Google Pixel 8a review

GSMArena Team, 29 May 2024.

Display

The Google Pixel 8a has a lightly smaller OLED screen compared to the Pixel 8 - it's a 6.1-inch OLED of 1,080 x 2,400 pixels. There is support for 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10, and Google promises up to 2,000nits of peak brightness.

The screen is protected with a flat sheet of Gorilla Glass 3.

Google Pixel 8a review

Let's start with our display measurements. We measured 755 nits of maximum brightness when controlling it manually. The Auto Brightness option allows for a stable boost up to 1,508 nits, which is great!

The minimum brightness at point white was just 1.8 nit.

Unfortunately, Google needs to tune its brightness slider better. At 80% brightness, the phone offers 200 nits; at 90%, we are still below 300 nits, and the last 10% are responsible for the steps to 755 nits. This is far from practical.

Max display brightness test

White test pattern, 75% fill (nits)

  • Manual mode
  • Auto mode
Pixel 8 Pixel 8
1001
6.2" LTPO OLED 1080 x 2400 px
iPhone 15 Pro iPhone 15 Pro
845
6.1" LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED 1179 x 2556 px
iPhone 15 iPhone 15
806
6.1" Super Retina XDR OLED 1179 x 2556 px
Sony Xperia 1 VI Sony Xperia 1 VI
792
6.5" LTPO OLED 1080 x 2340 px
Galaxy S24 Galaxy S24
785
6.2" Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X 1080 x 2340 px
Pixel 8a Pixel 8a
755
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Pixel 7a Pixel 7a
498
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Xiaomi 14 Xiaomi 14
497
6.36" LTPO OLED 1200 x 2670 px
Pixel 7 Pixel 7
460
6.7" OLED 1440 x 3120 px
Galaxy S23 FE Galaxy S23 FE
451
6.4" Dynamic AMOLED 2X 1080 x 2340 px
iPhone 15 Pro iPhone 15 Pro
1786
6.1" LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED 1179 x 2556 px
iPhone 15 iPhone 15
1643
6.1" Super Retina XDR OLED 1179 x 2556 px
Pixel 8a Pixel 8a
1508
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Pixel 8 Pixel 8
1446
6.2" LTPO OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Galaxy S24 Galaxy S24
1401
6.2" Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X 1080 x 2340 px
Sony Xperia 1 VI Sony Xperia 1 VI
1310
6.5" LTPO OLED 1080 x 2340 px
Xiaomi 14 Xiaomi 14
1175
6.36" LTPO OLED 1200 x 2670 px
Pixel 7a Pixel 7a
1070
6.1" OLED 1080 x 2400 px
Galaxy S23 FE Galaxy S23 FE
985
6.4" Dynamic AMOLED 2X 1080 x 2340 px
Pixel 7 Pixel 7
974
6.7" OLED 1440 x 3120 px

The color options include Natural and Adaptive colors. And the Pixel 8a consistently offers great accuracy to sRGB and DCI-P3 targets.

Refresh rate

The upgrade to 120Hz from 90Hz on last year's Pixel 7a was a welcome change, although Google still ships the phone set to 60Hz out of the box. Google doesn't offer much flexibility with how the high refresh rate can be used compared to other Android manufacturers, who have started offering per-app refresh rate settings. However, unlike other manufacturers, Google also doesn't limit random apps to 60Hz and the phone usually just runs at 120Hz all the time.

The Pixel 8a is also supposed to support high refresh rates in games, but none of the games we tried ran higher than 60fps. The phone doesn't seem to support 90Hz per our tests - just 60Hz and 120Hz.

HDR

The Pixel 8a supports Widevine L1 DRM and HDR10 streaming. And all popular streaming apps offer 1080p HDR10 streaming when available.

Battery life

The Pixel 8a is powered by a 4,492mAh battery, a hair smaller capacity than the Pixel 8's 4,575mAh cell. It also features a whisker tinier display with a 6.1-inch diagonal instead of 6.2".

And that is why it was no surprise the Pixel 8a scored a similar Active Use Score as the OG Pixel 8 - 11 hours and 25 minutes. It offers 23 hours of call time, over 10 hours of web browsing, over 13 hours of video streaming and over 7 hours of gaming. Not bad for a compact phone.

Charging speed

The Pixel 8a supports up to 18W USB-PD fast charging and up to 7.5W wireless charging. This is noticeably slower than the Pixel 8's 27W wired and 18W wireless charging.

Google Pixel 8a review

Quite expectedly, 18W is nowhere near competitive. The Pixel 8a went from 0% to 18% of charge in 15 mins when hooked up to a 30W USB-PD charger. We clocked 33% of charge in 30 mins, and 60% in 60 mins. A full charge took a whopping 2 hours and 9 minutes.

Charging speed

  • in 15 min
  • in 30 min
  • Time to full charge (from 0%)
Xiaomi 14 Xiaomi 14
58%
4610 mAh 90W charging
Asus Zenfone 10 Asus Zenfone 10
36%
4300 mAh 30W HyperCharge
iPhone 15 iPhone 15
32%
3349 mAh 20W PD
Pixel 8 Pixel 8
30%
4575 mAh 30W PD
Galaxy S24 Galaxy S24
29%
4000 mAh 25W Samsung PD+PPS
Xperia 1 VI Xperia 1 VI
27%
5000 mAh 30W PD
iPhone 15 Pro Max iPhone 15 Pro Max
23%
4422 mAh 20W PD
Pixel 7a Pixel 7a
20%
4385 mAh 30W PD
Pixel 8a Pixel 8a
18%
4492 mAh 18W PD
Xiaomi 14 Xiaomi 14
94%
4610 mAh 90W charging
Asus Zenfone 10 Asus Zenfone 10
60%
4300 mAh 30W HyperCharge
Galaxy S24 Galaxy S24
59%
4000 mAh 25W Samsung PD+PPS
iPhone 15 iPhone 15
58%
3349 mAh 20W PD
Pixel 8 Pixel 8
56%
4575 mAh 30W PD
Xperia 1 VI Xperia 1 VI
50%
5000 mAh 30W PD
iPhone 15 Pro Max iPhone 15 Pro Max
46%
4422 mAh 20W PD
Pixel 7a Pixel 7a
36%
4385 mAh 30W PD
Pixel 8a Pixel 8a
33%
4492 mAh 18W PD
Xiaomi 14 Xiaomi 14
0:35h
4610 mAh 90W charging
Galaxy S24 Galaxy S24
1:15h
4000 mAh 25W Samsung PD+PPS
Pixel 8 Pixel 8
1:16h
4575 mAh 30W PD
Asus Zenfone 10 Asus Zenfone 10
1:21h
4300 mAh 30W HyperCharge
Xperia 1 VI Xperia 1 VI
1:30h
5000 mAh 30W PD
iPhone 15 Pro Max iPhone 15 Pro Max
1:49h
4422 mAh 20W PD
iPhone 15 iPhone 15
1:50h
3349 mAh 20W PD
Pixel 7a Pixel 7a
1:57h
4385 mAh 30W PD
Pixel 8a Pixel 8a
2:09h
4492 mAh 18W PD

The Pixel 8a also supports up to 7.5W of wireless charging.

Speakers - loudness and quality

The Pixel 8a has a stereo speaker system with the earpiece doubling as a speaker. The speakers are balanced very well even if their loudness and quality appear to differ.

Google Pixel 8a review

The speakers scored a Good mark on our loudness test. The audio quality is very good - there is good bass, excellent vocals, and well-presented high-frequencies, though the Pixel 8 has a richer range here.

Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal "0db" flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.

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?