Apple iPhone SE smartphones on a grey background

BEST PRICE

Apple iPhone SE – An iOS option under $500

With the iPhone SE, you’ll get 64GB of base storage for music, photos, and videos, as well as 12MP rear camera that’s powered by the A15 Bionic chip.





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