Google's Pixel 8a is hardly any sacrifice for spending

What is the Pixel a level meant to be?  It was meant originally as that option for those that want to get as close to a flagship, but don't need to spend flagship pricing.

Or it was.  Last year's 7a was a huge departure in the fact that it included Qi charging.  For me, that's when it really blurred the lines between their main flagship and the a series.  If anything now, the a lineup gives us that tease of what the next series will look like.  The 6a looked more like the 7.  The 7a looked more like the 8.  The 8a... will it be a show of what the 9 will look like?

Here we now have the Pixel 8a.

Sitting at just  $679CDN right now, if you're thinking of buying and you're hmm'ing and hwww'ing over the 8 or the 8a, (usually a $270 difference, but right now, only $20 with a sale), because if you're were wanting something larger, you'd go the 8Pro, you'd be hard pressed to say 'why spend the extra cash'.

After a week or so with the 8a, I've not really noticed any major difference between the 2.

Performance is practically the same (chip and RAM), resolution identical, and the battery is nearly the same value. 

Only big difference comes in with the cameras.

Main:  50MP Octa PD, vs a 64MP Quad PD.

So, you get more pixels on the 8a, but only 4x the phase detection instead of one more dual layer making it 8x.  Really what that means is it's taking a series of images to try to compare and make each pixel its best.  It's a little technical, and really, none of us really can ever tell the difference.

It takes some awesome photos, even in the dark.

even on the web here it's hard to show you the true HDR nature of this photo
I did a bunch of shots of the night sky between the 7a, 8, 8a and OP12.  I couldn't tell a difference in performance.

One thing that I was able to have a 'hrmm' moment with the 8a was there was no 'macro mode' for taking photos.  Hardly missed, but it was something I could point to that one had the other didn't.

So, cameras have a slight difference, with the edge given to the 8, but for most of us, posting to social, emailing it to friends, viewing it on devices that really won't show the full extent, we'll not even notice.

The only physical difference I could note between the 8 and the 8a was the physical nature of it.

First off, the plastic backing of the 8a is noticeable vs. the glass of the 8.

...but, I usually have my devices in a case, so.. I'll never know which one is wich.

The other part is the 'look' of the 8a.  As it's that hint of the next iteration design look, it definitely has a more 'rounded' feel, plus the 8a does have more bezel, meaning you can see more black edging around the display.  

It's hardly noticeable until you notice it and then it's all you can see.

So there ya have it.  Minor cosmetic differences, a slightly 'not as good' camera, but otherwise same device, for all intents and purposes.

And you'll save $270. 

Sounds like a no-brainer to me.  Plus, if the 8 is on sale for $250 off right now... imagine if this goes on sale for (similar scale of sale) $175 off?  That'd be a steal.