Google Pixel 8A vs. Samsung Galaxy A35 5G: How They Compare

New budget phones from Google and Samsung each have their pros and cons.

Lisa Eadicicco Senior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Expertise Apple | Samsung | Google | Smartphones | Smartwatches | Wearables | Fitness trackers
Lisa Eadicicco
4 min read
Google's Pixel 8A mobile phone

Google's Pixel 8A (pictured) is $100 more expensive than Samsung's Galaxy A35 5G. Here's how they compare. 

James Martin/CNET

Google's and Samsung's midrange phones are improving every year, and that's once again the case with the new Pixel 8A and recently released Galaxy A35 5G. Google just announced the $500 Pixel 8A on Tuesday, ahead of its official launch on May 14, while Samsung's $400 Galaxy A35 5G has been on sale since April 18.

Both Google and Samsung are attempting to re-create the experience of their high-end premium phones, but in a more affordable package. However, they each have a different approach to accomplishing this. Samsung goes big on screen and battery size, while Google emphasizes the processor and software. There's also a $100 difference between the two devices, and that extra cash gets you perks like wireless charging, more RAM and some extra software features. 

Here's a closer look at how the Pixel 8A and Galaxy A35 5G compare.

Read more: Best Phone to Buy for 2024


Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

Samsung's Galaxy A35 5G (pictured) has a bigger display than the Pixel 8A.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Display size is one of the biggest ways in which the Galaxy A35 5G and Pixel 8A differ from each other. Samsung's phone has a 6.6-inch screen, while the Pixel 8A's display measures 6.1 inches. That may not sound like much, but nearly half an inch makes a big difference when it comes to screens as small as the ones on our smartphones. Both phones use a type of OLED display panel, and they can each boost their refresh rates up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling. The Pixel 8A also has a higher pixel density than the Galaxy A35 5G (430 pixels per inch versus 389 pixels per inch), which isn't necessarily surprising, since the Pixel 8A has a smaller screen. 



The Pixel 8A runs on Google's Tensor G3 processor. 


Samsung and Google also took different directions when it comes to the processors in their respective budget phones. Google put the Tensor G3, the same processor in the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, inside the Pixel 8A. Samsung, on the other hand, chose the midrange Exynos 1380 chip to power the Galaxy A35 5G. 

We won't know how performance compares until we've had time to test the Pixel 8A. But the Pixel 8, which has the same chip as the Pixel 8A, scored higher than the Galaxy A35 5G on Geekbench 6, a benchmark test for measuring general computing performance. 


Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

Samsung's Galaxy A35 5G has standard, ultrawide and macro cameras. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Both phones have ultrawide cameras in addition to a standard wide camera, but their resolutions differ. The Pixel 8A has a 64-megapixel main camera and a 13-megapixel ultrawide camera, while the Galaxy A35 5G has a 50-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultrawide camera and 5-megapixel macro camera. But resolution isn't everything; the size of the sensor, as well as the image processing pipeline, also have a lot to do with overall picture quality. 

Google's new phone also includes a handful of the company's AI-powered editing features that debuted on the Pixel 8, such as Audio Magic Eraser, Best Take and Magic Editor. Samsung's AI features aren't currently available on the Galaxy A35 5G, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them arrive through a future software update. 

A Samsung support page already mentions the Galaxy A35 5G as being compatible with certain Galaxy AI features, although the features don't seem to be live at the time of writing. Even though Samsung has expanded Galaxy AI to older Galaxy S phones and its foldables, the company hasn't brought it to the A series yet. 

Battery and storage

Google's Pixel 8A mobile phone

The Pixel 8A (pictured) has a smaller battery than the Galaxy A35 5G. 

James Martin/CNET

Battery capacity is one area in which the Galaxy A35 5G outshines the Pixel 8A -- at least on paper. Samsung's phone has a 5,000 mAh battery, while the Pixel 8A has a 4,492 mAh battery. Samsung's phone should also charge faster, since it supports up to 25W fast charging, while the Pixel 8A's charging speed tops out at 18W. 

Yet again, the numbers alone aren't everything. Achieving those charging speeds usually means using a compatible power adapter, which will have to be purchased separately. And there's more than just battery capacity that contributes to battery life; how power efficient the software and processor are also plays a role. It's worth noting too that the Pixel 8A supports wireless charging, while the Galaxy A35 5G doesn't.

But the Galaxy A35 5G does have a big advantage when it comes to onboard storage. It's one of the few new phones with expandable storage, with the capability to add 1TB of extra space via a microSD card slot. 

Out of the box, though, you'll get 128GB of onboard storage on the Galaxy A35 5G and Pixel 8A. But the obsidian (black) version of the Pixel 8A comes in a 256GB variant as well.

The Pixel 8A also has more RAM compared with the Galaxy A35 5G (8GB versus 6GB). 

Software support

Samsung Galaxy A35 5G

The Galaxy A35 5G (pictured) gets only four generations of Android OS updates, compared with the Pixel 8A's seven-year update cycle. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

As is the case with the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, Google will be supporting the Pixel 8A with seven years of Android OS and security updates. That's important because it means the Pixel 8A shouldn't feel out of date after just a couple of years, and it means you'll continue to get new features for years to come. 

Samsung, on the other hand, offers four generations of Android OS updates and five years of security updates for the Galaxy A35. For now, Samsung commits to only seven years of software updates for the Galaxy S24 series. 

Overall thoughts

The Galaxy A35 5G and Pixel 8A each have a lot to offer for the price. The Pixel 8A is more expensive, but that extra $100 brings additional benefits, such as wireless charging and longer software support. The cheaper Galaxy A35, however, has a significantly larger screen and expandable storage.

We'll know more once we've had the chance to test both phones extensively. 

Pixel 8A vs. Galaxy A35 5G

Google Pixel 8ASamsung Galaxy A35 5G
Display size, tech, resolution, refresh rate 6.1-inch OLED; 2,400x1,080 pixels, 60-120Hz adaptive refresh rate6.6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED; 60-120Hz adaptive refresh rate
Pixel density 430 PPI389 PPI
Dimensions (inches) 6x2.9x0.4 inches6.4x3x0.3 inches
Dimensions (millimeters) 152x74x10.2mm161.7x78x8.2mm
Weight (grams, ounces) 193 g (6.8 oz)209 g (7.4 oz)
Mobile software (at launch) Android 14Android 14
Camera 64 megapixel (main), 13 megapixel (ultrawide)50 megapixel (main), 8 megapixel (ultrawide), 5 megapixel (macro)
Front-facing camera 13 megapixel13 megapixel
Video capture 4K at 30/60 FPSUHD at 30 FPS
Processor Google Tensor G3Samsung Exynos 1380
RAM/storage 8GB + 128GB or 256GB6GB + 128GB
Expandable storage None1TB
Battery 4,492 mAh (18W fast charging, 7.5W wireless charging)5,000 mAh (25W fast wired charging)
Fingerprint sensor Under displayOptical fingerprint sensor
Connector USB-CUSB-C
Headphone jack NoneNone
Special features 5G (5G sub6/mmWave), IP67 rating, VPN by Googe One, Circle to Search, 7 years Android OS updates, 7 years security updates, Best Take, Audio Magic Eraser5G, Samsung Knox Vault, 4 generations of Android OS updates, 5 years of security updates, expandable storage