Everything You Need To Know About The Google Pixel 8a

It’s all go at Google. Their recent annual I/O conference – where they announce new products, software and hardware to developers and anyone else who’s paying attention – previewed what Google have been working hard on. As is the direction of travel, most of this was in the world of Generative AI and machine learning.

For starters, Gemini is a generative AI model that’s set to be their version of Chat GPT or Microsoft Co-pilot. It will soon be enhancing plenty of their products. For example, in Google Photos, you’ll be able to search for details in your photo library with ‘Ask Photos’. Project Astra is an AI assistant like Alexa or Siri, and Veo Video Generator is a video-creating AI that works from prompts alone.

But when it comes to things you can lay your hands on, the big announcement took place just before: it was the launch of the Pixel 8a, the latest Google budget-busting model that arguably provides the best value for money on the market.

It follows last year’s launch of the Google Pixel 8 and the Google Pixel 8 Pro. As is usual, it takes the functionality of these phones and repackages it in an even more affordable version, with only the minimum of compromises.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Google Pixel 8a has to offer – and why it just might be your next new phone.


There’s no major developments to the already-impressive camera setup of the A series. It has a 64MP main camera and a 13MP ultrawide camera, plus a 13MP selfie camera. There’s a digital 8x Super Res zoom instead of a telephoto zoom that pricier phones come with. Together with Google’s inbuilt editing, they work impressively, taking vibrant, high-quality shots.

The Pixel 8a comes with all the AI Google is known for – like Magic Eraser for removing background parts of a photo, Photo Unblur to tidy up blurry pictures, and Best Take to merge multiple images – of say, a group of people – into one shot, so no one’s got their eyes shut. These days, they’re not unique features, but in all, it makes for very impressive photos for the price.

Battery performance

Even heavy users will be fine with the Pixel 8a. In tests, it lasts longer than the Samsung Galaxy A55, a rival budget Android. While the battery capacity has increased from the 7a by 107mAh – it’s now 4,492mAh – that matches the higher level of battery demand, so you’ll find it lasts just as long. Expect it to easily last a day if you’re a light user. Otherwise you might need a top-up in the evening, in which case note that charging isn’t the fastest – you can charge at just 18w over a wired connection, and a fairly slow 7.5W using wireless.

Design and display

The signature Pixel look is a camera bar at the back, and that’s exactly what you’ll find on the 8a, which comes in at 6.1”. It also ditches its previous sharp corners to replicate the Pixel’s usual rounded design. You’ll also find it’s ditched the glass back for a matte back made of 76% recycled plastic.

Turn it around, and the Pixel 8a now has an Actua OLED screen, which means it’s brighter than ever. Coupled with an improved adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, it makes for a crisper, better display. The only point to note is that it comes with Gorilla Glass 3 as the protective cover glass on the screen, while the 8 has sturdier Gorilla Glass Victus. But of course, some compromises have to be made with more affordable phones.

Tech spec

The Pixel 8a comes with 8GB of RAM, either 128GB or 256GB of storage, and uses Android 14 software. The chip is a Tensor G3 – up from the Tensor G2 the 7a had. While neither are the best in the market, it still means the phone functions well – although you might struggle when doing more demanding things, or changing apps quickly. Its security options include fingerprint scanning and facial recognition.

One of the best improvements for this phone is that, like the higher-end Pixel 8 phones, it now comes with seven years of software support and security updates. This is a major upgrade from the three years it had previously, and makes it market leading. This stand-out feature means the Pixel 8a is perfect for medium and light users of phones who plan on keeping the same phone for a while. If that’s the case, you’ll get serious bang for your buck with the Google Pixel 8a.

Price and availability

You can buy the 8a in all-new colours: aloe green, bay blue, obsidian black and porcelain white. It’s priced from £499 (well-priced, especially when compared to the Pixel 8 at £699), and it’s out now.


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