Best Google Pixel Phone: What To Get & What To AVOID in 2024
Google’s Pixel phones are having a bit of a renaissance moment right now. But what is the best Google Pixel phone you can buy right now? Here’s KYM’s 2 cents on the subject…
TL:DR: What is The Best Google Pixel Phone?
- Best for Everyday Users: The Pixel 7a offers an exceptional balance of performance and price, with its top-tier camera and AI features, making it ideal for those who value both quality and affordability.
- Best for Tech Enthusiasts: The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro lead with state-of-the-art technology, offering the pinnacle of Google’s smartphone innovation. With advanced camera systems and the Tensor G3 processor, these devices are perfect for users who demand the best.
- Best for Innovators: The Pixel Fold is the most expensive option and the most novel; it folds up and possesses a huge, tablet-sized display.
- Best for Value Seekers: Opting for a Refurbished Pixel 6 or 7 allows budget-conscious users to enjoy Google’s seamless Android experience and solid camera tech without the new-device price tag.
|Pixel 8 & 8 Pro
|For the Tech Savvy
|Refurbished Pixel 6 & 7
Eager to explore these options? Click to find unbeatable deals on the Pixel range and select the model that’s best tailored to your lifestyle and needs. Upgrade your smartphone game with the right Pixel today!
If you want to run Android as Google intended it to be run, you need a Pixel phone. But which one? Pixel phones get the best Android OS support (7 years on the Pixel 8 series), and they get updates as soon as they’re ready – not months later like you do with every other brand.
Pixel phones are jam-packed with useful features and, for the most part, thanks to the myriad of AI and machine learning tech built into them, are probably the smartest smartphones you can buy.
And then there’s the camera tech. It is legendary, delivering market-leading performance and clarity for a much lower price point than either Apple or Samsung. There’s a lot to like, when it comes to Pixel phones – especially the newest ones.
But which Pixel phone is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best Pixel phone for your exact needs.
Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro: The Flagship Big Boys
Google’s commitment to software longevity is unmatched, with the Pixel 8 series getting an impressive seven years of software updates. This assurance positions these devices as future-proof choices in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro boast vibrant OLED displays that bring visuals to life with stunning clarity and color accuracy. Their rounded designs not only enhance aesthetic appeal but also ensure a comfortable grip for prolonged use.
Security is top-notch, thanks to the advanced Face Unlock biometrics, providing a seamless and secure user experience.
Under the hood, the Tensor G3 processor drives these devices, delivering blazing-fast performance and efficiency. This cutting-edge chipset is a testament to Google’s commitment to providing a smooth and responsive user interface, making multitasking and high-demand applications a breeze.
Photography takes a significant leap forward with the Pixel 8 series. The Pixel 8 features a 50-MP main camera, while the Pixel 8 Pro is equipped with a 48-MP ultrawide lens, among other advanced imaging capabilities.
- Seven years of software updates ensure a future-proof investment.
- Bright OLED displays and rounded designs offer both aesthetic and ergonomic benefits.
- Advanced Face Unlock biometrics enhance security and convenience.
- The Tensor G3 processor provides exceptional performance and efficiency.
- State-of-the-art camera systems with smart imaging features set new standards in mobile photography.
- Premium features and advancements may come with a higher price point, potentially deterring budget-conscious consumers.
- Advanced features and specifications might overwhelm casual users who prefer simplicity.
- The size and form factor of the Pro model may not suit all users, particularly those with smaller hands or preferring more compact devices.
- As with any high-end device, there may be concerns about durability and repair costs in case of accidental damage.
- The extensive array of features could lead to a steeper learning curve for those not familiar with advanced smartphone functionalities.
Pixel 7a: The Sensible Everyman’s Phone
The Pixel 7a arrives with a price tag that nudges slightly above its forerunner, yet it justifies this with the inclusion of wireless charging and an enhanced 90-Hz screen refresh rate, ensuring fluidity in every swipe and scroll. The device’s design is thoughtfully crafted, featuring a durable aluminum mid-frame and resilient Gorilla Glass 3, complemented by a plastic composite rear that skillfully dodges the common pitfall of cracking.
At the heart of the Pixel 7a lies the Tensor G2 chipset, a powerhouse that propels the device through everyday tasks and gaming adventures with remarkable ease. This silicon prowess is not just about speed; it also unlocks sophisticated software capabilities like Photo Unblur, allowing users to breathe new life into their less-than-perfect shots.
Photography enthusiasts will be particularly enamored with the Pixel 7a, thanks to its impressive camera setup. The 64-megapixel main sensor, coupled with a 13-megapixel ultrawide, promises to capture life’s moments with unparalleled clarity and detail, even in challenging low light conditions.
Google’s commitment to security is evident in the Pixel 7a’s promise of five years of security updates. However, it’s worth noting that the device will receive only three OS upgrades, which, while generous, may leave some users yearning for more in the long run.
Despite its many strengths, the Pixel 7a is not without its areas for improvement. Users might find the battery life wanting in comparison to some competitors, and the fingerprint sensor’s performance could benefit from a bit of fine-tuning.
- Wireless charging and a 90-Hz screen refresh rate enhance usability and interaction smoothness.
- Durable build with aluminum mid-frame and Gorilla Glass 3, plus a crack-resistant plastic composite rear.
- Tensor G2 chipset ensures fast performance and supports innovative features like Photo Unblur.
- High-quality camera system with a 64-megapixel main sensor and 13-megapixel ultrawide for superior photography.
- Commitment to security with five years of updates.
- Priced slightly higher than its predecessor, which might deter budget-conscious buyers.
- Only three OS upgrades, potentially limiting future software functionality.
- Battery life may not meet the expectations set by some competitors.
- Fingerprint sensor performance needs refinement for a smoother user experience.
- The plastic composite rear, while practical, might not appeal to those preferring premium materials.
In sum, the Pixel 7a emerges as a compelling choice for users seeking a balanced blend of performance, photography prowess, and timely updates, all wrapped up in a durable and user-friendly design.
The Google Pixel Fold: For Those That Want Something Special
At $1,799, the Pixel Fold stands as the most expensive Pixel phone you can buy – and ever produced. It’s aimed at power users / early adopters, seeking all the usual Pixel goodies just in a completely new – and still very novel – format.
The foldable nature of the Pixel Fold means you get more screen and with more screen you can do more stuff. Multitasking, watching movies, playing games, and productivity tasks are all massively enhanced by the extra screen real estate.
When folded, it maintains a compact form factor for ease of portability and conventional phone use. And it does look good, very snazzy. It’s the type of phone that’ll turn a few heads and likely start a few conversations with strangers.
But it is hella expensive, so unless you’re positively in love with the idea of having a foldable Pixel phone, we’d probably advise that you go with the Pixel 8 Pro over this one – it’s like 80% cheaper.
- Innovative foldable design that offers versatility between a traditional smartphone form factor and an expanded display for enhanced productivity and entertainment.
- Positioned as a premium device for power users, offering cutting-edge technology and a unique user experience.
- Ideal for multitasking and engaging with content on a larger, more immersive display when unfolded.
- Represents Google’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of smartphone technology and design.
- Serves as a standout choice for tech enthusiasts looking to own the latest in foldable device innovation.
- The high price point of $1,799 makes it a significant investment, potentially beyond the reach of the average consumer.
- Foldable technology, while innovative, raises concerns about durability and longevity, especially with the device’s hinge mechanism and foldable screen.
- The novelty and complexity of the foldable design might present a learning curve for users accustomed to traditional smartphones.
- Given its pioneering technology, there may be fewer accessories and support options available compared to more standard models.
- The size and weight when folded could be bulkier or heavier than conventional smartphones, possibly affecting portability and comfort.
The Pixel Fold is Google’s ambitious vision of the future, encapsulating the potential of foldable technology in a device that promises to adapt to the user’s lifestyle. It’s an emblem of luxury within the tech world, crafted for those who dare to lead the way and redefine the norms of mobile computing.
Pixel 7 & Pixel 6 Series – Save Money, Go Refurbished
What if you want flagship-style cameras and performance but don’t want to pay top dollar for the privilege? One option would be to get an older Pixel phone – like the Pixel 7 Pro or the Pixel 6 Pro.
Both models are now discontinued but they’re readily available on the refurbished market for around 50% less than you’d pay for a new Pixel 8 phone.
Interested? Read on for the low-down on each phone as well as some PROS and CONS about buying refurbished phones.
Pixel 6 Series
The Pixel 6 series, with its introduction of the Tensor chipset, marked a significant leap in Google’s smartphone evolution. These devices offer a harmonious blend of innovative software capabilities, advanced AI, and machine learning integration, all aimed at providing a seamless user experience. The camera system on the Pixel 6 series continues Google’s legacy of photographic excellence, with features like Magic Eraser and Real Tone capturing true-to-life images.
Pros of Buying Refurbished:
- Cost Savings: One of the most compelling reasons to consider a refurbished Pixel 6 is the substantial savings compared to buying new, making premium features more accessible.
- Sustainable Choice: Opting for a refurbished device is an environmentally conscious decision, contributing to reduced electronic waste.
- Reliable Performance: Refurbished Pixel 6 devices often undergo rigorous testing and certification processes, ensuring they meet high standards of functionality.
- Feature-Rich: Enjoy Google’s innovative Tensor chipset, excellent camera capabilities, and a sleek design at a fraction of the cost.
- Software Support: Despite being an older series, the Pixel 6 continues to receive timely software updates from Google, ensuring a fresh and secure user experience.
Cons of Buying Refurbished:
- Battery Lifespan: Refurbished devices may have reduced battery longevity compared to new units, potentially affecting daily usage.
- Wear and Tear: Some refurbished units might show signs of previous use, such as minor scratches or wear, which could detract from the aesthetic appeal.
- Limited Warranty: The warranty on refurbished devices is often shorter than that of new devices, offering less protection over time.
- Stock Availability: Finding a refurbished Pixel 6 in the desired condition or color can be challenging due to limited stock.
- Potential for Hidden Issues: While certified refurbished devices are generally reliable, there’s always a slight risk of underlying issues not apparent during the refurbishing process.
Pixel 7 Series
The Pixel 7 series builds on its predecessor’s strengths, introducing refinements in design, camera enhancements, and the Tensor G2 chipset for even more efficient performance. The series offers features like Cinematic Blur for video and improved Night Sight for low-light photography, making it a compelling choice for tech enthusiasts.
Pros of Buying Refurbished:
- Economic Efficiency: Refurbished Pixel 7 devices provide a way to access the latest Google technology at a reduced price point.
- Eco-Friendly: Choosing refurbished helps in reducing the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new devices.
- Assured Quality: Certified refurbished Pixels are thoroughly inspected and repaired to meet original factory specifications.
- Latest Features: Experience the advancements of the Tensor G2 chipset, enhanced camera systems, and the sleek design of the Pixel 7 series without the full cost.
- Up-to-Date Software: The Pixel 7 series benefits from Google’s commitment to software excellence, with regular updates ensuring a cutting-edge experience.
Cons of Buying Refurbished:
- Battery Concerns: As with any refurbished device, the battery may not perform as well as a brand-new unit’s, which could affect day-long usability.
- Cosmetic Imperfections: Refurbished units might carry minor blemishes, which, while not affecting performance, may be noticeable.
- Shorter Warranty Period: The warranty provided with refurbished devices typically doesn’t match the length offered with new devices, potentially leaving buyers with less recourse in case of issues.
- Availability Issues: Specific models, colors, or storage options in the refurbished market may be harder to come by due to limited quantities.
- Unknown History: Even with a certification process, the exact history of a refurbished device, such as repair details or previous use, might not be fully transparent.
Google’s Pixel lineup has never looked better. There are now options for pretty much every budget – from the low-end right the way up into the thousands of pounds.
Here’s a quick breakdown of everything we’ve covered above:
- Budget-Friendly Choice: The Pixel 7a is perfect for everyday users who prioritize both quality and affordability in their smartphone selection.
- For the Tech Savvy: The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro cater to tech enthusiasts who desire the forefront of smartphone innovation and performance.
- Innovative Design: The Pixel Fold offers a unique and premium experience for those fascinated by the versatility and potential of foldable technology.
- Value-Driven Options: Go refurbished with a Pixel 6 or 7 model to snag solid smartphone features without the new-model price tag.