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Google Pixel 8a Review: Everything You Need At An Affordable Price

Google might be better known for its higher-end Pixel smartphones, but the past two years have actually seen a significant surge in popularity for its more affordably priced mid-tier A series smartphones that offer consumers excellent value for money.

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To carry on its success in this highly competitive segment, Google recently unveiled the new Pixel 8a in the local market that brought along many noteworthy upgrades including a much improved Tensor G3 processor as well as a heft of new AI features that makes it a class of its own. Having tested the Google Pixel 8a for over a month, I can assure you that the Pixel 8a is an amazing deal which you certainly won’t want to miss out.

Google Pixel 8a: Design

While most other phone makers tend to introduce fresh design in every new iterations, Google is one of the few exceptions that favors a tested-and-proven design which had already been popular among its fans. Rather than reinventing the wheel, the new Pixel 8a refines an existing design to make it even more appealing to consumers.

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The biggest change lies in the adoption of matte finish for its rear panel which is now less prone to fingerprints and smudges compared to last year’s Pixel 7a. Speaking of this, I also appreciates the soothing texture of the matte finish which makes the phone extremely pleasant to hold.

Here in Singapore, the Google Pixel 8a is available in three different hues such as Obsidian (Black), Porcelain (White) as well as Bay (Blue). We had the latter for review which is coincidentally my favourite colour among the trio. It looks vibrant and lively, and is definitely one that stands out from the crowd.

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On the front side, the Google Pixel 8a builds around a decently-sized 6.1” display which provides more than sufficient screen estate for work and entertainment. Its based on a high-end OLED panel which not only looks sharp, but is also able to get incredibly bright thanks to its impressive peak brightness which maxes out at 2,000 nits.

To sweeten up the deal, the screen’s refresh rate has also vastly improved from 90Hz to 120Hz which further enhance viewing experience on the device. The only catch is that the refresh rate isn’t adaptive in nature – meaning you have to manually set it via the phone’s setting.

Google Pixel 8a: Performance

Under the hood, the Google Pixel 8a is powered by the same in-house Tensor G3 chipset which was used in the company’s flagship Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices. This means you can expect the same blazing-fast performance as the higher-end Pixel 8 Pro despite paying only halve the price.

In day-to-day usage, I hardly encounter any tinge of stuttering regardless whether I was working across multiple apps or playing graphics intensive games like PUBG Mobile or Asphalt 9 Legends. Likewise, I’m also glad to report that the Pixel 8a doesn’t frustrates me at all with any overheating issue even when I used the phone for several hours continuously. While it does gets a bit warm when taking photos during a hot whether, the small hike in temperature is definitely manageable.

To keep the lights on, the Pixel 8a is backed by a respectable 4,492mAh battery that provides me with at least a day’s battery life under moderate usage which includes around 5 to 6 hours of screen time along with occasional hotspot and GPS. In the event that the battery runs out, the Pixel 8a recharges fairly quickly at 18W which translates to around two hours charging time from 0 to 100%. Wireless charging is available too, but at a slower 7.5W charging speed.

Google Pixel 8a: Cameras

Photography-wise, the Google Pixel 8a relies on a highly versatile dual-camera system lead by a 64 megapixels (f/1.9 aperture) main camera and a 13 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide camera which are well-capable of handling all sorts of photography.

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Having snapped more than a thousand photos with the Pixel 8a, its safe to say that the Pixel 8a features one of the best camera system within the sub-$800 segment. Regardless whether you’re shooting in a well or poorly lit environment, its 64MP main camera never fails to impress with crisp and colorful shots which you’ll be proud to share on social medias.

And in case you ain’t satisfied with any of the shots, the Pixel 8a also comes with a myriad of AI tools which not only helps to improve image quality, but also allows you to completely reimagine your photos thanks to features such as Magic Editor that makes it possible for you to add studio-quality enhancements or even move subjects within a photo with just a few simple taps.

@playfuldroid Google Pixel 8a zoom test ? Are you guys impressed? #GooglePixel8a #GooglePixel #Google #Smartphone ? Twilight Zone – 2 Unlimited

Unlike the higher-end Pixel 8 Pro, the Pixel 8a doesn’t has a dedicated telephoto camera for zoomed shots. Even so, the phone is still able to capture pleasant-looking photos within the 2x to 8x range by leveraging on its advanced digital zooming capability that uses a combination of hardware and AI wizardry to improve the resulting image quality. In fact, under the right lighting condition, you’ll be hard-pressed to tell that the photos were captured with digital zooming especially for those that were taken between the 2x to 3x range.

As for the 12MP ultra-wide camera, its another capable unit that’s able to deliver flattering photos with good dynamic range and details. While most ultra-wide camera on mid-ranger devices tend to struggle under poor-lighting, this wasn’t the case on the Pixel 8a thanks to its superior night sight feature which drastically improves contrast and details of a low-light scene.

Verdict

Priced at just S$799, the new Google Pixel 8a is a deal that’s too good to be true. Besides impressing with its flagship-level performance and camera experience, the Google Pixel 8a also sets itself apart from competitors with a whopping 7 years of Android software updates to ensure the phone always stay up-to-date to the latest features and security threats.

For those who’re interested, the Google Pixel 8a is available for purchase in Singapore via Google Store, Amazon SG, Courts Online, Challenger Online, Singtel Online, Shopee, Lazada and Sprint Cass (Airport).

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