- Tensor G2 (Pixel 7a) vs Tensor G1 (Pixel 6a)
- 90Hz OLED (Pixel 7a) vs 60Hz OLED (Pixel 6a)
- 64MP wide, 13MP ultra-wide (Pixel 7a) vs 12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide (Pixel 6a)
- Refreshed design (Pixel 7a)
- 8GB RAM (Pixel 7a) vs 6GB RAM (Pixel 6a)
Table of Contents:
Design and Display Quality
Core Pixel DNA
Being a direct successor to the Pixel 6a but also drawing lots of inspiration from the new Pixel 7 family as well, the Pixel 7a is a phone that carries that unmistakable Pixel DNA in itself. Little has changed, and yet it’s dead-easy to tell the difference between the new and the old generation. hate it or love it, the black camera strip at the back of the Pixel 6a goes down in history, as the Pixel 7a scores the Pixel 7’s emphasized metal camera bar, which seamlessly blends with the side metal frame of the phone and makes for a bold new look.
Google Pixel 7a render
While some early reports indicated that the Pixel 7a could adopt a full metal body, those are extremely unlikely as the Pixel 7a will most certainly keep its plastic body. This time, however, there would be a benefit to that – for the first time on an affordable Pixel, Google will utilize wireless charging, which wouldn’t have been possible with a fully metal design.
Google Pixel 6a
From a design perspective, it probably wouldn’t be very surprising to see that the Pixel 7a and the Pixel 6a are mostly similar when observed from the front. Both devices have the same displays, with 6.1-inch OLED screens, relatively thick bezels, and the good ol’ punch-hole camera cutout. No headphone jacks, no microSD card expansion slots, and the usual button placement on all sides. The fingerprint scanner is, once again, embedded withing the display.
Speaking of the screen, while there’s seemingly lot of similarities (6.1-inch size, OLED technology, FHD+ resolution), an important new feature of the Pixel 7a makes it a much more intriguing device. With a 90Hz screen refresh rate, the new device will provide a much smoother interface navigation, a step-up from the traditional 60Hz screen that the Pixel 6a carries. This is definitely an important feature, definitely one of the more impressive nice-to-haves in the sub-$500 category.
Performance and Software
Tensor this, Tensor that
Having debuted on the Pixel 7 series in late 2022, the Tensor G2 chipset with all its artificial intelligence and machine-learning chops is found inside the Pixel 7a. Yes, the same processor that fuels Google’s flagships is also powering its newest affordable phone, which is definitely a major, major selling point of the Pixel 7a.
Meanwhile, the Pixel 6a came with the Tensor G1 chipset, which actually isn’t that far off from its successor. What are the main differences between the two chips? Not that many, actually: both the Tensor G1 and G2 come with a 2+2+4 chipset configuration, consisting of two high-performance ARM Cortex-X1 cores and four Cortex-A55 ones. Yet, the Tensor G1 uses the Cortex-A76 mid-range cores, while the Tensor G2 has the slightly faster Cortex-A78 cores. This is why the raw performance difference between the two chips isn’t that big, so no, the Tensor G2 isn’t much faster than its predecessor.
Aside from the increase in memory, we don’t expect an improvement in the available storage. 128GB of native on-board storage is all you get. No microSD card on deck, so you will have to either carefully manage your storage or rely on a cloud-based storage service to facilitate your needs.
Both devices utilize dual-camera layouts at the back, pairing wide and ultra-wide lenses, but that’s where most similarities end.
While the Pixel 6a relies on one of Google’s favorite camera sensor which was used on many Pixel phones throughout the years, the Sony IMX363, the Pixel 7a will adopt a brand new sensor. A 64MP 1/1.7-inch Sony IMX787-powered camera will be carrying the torch for the Pixel 7a, a rather stark improvement over the 12.2MP 1/2.55-inch Sony IMX363 wide camera on the Pixel 6a.
While the resolution alone is a big enhancement of its own, the much larger new sensor could potentially vastly improve the low-light capabilities of the Pixel 7a. Considering Google’s heavy reliance on advanced image-processing algorithms and artificial intelligence, we’d expect the Pixel 7a to punch way above its weight and surpass the Pixel 6a’s photographic prowess.
Battery Life and Charging
Wireless charging is a go
Nothing is set in tone when it comes to the battery capacity of the Pixel 7a. We generally expect a battery that’s just as large as the 4,410mAh battery on the Pixel 6a, so anything in the 4,400-4,500mAh range is likely coming our way. That’s a good-sized battery for both the size and price class of the Pixel 7a, one that would most certainly allow it to last you a day of moderate to heavy usage.
When it comes to charging, we already established that the Pixel 7a will be scoring wireless charging, a first for an affordable Pixel phone, but sadly, don’t expect too fast of a charging solution. Rumors point out that Google will throw in 5W wireless charging, which will definitely be very slow and might only suit your overnight charging needs. Aside from that, we expect 18W wired charging on the new Pixel 7a, just as fast as its predecessor.
And, just like the Pixel 6a, we don’t expect to see a charger inside the Pixel 7a box. You will either have to buy straight from Google if you don’t have a suitable charger, or rely on a third-party solution that might charge the phone slower.
So, what are the complete Pixel 7a v Pixel 6a specs differences? Check these out in our dedicate table below:
|Specs||Pixel 7a||Pixel 6a|
|Dimensions||6.00 x 2.87 x 0.35 inches (152.4 x 72.9 x 9 mm)||5.99 x 2.83 x 0.35 inches (152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm)|
|Weight||–||6.28 oz (178.0 g)|
|Screen||6.1-inch OLED, FHD+, 90Hz||6.1-inch OLED, FHD+, 60Hz|
|Processor||Tensor G2||Tensor G1|
|Rear Cameras||64MP Sony IMX787 wide|
13MP Sony IMX712 ultra-wide
|12.2MP Sony IMX363 wide|
12MP Sony IMX386 ultra-wide
|Front Camera||13MP||8MP5.99 x 2.83 x 0.35 inches (152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9mm)|
|Charging Speeds||18W wired, 5W wireless charging||18W wired|
Summary and Final Verdict
Although unofficial, but heavily leaked and leaving little to the imagination, the Pixel 7a definitely shapes up as one of the more intriguing devices to expect this year, bringing important improvements to some key aspects of a modern phone. Newer chipset, overhauled camera, promising display, and refreshed design all sound like they are worth the extra $50 Google could be asking for its next Pixel.
Surely, on its own, the Pixel 6a is still an excellent affordable phone that looks like it’s still capable of holding its own against the Pixel 7a. If you use one of those and don’t really have any issues with it, it will be hard to sell you on the upcoming Pixel 7a. Yes, that one will perfect the recipe, but generally, nothing too groundbreaking.