Google Pixel 7a: Five things we want to see
We're counting on Google to push the boundaries of "cheap" phones.
Google rebuilt the Pixel brand in a big way with the Pixel 6 series. The succeeding Pixel 7 series and accessories like the brilliant Pixel Watch only made things better, solidifying the brand's identity in the consumers' eyes. Google grabbed the bull by the horns and somehow came out on top in the cutthroat smartphone arena.
There's a lot to watch out for over the horizon. It's not just smart home tech anymore, Google's Pixel Tablet and rumored foldable promise plenty of excitement in store. Life has never looked better as a Pixel fan.
As we wait with bated breath for whatever's to come, we have plenty of time to wistfully dream about what we want to see from Google's next budget phone. The Pixel 7a is right around the corner and the air is thick with excitement. Taking all the rumors, expectations, and guesses into account, here are five things we really want to see in the next A series phone.
A better set of cameras
We've got to hand it to Google, the company never ever compromises the camera quality of its phones. Going back to the very first Pixel and the older HTC-branded Nexus One, Google phones have always had some of the best photography chops of their time. In fact, the flagship Pixel 7 Pro is so capable that it goes head-to-head against the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in the photography and videography categories.
Naturally, we're expecting big things from the Pixel 7a. The last-gen A series phone won our hearts over in a heartbeat. Equipped with the powerful in-house Tensor chipset and the bold design from the Pixel 6 series, the Pixel 6a was one of the best cheap Android phones of 2022. No other budget phone's photography came close to the device. Both its front and rear cameras consistently matched the same excellent quality of pictures as the Pixel 6.
Google's pride and good name hang on the balance here. The Pixel 7a needs to have a banging set of cameras that put every other affordable phone to shame. We really hope and pray that they aren't the same as the Pixel 6a. As we saw with the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5a, this is something Google is guilty of doing in the past.
Faster wired charging
The great charging fiasco of the Google Pixel 6 series is still fresh in our minds. Although the Pixel 7 series did not repeat the same mistake, the wired charging speeds of both devices were embarrassing for this day and age. Seriously, 30W is nothing to brag about. Making matters worse, the Pixel 6a supports even slower 18W wired charging.
Budget phones trade off a lot of things, but battery and charging speeds definitely shouldn't be sacrificed. The Pixel A series is in dire need of an upgrade in this regard. Google could take a leaf out of Samsung's book and bump up the Pixel 7a's wired charging speed to 25W at the very least. If the Galaxy A53 5G can do it, so can the Pixel 7a.
Snappier 90hz refresh rate
There was nothing revolutionary or innovative about the Google Pixel 6a's OLED panel. Sure, the screen size was a welcome change, but everything else about it was mediocre. However, the initial issues with the fingerprint reader marred the phone's reputation quite a bit. It was nice to see that Google took immediate action and rolled out bug fixes right away.
Our wishes don't align with last year's underperforming 60Hz screen though. The ideal Pixel 7a display would maintain the screen size but bump up the quality of the panel itself. An old leak suggested that the upcoming Pixel A series device could come with a snappier refresh rate, and we couldn't be happier.
A faster 90Hz screen refresh rate would be the stuff of our dreams. You may or may not realize it, but the entire phone feels so much more responsive and everything about it just feels better when the display has a higher refresh rate.
Make it even smaller
The Pixel 6a's petite size was a welcome change over the preceding Pixel 5a. Its radical new dual-toned look set the phone apart from older budget Pixels and breathed much-needed life into the series.
Another one of the things on our Google Pixel 7a wishlist is the stature. There aren't many small Android phones around anymore. ASUS paid close attention to this niche and opted for a 5.9-inch screen on the wonderful Zenfone 9. This was a very clever decision and contributed largely to the phone's relative success.
Not everyone wants a 7-inch goliath like the S23 Ultra. Plenty of folks yearn for a decent Android phone that can do everything that the bigwigs can and also fit in their pants pockets. Small phones are easier to use — especially with one hand. They also weigh much less so there's less stress on your hands all the time. If the Pixel 7a matches the ergonomics of the Zenfone 9, it's definitely going to outdo the Pixel 6a.
Beggers can't be choosers, but here we go a-choosing. The rumor mill is buzzing with leaks and alleged specs for the Google Pixel 7a. One tantalizing tidbit that has been circulating is the likelihood of 5W wireless charging support in the Pixel 7a.
Now, we don't know whether this rumor holds any weight. What we can say for sure is that this is one of the top five most wanted features for our team over at Android Central. Wireless charging would really push the definition of a "cheap" Android phone and force the competition to up its game.
No budget phone has ever had wireless charging to date, but we're still hoping that this feature materializes in the Pixel 7a. If anyone can do it, Google can.
Get the Android Central Newsletter
Instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart tech. She spends her time guzzling coffee, writing, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends. Find her on Twitter @NamerahS.