Google Pixel 8a review

GSMArena Team, 29 May 2024.

Design, build quality, handling

The Pixel 8a is a copy-paste of the Pixel 8, or so it seems at first. We found the original Pixel 8 to be one nicely comfortable compact smartphone and we are glad that the Pixel 8a has an identical design and looks the same. It has a different build, though.

Google Pixel 8a review

See, while the two phones look quite similar, the new 8a model has a Gorilla Glass 3 front glass instead of the new Victus model. This means you'd be getting a more scratch-resistant glass, but it is more prone to shattering.

Google Pixel 8a review

The frame is made of aluminum, no difference here, but the back panel, including the camera housing, are made of plastic with a nice matte finish. We couldn't tell at first the rear panel was plastic, but you can easily figure out the camera island is different - now it doesn't have the signature seamless design we saw on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.

Google Pixel 8a review

The Pixel 8a is IP67-rated for dust and water resistance vs. IP68 on the Pixel 8. This means it cannot be submerged as deep as the Pixel 8 in clean water. No big deal, really, but do not go taking selfies at the bottom of the pool, please.

The most glaring difference should be the screen bezels, which are, well, quite thick. Given the display panel is not a cheap one, there is no obvious explanation on why Google decided to leave such thick bezels other than to stress on the mid-range class of this phone.

Google Pixel 8a review

The 13MP selfie camera sits inside a small perforation. Above it is the earpiece, which also doubles as a stereo speaker.

Google Pixel 8a review

The Pixel 8a has an under-display fingerprint scanner featuring an optical sensor. It is centered near the bottom of the screen, invisible to the naked eye.

Google Pixel 8a review

The back is slightly curved across all sides and has a notably large camera bar. Here, you can see the 64MP primary and the 13MP ultrawide cameras, as well as the LED flash.

Google Pixel 8a review

The other stereo speaker is at the bottom near the USB port. The Pixel 8a, just like the Pixel 8, has its Power/Lock key placed above the volume button on the right side, instead of below it. And if you are a newcomer to the Pixels, it is going to feel awkward at first.

The sides of the Pixel 8a - Google Pixel 8a review The sides of the Pixel 8a - Google Pixel 8a review
The sides of the Pixel 8a - Google Pixel 8a review The sides of the Pixel 8a - Google Pixel 8a review
The sides of the Pixel 8a

Overall, the Pixel 8a feels lovely in your hand, it is an extremely comfortable smartphone to use in any orientation with one hand. Its build is solid and feels premium even if it is more affordable to make than the Pixel 8. We have no complaints, well, maybe except for the somewhat unnecessary thick bezels.

Google Pixel 8a review

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 15 Jul 2024
  • 0U2

If the Galaxy A35 gets a 4.1 as well, then this should be 4.5 =P

I need magsafe so that a magnet can be attached to the phone, a bunch of different useful accessories cannot be used, and if you buy a ring and stick it on the case, it won’t charge, in my case the ring got hot :)))

  • Anonymous
  • 11 Jul 2024
  • sXY

is it not worth buying it?