The best mobile phones handle the most important tasks expected of a handset very calmly and don’t think at all about all the amazing things happening inside. Even better if your phone can handle all these tasks while also saving you money.
These are the reasons why the Google Pixel 7a is the best mobile device I’ve seen in 2023. And I happened to be in a position to see a lot of them.
As editor-in-chief of mobile coverage at Tom’s Guide, I get to review a lot of mobile phones. When it comes to mobile phones, I don’t personally review them, but I usually work with colleagues who do review those devices, asking them about their experience, listening to their observations, and reviewing different displays. , we’re looking at the results of processor, camera, and battery tests. we run
This year has been a very strong year for mobile phones, with Apple releasing the best iPhone ever in the form of the iPhone 15 lineup and Samsung launching a great camera phone with the Galaxy S23 Ultra. There’s never been a better time to buy a foldable smartphone, with competition especially fierce among mid-range models.
So what makes the Pixel 7a stand out from the crowd? For me, it boils down to three reasons.
The Pixel 7a’s camera is second to none
That’s not to say that the Pixel 7a’s camera setup is the best. We’ve already mentioned the Galaxy S23 Ultra and its pace-setting camera performance, especially when it comes to zoom shots. The Pixel 7a doesn’t even have a dedicated telephoto lens, only a 64MP main camera and a 13MP ultra-wide-angle shooter.
But these cameras, combined with the photo processing power of Google’s Pixel smartphones, are more than enough. Point your Pixel 7a camera at your subject and take great photos. It definitely takes better photos than other phones in the 7a’s price range.
This insect sculpture made from recycled materials shows off the power of the Pixel 7a’s camera. The Pixel’s shots are colorful and well-balanced, without the overexposure common in similar photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy A54. In the Pixel 7a photo, the glare from the red bicycle seat that doubles as the bug’s head is reduced, and the silver eyes remain in sharp detail.
The Pixel 7a also excels in low-light situations, as exemplified by the lantern photo at night. You can see more surface detail in the Pixel 7a photo, and the edges of the shot don’t have as many shadows as depicted on the Galaxy A54.
If you compare the Pixel 7a to smartphones in its price range, this is perfectly fine. (The Galaxy A54 costs $449, $50 less than the Pixel 7a.) But what happens when you look at photos from more expensive phones with better camera settings, at least on paper?
The Galaxy S23 FE has a dedicated zoom lens that the Pixel 7a doesn’t have, benefiting from Samsung’s know-how with zoom shots. However, I think the Pixel 7a is better at this 3x zoom of a movie theater marquee. Text appears sharper in Pixel 7a photos, and theater facade surfaces appear more colorful and rich in detail. The Pixel 7a uses Google’s SuperResZoom feature to remove the distortion that can occur in shots that rely on digital zoom, and in this case it helps level the playing field.
Pixel 7a delivers flagship-level smarts
SuperResZoom is one of the many photo processing tools that benefit from the on-device smart features that Google has included in Pixel smartphones. You also get editing tools like Magic Eraser, which lets you remove unwanted objects and annoying photo bombers from your photos with a simple tap. The photo unblur tool takes images taken with other cameras and removes some blur, especially around the face, making the overall shot better.
These features are tied to the Tensor G2 system-on-chip that powers the Pixel 7a. It’s also the same silicon as Google’s flagship Pixel 7, so that means the same AI-driven experience available on these more expensive smartphones will be available on his 7a.
And we’re not just talking about photo editing tools. A good built-in recorder app will recognize when different people are speaking in a recording and separate them when generating a transcript on the fly. Ideal for conferences and interviews with multiple speakers. Other AI features available on Pixel 7a include Quick Phrase to launch Google Assistant without first saying “OK Google,” Clear Call to eliminate background noise during calls, and Clear Call when calling 800 numbers. and Direct My Call to better navigate menus.
The Pixel 7a uses the Tensor G2 chipset, so it doesn’t take advantage of the more advanced features made possible by the Tensor G3 silicon in the Pixel 8 smartphones released after the 7a’s launch. (Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until next year’s Pixel 8a for more advanced call screening features and the ability to manipulate photos with the Magic Editor tool.)
This is a tradeoff that lower-end smartphones like the Pixel 7a may have to give up on more advanced features in exchange for a lower price. In the case of Pixel 7a, I think it’s worth the trade.
Pixel 7a offers great value for money
And here we come to the last important point where the Pixel 7a has an advantage. It’s not that expensive compared to the flagship smartphones out there.
We live in a time when people can stare at a $999 price on their smartphone and not even blink an eye. Even Google’s flagship product, which undercuts its competitors, has a starting price of $699 for the Pixel 8. But the Pixel 7a proves you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a top-notch experience.
At $499, the Pixel 7a isn’t the cheapest phone in its class. Price-wise, both the Galaxy A54 and iPhone SE are below that. But these smartphones don’t offer the same kind of features as the Pixel 7a, which manages to keep pace with smartphones priced at a few hundred dollars or more.
Even with the Pixel 8a likely arriving by the middle of this year, the Pixel 7a is still a great buy. Especially when you can save even more money on this full-featured smartphone with the great deals on Pixel 7a. There may be newer models on the way, but nothing impressed him more than the Pixel 7a this past year.