I love the Google Pixel 7a – except for this one major downside

Affordable Android at its best, except for this one issue that's making me think twice about the Pixel 7a's lastability

Google Pixel 7a review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Having reviewed phones as part of my living for the past decade, I've seen more than my fair share of the best phones, including the best affordable phones (and, frankly, some of the worst phones too). The Google Pixel 7a, however, deserves a high position up any Android-interested shopper's list. 

Announced at Google I/O 2023 – the search giant's annual developer's conference –I'd been using the phone for a week and still stand by my 7a review assessment that "affordable Android doesn't get better than this". Except, that is, for one major downside that I still can't get over. 

I thought sticking with the Pixel 7a would see its clever software smooth out battery life per charge. I'd even been bold enough to turn off some battery-saving features and elect for the 90Hz screen to run as such. But, alas, all of this has just reinforced that, well, the Google Pixel 7a's battery life is barely acceptable

Google Pixel 7a review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

As I write this I'm actually moving between the Pixel 7a and lesser-known Vivo X90 Pro – yes, partly because it's my job, but partly because the weekend just gone saw the Pixel 7a drop to sub-10% levels of battery hours before I was due to go to bed. A 14 hour battery life just doesn't cut it for me.

I'll be writing a Vivo X90 Pro review in due course – it's said to have killer cameras, as a T3 colleague wrote about – but already that phone's circa-500mAh battery increase (it's 4870mAh versus the 7a's 4385mAh) has seen it lasting far better than the Pixel. It makes me kinda want to cry about Google's somehow lacklustre longevity per charge, especially in the face of slow charging – even if wireless charging is now part of the entry-level Pixel's package. 

So should you buy the Google Pixel 7a? While I want to give you wholehearted 'yes!' encouragement – because this phone has so much that's great about it, especially the cameras (which make the iPhone SE look like a relic) – the only reason my review wasn't a 5-star result is because of the battery life. If you're less of a power user than I am then, sure, the 7a is a no-brainer superb purchase. But when it comes to the Pixel 8 series, one of the big things I want to see is battery boosted, that's for sure.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.