Google Pixel 7 vs Google Pixel 6a: What should you buy?

A Google Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6 A could be a very helpful comparison for those looking for a well-priced Android phone. As the details stand right now, the two phones will have a lot in common, but how will they differ?

The Google Pixel 6a is already available, giving users the Pixel experience for the cheapest-possible price and showing up its competitors with an excellent photography experience as the best cheap phone

The Google Pixel 7 will be Google’s new standard flagship phone for this year, likely arriving in October. It’ll cost more than the Pixel 6a, but with so many of the phones’ features being nearly or exactly the same, it’ll have to rely on things like the new processor or higher-res cameras to make it worth paying extra.

If you’re already thinking you may want to buy one of these two phones, then read on for a detailed breakdown based on our time with the Pixel 6a, and the official details and rumors for the Pixel 7.

Make sure to read our Pixel 7 vs Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 6 comparisons too, so you can make the best call for you.

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: specs

Google Pixel 6a Google Pixel 7 (rumored/expected)
Starting price $449 $599
Display 6.1-inch FHD OLED 6.3-inch FHD OLED
Refresh rate 60Hz 90Hz
Chipset Google Tensor Google Tensor 2
Storage 128GB 128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras 12.2MP main, 12MP ultrawide 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide
Front camera 8MP 8MP
Battery 4,410 mAh 4,614 mAh
Charging 18W wired 21W wired

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: expected price and availability

The Google 6a is available for purchase right now, and can be yours for $449. You can’t buy the Pixel 7 yet, but when it goes on sale, we’d expect it will cost $599 like its predecessor, with no rumors of a price change so far.

That’s good news for Google’s chances against rival phones like the Galaxy S22 or iPhone 14, but it means there could be a small price gap between the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7, making the buying decision harder.

The Pixel 7 is currently only vaguely slated as coming in fall of this year, but one rumor’s given us the specific launch event date of October 6, with the full release coming on October 13.

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: design

Google brought its Pixel a-series phones up to date with the Pixel 6a, which uses the rear black camera bar design splitting the main body of the phone from the slightly differently colored top portion.

Google Pixel 6a review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

We should see something similar again on the Pixel 7, except as Google’s shown us, the camera bar is now clad in aluminum, with the camera sensors showing up much more clearly.

Google Pixel 7 reveal at Google IO 2022

(Image credit: Google)

For durability, the Pixel 6a is equipped with Gorilla Glass 3 and is rated IP67 for dust/water resistance. Since the Pixel 6 used Gorilla Glass Victus and has an IP68 rating instead, we expect the same for the Pixel 7, which would make it tougher and less likely to be damaged by everyday risks.

An unofficial render of the Google Pixel 7 Pro from the front and back, showing the phone from a sideways angle

(Image credit: Shadow_Leaks)

Finally, in terms of colors, the Pixel 6a is sold in Sage, Chalk and Charcoal, a trio of fairly sensible shades. The colors rumored for the Pixel 7 are black, white, coral and blue, which is not only one extra option over what the Pixel 6a gets but sounds like it could look a bit more exciting if you go for blue or coral.

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: display

The screens on the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 are very similar. The 6a features a 6.1-inch FHD AMOLED display, while the Pixel 7 should have a 6.3-inch FHD AMOLED panel going by current rumors. The Pixel 7 is rumored to be a bit smaller than the 6.4-inch Pixel 6, but it’s not enough to really differentiate the two.

Google Pixel 6a review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The main difference is in the refresh rate. The Pixel 7 should come with at least a 90Hz refresh rate like the Pixel 6, while the Pixel 6a is stuck with 60Hz. It’s been recently discovered the Pixel 6a is capable of 90Hz if you hack it though, but since it’s not an official feature that doesn’t really count.

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: cameras

Cameras are an important part of the Pixel experience, so it’s perhaps not surprising to see these two phones have similar abilities. 

Google Pixel 6a review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The Pixel 6a is equipped with a 12.2MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera. The Pixel 7 should get a 50MP main and 12MP ultrawide combination, making for higher resolution, brighter main camera images. That’s no upgrade from the Pixel 6, but it should still make for excellent shots.

Google Pixel 7 reveal at Google IO 2022

(Image credit: Google)

On the front, the Pixel 6a has an 8MP camera, and we reckon the Pixel 7 will as well, following in the footsteps of the Pixel 6. Expect to see some new software abilities for the Pixel 7’s photography too though, including the enhanced Magic Eraser and Camouflage abilities. These may or may not come to the Pixel 6a, depending on what’s required for these features to work.

Note that only the larger and more expensive Pixel 7 Pro will likely add a telephoto camera for optical zoom. 

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: performance

Google gave the Pixel 6a the same Google Tensor processor that debuted in the Pixel 6 series. While it proved a little less powerful than the equivalent Snapdragon and Apple A series chipsets, it’s a lot of oomph for a budget phone. 

Google Pixel 7 reveal at Google IO 2022

(Image credit: Google)

Nevertheless, the Pixel 7 should outdo it on the power front. Google’s announced the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will come with a next-gen Google Tensor processor, which we’re assuming will be named Google Tensor 2. This new chip should provide increased power, perhaps more in line with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, if not the Apple A16 Bionic chip we expect to see in this year’s new iPhone 14 Pro.

For storage, the Pixel 6a gets 128GB, no more, no less. The Pixel 7 we imagine will come with the same capacity options as the Pixel 6, meaning a 128GB base model but also a 256GB version if you want some more space.

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: battery and charging

As we’d expect from the phone’s relative sizes, the Pixel 7 should have a larger battery than the Pixel 6a. 

Google Pixel 6a review

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The 6a’s cell has a 4,410 mAh capacity, with a disappointing 6 hours and 29 minutes result on the Tom’s Guide custom battery test. We have no specific rumors of changes for the Pixel 7’s battery, so we should see another 4,614 mAh cell. That lasted for 8 hours and 13 minutes, which while still below the average for new smartphones, is at least better than the Pixel 6a.

The Pixel 6a charges at 18W, which offers 29% charge in 30 minutes, on the slow side for charging these days. The Pixel 6 can charge at 21W with Google’s new 30W charger, and we’d expect the same for the Pixel 7, unless we hear any new rumors in the next few months.

Google Pixel 6a vs. Pixel 7: outlook

We’re probably going to have to wait until October for the final result of this face-off, but as it stands, the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 are quite similar in a lot of ways. Even so, the Pixel 7, with its rumored larger display and battery, new chip, better main camera, and more available storage, would undoubtedly be the better phone of the two if these rumors turn out to be true.

Google Pixel 7 reveal at Google IO 2022

(Image credit: Google)

However, you need to balance this against what’s likely to be at least a $150 price difference. The Pixel 6a should remain the best-value Pixel even with the arrival of the Pixel 7, so consider that as your default if you’re fixed on one of these two phones. From there, see if any combination of those better Pixel 7 features above are enough to convince you to part with the extra money.

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