This might be the best time of year to buy one of Google’s Pixel phones. Not only has Google refreshed its entire smartphone lineup over the past six months, the new models are now on sale as part of the many Black Friday phone deals that have popped up over the past few weeks.
Thanks to the sale, you can buy a new Pixel for a significant discount – perfect if you value the outstanding cameras that come on Google’s phones and want to experience the unique AI-powered experiences made possible by the Tensor chipset that powers each device. The only question is which Pixel to choose.
At the top of the range is the Pixel 8 Pro, Google’s premium smartphone designed to go toe-to-toe with the best phones Apple and Samsung have to offer. Just below that is the standard Pixel 8, which sacrifices some of the Pro’s notable features in favor of a lower price tag.
Of course, it’s a low price you’re after, there’s no topping the Pixel 7a, which gives you Google’s famous mobile smarts and photo-processing capabilities at a fraction of the cost of a flagship phone. (A fourth Google phone, the Pixel Fold, also came out this year, but we’re limiting this comparison to the more conventionally designed Pixels. If you want a foldable phone from Google, there’s only one model to choose from. )
Google’s trio of Pixels are all flagship phones in their own right, with each having their own unique appeal. If you’re pretty sure you want a Pixel, but not sure which model to get, this Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 7a might point you in the right direction.
Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 7a specs
|Google Pixel 7a||Google Pixel 8||Google Pixel 8 Pro|
|Award||$499 USD||$699 USD||999 USD|
|Screen size||6.1-inch OLED (2400 x 1080)||6.2-inch OLED (2400×1080)||6.7-inch LTPO OLED (2992×1344)|
|Update frequency||90 Hz||60Hz – 120Hz||1Hz -120Hz|
|Processor||Tensor G2||Tensor G3||Tensor G3|
|Storage||128 GB||128 GB, 256 GB||128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB|
|Rear cameras||64 MP main (f/1.89), 13 MP ultrawide (f/2.2)||50 MP main (f/1.68), 12 MP ultrawide (f/2.2)||50 MP main (f/1.68), 48 MP ultrawide (f/1.95), 48 MP telephoto (f/2.8) with 5x optical zoom|
|Front camera||13MP (f/2.2)||10.5MP (f//2.2)||10.5MP (f//2.2)|
|Battery||4,385 mAh||4575 mAh||5050 mAh|
|Measure||6 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches / 152 x 72.9 x 9.0 mm||5.9 x 2.8 x 0.4 inch / 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9 mm||6.4 x 3 x 0.3 inches / 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8 mm|
|Weight||6.8 ounces / 193.5 grams||6.6 ounces / 187 grams||7.5 ounces / 213 grams|
|Colors||Charcoal, sea, snow||Obsidian, Hazel, Rose||Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay|
Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 7a Deals
Google is currently running a Black Friday sale on its online store where you’ll find discounts on the company’s current phones. You can save anywhere from $125 to $200 by buying the phones directly from Google, although some other retailers like Amazon are matching those price cuts on some models.
The Pixel 8 Pro sees the biggest savings at Google, which is taking $200 off its premium flagship. The standard Pixel gets a more modest $150 discount at Google, though that drops the phone’s cost to $549 — less than what the Pixel 7 debuted at in 2022. Sign up for Google Fi, Google’s wireless service, and get an Unlimited Plus Plan, and you can pick up Pixel 8 free. (The cost of the phone is paid back to you in monthly bill credits spread over two years.)
The Pixel 7a is one of the best budget phones under $500, but Google still found a way to take $125 off the price. The discounted $374 price tag undercuts the Pixel 7’s main rivals like the iPhone SE and Samsung Galaxy A54.
Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 7a – how they compare
Google uses the same design for its smartphones, with a few tweaks here and there. But basically, you get a phone with a horizontal camera bar that stretches across the back and provides a great way to keep your phone from wobbling when you put it down with the screen facing up.
The trio of Pixels may look a lot alike, but they differ in a few key areas that can help you decide which model is right for your needs.
Show: If you want the biggest screen possible on a Pixel — well, the biggest screen you don’t have to fold up — go for the Pixel 8 Pro and its 6.7-inch panel. The Pixel 8 shrinks things down to a 6.3-inch screen, while the Pixel 7a is the most compact of the bunch at 6.1 inches.
You’ll have no problem seeing either the Pixel 8 Pro or the Pixel 8’s displays, as our light meter recorded readings of 1,526 nits and 1,349 nits. At 931 nits, the Pixel 7a isn’t as bright as those phones, though it outperforms other devices in its price range.
Cameras: The Pixel 8 Pro is the only handset in this trio to have a dedicated telephoto lens, with the 48MP camera capable of supporting a 5x zoom. A 50MP main lens and 48MP ultrawide shooter round out the Pixel 8 Pro’s rear camera setup.
The lack of an optical zoom puts the Pixel 8 and Pixel 7a at a disadvantage, although Google’s Super Res Zoom feature reduces the blur you typically see in photos taken with a digital. And the main cameras on both phones – a 50MP shooter on the Pixel 8 and a 64MP camera on the Pixel 7a – perform very well against the competition. Basically, any Pixel phone you get will have formidable cameras, although the Pixel 8 Pro offers the most complete package.
Performance: The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro run on the newer Tensor G3 chipset. It’s not a performance powerhouse, but it does support advanced AI features like call handling, on-device translation and — most impressively — photo editing features not found on other phones, including the Pixel 7a.
Pixel 8 exclusive features include the Magic Editor where you can change the lighting and composition of an image, even moving subjects as you like. Audio Magic Eraser eliminates unwanted audio from videos you’ve taken, while Best Talk swaps faces in group photos so no one blinks or looks away.
The Pixel 7a has some AI-powered features, but not to the extent that the Pixel 8 phones offer. For example, you can use the Pixel 7a to monitor phone calls, but the assistant answering the call doesn’t sound as natural, nor can it determine the context of the conversation the way the Pixel 8 models can. You might not get Magic Editor with the Pixel 7a, but that budget phone supports photo editing features like Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur.
Battery life: To be honest, none of these Pixels come close to making our list of best phone battery life, although they perform better in our battery test than their predecessors. The Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 7a scored just ahead of the average smartphone, while the Pixel 8 was just behind. There’s no truly outstanding Google device here.
Google Pixel 8 vs Pixel 8 Pro vs Pixel 7a – which one should you get?
Pixel 8 Pro offers the most complete device, with the richest features. (Since it’s also the most expensive model we’re looking at, it had better.) The current Pixel 8 Pro Black Friday deal gives you the chance to enjoy these premium features at a significant discount. It’s also a great choice for anyone who needs a telephoto lens or a large screen.
The Pixel 8 has most of the features of the Pixel 8 Pro, except for the larger screen and dedicated telephoto lens. If none of these features are a must for you, you have a chance to save big on your Pixel purchase.
As for the Pixel 7a, it’s a great budget device that’s cheaper than ever thanks to a Black Friday discount. If the cheaper Pixel 8 devices remain out of your budget, the Pixel 7a is a perfectly reasonable option that still delivers great images.
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