This low-key Pixel 7a feature makes vibration alerts a little less annoying

Adaptive alert vibrations on the Pixel 7a
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google launched the new Pixel 7a at its I/O event on May 10.
  • A new feature not found on other Pixels changes the vibration strength when the phone is face up.
  • It's not clear if or when this feature will reach other Pixel smartphones.

Days after Google I/O's big keynote, the buzz around the Pixel 7a is still going strong. There's a lot to like about the 7a, including its haptics, which Android Central's Nicholas Sutrich praised in his Pixel 7a review, saying that "Google's haptics are the best in the business and it's not even remotely close." Now, a newly spotted 7a feature will give him even more to gush about.

The feature is called "Adaptive alert vibration," and it was spotted by Android Police along with an accompanying support document. According to the description, toggling on "Reduces vibration strength while your phone is still and the screen is facing up."

(Image credit: Android Central)

It sounds pretty explanatory, as it should make your phone's vibration a little less obnoxious while it's face up on a surface. This makes sense if your display is already in view, making it fairly easy to see that a notification has come in. That said, it appears Adaptive alert vibration is not toggled on by default, in case you rely on those extra-strong vibrations.

Sutrich notices that while the 7a's vibrations weren't too wild to begin with, turning on the feature makes the phone's vibrations "subtler" and "far less pronounced." You can find the feature when navigating to Settings > Sound & vibration > Vibration & haptics.

The feature apparently isn't available on other Pixel smartphones despite previously appearing in the Android 13 QPR2 Beta 1. However, it's possible it could arrive on other devices with the next feature drop, which is due in June.

At just $500, the Pixel 7a is shaping up to be one of the best cheap Android phones on the market, thanks to the Tensor G2 chipset, improved cameras, and 90Hz display. In fact, comparing the Pixel 7a to the Pixel 7 shows that there's not much difference in their specs, despite the $100 difference in price.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.