Google Pixel 7a review: Spending a week with Google’s latest mid-range smartphone

The mid-range smartphone is equipped with the largest camera sensor in the A series.

Farhana Subuhan

A punctuation enthusiast who thinks misplaced apostrophes are a crime.

Published: 11 May 2023, 11:19 AM

Google released the latest addition to its A series – the Pixel 7a – on Thursday (May 11).

The mid-range smartphone, while being a cheaper alternative to the Pixel 7 and the 7 Pro, offers an impressive camera system and a smooth refresh rate.

I decided to put the device to test for a week to see how it would measure up in terms of performance, user experience and camera capabilities.


The Pixel 7a boasts a 64-megapixel rear camera, the largest sensor in the A series phone, along with a 13-megapixel ultra wide camera and a 13-megapixel front camera.

The Pixel 7 and the 7 Pro only had a 50-megapixel wide rear camera, so I was excited to take a portrait image on the 7a.


The Pixel 7a has decent camera capabilities that would fulfil basic needs. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/FARHANA SUBUHAN


While the camera consistently produced photos with vibrant colours, I found them to be overly processed — a similar problem with its predecessors.

The images were vivid and hyper-saturated. It appeared as though I had superimposed my subject on the background.

That aside, the camera app interface is user-friendly and intuitive. It offers a variety of shooting modes, including a Photo Sphere mode for 360-degree images.

Refresh Rate

While the Pixel 7a’s refresh rate of 90Hz may not be on par with the 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rates found in some flagship smartphones, it is still a significant step up from the 60Hz of its predecessor, the Pixel 6a.

Scrolling through webpages and social media feeds was notably smooth, with no stutter or lag.


Prior to the Pixel 7a, the Pixel 5a and 6a had a refresh rate of 60Hz. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/FARHANA SUBUHAN


I also noticed that the increased refresh rate made animations and transitions feel smooth, resulting in a more immersive and enjoyable user interface when playing fast-paced games such as Mobile Legends or Call of Duty Mobile.

Night Sight

One of the standout features of the Pixel 7a’s camera is its low-light performance. The Night Sight mode is twice as sharp as its predecessor, allowing one to capture photos in challenging lighting conditions.

I wanted to test this by taking a picture of my neighbourhood after the sun had set. The results were pretty impressive.

The Night Sight not only brightened and enhanced the details in the picture, it also preserved its natural colours.


The bright areas were not overexposed and the dark areas retained their details. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/FARHANA SUBUHAN


I usually adjust the brightness of my pictures on a separate application when using my iPhone, but it was a relief that I did not have to do the same on the Pixel 7a.

Battery Life

The Google Pixel 7a can last up to 24 hours, managing to strike a good balance between performance and longevity.

The device lasted me until 7am the next morning, even though I was binge-watching Family Guy the night before.

However, it is important to note that the battery life may differ among users, depending on their settings and usage patterns. With moderate usage and some attention to power-saving settings such as the Battery Saver mode, the Pixel 7a’s battery life should meet the demands of most users.

When it comes to charging, the Pixel 7a supports fast charging capabilities, allowing you to get a significant charge in a short amount of time.

Overall, I think the Pixel 7a is a worthy contender in the smartphone arena. From the sleek design to its powerful camera capabilities, Google’s emphasis on the user experience make the device a compelling choice for anyone seeking an affordable and capable smartphone.

The Google Pixel 7a is available in-store and online from May 11. The device can also be bought on Google Store, Amazon SG, Courts Online, Challenger Online and Shopee.

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