Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8a: the Key Differences


Google recently unveiled the Pixel 8a, a more affordable iteration of its flagship Pixel 8 smartphone. While the Pixel 8a boasts a lower price tag, it presents a compelling option for budget-conscious users seeking a premium Google experience. However, some key distinctions exist between these two devices. This comprehensive guide delves into the core differences between the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a, empowering you to make an informed decision about which smartphone best aligns with your needs and budget.

Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8a

Design and Build: Striking a Balance Between Affordability and Premium Feel

While the overall design language remains similar between the Pixel 8 and 8a, there are subtle variations:

  • Size and Bezels: The Pixel 8a has a slightly larger footprint compared to the Pixel 8. Additionally, the Pixel 8a features slightly thicker bezels, resulting in a less immersive screen-to-body ratio.
  • Materials: The Pixel 8 exudes a more premium feel with its Gorilla Glass Victus protection on both the front and back. In contrast, the Pixel 8a utilizes Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and a plastic back, offering a more cost-effective build.
  • Durability: The Pixel 8 boasts a superior IP68 rating, signifying greater resistance to dust and water ingress compared to the Pixel 8a’s IP67 rating.

In essence: The Pixel 8 delivers a more premium feel with its superior materials and enhanced durability rating. However, the Pixel 8a remains a well-built device, striking a balance between affordability and aesthetics.

Display and Performance: A Matchup of Power and Efficiency

  • Display: Both Pixel 8 and 8a boast near-identical 6.2-inch FHD+ OLED displays with HDR support and a peak brightness of 2,000 nits. However, the Pixel 8 offers a slight edge with its 120Hz refresh rate, enabling smoother scrolling and visuals compared to the Pixel 8a’s 60Hz refresh rate.
  • Performance: Both devices are powered by the formidable Google Tensor G3 SoC, ensuring exceptional performance for everyday tasks and demanding applications. Additionally, both phones come equipped with the Titan M2 security chip, safeguarding your data and privacy.
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In essence: While the Pixel 8 presents a smoother visual experience with its higher refresh rate display, the Pixel 8a delivers comparable performance thanks to the shared Tensor G3 chip.

Battery and Charging: Powering Your Day

  • Battery Capacity: The Pixel 8 boasts a slightly larger 4575 mAh battery compared to the Pixel 8a’s 4385 mAh battery. However, in real-world usage scenarios, the differences in battery life are expected to be minimal.
  • Charging: The Pixel 8 offers faster wired charging at 20W and faster wireless charging at 18W compared to the Pixel 8a’s 18W wired charging and 7.5W wireless charging. It’s important to note that neither phone comes with a charging adapter in the box.

In essence: Both phones provide ample battery life for daily use. However, the Pixel 8 offers a slight edge in charging speed for those who prioritize faster top-ups.

Software: A Pixel-Perfect Experience Awaits

  • Operating System: Both the Pixel 8 and 8a run the latest Android 14 out of the box, ensuring access to the newest features and functionalities.
  • Updates and Security: Google guarantees seven years of OS updates and seven years of security updates for both phones, providing long-term software support.
  • Pixel Features: Both devices benefit from a plethora of Pixel-exclusive features, including VPN by Google One, Circle to Search, and a range of camera functionalities like Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur.

In essence: You’ll experience a seamless and up-to-date software experience with both the Pixel 8 and 8a.

Camera Showdown: Capturing Memories in Style

The camera system represents the most significant distinction between the Pixel 8 and 8a:

  • Rear Cameras: The Pixel 8 packs a 50MP primary sensor with a wider aperture and Laser AF compared to the Pixel 8a’s 64MP sensor. Additionally, the Pixel 8 boasts a larger ultrawide sensor with a slightly wider field of view.
  • Front Camera: The Pixel 8 sports a 10.5MP front-facing camera, while the Pixel 8a features a slightly smaller 13MP sensor. Although the Pixel 8a has a higher resolution sensor, the megapixel count doesn’t solely determine camera quality. Google’s computational photography prowess plays a significant role.
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Q: Is the Google Pixel 8a waterproof?

A: The Google Pixel 8a boasts an IP67 rating, signifying protection against dust ingress and water submersion for up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. However, the Pixel 8 offers a superior IP68 rating, providing increased water resistance.

Q: Does the Google Pixel 8a come with a charging adapter?

A: No, neither the Pixel 8 nor the Pixel 8a comes with a charging adapter in the box. You’ll need to purchase one separately or use an existing compatible adapter.

Q: Will the Google Pixel 8a receive software updates?

A: Yes, Google guarantees seven years of OS updates and seven years of security updates for both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a, ensuring long-term software support.

Q: Is the Google Pixel 8a a good alternative to the Pixel 8?

A: The Pixel 8a presents a compelling alternative for users seeking a more affordable option that retains most of the core functionalities and user experience of the Pixel 8. While the Pixel 8 boasts superior camera hardware and a more premium build, the Pixel 8a delivers exceptional value with its capable performance, display, and software features.