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Google’s ‘affordable’ Pixel 8a may not be so affordable after all


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Google’s a-branded Pixel phones are billed as affordable alternatives to the brand’s letter-less numbered flagships, but the latest intelligence suggests that the Google Pixel 8a may not be so wallet-friendly after all.

According to a new report from German outlet WinFuture (via 9to5Google), the Pixel 8a will retail in Germany for €569.90 – some €70 more than the starting price of its predecessor, the Google Pixel 7a. The latter phone debuted for $499 / £449 / AU$749 in other regions, so if we apply an equivalent €70 increase to the price of Google’s next budget phone, the Pixel 8a could cost somewhere in the region of $549 / £499 / AU$849 (taking into account the higher VAT rates in European countries). 

In other words, it looks like the Pixel 8a may cost roughly $50 / £50 / AU$100 more than the Pixel 7a, which wouldn’t be so bad if Google hadn’t already hiked the price of the latter phone by the same amount last year (the Google Pixel 6a debuted for $449 / £399 / AU$749 in 2022). 

The Pixel 7a’s hefty starting price proved our biggest gripe with what is an otherwise impressive smartphone – our Google Pixel 7a review leads with the line, “wait until it's cheaper” – so Google could be about to make a rod for its own back by pricing the Pixel 8a at an even higher figure.

The Google Pixel 7a (above) launched in May 2023

The Pixel 7a (above) launched for $499 / £449 / AU$749 last year (Image credit: Google)

What’s more, the Pixel 8a will face stiff competition when it does launch later this year (we’re expecting its arrival in May). The feature-packed OnePlus 12R, for instance, recently debuted for $499.99 / £649, while the Nothing Phone 2a just launched for an extremely reasonable £319. 

Of course, Google’s next affordable handset will have global availability on its side – the Pixel 8a will no doubt be sold in the US, UK, and Australia – but Samsung’s soon-to-be-released (and reportedly very impressive) Galaxy A55 phone will likely snatch that selling point from under the Pixel 8a’s nose.

Same-but-different

Google Pixel 7a phone showing screens camera and Android 13

The Pixel 8a will probably look similar to the Pixel 7a (above) (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

So, what specs might Google be cooking up to justify that rumored $549 / £499 / AU$849 price tag? Well, for starters, we’re expecting the phone to be powered by Google’s Tensor G3 chipset, which will presumably bring at least a few of the Pixel 8's AI features to the Pixel 8a. Some minor camera improvements seem a formality, too. 

A series of leaked Pixel 8a images suggest the phone will boast curvier corners than its predecessor, but otherwise its design looks set to remain similar to that of the Pixel 8. As WinFuture notes, Google’s next Pixel phone will apparently be available in two storage variants – 128GB and 256GB – as well as four color options: Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay, and Mint. 

Will all that be enough to tempt prospective Pixel buyers to part with their hard-earned cash? The jury is out, but for our money, the Pixel 8a could be Google's toughest smartphone sell for some time.

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