The Pixel 8a is now official with a $499 price tag and plenty of updates and new features – let’s dig in…

The Pixel 8a is Here

Is The Pixel 8a Worth It?

The Pixel A series is always good value, but Google has outdone itself this time. Not only do you get access to plenty of mainline Pixel phone features like Gemini, advanced photo and video shooting modes and effects, but you also get seven years’ worth of Android updates. 

Richard GoodwinPin

For value for money, the Pixel 8a is leagues ahead of the competition with its flagship camera features, AI smarts, and updated internals. For the price, this phone is next to impossible to beat right now.

— Richard Goodwin, Editor

Best New Pixel 8a Features

Google Tensor G3 chip brings AI-powered features and more performance

64MP main lens, 13MP ultrawide lens, and advanced features.

New Actua display 40% brighter, 120Hz refresh rate

New 256 GB option

7 years of updates and advanced security features.

After 12 months of speculation about its price and alleged features, the Pixel 8a is now official and available to buy. If you were worried about price increases, you needn’t have been – the Pixel 8a retails for $499 / £499

When it comes to updates, there’s quite a lot to unpack. You have updated camera modules, both on the front and the rear, bundled AI features courtesy of Google’s Gemini, new colours, and updated internals. 

Not too shabby, right? Here’s everything you need to know about the Google Pixel 8a’s specs, updates, and new features. 

Design and Build

Google Pixel 8a: Everything You Need To KnowPin

With its rounded edges, matte back, and sturdy aluminum frame, the Pixel 8a – while priced like a midrange phone – looks anything but. Google did good this time around, blending elements of its more expensive Pixel 8 / Pixel 8 Pro into the 8a’s design language.

The star of the show is the new Actua display. It’s a jaw-dropping 40% brighter than its predecessor, the Pixel 7a, and boasts a silky-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Scrolling through your favorite apps has never felt so satisfying.

With colours, the Pixel 8a is available in four hues: the limited-edition Aloe, the serene Bay, the classic Obsidian, or the elegant Porcelain. And if you’re a digital hoarder like me, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Pixel 8a now offers a generous 256GB storage option.


Google Pixel 8a: Everything You Need To KnowPin

Let’s talk about the camera – or should I say, cameras? The Pixel 8a is equipped with a dual rear camera system that will make your Instagram feed the envy of your friends.

The 64-megapixel main lens captures incredible detail, while the 13-megapixel ultrawide lens ensures you never miss a moment, no matter how expansive the scene.

Selfie lovers, rejoice! The 13-megapixel front-facing camera has a large field-of-view, so you can fit the whole squad in your selfies without the need for a selfie stick.

But the real magic happens behind the scenes, thanks to the Google Tensor G3 chip. This powerhouse enables a suite of AI-powered photography tools that will take your photos and videos to the next level:

  • Best Take: Say goodbye to awkward group photos. Best Take lets you choose the perfect expression for everyone in the shot.
  • Magic Editor: Want to reposition a subject or make the background pop? Magic Editor makes it happen with just a few taps.
  • Audio Magic Eraser: No more ruined videos due to wind, crowds, or other distracting sounds. Audio Magic Eraser cleans up your audio for crystal-clear playback.

And that’s not all – the Pixel 8a also boasts features like Super Res Zoom (up to 8x), Magic Eraser, Night Sight, Photo Unblur, and Real Tone, which accurately represents all skin tones in your photos and videos, just like the more expensive Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Google AI and Productivity Features

Google Pixel 8a: Everything You Need To KnowPin

The Pixel 8a isn’t just a pretty face – it’s also incredibly smart. With Google AI built-in, this phone is designed to help you get things done faster and more efficiently.

Gemini Comes Baked In

Google is really pushing AI at the moment – for better or worse – so it is no surprise to find it baked into what will almost certainly be its most popular release this year. 

Gemini is Google’s answer to ChatGPT and it can help you with a bunch of stuff – from answering basic questions to planning a trip. At least, that’s the marketing spiel. Real life results may vary and LLMs like Gemini are known for their hallucinations. 

What is Circle To Search? Let’s say you’re reading an article or browsing through some photos, and you come across something that you want to know more about.

Instead of having to open up a separate search app or browser, you can just use your finger to circle, highlight, scribble, or tap on the thing you’re interested in. It’s super intuitive and feels really natural.

Once you’ve marked the item, Circle to Search kicks in and pulls up relevant information right there on the spot.

No more switching apps or typing out search queries – the answers you need are delivered straight to you, right where you are.

Pixel Call Assist

With Call Screen, Direct My Call, Hold for Me, Clear Calling, and more, Pixel Call Assist is designed to make screening and managing your calls simpler and much more intuitive.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Pixel 8a now comes with Audio Emoji. Tap on an emoji during a call to trigger an audio reaction and visual effect. Clap for a job well done or laugh at your own jokes – the choice is yours.

Family-Friendly Setup and Controls

Because the Pixel 8a is more affordable, plenty of people buy them for their kids or teenagers which creates its own set of problems and issues. 

In order to make phones “safer” for youngsters, Google has built in a suite of tools that’ll help parents and guardians “lock-down” the phone so that it is more appropriate for younger users. 

Right out of the box, you can establish digital ground rules and customize privacy settings to your liking.

Once the phone is set up, Family Link allows you to manage screen time limits, share location, and ensure your child’s digital well-being.

Security and Software

Support Security is a top priority with the Pixel 8a. The Google Tensor G3 chip works in tandem with the certified Titan M2 security chip and a built-in VPN to keep your data safe and secure.

But the real headline here is the software support. The Pixel 8a will receive a whopping seven years of software updates, including security updates and Android OS upgrades.

That means you can enjoy the latest features and improvements through ongoing Feature Drops for years to come.

Pricing and Availability

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Now, let’s talk numbers. The Pixel 8a starts at just $499 / £499, which is an absolute steal for a phone of this caliber.

You can pre-order yours today, and if you sign up for Google Fi Wireless, you’ll get $499 back over 24 monthly credits. That’s like getting the phone for free!

Is The Pixel 8a Worth It?

The Pixel A series is always good value, but Google has outdone itself this time. Not only do you get access to plenty of mainline Pixel phone features like Gemini, advanced photo and video shooting modes and effects, but you also get seven years’ worth of Android updates. 

This is huge – 7 years is technically more than you get with iPhone. Now, this is obviously contingent on your Pixel 8a lasting that long. I’ve never had a Pixel that lasted more than 3 years before dying – but at least you now have the support in place. 

For the price, $499 / £499, I honestly do not think there is a more versatile, useful phone on the market at this price point. The camera is great, the hardware is impressive, the support is market-leading, and it even looks good. 

For my money, the Pixel 8a is now the best value smartphone on the market and with its newly announced features set, it is going to be very hard to beat in 2024.

Learn More About The Pixel 8a

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