The best midrange Android phone gets flagship AI features.

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The recipe for Google's A-series Pixels is incredibly straightforward: combine high-end cameras with a vivid display and then cram it all into a tried-and-tested design for a reasonable price. But with the addition of the Tensor G3 chip, the Pixel 8a now supports the same powerful AI features as Google's flagship phones. So when you consider that all of this comes in at just $499, you're looking at not only the top midrange Android handset on the market, but possibly one of the best values ​​of any phone on sale today.

Apart from a new Aloe Color option – which is the best in my opinion – the Pixel 8a is almost identical to the standard Pixel 8. However, there are some subtle differences that become more noticeable when the two are viewed side by side. The most obvious are the slightly larger bezels on the sides, which also affect the size of the Pixel 8's screen. Instead of a 6.2-inch display as on its pricier sibling, the Pixel 8a tops out at 6.1 inches. That said, you still get a vibrant OLED panel that produces deep blacks and rich colors, as well as a slightly faster 120Hz refresh rate compared to the 90Hz on last year's Pixel 7a.

Engadget

With the addition of Google's Tensor G3 chip, the Pixel 8a offers a beautiful 120Hz OLED screen, excellent cameras and simple AI features with above-average battery life for just $499.

Occupation

  • Color 120Hz OLED display
  • Strong battery life
  • Best cameras
  • High value
Cons of

  • Slow wireless charging
  • Thick bezels

$499 on Google

The phone's frame is still made of aluminum, which looks great, while the metal camera bar on the back is actually a millimeter or two thinner, resulting in an ever-so-slightly sleeker device. Google also swapped out the Pixel 8's rear glass panel for plastic. But thanks to a new matte finish that's supposed to mimic the texture of cashmere, it certainly doesn't feel cheap. And while its IP67 rating for dust and water resistance is a step below the mainline Pixel 8, it's still good enough to withstand a dunk up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. not bad.

The biggest knock against Google's Tensor chips is that they don't offer the same level of raw performance you'd get from rival Apple or Qualcomm silicon. And while that's still true of the G3, when we're talking about powering a phone that costs $499, I'm far less worried. In normal use, the Pixel 8a feels sharp and snappy, even during gaming. such as titles Marvel Snap And TMNT: Shredder's Revenge seemed smooth. The only time I noticed significant hiccups or lag was when playing games like more demanding shooters. Call of Duty: Mobile.

While the two sport very similar designs, the Pixel 8a (left) has a slightly smaller 6.1-inch screen with larger bezels than the standard Pixel 8 (right). (Photo by Sam Rutherford/Enjit)

Of course, the other part of the performance equation is all the on-device AI features that the Tensor G3 unlocks, such as Audio Magic Eraser, Best Tech and Magic Editor, which you can use as much as you want instead of 10. Photo cap which free users are subject to Google Photos.

The Pixel 8a has the same 64MP main and 13MP ultra-wide sensors used in last year's P7a. But that's okay, because Google's affordable phones punch well above their weight. So instead of comparing it to similarly priced rivals, I decided to challenge the Pixel 8a against the Samsung 24 Ultra. And yet, it still largely persists.

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