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The $500 Pixel 8a made my $1,000 Pixel 8 Pro look like the biggest loser in Google’s lineup

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The $500 Pixel 8a made my $1,000 Pixel 8 Pro look like the biggest loser in Google’s lineup

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I just got my hands on Google’s Pixel 8a, and I’m happy to report that Google’s new $500 mid-ranger takes the value proposition to a higher level compared to its predecessor!

To be clear, I don’t think $500 is a negligible amount of money, so this is in no way a “cheap” phone you can buy with pocket change. However, in the current economic climate, which includes phones like the $1,200 iPhone 15 Pro Max and $1,300 Galaxy S24 Ultra, $500 seems like a bargain – especially for a phone that gives you everything you need. And I mean everything!

So… Should we stop buying $1,000 phones altogether then? Maybe… Maybe not. However, there’s one specific $,1000 phone that looks particularly awkward next to the Pixel 8a, and this is my good old Pixel 8 Pro.

Boy, does Google’s premium flagship look overpriced now!

Flagship-killer indeed! Pixel 8a makes Pixel 8 Pro the biggest loser in Google’s smartphone lineup

See, no matter which Pixel 8a review/article you’ll read in the coming days/weeks/months, I can guarantee that the one thing you’ll find in every single one of them is people telling you “how similar the Pixel 8a is to the Pixel 8”, and how the flagship makes the mid-ranger look bad. And I totally agree.

For give/take the same price, the vanilla Pixel 8 is easily the better deal compared to the Pixel 8a, because it’s more premium in almost every signal way.

And guess what… So is the Pixel 8 Pro! But this is the not-so-obvious comparison many tech nerds won’t tell you about.

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However, as someone who’s been using the Pixel 8 Pro since launch, I think Google’s premium flagship is the real loser in the current Pixel lineup. And it’s not even close.

The tiny Pixel 8a gives me 90% of my Pixel 8 Pro at half the price

My Pixel 8 Pro was $1,000 when it first launched and when I got my hands on it, but playing with the $500 Pixel 8a has me wondering if anybody should be buying the $1,000 Pixel 8 Pro at all? Even if this one can be found for as low as $700-800 right now.

The $500 Pixel 8a quite literally does everything the $1,000 Pixel 8 Pro can do. Sure, you can tell its back is made of plastic, but guess what… that’s not a bad thing since it won’t break! In fact, you can even use it without a case if you wanted to and benefit from how light it is.

The other difference I noticed between the two was the display. For one, the Pixel 8 Pro’s 6.7-inch screen is way larger than the 6.1-inch panel on the 8a. However, it’s also brighter, more vivid, and more color-accurate.The rest of the practical differences are the weaker speakers, vibration motor, and lack of Reverse Wireless Charging on the Pixel 8a, which is to be expected from any mid-range phone.

I like flagships, and I wouldn’t give them up (unless I had to), but the Pixel 8a convinced me most people should stop buying $1,000 phones

See, I only spent a short time with the Pixel 8a before sending the phone back to our office, but my point is that, fundamentally, I didn’t feel like I’m going to be missing out if I was to grade my Pixel 8 Pro for the 8a and save $500.

That’s half the price… two Pixel 8a units… a vacation… a tablet – you get the point. It’s a lot of money for what (in essence) is… the same phone, or at least an identical experience. There’s really nothing the Pixel 8 Pro can do that the Pixel 8a can’t – except Video Boost – but who cares!

Moreover, you should bear in mind that I’m coming into this comparison as a “spoiled” iPhone 15 Pro Max, Pixel 8 Pro, and Galaxy S24 Ultra user (although my main phone is an iPhone 13 mini).

But I guess this only gives my argument extra legitimacy, since even I struggle to see why anybody would go out and spend $1,000 on a phone when $500 gets you a device with a great camera, a very good display, decent battery life, more than enough power, and a whopping 7 years of OS updates, which is now a standard on all new Google phones.

This makes the Pixel 8a a truly special mid-range device that should (in theory) be able to withstand the test of time, which isn’t a given when it comes to $500 phones, or many flagships.

As Borat said… Wawawiwa, Google! Are you self-sabotaging?!



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