Understanding the nuances of smartphone technology can be daunting, particularly when trying to decide between the upgraded Google Pixel 7a and its predecessor, the Google Pixel 6a: Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a. The budget-friendly models from Google have both undergone significant changes over the years. They both offer great features and value for their price, yet deciding on which one is better suited to your needs can be tricky. Hence, let’s delve into a comprehensive comparison between the two models to guide your decision-making.
Google revolutionized its budget phone line this year, evident in the changes from Pixel 6a to Pixel 7a. The Pixel 7a now seems more akin to the Pixel 7 flagship model, aiming to provide a top-tier budget phone experience in an increasingly competitive market. This model boasts an array of new features such as a fast-refresh display, wireless charging, improved rear camera setup, and a significant leap in processing power with the addition of the Tensor G2 chipset. It brings the same AI-enhanced capabilities found in the Pixel 7, which significantly influence the phone’s performance.
But what about the Pixel 6a? It’s still in the game! Google has chosen to keep the Pixel 6a in the lineup, albeit at a reduced price. While its processor, the Tensor G1, isn’t as powerful as the Pixel 7a’s, it’s still robust enough to provide a seamless user experience.
So, let’s embark on this journey to uncover the nuances between the Google Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a and determine whether it’s truly worth spending more on the Pixel 7a.
Google Pixel 7a
Google Pixel 6a
OLED, 90 Hz refresh rate, HDR
1080 x 2400 pixels
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
1080 x 2400 pixels
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
64 MP (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF,OIS
13 MP (ultra-wide), 120°
Selfie: 13 MP (ultra-wide)
12.2 MP (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
12 MP (ultra-wide), 114°
Selfie: 8MP (wide)
Google Tensor G2 (5 nm)
CPU: (2x2.85 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2x2.35 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4x1.80 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPU: Mali-G710 MP7
Google Tensor (5 nm)
CPU: (2x2.80 GHz Cortex-X1 & 2x2.25 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4x1.80 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPU: Mali-G78 MP20
Battery & charging
18W wired charging, 7.5W wireless charging
18W wired charging
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e
5.98 x 2.87 x 0.35 in
5.99 x 2.83 x 0.35 in
Design Comparison: Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a
While they share a common stylistic theme, the Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a exhibit clear distinctions that allow them to stand out from one another. The Pixel 6a follows the footsteps of the Pixel 6 series, boasting a dual-tone back, with the camera strip sporting a darker shade and the rest of the back adorned with a lighter, pastel color. The camera strip on the 6a stands out with a stark black appearance, contrasting noticeably with the aluminum frame.
On the other hand, the Pixel 7a, true to the design spirit of the Pixel 7 line, presents a unified color scheme across the back, including the area above and below the camera strip. Unlike the 6a, the 7a’s frame color complements the rest of the device, creating a more seamless look instead of the stark black present in all variants of the 6a.
The Pixel 7a weighs a bit more, coming in at 193.5g compared to the Pixel 6a’s 178g. This slight weight difference might only be discernible when holding the phones for extended durations or comparing them side by side. Despite this, the Pixel 7a remains lighter than most flagship phones, which are typically bulkier and incorporate premium materials like glass or ceramic.
The use of a plastic back, a feature common to both the Pixel 7a and 6a, may not evoke a high-end feel but offers practical advantages. It provides greater durability, reducing the risk of shattering upon accidental drops, a not-so-rare occurrence in daily usage. But polycarbonate bodies are prone to scratches. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to invest in a sturdy case for the Pixel 7a, should you choose to go for it.
In my personal assessment, the Pixel 7a carries a more polished and sophisticated look and feel than the Pixel 6a.
Display: Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a
When it comes to the display, both the Google Pixel 7a and the Pixel 6a share several similarities but also have some key differences that set them apart. Both the Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a feature a 6.1-inch OLED display with a Full High Definition Plus (FHD+) resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 pixels. It means you can expect sharp and vibrant visuals on both devices, which is characteristic of OLED technology.
The color reproduction and deep black levels of both screens are truly top-notch. It ensures an excellent viewing experience, whether you’re browsing the internet, watching videos, or playing games. Another similarity is the 20:9 aspect ratio on both devices, which is a common format for smartphones. It is ideal for video playback, web browsing, and general usability. Also, it provides a slightly longer screen that allows more content to be displayed vertically.
Also Read:Google Pixel 7a: What We Know So Far
While the Pixel 6a maintains a static 60Hz refresh rate, the Pixel 7a has the added flexibility of a higher refresh rate of 90Hz. This adjustable setting means the Pixel 7a can provide an improved viewing experience with smoother scrolling and UI navigation. Depending on the on-screen activity, the refresh rate on the Pixel 7a display can automatically adjust between 60Hz and 90Hz. That means the Pixel 7a offers smoother scrolling and more fluid visuals, which is particularly noticeable when you’re playing games or navigating through your device.
Both Devices Supports High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Both the Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a support High Dynamic Range (HDR), allowing for superior contrast and a wider color gamut when viewing compatible content. It is a feature often found in premium smartphones that significantly enhances the viewing experience while watching HDR content. In terms of protection, both devices come with Gorilla Glass 3. It ensures a certain level of scratch and damage resistance to protect the display from everyday wear and tear.
Additionally, the Pixel 7a offers a brighter display with a max brightness of 931 nits, noticeably superior to the Pixel 6a’s 778 nits. When it comes to color representation, both phones capture around 111% of the sRGB color spectrum in Natural mode. Yet, the Pixel 7a takes the lead with slightly more brightness on its screen panel.
In summary, both the Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a offer excellent displays, but the Pixel 7a stands out with a higher refresh rate that results in smoother visuals. However, if a higher refresh rate isn’t a priority for you, the Pixel 6a’s display will more than meet your needs.
Cameras: Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a
The camera system on the Google Pixel 7a is a substantial upgrade from the Pixel 6a. Both the devices offer a dual rear camera setup, but the Pixel 7a sports a 64MP main camera sensor (Sony IMX787), which is a considerable leap from the 12.2MP main camera (Sony IMX363) on the Pixel 6a. The main sensor on the 7a offers 0.8μm pixel size, ƒ/1.89 aperture, an 82-degree field of view (FoV), OIS/EIS, and Super Res Zoom up to 8x.
In contrast, the Pixel 6a’s main sensor has a 1.4μm pixel size, ƒ/1.7 aperture, and a slightly narrower 77-degree FoV. Both phones feature Optical Image Stabilization and Electronic Image Stabilization on their primary sensors.
The ultrawide cameras are also quite different. The Pixel 7a uses a 13MP ultrawide sensor (Sony IMX712) with a 120-degree FoV and ƒ/2.2 aperture. The Pixel 6a sports a 12MP ultrawide sensor (Sony IMX386) offering a 114-degree FoV and the same ƒ/2.2 aperture.
As for the front camera, the Pixel 7a boasts a 13MP sensor (Sony IMX355) with a 95-degree FoV. And the Pixel 6a comes with an 8MP front sensor, also Sony IMX355, but with a smaller 84-degree FoV.
In terms of video capabilities, both devices can record 4K videos at 30/60FPS and 1080p at 30/60FPS using the rear camera. However, the Pixel 7a offers the additional ability to shoot 4K videos at 30FPS with its front camera, while the Pixel 6a is limited to 1080p at 30FPS.
These differences reflect the enhancements Google has made in its camera technology, pushing the boundaries of smartphone photography and videography with each new iteration.
Performance Comparison: Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 7a outperforms the Pixel 6a in the department of processing power, with Google’s proprietary Tensor G2 chip powering the device. It is an upgrade over the original Tensor processor found in the Pixel 6a. In regular usage scenarios, the difference might not be apparent. But when subjected to heavier tasks such as navigating via Google Maps or intensive photo and video capturing, the Pixel 7a demonstrates a clear advantage. This advantage extends to multitasking capabilities too.
Moreover, the GPU in the Pixel 7a is the Arm Mali-G710, while the Pixel 6a employs the Arm Mali-G78 MP20. Although both GPUs are highly competent and able to handle graphics-intensive tasks and applications, the G710 in the Pixel 7a promises better efficiency and performance, taking the user experience a notch higher.
Notably, the Pixel 6a tends to heat up a bit more under a significant workload compared to the Pixel 7a, though it’s worth mentioning that both phones run slightly warmer than most of their counterparts.
In terms of memory, the Pixel 7a comes equipped with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, providing a smoother and faster multitasking experience. It is an improvement over the 6GB LPDDR5 RAM available in the Pixel 6a. This additional memory can make a significant difference when running several applications simultaneously or executing memory-intensive tasks.
In conclusion, the Pixel 6a is well-equipped to handle most tasks efficiently. But if you’re planning to hold onto your smartphone for an extended period, opting for the Pixel 7a might be a great choice due to its superior performance and connectivity reliability.
Battery Life and Charging: Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a
In terms of battery capacity, the Google Pixel 7a is equipped with a 4,385mAh battery, slightly smaller than the 4,410mAh battery found in the Pixel 6a. However, battery life can vary based on multiple factors, including software optimizations, application used, and hardware efficiency.
Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a Battery Test
During battery tests, the Pixel 7a showcased slightly better battery life, lasting 9 hours and 5 minutes. It outperformed the Pixel 6a, which managed 8 hours and 49 minutes in video streaming tests. It’s worth noting that the Pixel 7a test was conducted with the faster refresh rate disabled. Testing is ongoing to evaluate its performance with the 90Hz refresh rate enabled, although enabling this feature may have a minor impact on battery life under typical usage, however during gaming, Pixel 7a will likely suffer more because GPU has to drive the Pixel 7a’s display at 90Hz. Regardless, during normal usage, the Pixel 7a still surpasses the Pixel 6a’s battery performance, although by a slim margin due to the better efficiency of Tensor G2.
Both the Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a support 18W wired charging, allowing for reasonably fast charging speeds. However, the Pixel 7a offers an additional convenience with its support for wireless charging of up to 7.5W. It aligns the Pixel 7a with Google’s flagship devices, providing users with the flexibility to charge their phones without relying on cables.
It’s important to note that neither the Pixel 7a nor the Pixel 6a includes a charger in the box. Google’s decision to omit chargers aims to reduce electronic waste and promote sustainability. Users can utilize their existing chargers or purchase compatible ones separately.
When considering battery life and charging capabilities, the Pixel 7a offers improved endurance and the added convenience of wireless charging. However, individual preferences and usage patterns should be taken into account when deciding between the two devices.
When considering a comparison between the Google Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a, it’s essential to look beyond the differences and focus on the overall value they offer. This understanding can help you determine whether the Pixel 7a, priced at ₹43,999, or the discounted Pixel 6a, available for ₹28,999, is the better choice for you.
It’s evident that the Pixel 7a presents a more comprehensive and feature-rich package. With its faster refresh rate, improved camera system, and advanced Tensor G2 chip, the Pixel 7a proves to be a highly capable phone, placing it on par with the Pixel 7 itself. On the other hand, the Pixel 6a remains a formidable budget-friendly option in its own right but falls short when compared to the enhanced capabilities of the Pixel 7a.
The Pixel 7a signifies a significant leap forward for Google’s mid-range lineup, providing users with an elevated experience that aligns closely with the premium features offered by the Pixel 7. While the Pixel 6a continues to hold its ground as a solid choice, it can’t match the overall capabilities and advancements brought by the Pixel 7a.
Ultimately, the decision between the two devices will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. The Pixel 7a’s enhanced features and capabilities make it a compelling choice for those seeking a more fully featured mid-range phone, while the Pixel 6a remains a viable option for those looking for a budget-friendly device.