Google Pixel 8a review

Google Pixel 8a review

Throughout the Pixel series’ life, there have been many handset releases that made a splash upon release. The Pixel 8 Pro continued to cement Google as a leading name in smartphone camera technology, and the Pixel 3a back in 2019 marked a triumphant first swing at the budget phone market.

In this review, we’re taking a deep dive into another budget handset from Google: the Pixel 8a. This is another tantalising phone that packs many of the series’ best features into an affordable package.

Pick up the Google Pixel 8a for yourself and start enjoying its excellent AI features and performance.

Release date

The Google Pixel 8a released on Tuesday 7th May 2024.


• Dimensions – 150.47 x 70.79 x 8.94mm
• Weight – 187g
• OS – Android 14
• Display – 6.1” OLED 120Hz
• Resolution – 1080 x 2400
• Processor – Google Tensor G3
• RAM – 8GB
• Storage – 128GB (not expandable)
• Rear cameras – 64MP wide; 12MP ultra-wide
• Front camera – 13MP
• Battery – 4575mAh
• Water and dust resistance – IP67
• Connectivity – 2G; 3G; 4G; 5G; Wi-Fi 7; Bluetooth 5.3


‘Don’t fix what isn’t broken’ is very much the mantra employed by Google regarding the Pixel 8a’s design. Fans of the Pixel 8 will be right at home with this phone’s sleek and curved build; in fact, the Pixel 8a is more curved at the edges than previous handsets, giving it a distinctive pebble feel. As a result, the Pixel 8a is wonderfully comfortable to hold without feeling too slippery.

Impressively, despite the Pixel 8a having a slightly larger 6.1” screen than its predecessor, the overall handset is smaller and lighter at 187g. This is a 6.5g reduction in weight compared to the Pixel 7a, which has a noticeable positive impact on the Pixel 8a’s portability.

Like the Pixel 7a, this phone also features a fingerprint unlock scanner beneath the screen, as well as facial recognition to quickly and securely access the device. These features put the Pixel 8a on par with the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro when it comes to security.

On the design front then, it doesn’t break new ground, nor does it need to. The Pixel 8a does everything right as a budget-to-mid range phone; it’s light, compact, feels fantastic to use and has IP67 protection to boot .



Whilst the Pixel 8a’s 6.1” display is smaller than some other budget phones in previous years, it more than makes up for it with its underlying screen technology. The overall visual experience on the Pixel 8a is excellent, best exemplified by its 1080 x 2400 HD resolution. Every detail, whether it’s in a game or when watching a video, is crystal-clear across every inch of the display. To prevent scuffs and scratches from ruining the screen, the Pixel 8a is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

The experience is further enhanced by the Pixel 8a’s OLED panel, which boosts colour vibrancy and makes everything look much more true-to-life. Combine this with HDR support and you have a display that looks absolutely stunning when viewing any media.

One of the biggest updates when moving from the Pixel 7a to the 8a is in the refresh rate, which has been increased to 120Hz. This is a profound improvement, as it makes the entire experience of using the Pixel 8a feel much smoother, especially when gaming. If you’re looking for an affordable entertainment device that doesn’t break the bank, the Pixel 8a should be near the top of your list.


Performance & software

The Google Tensor G3 chipset has proved itself to be a formidable processor, and this is no different on the Pixel 8a. When gaming, taking a photo or simply swapping between apps, this phone handles these workloads with ease and keeps stuttering to a minimum. 8GB RAM further helps to maintain a smooth experience when using the Pixel 8a.


What set the Tensor G3 processor apart from previous generations was its AI capabilities. These innovations paved the way for unique features on the Pixel 8 series, including the 8a, such as Circle to Search and Call Assist. In particular, Circle to Search makes it incredibly easy to find what you need online with a simple finger motion, whilst Call Assist uses AI to help you get through automated call queues.

To reinforce security, Google once again included the Titan M2 security chip from previous handsets. This chip works independently from the Tensor G3 to protect your data with multiple layers of encryption, letting you go about your day with peace of mind.

Underlying everything on the Pixel 8a is Android 14, which we’ve gone through in detail in our dedicated guide. Core to the Android 14 experience is a focus on customisation, with features like AI-generated wallpapers opening up new ways to make the Pixel 8a your own.


Wondering how long you’ll be able to enjoy the Pixel 8a? Google plans to keep the phone fresh with 7 years’ worth of updates, features and security tweaks.


We’ve long ranked the Pixel series among the leading camera phones, and the Pixel 8a makes a strong case for inclusion. On a hardware level, this handset features a 64MP wide and 13MP ultra-wide camera array on the back, and a single 13MP selfie camera up front. Pictures taken with these cameras came out rich in detail and with balanced contrasts, thanks in large part to the inclusion of HDR.

When taking photos, the Pixel 8a benefits greatly from the Tensor G3 processor and includes several powerful AI features, such as Best Take and Magic Editor. In group photos, Best Take really shines; it can help ensure everyone is looking at the camera and intelligently tweak facial expressions on-the-fly. You can then update photos further with Magic Editor, changing up the time of day, the background, and even remove subjects from the scene.


There are many more photography tools packed into the Pixel 8a, including Photo Unblur, Audio Magic Eraser and Night Sight. These all work together to create one of the most feature-packed camera phones available, maintaining Google’s legacy of producing excellent all-round smartphones.

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In terms of battery life, the Pixel 8a pulls no punches and can last a significant amount of time before needing a recharge. To be specific, the Pixel 8a can withstand around a full day of general use; ideal if you’re travelling or commuting. This is primarily due to the battery’s 4575mAh capacity, which is mightily impressive and further boosts the Pixel 8a’s credentials as one of the top budget-to-mid range phones around.


Breaking down the Pixel 8a piece-by-piece, all of the ingredients are there to create a superb smartphone. The real cherry on top is the inclusion of the Pixel 8 series’ AI features, making the Pixel 8a one of the most affordable ways to start using artificial intelligence from the palm of your hand.

If you’re curious to learn more about AI on smartphones, our dedicated guide to the AI apps you should know about is a great next step.