Which budget-friendly Android is better?

The past week or so has been packed with announcements and launches from some of the biggest tech brands, including Sony and Google. 

On 7th May, Google announced its newest smartphone in the Pixel lineup, the Pixel 8a, a budget-friendly alternative to the full-fat Pixel 8. Today (15th May), Sony has announced two new smartphones: the Xperia 1 VI and the more budget-friendly Xperia 10 VI.

But how do the two Android smartphones compare? Although we haven’t yet reviewed either the Sony Xperia 10 VI or Google Pixel 8a, we’ve compared the technical specifications and noted their differences here. 

Be sure to check back here, as we’ll update this once we’ve reviewed both handsets.

The Pixel 8a includes Google-exclusive AI capabilities

One of the biggest features of the entire Pixel 8 range, including the Pixel 8a, is the use of Google AI. AI has been cleverly integrated into numerous apps, including the camera and photo apps, but also everyday apps like recorder. 

Photos and video recordings can be enhanced with the help of Google AI editing tools, which include the Magic Editor which lets you change an image’s background, move objects and even delete photobombers with Magic Eraser. 

There’s also the inclusion of Circle to Search, a nifty feature that allows you to simply draw a circle around an image, text or video and, with Google AI, you should receive search results directly in the app you’re using. 

Although we haven’t tested Google AI’s capabilities with the new Pixel 8a yet, we have tried it with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro and have been impressed.

It’s not just the Google Pixel that has AI inclusion. The Xperia 10 V1 is also fitted with Sony AI, which is predominantly used to enhance the camera and photo editing capabilities. Sony AI allows you to shoot with automatic AI settings, change the look of photos and even create AI-edited videos.

The Google Pixel 8a runs on Google Tensor G3

The Xperia 10 VI runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset which isn’t the newest or most powerful chipset around, but is a capable processor that’s still rolling out in new Android smartphones. The Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 offers a few impressive features, including support for over 60fps for a better gaming experience, 3x better AI performance than its predecessor and concurrent photo capture at gigapixel speeds.

The Pixel 8a instead runs on Google’s latest and most powerful chip, the Tensor G3, found across the entire Pixel range. With a focus on AI over pure performance, we concluded in our Pixel 8 review that the “Tensor G3 is more in line with 2022’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 than the … Snapdragon 8 Gen 2” and very much expect that to be the case here.

Google Pixel 8a backGoogle Pixel 8a back
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Google offers seven years of security and Feature Drop upgrades

Google is generous with upgrades and promises up to seven years of security and OS upgrades for the Pixel 8a, taking you up to Android 21.  

Sony, on the other hand, is only offering three OS upgrades and four years of security patches, falling quite short of the Pixel’s lofty heights. Even so, Sony has said that the battery should stay healthy for three years thanks to Sony’s charging technologies which are designed to preserve the battery’s health over time.

The Xperia 10 VI has a 21:9 aspect ratio

Both the Xperia 10 VI and Pixel 8a boast impressive display specs but the former takes the edge with the aspect ratio. The Pixel 8a’s 20:9 aspect ratio ratio offers an immersive viewing experience and allows for better multitasking, as there’s simply more screen real estate to play with. 

The Xperia 10 VI impressively surpasses this slightly with a 21:9 aspect ratio that’s perfectly suited to widescreen Hollywood blockbusters, though this does give the screen a tall-and-narrow look in comparison to the Pixel 8a. Regardless, if you know you’ll use your smartphone to watch series or movies then either of these handsets will do just fine.

The Xperia 10 VI is cheaper

Currently available to pre-order, ready to start shipping in June, the Xperia 10 VI has an RRP of £349/€399. The Pixel 8a is available now and starts from £499/€549.

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