Google is set to launch Pixel 7a
Google is set to launch Pixel 7a: Google is only weeks away from introducing the Pixel 7a, and in all likeness, the phone should also make it to the Indian market. The mid-range A series is always known for its high value and is popular among users because of its no-nonsense approach to the smartphone experience. I know Google has been very unpredictable with its India launches recently but, the success of Pixel 6a, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro should encourage it to take the Indian smartphone users more seriously. In the process, it should also be careful to not repeat one Pixel 6a mistake, that probably stopped that phone from being a runaway hit.
Price it right – that should be the header of all Pixel 7a official documents. But, before I talk about the possible pricing, let us have a look at what we can expect from the Pixel 7a in terms of features.
A compact, more powerful phone
The Pixel 7a will continue to be the more compact phone in the Pixel line-up. Google is yet to officially release the design of the phone but there are number of leaks on the internet suggesting that Pixel 7a will be another mid-sized phone, just like last year’s Pixel 6a. It is likely to have dimensions of 152.4 x 72.9 x 9.0mm. This makes the Pixel 7a 0.2mm taller, 1.1mm wider, and 0.1mm thicker than the Pixel 6a. So, both the phones will be more or less the same in terms of size and in-hand feel.
It’s also safe to assume that Google will continue the same design language that we have seen on some of its recent phones with a metal bar running through the back panel to house the rear cameras. Google is unlikely to introduce too many new colours of the phone this year. It is likely to stick to the traditional Black/Grey and White colours along with a new light Blue variant of the phone.
The Pixel 6a had a pretty decent 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED display but its 60Hz refresh rate was a big problem. This is one area where the Pixel 7a can see an upgrade to 120Hz or at least 90Hz. But, rest of the display specifications as well as the size are likely to remain the same.
Google is yet to confirm the chipset on the Pixel 7a but again, going by what we have seen in the past, the Pixel 7a should borrow the second-gen Tensor chip – G2 – which we saw on last year’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The chipset lags behind the Snapdragon 8-series SoCs but it will definitely provide an improvement in performance over the Pixel 6a. Also, with AI in so much news, we can definitely expect Google to announce some new AI features for the Pixel 7a. The fact that launch will coincide with the Google I/O, it may also be one of the first phones to have Android 14.
Hopefully, Pixel 7a also upgrades the camera system and battery performance over the Pixel 6a.
Price it right
This is not an official Google doc but, the header had to make it here. Yes, there is one thing that Google absolutely needs to get right in 2023 – is to price the Pixel 7a right. For the unversed, the Pixel 6a was launched in India in July last year, at Rs 43,999 — a disappointing price tag for many despite the device’s capabilities. Only two months later, Google had reduced the price by almost Rs 16,000 during the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale. This included a bank offer, additional discount for prepaid transactions and an extra discount for select bank card holders.
At that price, the Pixel 6a was an excellent phone. Unfortunately, many had bought the phone by then at its initial phone. Others who found it overpriced, went for other phones, most notably the Nothing Phone (1) — which launched at the same time and drew a lot of comparisons with the Pixel 6a — even though Nothing founder Carl Pei is not a big fan of them.
To make things worse, the Pixel 7 was introduced in the same month as the Flipkart sale at a starting price of Rs 60,000 and an instant discount of Rs 10,000, bringing it very close to the initial pricing of the Pixel 6a.
And, it goes without saying that the whole situation was very unfair to the buyers. We even pointed out in our review, that the Pixel 6a was initially overpriced and should launch for around Rs 35,000. In fact, the phone currently sells at Rs 31,999 (without any discount) and with three years of software updates, is still a better option than most phones in that price segment.
So, here is to hoping that Google learns a lesson or two from the Pixel 6a price and ensures that the Pixel 7a hits the sweet spot from the very first day. It’s difficult to predict the price without knowing the exact specifications of the device but, if it remains around Rs 40,000, it should make most interested buyers happy.