The Pixel 7A raises the bar for the Pixel 8

We didn’t hear about the Pixel 8 at Google I/O, but the company did launch the Pixel 7A — a more wallet-friendly alternative to the Pixel 7. That’s great news for Pixel fans, since the 7A offers many of the same benefits as the Pixel 7 — like its great camera and Tensor G2 processor. New – for $100 less. But it also makes me wonder if Google’s A-series phones are starting to overshadow the flagship Pixels.

Now that Google has narrowed the gap between the Pixel 7 and 7A, you should think carefully about its target audience for the Pixel 8. If the Pixel 7A is for those who want a basic Pixel experience without compromising on performance and camera quality, and the Pixel 7 Pro is for photography enthusiasts Photographer, so who is the Pixel 7? That’s the question I’m hoping Google will answer with the Pixel 8, along with some other routine improvements to software support and battery life.

Google usually releases new Pixel phones in the fall, so we expect to know more about the Pixel 8 in a few months.

The Pixel 8 needs to stand out from the next A-series phones from Google

With the Pixel 8, Google needs to do more to highlight its upcoming Pixel flagship. The $499 Pixel 7A already has many of the features most people look for in a new phone, like a great camera, smooth performance, easy-to-use software, and decent battery life.

The main differences between the Pixel 7 and 7A are due to the previous’s more durable design, larger screen, and battery sharing. This last feature allows you to charge compatible accessories by placing them on the back of the phone, essentially turning it into a wireless charger. The Pixel 7 also has a larger camera sensor that’s more sensitive to light according to Google, but I didn’t notice much improvement when comparing photos from both phones.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7A both feel like they’re targeting the same audience: Android fans who want a general-purpose phone with a great camera and a reasonably sized screen. The Pixel 7 Pro stands out for its larger screen, additional telephoto camera, and macro photography. It also comes with a 512GB storage option, unlike the Pixel 7, and has a higher 120Hz refresh rate screen for smoother scrolling. Case in point: There are a lot of factors that differentiate the Pixel 7 Pro from the Pixel 7, but not as many factors that differentiate the Pixel 7 from the 7A.

Moving forward, there are some changes Google can make to fix this. Perhaps the Pixel 8’s screen size could be increased slightly to 6.4 inches instead of 6.3 inches. This will put more space between the future Pixel 8 and Pixel 8A’s screen, assuming Google keeps the same 6.1-inch screen size for the upcoming A-series phones.

Google could also give the Pixel 8 a speed boost when it comes to charging, since the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7A offer similar charging speeds (up to 18W on the Pixel 7A versus 21W on the Pixel 7). Increasing the charging speed to create more of a gap between the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8A could make the Pixel 8 buying case a bit stronger. Increasing the Pixel 8’s base storage to 256GB, like Samsung did with the Galaxy S23 Plus, along with offering an additional 512GB storage option could set the Pixel 8 apart from the future Pixel 8A.

These changes along with the existing differences between the Pixel 7 and 7A could certainly make the Pixel 8 look like a compelling option over upcoming budget Pixel phones. Of course, this assumes Google maintains its current strategy of releasing Pro phones and new flagships in the fall and a cheaper A-series phone in the spring or summer.

Extended Android version support

Software is a big part of what makes Pixel phones so attractive, from the call-assist features in the Phone app to Google’s clutter-free version of Android. However, the problem is that Google generally offers Android version updates only for three years after the release of the Pixel phone.

Although they provide security support and other updates beyond this point, Google lags behind Samsung and Apple when it comes to OS version support. Samsung usually delivers up to four generations of Android system updates on new phones, while Apple’s latest software is compatible with older iPhones like the iPhone X and iPhone 8, which were launched in 2017.

If Google can match Samsung’s four years, or exceed five, that will make the Pixel line more competitive.

Longer battery life

Battery life can never feel long enough, which is why I’m hoping to see some improvements in the Pixel 8. The Pixel 7’s battery life was long enough to get me through a full work day and then some improvements in my experience. But I do want to pack a charger if I’m anticipating a particularly long day.

The Pixel 7A also performed better than the Pixel 7 on CNET’s three-hour battery test, during which I streamed a YouTube video at full brightness and tracked the battery percentage in each hour. It would be nice to see Google make some improvements in this regard on the Pixel 8.

Pixel 7A vs. Pixel 7 battery test

pixel 7a

Pixel 7

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We won’t know what to expect from the Pixel 8 until Google announces its new phones, which will likely happen in the fall. The camera has been a focal point for Google’s Pixel series, so I expect to see some developments in this area, along with a new version of the Tensor processor in the Pixel 8. If Google makes these changes with longer battery life, additional Android support and more exclusive features That sets the Pixel 8 apart from the A-series phones, Google’s next $600 phone could be a hit.

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