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Best midrange smartphone not in Malaysia

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Best midrange smartphone not in Malaysia

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Best midrange smartphone not in Malaysia


Amidst all the news of Apple’s new high end tablets, rival Google has appeared with a new device too: the Google Pixel 8a. It’s their latest entry in the Pixel A series that aims to deliver the best parts of their flagship Pixel smartphones at a more affordable price point.

The biggest upgrade for this year’s Pixel 8a is that is now has a noticeably better display. It still has a compact 6.1-inch Actua display pushing a FHD+ resolution with a 430ppi pixel density, but now gets an up to 120Hz refresh rate, a nice bump over the 90Hz refresh rate on its predecessor. The screen is also capable of a peak brightness of up to 2,000nits, with support for HDR, always-on display and full 24-bit colour depth. There’s a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 over it too for scratch resistance.

Under the hood, the Pixel 8a is powered by the Google Tensor G3, the same system-on-chip in the regular Pixel 8 and the flagship Pixel 8 Pro. It packs 8GB of RAM with up to 256GB of storage with Android 14 out of the box, and impressively gets the same seven years of major Android upgrades and security patches as its higher end stable mates. This will makes it perhaps the best non-flagship option in terms of longevity as its rivals such as the OnePlus 12R and Samsung Galaxy S23 FE only offer three years and four years of software support respectively.

Seeing as just about everyone has to put some form of AI on to their product this year, the Pixel 8a features pretty much the same generative AI features that debuted on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, such as Magic Editor, Audio Magic Eraser, Circle to Search and Best Take, as well as their designed-for-mobile on-device AI model Gemini Nano.

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In the camera department, you’ll find what is mostly the same camera hardware as before, with a main 64MP, f/1.89 camera at the back flanked by a 13MP, f/2.2 ultrawide shooter; a 13MP, f/2.2 selfie shooter meanwhile sits in front. Other features of note include stereo speakers, an IP67 dust and water resistance rating, an in-display fingerprint sensor as well as support for WiFI 6E, 5G, Bluetooth 5.3 and NFC wireless connectivity. The Pixel 8a will be available in Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay and a new Aloe colourway.

All of that though is for nought considering that, yet again, the Pixel 8a isn’t available for sale in Malaysia. Just like the Pixels of yesteryear, Google isn’t bringing the Pixel 8a to Malaysia in an official capacity, meaning you’ll have to rely on grey market importers or head over to our beloved neighbour Singapore to get your hands on what is perhaps one of the best premium midrange smartphones out there. It starts at USD499 (~RM2368.75) in the US, while in Singapore it starts from SGD799 (~RM2796.68).





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