Google Pixel 8a Users! Change These 8 Settings for Better Experience

Google Pixel phones come with some notable features and settings that you may not find on many Android phones. That’s said, if you recently upgraded to the latest Pixel phone, the Pixel 8a, there are several settings you must change as soon as you get the phone to get the best experience.

Every user have different way of using their phones, and so the default settings may not be the best for everyone, and so it’s advisable to explore more options and personalize accordingly. Changing some of these settings on your Pixel 8a will surely improve the experience and performance of the device. Read on to learn what setting you should change and how you can do it.

While the settings we have listed below are available for the latest Pixel 8a and Pixel 8 series, you may see some of these settings on older Pixel devices as well.

Turn on Smooth Display

Since 2021, Pixel phones have had higher refresh rates on flagship as well as mid-range phones, thanks to the Pixel 7a. But on Pixel 7a, it was limited to 90Hz. However with the latest budget Pixel Phone, Google has increased the refresh rate to 120Hz. Even though the Pixel 8a have higher refresh rate, it is not turned on by default in all cases. Here’s how you can switch to it:

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Step 2: Choose Display and scroll down to find Smooth Display.

Step 3: Turn on the toggle for Smooth Display.

Now, the phone will automatically choose between 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz depending on the task you are doing on it. Mostly it will run on high refresh rate, but where the higher refresh rate is not required, it will auto switch to 60Hz to save battery. You won’t notice the change happening in the background.

Speed Up Animations

You can make your phone feel faster by speeding up the animations that you see when navigating the phone, whether you are opening or closing apps, unlocking the phone, bringing up the notification panel, etc., and the difference is quite noticeable. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Open the Settings app and go to About Phone.

Step 2: Find the Build number option and tap on it seven times, or until you see a message saying that “Developer options is now turned on.”

Step 3: Next, go back to Settings and choose System.

Step 4: Tap Developer options and find animation scale under Drawing section.

Speed Up Animations

Step 5: Click on each one and set the value from 1x to .5x.

Enable Power Off Prompt

On Pixel 8a, when you long-press the power button, it does not open the power-off prompt; instead, Google Assistant appears on the screen. If you are someone who is looking to change it or want to fulfill the purpose of the button, follow the below steps.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your device.

Step 2: Go to System > Gestures.

Step 3: Find and tap the Press & Hold power button.

Step 4: Finally, select the checkbox for the Power menu.

Enable Power Off Prompt

Enable Clear Calling

Google introduced the Clear Calling feature starting with the Pixel 7 Series, which once enabled improves call quality by reducing background noise and enhancing the caller’s audio. Impressed with the feature? Here’s how you can turn it on:

Step 1: Open the Settings on your Pixel device.

Step 2: Go to Sounds & vibration > Clear Calling.

Use Adaptive Alert Vibration

Once you enable the Adaptive Alert Vibration feature, it will reduce notification vibration strength while your Pixel phone is unmoved or the screen is facing up. The feature is available on Pixel 7 and newer Pixel including Pixel 8a. Here’s how you can enable it.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and navigate to Sound & Vibration.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Vibration & haptics.

Step 3: Finally, enable the toggle for Adaptive alert vibration.

Turn Off the Annoying Gestures

Pixel phones come with some gestures enabled by default, but if you are getting annoyed with them, you can disable those gestures. Follow the below steps to check for active gestures and disable them that you don’t need.

Step 1: Open the Settings app.

Step 2: Go to System > Gestures.

Step 3: Here, you will see all the gestures.

Turn Off the Annoying Gestures

Step 4: Tap on the one that is turned on and you want to disable.

Step 5: Finally, disable the toggle next to the gesture to turn it off.

Enable Adaptive Charging

Pixel phones have an adaptive charging feature, which, once enabled, prolongs the battery life as it learns from your charging habits. And if long charging is predicated by the phone, it may turn on to charge the phone to 100% one hour before you unplug it. Follow the below steps to turn it on.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Pixel phone.

Step 2: Go to Battery > Adaptive Charging.

Step 3: Finally, enable the toggle for Use Adaptive charging.

Now the phone takes about 14 days to learn your charging habits. If your charging habits vary, the feature may not turn on. In case if it doesn’t work on your phone and does the opposite of what it supposed to do, make sure to turn it off.

Turn On Notification History

Pixel phones have a Notification History feature that, once enabled, stores all the notifications you receive in the past 24 hours. To enable it, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings app and tap Notifications.

Step 2: Click on Notification History and turn on the toggle next to it.

Turn On Notification History

Step 3: From now onward, you will see all the notifications here.

Wrapping Up

So, these are the best settings you must change on your new Pixel 8a phone. While most of these settings are available for Pixel 7 and above series phones, some are available for Pixel 6 and even older models. If you have any questions related to the article, feel free to ask in the comments below.

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Harsh Saxena

Hi! I am Harsh and I write about technology on different websites. I frequently write about these topics and cover them. I am available on Twitter at @Harsh4saxena or Email me at to send in your feedback and tips. Worked at GadgetsToUse, BrowserToUse, DailyTechByte, FreshFounder, and with many other websites as an author and researcher.

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