Google Pixel 7a: Looks like a well-rounded package

Google has announced the launch of its newest A-series smartphone – Google Pixel 7a – globally, as well as in India.

I used the phone for a couple of days, and early impressions suggest that Google might have a pretty good proposition for discerning audience who like a no-nonsense smartphone that packs in a punch when it comes to the camera department.

Especially since it also sports a gorgeous chassis. The Pixel 7a carries on the same design ethos as Pixel 7 and 7 Pro with that unique protruding camera bar. In fact, for the first time, the three phones of the same generation look very alike and consistent.

Powered by the same Google Tensor G2 chip and the Titan M2 security chip as the flagship Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, the Pixel 7a becomes a tempting proposition, although one that goes neck to neck with the Pixel 7 on most things (6.1-inch display vs 6.3-inch display, Gorilla Glass 3 vs Gorilla Glass Victus, IP67 rating vs IP68 rating).

That’s because Google has brought several of the premium features – like Face Unlock, a 90Hz display, IP67 dust and water protection, and wireless charging – for the first time on an A-series smartphone. While this elevates the experience of an “mid-range smartphone”, it makes the purchase decision tough for the customers.

The performance on 7a matches what you get on get on Pixel 7. Pretty good for most everyday things, and a smooth multitasking experience. It does get a little warm after a longer gaming session though.

Pixel 7a’s camera system too has been completely upgraded from the one that was available on the 6a (and hence comes close to Pixel 7) and comes with an additional 13MP ultrawide lens. There’s, of course, Night Sight, Long Exposure, Super Res Zoom, et al that alleviate the camera experience on Pixel devices as well as Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur in Google Photos for making your shots even better.

In fact, in several test shots, it looks like Google has fixed the few issues one had with the Pixel 7 camera, especially in color reproduction. The low light shots on the Pixel 7a too often trump those on the Pixel 7.

Google Pixel 7a is available in three colors – Charcoal, Snow, and Sea – at a at a launch price of ₹39,999 while the regular retail price will be ₹43,999. There are a few offers available too, although what stands out is the free screen damage protection for one year. Google promises a minimum of 5 years of security updates which is an assuring promise.

I picked up a Pixel 6a at one of Flipkart’s big sales event last year for much cheaper than the launch price, so you may want to wait for a couple of months if you want an even better deal.

The “one more thing”

One of the major issues faced by Pixel customers in India has been the after-sales support. In fact, many potential customers are wary of picking up a Pixel device for the same reason.

Looks like Google India has finally taken cognizance of this widespread concern. Google is launching 28 multi-brand stores spread across 27 cities in India (essentially, service centers operated by F1 Info Solutions) where Pixel owners can walk in to get support for their devices.


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