Just over a week ago, I published a first impressions post of the Google Pixel 8a, and generally, it’s a solid device. The physical build is good, the cameras are solid and the features of the device stand true to what you’d expect from a Google branded device.

Another couple of weeks have passed, giving me enough time to be more detailed with testing, and my opinion hasn’t really changed, aside from a couple of key areas.

What I’m happy with

The short story is nearly everything on the Pixel 8a is worth taking a look at. The hardware is a solid but predictable and evolutionary step from the Pixel 7a. So as a general statement, the hardware is very good, with particular mention to the 120Hz screen, which is really quite gorgeous

The update to the Tensor G3 brings it in line with the Pixel 8 in terms of processing performance. With 8GB of RAM, the device’s responsiveness in day-to-day operation is perfectly acceptable.

7 years of OS and Security updates is a very attractive offer and adds huge value to the device, assuming that it survives 7 years.

The dual rear cameras (4MP f/1.89 wide and 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide) deliver great results with the AI assistance that Google has across its devices. The colour is very life-like, you’ve got the capacity to edit photos very easily and it’s actually very difficult to take a bad photo.

What hasn’t pleased me…

In the first impressions post, I deliberately left out the pricing because I was undecided. On further reflection, while I understand the technical reasoning but not the hike given that the US price has remained steady from the previous generation; I believe Google has landed in a very awkward middle ground.

Adding that extra $100.00 (up to $849.00) is absolutely enough to take it out of consideration for some buyers, and by taking a very small financial step, users can get a lot more “phone”. A simple example of this is waiting for a sale on something like the Pixel 8, which was recently on sale for $899.00, is a much better buy.

The other, perhaps more troubling issue that I had with the phone after a bit more time was the battery. In the early stages, I was getting close to a full day of battery on heavy-use days. If I added into that a bit of media streaming while I took a break, then I was looking toward the charger by 3 pm a few times.

Would I buy one?

Would I buy one? Probably not, but I’d happily recommend it to the right person!

There is plenty about the Pixel 8a to like and it’s going to be a brilliant phone for a huge demographic of users. It carries a bit of a — comparative — downgrade on the camera; but you’re looking at a similarly specced device as the big brother, the Pixel 8. If you’re looking to buy in the Android realm and enticed by Google’s own devices, the question here isn’t whether I’d buy a Pixel 8a.

The question is whether the improved specs for the step-up are worth the money to you, noting that with the price increase on the Pixel 8a; that gap has narrowed. If that’s not the case, then I’m confident you’ll be very happy with the Pixel 8a. Power users who have a lot of apps and a lot of screen on time should be looking at something with better battery life, but they’re not the aim of the lower end of the mid-range market.

I’m genuinely quite happy with what Google has delivered with the Pixel 8a. I do, however, believe they’ve missed the mark a bit on the value that consumers now expect from the ”a” series Pixel devices.

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I am getting about 6hours of Screen on time on a daily bases with a max of Optus 5G and Wifi 6 with my Pixel 8a that i got on launch day.

I am getting about 6hours of Screen on time on a daily bases with a max of Optus 5G and Wifi 6 with my Pixel 8a that i got on launch day.