Google Pixel 8a Review – Drug Addicts

In summary

The Google Pixel 8a is an excellent smartphone with specifications and features close to those of the Pixel 8. This means you can opt for this cheaper version and on paper have a mid-range phone just as powerful as its bigger brother. There are of course things that have been cut back. The cameras are a bit inferior to those on the Pixel 8, but it doesn’t make much of a difference. The back of the case is made of plastic, but the phone still feels premium. The Pixel 8a, like its predecessor, is water-resistant (IP67). Additionally, the phone has the same Tensor 3 SoC as the Pixel 8, though it’s less cooled and throttles faster, resulting in decreased performance in some situations. There are also some areas where the budget phone outperforms its bigger brother. The screen is brighter and the battery lasts longer. Charging is just as slow as its predecessors and slower than the Pixel 8. In terms of software, the Pixel 8a is the same as the Pixel 8. All the bells and whistles can be used, including AI functions, and there’s seven years of support available. Also available for this mid-range smartphone.

Google Pixel 8a is the sixth edition of the A series Pixel phones. Google launched this series with the aim of introducing people on a limited budget to the Google device. Over the years, the A-series has become closer to regular Pixels. Cheaper phones got the same processor, the same amount of memory, roughly the same cameras, and the same software experience.

The idea is that you can buy these cheaper phones for hundreds of euros less than the flagship versions and still have something that is almost as good as the more expensive devices. In practice, this sometimes works differently, so far. At the time of writing, the Pixel 8a is priced at €550, while the Pixel 8, which cost €800 at introduction, has now dropped to around €600 and is therefore only €5 more expensive. Although the Pixel 8 and 8a are similar in many ways, the Pixel 8a remains a budget version of the Pixel 8, with some corners cut.

Google Pixel 8aGoogle Pixel 8a

The question now is whether you should not get the regular Pixel 8 with all the extra features for the extra 50 euros or whether you can keep 50 euros in your pocket and go for a device of almost the same quality. The Pixel 8a has the same SoC as the Pixel 8, the same memory, a higher-resolution 64-megapixel camera instead of 50-megapixel, the same screen resolution and the same storage. You can also see if you can get an older flagship phone for the same price. The Samsung Galaxy S23 is currently expensive, and thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 gen 2, it can leave behind the Pixels in some ways. We’ve sorted everything out and you can read the result in this review.


Just like its bigger brother, the Google Pixel 8a is equipped with Android 14. From the outside, there is no obvious difference with the Android system running on the Pixel 8. All the functions that can be found on a more expensive smartphone are also present in the 8a, including all Artificial intelligence jobs. While Samsung makes a clear distinction in this area between mid-range devices in the A series and high-end smartphones in the S series, with the Pixel 8 and 8a, cuts to certain components have been made mainly in the hardware area. It is also possible to create AI backgrounds, magic eraser to edit photos, moving objects or “circle to search” on the 8a. Even the Gemini Nano, the on-device AI that was initially intended for flagship phones, is coming to the 8a.

This also applies to software updates. Samsung gives its cheap devices five years of updates, while its flagship devices give seven years. Google provides both the Pixel 8 and 8a with updates for seven years. The S23 will be supported for another five years, because Samsung only introduced this measure with the S24 series. The Pixel 8a could be used until at least 2031 until Google pulls the plug. You can then extend the life of the software further by working with custom ROM. Google doesn’t make any fuss when it comes to unlocking the bootloader, which makes installing a custom ROM a breeze. In fact, Google is so easy on this front that Pixels are the easiest phones to use with Google’s free versions of Android. Think GrapheneOS or /e/. There is currently no custom ROM available for the Pixel 8a, but knowing Google and the community, that will change soon.

We’ve already covered the rest of the features, including the magic eraser, animated objects, and creating wallpapers, in detail in our Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro review, and for more information, please refer to that article.

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