This Google Pixel 8a benchmark suggests it might not be worth buying

Google Pixel 7a review back angled sticky notes
The Google Pixel 7a (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Google’s mid-range a-series phones generally do a good job of providing the essence of its flagships at a lower price, but the Google Pixel 8a might fail at this, going by an early benchmark.

You see, one of the high points of this line is that the phones use the same chipsets as the company’s flagships. So the Pixel 7a has the same chipset as the Pixel 7 and even the Pixel 7 Pro. But a Geekbench listing – spotted by GSMArena – suggests that while the Google Pixel 8a will have the same Tensor G3 chipset as the standard Pixel 8 is expected to have, it will be an underclocked version.

According to the listing – which is for a device with a codename previously attached to the Pixel 8a – this phone has a chipset with a prime core clocked at 2.91GHz, four performance cores running at 2.37GHz, and four efficiency cores running at 1.70GHz.

An early benchmark for the Pixel 8a

(Image credit: Geekbench)

For reference, the standard version of the Tensor G3 reportedly has a 3GHz prime core, 2.45GHz performance cores, and 2.15GHz efficiency cores. So in every case the cores in this benchmark are slower.

That explains the rather unimpressive results, with the Pixel 8a achieving a single-core score of 1,218 and a multi-core result of 3,175. For comparison, the Pixel 7 Pro (which uses an older Tensor G2 chipset) has average single-core results of 1,404 and multi-core score of 3,363.

So the Pixel 7 Pro has slightly better results, but despite the Pixel 8a being a lower-end phone we’d have expected it to beat the Pixel 7 Pro comfortably, as we were expecting a full-speed version of the Tensor G3.

A question of price

So if this benchmark – which also mentions 8GB of RAM and Android 14 – is accurate, then the Pixel 8a might not prove a particularly appealing phone.

Of course, it will all largely come down to price, and perhaps Google will look to make this more affordable than the Pixel 7a was at launch, in which case it could still have a fighting chance. But if you can afford it, we suspect the standard Pixel 8 – or one of the existing best Pixel phones – will be a better buy.

Still, one other thing this benchmark tells us is that there likely will be a Pixel 8a, which previously some leaks had suggested there wouldn’t be. So it’s not all bad news for fans of Google’s a-series.

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James Rogerson

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.