5 reasons why you should buy the Google Pixel 8a – from Digital Spy’s Tech Editor

a hand holding a cell phone
5 reasons why you should buy the Google Pixel 8aDigital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

Every year, the best Pixel phones get better and better. Since the launch of the Pixel 6 devices, Google's handsets have proved themselves to be not only the best Android phones but also some of the best phones you can buy.

Back in October 2023, Google released its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and to cut a long story short, they're some of our favourite phones at Digital Spy. I write about tech for a living and liked the Pixel 8 so much that I went out and bought one for myself. That's saying something!

But more recently, there's a new smartphone on the block, offering many of the same specs and features as Google's flagship, but for a lot less money. The Google Pixel 8a costs £499 at the time of writing, whereas the Pixel 8 is currently on sale for £629.

Further down the line, we expect to see Pixel 8a deals that drop the price even lower. Its predecessor, the Pixel 7a, has been reduced to as little as £329 during sales like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. But if you're buying a phone right now, the sub-£500 price point is still jaw-droppingly good considering everything you get.

Why you should buy the Google Pixel 8a

Aside from how affordable it is, these are the 5 main reasons why you should buy the Google Pixel 8a as your next smartphone.

The Google Pixel 8a looks great

Firstly, the Pixel 8a looks very similar to the Pixel 8 flagship phone, but with a new matte plastic casing instead of the glossy glass. There are pros and cons to that – while it may look a little less premium, it feels a fair amount more durable.

google pixel 8a held in hand with purple nails
Digital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

The Google Pixel 8a also has a very respectable 6.1-inch screen with FHD+ quality, a 120Hz refresh rate and up to 2,000 nits peak brightness. Day-to-day, the display is lovely to use, it's crystal clear, super smooth, colourful and you can easily see it on a sunny day, which is more than you can say for a lot of other budget smartphones.

It has one of the best budget phone cameras

One of the biggest reasons you should buy the Google Pixel 8a is because it has the best budget phone camera I have seen so far in 2024.

While it doesn't let in as much light as its flagship counterpart, the Pixel 8a uses an almost identical set-up. You consistently get detailed, well-balanced photos during the day and at night.

google pixel 8a held in hand with purple nails
Digital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

When I was testing the Pixel 8a, I loved the fact that I could just whip the phone out, press the shutter button and I'd get a good-looking photo. It's a completely hassle-free point-and-shoot snapper. The reason it's able to do that so well is because there's lots of clever software working behind the scenes to enhance pictures.

To add to that, there are some really useful editing tools. The Magic Eraser lets you resize, move and delete objects from your photos. Best Take combines images so everyone looks their best. Unblur sharpens up the photos. And Portrait light improves the lighting in shots of people, making them look more professional.

You get a flagship processor

Another major perk is having the flagship Tensor G3 chipset powering the operation. Granted, it's not as fast as the processor you'd find in one of the best Samsung phones, but given the price it's still very impressive. It takes all of Google's top AI features in its stride, whether you're editing your photos using the Magic Eraser, taking notes in a meeting using Live Transcribe, or filtering out spam calls using Call Screening.

google pixel 8a held in hand with purple nails
Digital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

The battery lasts the whole day

If you need a phone with solid battery life then the Google Pixel 8a is an excellent choice. On days that I didn't use it loads (firing off a few messages, playing the odd song on Spotify and occasionally scrolling social media), it would last me into the evening and even into the next morning without needing to be plugged in.

When I spent more time on the handset, like if I was watching a show on one of the best streaming services, it would still last me most of the day and wouldn't need charging until later that night. Impressive!

The Google Pixel 8a wins on software

Software is perhaps one of the most convincing reasons to buy the Google Pixel 8a because it promises 7 years of software updates. That means as long as you don't break or lose it, you will still get new feature drops until May 2031. For comparison, the Pixel 7a only promised 3 years of OS upgrades and the Samsung Galaxy A55 only provides four years of updates.

google pixel 8a held in hand with purple nails
Digital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

Aside from that, Google devices run the purest version of Android, and I think it's the best version. It's easy to use, it's colourful without being cartoonish and there are tonnes of customisation options. As well as that, it comes jam-packed with cool software, many of which I've mentioned already, but there are plenty more to talk about including the monochrome bedtime mode, placing the phone face down to turn on Do Not Disturb and a free VPN built into the device.

The Google Pixel 8a is available to buy now from retailers like Amazon, Argos, John Lewis and Currys.

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