What you need to know
- The Google Pixel 7a fared well in a durability test.
- Google's latest mid-range smartphone survived JerryRigEverything's bend test.
- However, it sustained a few scratches on its plastic back panel.
The Google Pixel 7a has a lot going for it when it comes to hardware, and a new durability test by YouTuber Zack Nelson shows that it has an equally solid build quality and can withstand a lot of abuse.
If you’re worried that Google's latest mid-range phone looks a little on the fragile side for its price, the torture video below by the JerryRigEverything channel will put your mind at ease. The phone withstood being scratched with a razor blade, bent multiple times, and even having its screen burned with a lighter.
Nelson has built a reputation for putting every new smartphone across various price categories through the ringer to see what kind of abuse it can endure. And after subjecting the Pixel 7a to the worst torture a phone can possibly go through, the results did inspire much confidence.
When scratching its screen with a set of Mohs hardness picks, the handset began to show signs of damage at level 6, with deeper ruts appearing at level 7. This means that the screen scratches at the same level as many of the flagship Android phones, such as the Pixel 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The screen also warped when a lighter was held to it, although it did recover after a short while. One area that's particularly concerning in Nelson's antics was the bend test, not only because it’s stressful to watch someone try to snap a smartphone regardless of price. The fear was that the protruding camera bar would split the phone in half, especially with the Pixel 7a.
It turns out those concerns were baseless, with the phone surviving the bend test unscathed. That was not the case for the pricey Pixel 7 Pro (which costs at least $900), whose durability faced a serious threat. This raised serious concerns regarding its resistance to everyday wear and tear over the long term.
On the other hand, the Pixel 7a exhibited impressive durability for a phone that costs only $500. It shows that Google has put a lot of thought into making the Pixel 7a a durable device that can withstand the rigors of everyday use.
As for the rest of the phone, Nelson had no trouble scratching through the Pixel 7a's entirely plastic rear panel with a box cutter.
When purchasing a new smartphone, most people want to ensure that the device will withstand daily wear and tear. You won't have any issues with the Pixel 7a in this regard. Having said that, you should still get one of the best cases for the Pixel 7a because its plastic back panel is easily scratched with a razor blade.
Google upped the ante with the Pixel 7a, the Pixel 6a's successor. It's a more affordable option in the lineup, but it has premium features, such as the same Google Tensor G2 chip found in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. It's a solid option with an all-day battery, sleek design, and the promise of security and OS updates for years to come.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.