8 things the Pixel 8a can learn from the Nothing Phone 2a

Comparing the Google Pixel 7a to the Nothing Phone 2a

For years, Google’s Pixel A-series has supplied an unimaginable worth that is supplied unmatchable digicam high quality, supplied extra updates than different telephones in its class, and infrequently outperformed every thing on the sub-$500 worth vary due to its Google Tensor processor.

However then the Nothing Telephone 2a got here round. At $350, it is $150 lower than the Pixel 7a (and sure the Pixel 8a), all whereas providing flagship design, a greater show than something in its worth vary, and battery life and charging pace that’ll make anybody comfortable.

With the Pixel 8a’s seemingly launch simply on the horizon — most probably to be introduced at Google I/O 2024 on Could 14 — there are some things Google might do to maintain Nothing from severely consuming into its hard-earned Pixel A-series market share. Likely, it’s going to be the very best funds telephone in its worth vary when it releases as long as Google retains up with the Joneses, however listed here are some issues the Pixel 8a can take away from the Nothing Telephone 2a.

Value

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Google Pixel 8a is anticipated to debut on the similar $499 worth because the Pixel 7a. That is a $50 worth hike over earlier Pixel A-series generations however the 7a improved the general expertise by together with a greater show, higher fingerprint sensor, wi-fi charging, and even a digicam improve.

Whereas all of these issues had been essential, it is extra essential that Google does not improve the value but once more this 12 months to make sure it stays beneath the magic $500 price ticket.

The plain drawback is that the Nothing Telephone 2a is $150 cheaper than that, and it is seemingly going to be troublesome to say that the Pixel 8a shall be price a lot greater than Nothing’s first budget-focused telephone.

Design

Comparing the Google Pixel 7a to the Nothing Phone 2a

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Google’s Pixel design has been nothing wanting unimaginable for the previous few years, and it will be a disgrace to see Google damage that now. The newest Pixel 9 leaks look fairly darn ugly, however fortunately, Pixel 8a leaks make it look much more just like the Pixel 8.

Whereas Nothing’s Glyph Interface and related clear design are nice, the digicam island on the again of the Telephone 2a does not look notably enticing. On the intense facet, it is instantly identifiable as a Nothing Telephone due to these distinctive design points.

Equally, Google’s iconic digicam bar design is instantly recognizable even with a case on the telephone. It is a sensible design that appears incredible, and we would hate to see Google do something too totally different. At least, do not make it seem like the Telephone 2a’s bizarre digicam hump.

Show

Comparing the Google Pixel 7a to the Nothing Phone 2a

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Final 12 months, Google upgraded the Pixel 7a with a 90Hz show — an essential soar over the sluggish 60Hz on the Pixel 6a. Nevertheless, the Nothing Telephone 2a upped the ante in a number of essential methods, beginning with a vivid 120Hz OLED show. It may well hit 1,300 nits of brightness — 300 greater than the Pixel 7a — and the 120Hz show can transfer between 30Hz and 120Hz relying on the content material. The Pixel 7a can solely swap between 60 and 90Hz.

The Pixel 8a might enhance on this by matching most of those specs, together with the brightness degree, which we have seen ramp up considerably in recent times.

Past that, the Nothing Telephone 2a show does one thing far higher than any Pixel show, together with the high-end ones: it does not flicker at a sluggish price. PWM-sensitive customers like myself have a tough time utilizing Pixel telephones as a result of they historically flicker at a 240Hz price. The Pixel 7a makes use of a 360Hz price, however that is nonetheless not excessive sufficient for delicate customers.

In the meantime, the Nothing Telephone 2a’s show does not flicker in any respect above 50% brightness, whereas it switches to PWM dimming at 1920Hz under 50% brightness. Google must ramp up its PWM price to match what’s shortly changing into an business norm, serving to each delicate customers and stopping customers from changing into delicate by looking at a slowly flickering show.

Battery life

The transparent back of the grey Nothing Phone 2a

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

If the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7a have any particular weak point, it is battery life. The Tensor G2 contained in the Pixel 7a was extra battery environment friendly than the Tensor G1 contained in the Pixel 6a, and as we noticed from the Pixel 8, the Tensor G3 that must be contained in the Pixel 8a is even extra battery environment friendly.

Nevertheless, Tensor’s battery effectivity pales compared to the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Professional contained in the Nothing Telephone 2a, which positively sips battery all day lengthy. We repeatedly obtained two days of battery life out of a single cost on the Nothing Telephone 2a.

Whereas we’re not hopeful that we’ll see the identical sort of battery life out of the Pixel 8a, any kind of enchancment over the Pixel 6a and 7a’s battery life could be a welcome enchancment.

Charging pace

The back of the Nothing Phone 2a with the glyph lights illuminated

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Google added wi-fi charging on the Pixel 7a — a primary for a Pixel A-series telephone — however it’s comparatively ineffective at simply 5W charging pace. It is comprehensible that Google has to chop corners someplace to maintain the telephone beneath $500, however it’s nearly worse when an essential function will get added solely to have it not work very effectively.

If the Pixel 8a consists of wi-fi charging, it must be no less than 10W. The Pixel 8 sequence helps 15W wi-fi charging, so this can really feel like an affordable worth concession whereas nonetheless providing one thing helpful. The Nothing Telephone 2a does not help wi-fi charging in any respect, which might give Google a notable benefit over Nothing’s funds telephone.

Nevertheless, Google Pixel telephones have by no means supported 45W quick charging just like the Nothing Telephone 2a, and I discover that much more useful than any wi-fi charging technique. Quicker general charging would assist clear up the battery life subject within the above part, making topping up midway via a day no huge deal. The present 18W charging pace of the Pixel A-series simply is not sufficient.

Sustained efficiency

Comparing the Nothing Phone 2a with the Nothing Phone 1 and Google Pixel 7a in benchmarks

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Google Pixel 6a and 7a provide the very best peak efficiency of any telephone in its class, however Tensor has a nasty repute for overheating and slowing down quite a bit when working something that requires quick processing. As you may see from the gray chart above, the Pixel 7a loses a considerable quantity of efficiency very quickly flat.

In the meantime, the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Professional within the Nothing Telephone 2a does a a lot, a lot better job of conserving efficiency excessive even after half-hour or longer of heavy processing. In the event you’re a cell gamer, this metric is especially essential for you.

Google might enhance this with higher thermal administration within the Pixel 8a and it will assist the telephone really feel quicker if it might maintain its high-performance capabilities intact for greater than just some minutes, on the most.

Digital camera high quality and options

Comparing the Google Pixel 7a to the Nothing Phone 2a

(Picture credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

To at the present time, no telephone beneath $500 takes photos in addition to the Pixel 7a. The competitors, together with the Nothing Telephone 2a, merely does not stand an opportunity. We’ve got little doubts that the Pixel 8a will differ from this in any respect — rumors and leaks recommend Google is not altering something significant in regards to the digicam {hardware} — however Google might stand to enhance some components of the digicam software program.

Nothing gives a correct handbook mode on its telephone, regardless of missing another options Google’s digicam gives, and it makes the Nothing Telephone 2a’s capabilities appear better regardless of the other being true. If Google might convey over the superb handbook digicam mode from the Pixel 8 Professional, it will be a large benefit over different corporations on this section.

Software program updates

The Google Pixel 7a's vibrant, bright display showcasing the home screen with the default coral feathers wallpaper

Apart from the digicam, probably the greatest causes to get a Pixel is the help from Google. Google has lengthy supplied a few years of software program updates greater than different Android telephone producers, and the Pixel 8 sequence pushed this additional than ever with seven years of assured main software program updates.

Plus, with the Pixel 8 getting Gemini Nano, it looks as if there’s by no means been a greater motive to get a Pixel telephone with its glorious help. However Google’s updates have not been notably dependable lately, and that is the true elephant within the room.

The Nothing Telephone 2a is barely scheduled to get three main OS updates and 4 years of safety updates, however Nothing has already delivered three updates for the telephone since launch and has, traditionally, been glorious about high quality updates. Google might actually be taught a factor or two from Nothing on this regard, and that might actually begin with a brand-new telephone.


It is coming quickly

A leaked render of the Pixel 8a from the front and back.

(Picture credit score: SmartPrix)

Whereas there’s been no official announcement, we’re extraordinarily sure that the Google Pixel 8a shall be introduced at Google I/O 2024 on Could 14. Our Pixel 8a rumor roundup covers every thing that is been leaked or rumored thus far, and the small print are fairly juicy.

All in all, it appears like Google goes to ship one other winner this 12 months, however a few of that success hinges on Google adapting to adjustments all through the remainder of the business. The Nothing Telephone 2a is a superb instance of the best way to ship a very good funds telephone with out a lot compromise, and Google’s extra mid-range worth ought to provide up even higher specs with longer software program help.

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