Google Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 6a: What are the Differences?
Google today unveiled the Pixel 7a, the successor to last year’s Pixel 6a and the Android maker’s latest mid-range offering with its next-generation Tensor G2 chip and design cues from the more premium Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy differences between the new Google Pixel 7a and its predecessor:
Both the Pixel 7a and the Pixel 6a feature a flat-edged 6.1″ OLED display with an FHD+ (1080 x 2400) resolution and a pixel density of 429 PPI. However, the Pixel 7a one-ups its predecessor with a 90Hz refresh rate, one of the most requested features for Google’s A-series Pixel phones.
The display Google used for the Pixel 6a was actually capable of going up to 90 Hz, but the company underclocked it to 60 Hz for the phone. There were some unofficial software mods floating around that allowed tinkerers to unlock the full 90 Hz refresh rate on the Pixel 6a, but for those who don’t want to risk it, the Pixel 7a is the mid-range Pixel you’ve been waiting for.
For screen protection, both devices have Corning Gorilla Glass 3. In addition to Always-on Display, both phones also have some additional display features like Now Playing, At a glance, and high brightness mode.
The Pixel 7a builds on its predecessor’s design, incorporating aesthetic cues from the higher-end Pixel 7 phones. For starters, the camera bar on the rear is now made of metal, but unlike the Pixel 7, it’s separate from the device’s frame and is also slimmer.
Both phones feature IP67 dust and water resistance, as well as an additional fingerprint-resistant coating to keep skin oils from smudging the body. They also share a similar stereo speaker setup, along with an array of two microphones.
The Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a both come with an optical, under-display fingerprint sensor, but the one on this year’s model appears to be a smidge faster. Google’s new Pixel 7a also comes with Face Unlock, which isn’t available on its predecessor, and you also get included VPN by Google One and Car Crash Detection.
The Pixel 6a comes in three colours: Sage, Chalk, and Charcoal. Meanwhile, Google has launched the Pixel 7a in four colourways: Charcoal, Sea, Snow, and Coral (exclusively available online via the Google Store).
The Pixel 7a is powered by the octa-core Tensor G2, Google’s latest in-house chip built on 5nm technology — the same processor as the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. For graphics, the Pixel 7a has a Mali-G710 MP7 GPU.
Meanwhile, the Pixel 6a features Google’s first-generation Tensor chip with a Mali-G78 MP20 GPU.
Both devices are also fitted with a Titan M2 security coprocessor, as well as a dedicated security core.
The camera system is really where the new Pixel 7a makes the biggest leaps and justifies an upgrade from the Pixel 6a, which itself is no slouch in the snapper department and was actually crowned the best camera phone of 2022 by tech YouTuber Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee.
On the Pixel 6a, you get a 12.2 MP dual-pixel wide camera with an ƒ/1.7 aperture and a 77° field of view. The Pixel 7a, however, ups that to a 64 MP Quad PD Quad Bayer wide camera that’s 72% larger than the Pixel 6a’s primary sensor and has an ƒ/1.89 aperture with an 80° field of view.
Both phones get auto-focus (with dual-pixel phase detection) and optical and electronic image stabilization on the primary rear camera.
The wide camera isn’t even where the upgrades end with the Pixel 7a, though. While the Pixel 6a has a 12 MP ultrawide lens with a 114° field of view, the Pixel 7a comes with a slightly larger 13 MP ultrawide camera that has a 120° field of view.
For the front-facing selfie camera, the Pixel 6a offers an 8 MP shooter with an ƒ/2.0 aperture and an 84° wide field of view. However, the Pixel 7a comes out on top with a 13 MP selfie camera that has an ƒ/2.2 aperture and a 95° ultrawide field of view.
Both phones offer an identical selection of signature Google photography and videography features like Magic Eraser, Motion auto-focus, Real Tone, Face Unblur, and manual white balancing, most of which harness the power of the Tensor chip’s enhanced AI and Machine Learning capabilities. That said, the Pixel 7a also gets Long Exposure and Google’s new Photo Unblur feature.
Memory and Storage
While the Pixel 6a comes with 6GB of LPDDR5 memory, the Pixel 7a gets an upgrade to 8GB. Both phones are only available with 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
The Pixel 6a packs a 4,410 mAh battery, whereas the Pixel 7a comes with a slightly smaller 4,385 mAh pack. According to Google, both phones can last beyond 24 hours and up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver.
For charging, the Pixel 6a only supports 18W wired fast charging. The Pixel 7a, though, gets a few new tricks in this department, managing up to 20W of wired fast charging and also adding 7.5W wireless charging to its arsenal.
In Canada, the Pixel 7a launches at the same $599 CAD price point as its predecessor. However, in the U.S., Google hiked launch pricing from $449 USD for the Pixel 6a last year to $499 for the new Pixel 7a. Google said in a media briefing attended by iPhone in Canada that despite foreign exchange “challenges,” the company was able to keep pricing flat year-over-year.
You can order the Pixel 7a today, with in-store availability also slated to begin May 10. If you purchase the Pixel 7a now, you get Pixel Buds A-Series for free with your purchase or 50% off Pixel Buds Pro (at $120.99).
Meanwhile, the Pixel 6a will remain in Google’s lineup, albeit at a reduced $479 price tag (which actually makes it a pretty killer deal for anyone who doesn’t mind rocking a year-old phone)