Google Pixel 8a vs Pixel 7a performance comparison: how fast is Tensor G3 compared to G2?

The new Google Pixel 8a (review) boasts strong specifications on paper, but considering its high price (Rs 52,999 onwards), you may be left puzzled. Sure, it carries the new Tensor G3 chipset, the display offers higher refresh rates for smooth scrolling and gaming, and the design is more upbeat to appeal to young customers. But if you look at the cameras, there’s not much to distinguish compared to last year’s Google Pixel 7a (review).

In that case, does it make sense to go for the more affordable Pixel 7a, priced at Rs 36,999? Or does Tensor G3 SoC give the Pixel 8a an edge when it comes to performance? Here’s a detailed comparison.

Google Pixel 8a vs Google Pixel 7a specifications

SpecsGoogle Pixel 8aGoogle Pixel 7a
ProcessorTensor G3 SoCTensor G2 SoC
GPUARM G715s MC10 GPUMali-G710 MP7 GPU
Memory8GB LPDDR5x RAM, up to 256GB UFS 3.1 storage8GB LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB UFS 3.1 storage

Geekbench v6

Before we start, readers must note that we are using the 128GB variants of the Pixel 8a and Pixel 7a. Both phones offer 8GB RAM, though the latest Pixel 8a utilises the latest memory standard.

Based on Geekbench’s single-core results, the Pixel 8a is ahead of the Pixel 7a. However, the latter achieved relatively higher scores in the multi-core test. The results indicate that the new Google Pixel smartphone will handle basic tasks (app loading, web browsing) more efficiently, while the Pixel 7a may occasionally perform more efficiently when it comes to gaming, editing, or AI generation. Users should note that the differences aren’t substantial.

Winner: Tie

AnTutu

The AnTuTu benchmark can be more comprehensive than Geekbench’s test as it also factors GPU, memory, and UI performance. In this test, the Tensor G3-powered Pixel 8a was relatively ahead.

Interestingly, the Pixel 8a generated more heat to achieve this score. Both smartphones also consumed the same amount of battery during the test.

Winner: Google Pixel 8a

CPU Throttling

In our CPU Throttling test via the Burnout app, both Pixel 8a and Pixel 7a showed the same level of throttle under heavy workload.

pixel8a_vs_pixel7a_throttle
Google Pixel 8a (R) vs Google Pixel 7a CPU Throttle.

At their peak performance, the phones maintained 40.7 percent stability. Notably, the app also evaluates the chipset’s performance (explained as “compute score”) under heavy load, similar to Geekbench. Even the burnout app proves Tensor G3’s superiority over the last-gen Tensor G2, and the point goes to Pixel 8a.

Winner: Google Pixel 8a

Gaming

While Google doesn’t necessarily boast gaming on Pixel smartphones, it’s fair to expect a smooth performance, considering its high price point and rivals in the segment. The Pixel 8a and Pixel 7a can handle demanding titles, though I am not particularly a fan of its small display for that. Its 6.1-inch display, surrounded by thick bezels, is best suited for casual titles, including Candy Crush, Subway Surfers, and Wordle, in my opinion.

For our gaming test, we played BGMI and Call of Duty on both smartphones for 30 minutes each. Both titles also have high graphics support, but frame rates can be modest (up to 60fps).

After 30 minutes of playing Call of Duty on very high graphics, the Pixel 8a’s temperature rose by approximately 7 degrees Celsius, while the internal temperature of the Pixel 7a increased by around 5 degrees Celsius. Notably, the Pixel 8a also consumed more battery.

After 30 minutes of playing BGMI, the Pixel 7a generated more internal heat, with an increase of 6 degrees Celsius. Similarly, the Pixel 7a also consumed more battery during this time.

Overall, the gaming experience on the Pixel 8a was moderately better for offering high frame rates.

Winner: Google Pixel 8a

Verdict

Based on benchmarks and gaming experience, the Google Pixel 8a was ahead of the Pixel 7a, although the Tensor G3 chipset isn’t significantly better than its predecessor. If gaming isn’t a priority, you can consider the Pixel 7a, as it can handle daily tasks reliably. Also, you can enjoy the latest Android features on both devices.

Needless to say, the Pixel 7a is also available with a steep price cut, making it more appealing.