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The Google Pixel 7a (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Google Pixel 8 is a great phone, but if you’re considering buying it you might want to wait and see what the Google Pixel 8a offers, because the latest leak suggests that it could be a similarly capable handset at a lower price.

This is according to Android Authority, which has leaked many of the upcoming phone’s specs via “a source inside Google.”

The site claims that the headline upgrade on the Google Pixel 8a is a 120Hz screen. That’s up from 90Hz on the Pixel 7a, and would bring the refresh rate in line with the Pixel 8 (and indeed the Pixel 8 Pro).

The screen can also apparently reach 1400 nits of brightness with HDR, which again is a match for the standard Pixel 8, and while its resolution is reportedly unchanged from the Pixel 7a, that would still see it match the Pixel 8 at 1080 x 2400. The only real way the Pixel 8’s screen might differ is the size, as at 6.2 inches it’s marginally larger than the reportedly 6.1-inch Pixel 8a.

More power and wider availability

This report also mentions that the Google Pixel 8a will apparently have a Tensor G3 chipset, which is unsurprising, but would again be a match for the Pixel 8. Well, almost – apparently the Tensor G3 used in the Pixel 8a has a different plastic package, which is said to be cheaper to construct and which might affect performance, but probably not in any significant way.

One area where the Google Pixel 8 might still have a real advantage is the cameras, as these apparently won’t be upgraded on the Pixel 8a, meaning the phone will stick with the Pixel 7a’s 64MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, and 13MP selfie setup.

The Pixel 8a will apparently also allow you to mirror your phone’s screen using USB-C, which is a feature we saw in a recent Pixel 8 beta update, so isn’t surprising.

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Finally, the Pixel 8a might be available in more regions than its predecessor, as it apparently includes warranty labels for eight additional European countries.

Two very similar phones

With the exception of the cameras, this all sounds like good news – and the Pixel 7a’s cameras are good anyway. But it does beg the question of whether the Pixel 8a will be too similar to the Pixel 8.

If this leak pans out, and the Pixel 8a costs less than the Pixel 8, then it’s hard to imagine the standard Pixel 8 still being a worthwhile buy for many people. On the other hand, the Pixel 8 has been out for a while, and can often be found for less than its official price. So we might have a situation where the two phones are priced similarly, in which case the Pixel 8a could be a harder sell.

Either way, while we would certainly be happy to get a 120Hz screen here, it seems like Google might be competing with itself by making these two phones so similar. We might have a clearer idea on May 14, as that’s when Google I/O 2024 is taking place, and when we’re expecting to get an official look at the Pixel 8a.

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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.

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