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Google Pixel 8a review: What's the best Android smartphone to buy today?

Google Pixel 8a review: What's the best Android smartphone to buy today?


The Pixel 8a is Google's most affordable and least flashy smartphone. It's half the price of the Pixel 8 Pro, but if you look closely, you'll see there's not much you're missing out on. All this at a “definitely affordable price” in modern parlance and, at first glance, what you get is the best Android smartphone on the market today.

it just works

The irony here is that it was Apple, Google's cross-town rival, who popularized the phrase “it works.” ” But at a time when Apple's smartphones retain their sublime halo, Google seems to have taken a leap of faith with his Pixel 8a. A balance of aspirational, premium and practical.

At the heart of this is the compact size of the Pixel 8. This smartphone is almost identical to the basic version of Apple's iPhone, with a 6.1-inch display, which is large enough but not unwieldy. With soft, rounded edges and a smooth back panel, your smartphone feels more luxurious in the way you hold and use it than devices that cost twice as much.

Pixel 8a uses a 120Hz display, which makes scrolling through menus smooth and streaming video content a great experience. Google claims to provide the Pixel 8a with seven years of security updates and feature upgrades, which could give it at least twice the lifespan of competing devices from other brands. If Google keeps its promises, we have a winner in our hands.

Of course it's about AI.

In today's world of technology, it's impossible to talk about AI without mentioning it. During the I/O 2024 keynote on May 14, Google CEO Sundar Pichai joked that Google could have created a drinking game by leveraging AI during the two-hour keynote. . Side note: Google created 121 of them.

The Pixel 8a also uses AI as a key feature, and in many ways is the first smartphone in its price range to offer a wide range of AI features. Gemini Nano runs natively on his Pixel 8a and appears in the overview of Google's Live Transcribe and Recorder apps. Also, “Magic Audio Eraser” and “Magic Eraser” are displayed for video shooting and photo shooting, respectively.

The first allows you to select a segment of your video with background noise that you want to remove, have the underlying AI model recognize the noise, and remove similar noise of that nature from the entire video.

The same goes for Magic Eraser, where you can edit or delete objects and people in your photos. After the first few weeks of use, Google's AI chops have clearly improved and produced more real-world desired results.

More importantly, Google's AI innovations in the Pixel 8a feel less gimmicky and more practical in a clean, compact form factor.

Check the essentials

Beyond the AI ​​and its dimensions, the Pixel 8a is packed with all the essentials. The 64-megapixel main camera takes great photos thanks to Google's underlying AI that renders the photos. The battery stamina is not the best, but perhaps at the end of the day he can last almost the entire working day with a quick charge of 15 minutes.

With this notebook, you get a clean, unfettered Android experience, and you're guaranteed to get Android and security upgrades before anyone else.

There's very little that Google gets wrong in this entire package. The only thing I can point out is that the battery life is less than ideal. However, it is not so low that it interferes with daily life.

Can we expect more from our flagship smartphones? The only question would be longevity and reliability. Until now, Pixel smartphones have faced hardware issues in the long run, which can invalidate all the above points. That remains to be seen.

Next is pricing. Google is pricing the Pixel 8a at more than 53,999, which is three-tenths cheaper than the Pixel 8 and comparable products from other brands. Despite being nearly 25% more expensive than the Pixel 7a, it's safe to say that the Pixel 8a is worth the price. That doesn't feel unreasonable, but what does feel unfair is that Google has decided to significantly increase the price of his Pixel 8as in India, leaving its global price at $499 (approximately $41,600). It is to be. That aside, this is one of the best Android smartphones on the market today.

Google Pixel 8a was launched on May 14th ahead of Google I/O 2024, the company's annual conference. The author was in Mountain View, California to cover his Google I/O 2024 at the invitation of Google.

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Published: May 17, 2024, 8:00 AM IST

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