Google’s Pixel phones are essentially pure Android devices. They also have the best cameras on the market. Here are all the latest Google phone deals from the UK’s biggest phone networks in one place…
Why You Should Buy A Google Phone
Google’s phones are called Pixel. Before that Google made Nexus phones, which were OEM’d by third-party companies like Samsung and HTC and LG. Nowadays, Google does everything – from the design to manufacturing. Everything is done under the watch of Google’s hardware division.
In this respect, Google’s Pixel phones are a bit like Apple’s iPhone – the phone, its components, and its software are all designed by the same people. Doing things this way brings with it plenty of benefits, as iPhone users already know. There’s no bloatware, no custom skins on top of Android. It’s as pure an Android experience as you can get.
But that’s not even the best reason to buy a Google phone. No, the #1 reason why people use Pixel phones is that they get Android updates as soon as they’re available. And all Pixel phones are guaranteed to get three year’s worth of Android updates. That means if you buy a Pixel today, you’ll be getting updates until well into 2023.
Conversely, brands like Samsung and OnePlus will only be able to deliver, at best, one or two Android updates per phone. This means that you could go out and pay £1000 for a phone and then only get one or two Android updates. And that sucks.
Google is basically trying to be more like Apple; it’s trying to deliver more value to its users and help them use their phones for longer.
Google makes money off of the hardware AND the software, whereas brands like Samsung and OnePlus ONLY make money off the hardware – this is why the vast majority of Android phone brands would rather you buy a new phone than update the software on the one you’re currently using. This is why people stick with iPhone, and it is also why more and more people are flocking to Google’s Pixel phones.
And Then There’s The Google Camera Tech…
You cannot talk about Google Pixel phones without mentioning their cameras. Google doesn’t mess around with loads of lenses and sensors; instead, it uses AI and machine learning to do all that, so you get a cleaner looking phone with fewer lenses that perform better than 99.9% of its competitors.
Case in point: I own both the iPhone 11 and the Pixel 3a. The Pixel 3a is a cheap phone, it costs around £300 new, whereas the iPhone 11 retails for £700. The Pixel 3a has a single-lens camera, but, in nearly every setting it takes vastly superior images than the dual-lens camera aboard the iPhone 11.
The Pixel 3a is better in low-light, shots captured on it have more natural lighting, and, generally speaking, it is just a better camera set up – and this is ALL down to Google’s insanely powerful camera software. This is why Google’s Pixel phones keep coming out top in DXO Mark’s tests. It knows how to extract the perfect shots from the most minimal physical hardware.
And if you go with a more expensive Pixel phone, the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, or the Pixel 5, once that lands, you’ll get even better performance from the camera. The Pixel 3a is designed a basic, entry-level phone, and while it does punch well out of its weight, its camera hardware does lack some of the features you get on the Pixel 4a (which is coming soon), and the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.
Bottom-line? If camera tech is important to you, and you don’t want an iPhone, Google’s Pixel phones are the best in the business right now. I’ve used them for years and they always outperform my other test handsets. Even now, I genuinely prefer the shots I get on my Pixel 3a versus what I can capture on my iPhone 11. That should tell you everything you need to know about Google’s camera tech!
Which Google Phone To Buy?
- Pixel 4a – The Pixel 4a has only just launched. We’ll soon have some Pixel 4a deals for you. The 4a replaces the Pixel 3a and is a hugely satisfying update that improves on the Pixel 3a in almost every area. You have more storage, a better processor, an improved camera, more RAM, and a new design that really pops.
- Pixel 4 & Pixel 4XL – The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL were Google’s 2019 flagship phones. Picking up where the Pixel 3 range left off, the Pixel 4 was the first Pixel phone to use more than one camera sensor on the rear; it used two lenses (a main 12MP lens and a 16MP telephoto lens). Inside, you have Qualcomm’s SD 855 alongside 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage.
- Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL – The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are Google’s two most popular Pixel phones of all time. And the reason? Price – these phones are cheap (as you can see in the deals table above). They possess the same great cameras as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL but do not have some of their higher-end specs. The result is one of the best value phone ranges on the planet.
- Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL – The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL launched in 2018 and were Google’s replacement for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 3 ran on the SD 845 CPU alongside 4GB and up to 128GB of storage. Like all Pixel phones after them, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL use OLED screens, run the latest build of Android, and were great phones in their own right during 2018/19.
If you’re looking at picking up a Google phone today, meaning during 2020, you’ll want to go with either the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, if you want flagship performance and specs, or the Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL if you want great performance, a brilliant camera, but don’t want to pay flagship prices.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.