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Should You Buy A Pixel Phone? A “PROS & CONS” Guide…

If you use Android and want the best software support possible, a Google Pixel phone could just be what the doctor ordered. But should you buy a Pixel phone over, say, something from Samsung or OnePlus? Let’s investigate…



Google Pixel Phone: Key Takeaways

Let’s now round-up everything we’ve learned about Google’s Pixel phones via a quick and easy TL;DR section:

  • Google designs and controls Android. It also designs its Pixel phones with Android in mind, so, like Apple, Pixel phones deliver the most compelling Android experience you can get on a phone.
  • Pixel phones get Android updates first, way before Samsung and any other Android phone makers. Google also guarantees that ALL Pixel phones will receive three major Android updates.
  • Google’s Tensor chip has some of the most advanced machine learning capabilities of any phone on the market right now. In this context, Google is effectively a pioneer and is why out in front of Apple and Samsung.
  • Google’s latest Pixel phones, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, are significantly cheaper and therefore represent much better value for money than Apple and Samsung’s similarly-pitched phones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S22, Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus).
  • And the Pixel 7a delivers incredible value for money.
  • Google’s Pixel camera is one of the best in the business. Powered by immensely intelligent machine learning and running the latest sensor hardware, the Pixel 7 Pro is one of the best camera phones on the planet right now.
  • Pixel phones, thanks to Google’s Tensor chip, are now insanely secure, protecting both your data and from any unwanted exposure to external threats from hackers.

Google’s Pixel phone has been through numerous iterations now. It took The Big G a while to find its feet in the mobile space; building a premium phone brand from the ground up is no mean feat, even for one of the world’s biggest and smartest companies.

Picking up where Google’s Nexus phones left off, the Pixel line of phones is closer in pitch to Apple’s iPhone than Google’s old developer-focused Nexus phones. With Pixel, Google is selling a pure Android experience – its Android just as Google intended it to be.

I’ve bought and used every single Pixel phone to date, although I am also quite tempted by the prospect of the iPhone 15 at the moment.

Google Pixel Phones: The Good and The Bad

Google Pixel Phone IP Rating ComparisonPin

When it comes to smartphones, Google Pixel phones have carved a niche for themselves. Market share-wise, they’re still a ways behind Apple and Samsung. But Google is now a player in the market despite a few missteps along the way.

If you’ve never used a Pixel phone before, you’ll have questions. I get it: no one likes buying something new and HOPING it all works good.

If you want the skinny on the good and bad side of owning a Pixel phone, read on…

Let’s dive deep into the world of Pixel phones and explore the good and the bad.

The Good: A Symphony of Features

  • Unparalleled Cameras: Pixel phones are synonymous with top-notch cameras. With features like Night Sight and Super Res Zoom, capturing breathtaking photos, even in the most challenging lighting, becomes a piece of cake. It’s like having a professional camera right in your pocket!
  • Swift Updates: Much like Apple’s iPhones, Pixel phones enjoy rapid and regular software and security updates directly from Google. It’s about staying ahead and keeping your phone in its prime condition.
  • Value for Money: Competitive pricing is one of Pixel’s strong suits. It’s a boon for those who crave premium quality without splurging excessively. It’s high-end quality without the high-end price tag!
  • Exclusive Features: Pixel phones bring to the table unique features like Live Translate and the Personal Safety app, setting them apart from other Android counterparts. It’s about experiencing the unprecedented.
  • Seamless Google Integration: With Google’s finest elements seamlessly integrated, Pixel phones offer a cohesive and conflict-free user experience. It’s Google at its best, with no compromises.
  • Smart Touches: The little specks of Google intelligence embedded in Pixel phones can significantly simplify your life. It’s about smart solutions for everyday challenges.
  • Robust Security: Thanks to the innovative Tensor chip, Pixel phones offer top-tier security, safeguarding your data meticulously. It’s about peace of mind in a digital world.

The Bad: The Other Side of the Coin

  • Hardware Concerns: Some users find the hardware of Pixel phones to be lacking, especially when compared to other flagships. It’s about the quest for perfection in every component.
  • Battery Woes: A section of users have raised concerns over the battery life of Pixel phones, with some models falling short of expectations. It’s about the need for power that lasts.
  • Software Glitches: Instances of software bugs, such as suboptimal RAM management and unresponsive fingerprint sensors, have been reported. It’s about refining the user experience to its finest.
  • Connectivity Hurdles: Issues with cellular connectivity, including dropped calls and delayed messages, have been a pain point for some users. It’s about staying connected without a hitch.
  • Tensor Chip Quandaries: The recent Tensor chips have had their share of problems, raising questions about the future models. It’s about ensuring reliability at the core.
  • Pricey Proposition: Some users feel the price doesn’t quite match the overall quality offered by Pixel phones. It’s about striking the right balance between cost and quality.
  • Innovation Drought: A lack of groundbreaking features has left some users yearning for more. It’s about pushing the envelope and exceeding expectations.

Bottom Line?

Google Pixel phones are a mixed bag of extraordinary features and some areas needing improvement.

Google has a history of QC issues and a slew of bugs and issues with its hardware right the way up to the Pixel 6 Pro – this phone in particular was terrible.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are better, and most users seem to get along just fine with their Pixels. But as someone that has used nearly all of Google’s Pixel phones, I’m afraid to says its quality control issues are real and they happen far too often.

That doesn’t mean your Pixel phone will brick itself, but it is important to MAKE SURE you get a solid warranty on your phone – way more than 30 days if possible.

What is The Latest Pixel Phone?

pixel 8 specsPin

Google’s 2022 flagship phone is now official in the form of the Pixel 7 Pro, and that phone is backed up by the smaller and cheaper Pixel 7. You can see how the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro compare for a broader overview of what makes these phones tick.

Google now also has a cheaper option available in the form of the Google Pixel 7a which is a pretty significant update over the Pixel 6a, adding in a massively improved 48MP main camera, wireless charging, and an improved 90Hz OLED display.

Google Pixel 7
4.0
From $599

The Pixel 7 is a great phone with plenty of attractive features. It has a killer camera, an amazing array of photography modes, solid battery life, and plenty of power under the hood. Add in three years' worth of Android updates and a price tag of $599, and it is impossible not to like this phone...

Pros:
  • Great Price
  • Excellent Performance
  • Solid Design
  • Brilliant Camera
  • Good Battery Life
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Google Pixel 7 Pro
4.5
From $899

If you want the absolute best Google has to offer, the Pixel 7 Pro is an obvious choice. It packs in a market-leading camera, complete with a 48MP telephoto lens, a 120Hz QHD+ OLED display, 12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It's a spec-monster and it is considerably cheaper than Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max too.

Pros:
  • Big, Bright Display w/ 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Fast Performance
  • Amazing Camera w/ 48MP Telephoto Lens
  • Masses of Power
  • Great Battery Life
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
The New Mid-Range Standard
Google Pixel 7a
4.5

The Google Pixel 7a offers premium features without the hefty price tag. With superior performance, a smooth 90Hz display, and a top-notch camera, it outshines its rivals. With five years of software support and the added bonus of wireless charging, the Pixel 7a is a mid-range smartphone game-changer. A true bang-for-your-buck purchase!


Pros:
  • Offers a significant portion of premium smartphone features.
  • Employs Google's top chip and ample RAM for superior performance.
  • Provides a high refresh rate screen (90Hz) for a smooth user experience.
  • Comes with excellent software support for five years.
  • Offers a high-quality camera that outperforms many expensive phones.
  • The price is reasonable for the features it offers ($500).
  • First Pixel A-series to offer wireless charging.

Additional Resources:

Here’s all the latest information currently known about Google’s next flagship phones, the Pixel 8 series:

Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro

Should You Buy A Pixel Phone? A “PROS & CONS” Guide…Pin

Google’s 2022 Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are not only the best phones the company has ever produced but, more importantly, they are the smartest as well, and this is all down to Google’s investment into machine learning – what you and I might call artificial intelligence (AI).

Google knows that in order to make the “best” phone possible, you need more than just specs and hardware. These things are important, necessary even but they’re now just par for the course. Google wants to make its phones not only more powerful, but also smarter.

And this is all done via Google’s Tensor CPU. But what can Tensor actually do? What makes it so smart?

Here’s what Google said about its chipset that powers its Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 during its launch:

What Google’s Tensor Chip Can Do

  • Google Assistant on Google Tensor uses the most accurate Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) ever released by Google. And for the first time we can use a high quality ASR model even for long-running applications such as Recorder or tools such as Live Caption without quickly draining the battery.
  • You’ll also be able to better communicate with people in the language you are most comfortable with thanks to Google Tensor and the new Live Translate feature.
  • More chat apps — like Messages and WhatsApp — will allow users to translate directly in the chat application, meaning no more cutting and pasting text into the Google Translate web service
  • By embedding parts of HDRNet, a feature that delivers the signature Pixel look more efficiently, directly onto the chip, it now works in all video modes for the first time — even at 4K and 60 frames per second — to deliver recordings with more accurate and vivid colors.

In addition to this, Tensor acts as a protective force inside your phone as well, ensuring all of your personal data and the content on your phone is protected from outside threats.

Our chip includes Tensor security core, a new CPU-based subsystem that works with the next generation of our dedicated security chip, Titan M2, to protect your sensitive user data. Independent security lab testing showed that Titan M2 can withstand attacks like electromagnetic analysis, voltage glitching and even laser fault injection. Yes, we literally shot lasers at our chip!

Google

With the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, you’re getting access to the second generation of Tensor – the Tensor G2 chipset – alongside plenty of additional updates over the Pixel 6.

One area where you will notice plenty of improvements over the Pixel 6, is the Pixel 7’s battery life – it is significantly improved. And this is, once again, down to the evolution of Google’s Tensor chipset.

Another key point about the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro is their price. Both phones massively undercut both Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 phones. The Pixel 7 Pro – the flagship model – costs the same as Apple’s entry-level iPhone 14 Plus, for instance, and that is significant.

If you’re struggling to decide which phone is the best option for you, out of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro, here’s a quick breakdown of the main differences between the two phones:

  • The Pixel 7 starts at $599, while the Pixel 7 Pro starts from $899
  • The Pixel 7 Pro has a third 48MP Telephoto Camera
  • The Pixel 7 Pro has a higher resolution (QHD+) display with a higher refresh rate (120Hz vs 90Hz)
  • The Pixel 7 Pro comes with more storage (up to 512GB) and more RAM (12GB)
  • The Pixel 7 Pro is also bigger and runs a larger, 5000mAh battery

Interested in what Google has in store for us in 2023? Check out our guide to the Google Pixel 8 to see what’s happening with Google’s next line of Pixel phones.

Additional Resources


The Pixel Phone Difference

Why do people like Pixel phones? I think it is, mostly, down to two things: the software and the camera tech. All things being equal, these are the two biggest reasons to get a Pixel phone over, say, a similarly-priced phone from Samsung.

And with the release of the Pixel 7 Pro, this argument is now even stronger: it has a third 48MP telephoto lens alongside its 50MP main and 12MP ultrawide sensor. Both phones also get access to Google’s incredible array of image processing tools which include Night Sight, Motion Mode, Real Tone, Photo Unblur, and Google’s awesome Magic Eraser.

Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 ProPin
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – Check Latest Deals

Even when Google was struggling with its industrial design, arguably right up to the release of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, fans flocked to its phones because of how good the cameras were. And the fact that most Pixel phones were cheaper than anything from Apple or Samsung.

Google’s 2021 Pixel phones were impressive updates, most notably the Pixel 6 Pro. And its 2022 releases in the form of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro were equally good.

You have new, heavily updated camera modules, Google’s new Tensor CPU, as well as some fairly unique design changes too, with the introduction of Google’s “visor” module for its cameras, which Google kept in place on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the updates, new specs, and features you’ll find aboard the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. After this, we’ll detail all the differences between the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, and then after that discuss how things have changed between the generations.

Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro Specifications

SPECPIXEL 7PIXEL 7 PRO
Displays6.3-inch FHD+ (2400×1080) OLED at up to 90Hz6.7-inch QHD+ (3120×1440) LTPO OLED at up to 120Hz
5G supportYesYes
CPUGoogle Tensor G2Google Tensor G2
RAM8GB12GB
Storage128 or 256GB128, 256 or 512GB
Rear cameras50MP wide-angle f/1.85;
12MP ultra-wide f/2.2
50MP wide-angle f/1.85;
12MP ultra-wide f/2.2;
48MP telephoto f/3.5
Front cameras11.1MP f/2.211.1MP f/2.2
Battery capacity4700mAh5000mAh
Water resistanceIP68IP68
ColorsSnow, Obsidian, or LemongrassSnow, Obsidian, or Hazel
Size6.2 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches6.5 x 3.0 x 0.4 inches
Weight7.3 ounces7.41 ounces

The Pixel 7 is a fairly incremental update over the Pixel 6 but there are plenty of changes to get excited about, not least the addition of a 48MP telephoto lens on the Pixel 7 Pro model. Both phones also run Google’s next-generation Tensor CPU as well which brings with significant performance and efficiency boosts over the 1st Gen Tensor chip in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

If you haven’t bought or used a Pixel phone before, the Pixel 7 – with its $599 price tag – and the Pixel 7 Pro – with its $899 price – are a really great place to get your first Pixel experience.

Google appears to have ironed out much of the hardware issues that plagued its earlier models, and the cameras on these phones – even on the base model Pixel 7 – really are truly exceptional.

For the asking price, I think the Pixel 7 is one of the best value smartphones on the planet right now from a pure price versus specs and performance basis.

It is significantly cheaper than both Apple and Samsung’s entry-level flagship models and it is just as good where it counts (overall performance, battery life, camera tech, and software).

For those that want Pro or Ultra-grade performance, the Pixel 7 Pro, with its $899 price point, again, is cheaper than anything you’ll find in Apple and Samsung’s portfolio.

And it packs much the same punch as these more expensive phones with killer specs, excellent hardware, and one of the best camera modules on the market right now.

4.0
4.5
Pros:
  • Great Price
  • Excellent Performance
  • Solid Design
  • Brilliant Camera
  • Good Battery Life
Pros:
  • Big, Bright Display w/ 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Fast Performance
  • Amazing Camera w/ 48MP Telephoto Lens
  • Masses of Power
  • Great Battery Life
From $599
From $899
Description:

The Pixel 7 is a great phone with plenty of attractive features. It has a killer camera, an amazing array of photography modes, solid battery life, and plenty of power under the hood. Add in three years' worth of Android updates and a price tag of $599, and it is impossible not to like this phone...

Description:

If you want the absolute best Google has to offer, the Pixel 7 Pro is an obvious choice. It packs in a market-leading camera, complete with a 48MP telephoto lens, a 120Hz QHD+ OLED display, 12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It's a spec-monster and it is considerably cheaper than Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max too.

4.0
Pros:
  • Great Price
  • Excellent Performance
  • Solid Design
  • Brilliant Camera
  • Good Battery Life
From $599
Description:

The Pixel 7 is a great phone with plenty of attractive features. It has a killer camera, an amazing array of photography modes, solid battery life, and plenty of power under the hood. Add in three years' worth of Android updates and a price tag of $599, and it is impossible not to like this phone...

4.5
Pros:
  • Big, Bright Display w/ 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Fast Performance
  • Amazing Camera w/ 48MP Telephoto Lens
  • Masses of Power
  • Great Battery Life
From $899
Description:

If you want the absolute best Google has to offer, the Pixel 7 Pro is an obvious choice. It packs in a market-leading camera, complete with a 48MP telephoto lens, a 120Hz QHD+ OLED display, 12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It's a spec-monster and it is considerably cheaper than Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max too.

Additional Resources:


Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro: All The Updates

If you’re curious about Google’s 2021 Pixel phones, the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, here’s a quick breakdown of all the changes and updates:

Pixel 6 Updates

  • Display – The Pixel 6 runs the same OLED display as the Pixel 5. It’s a 6.4in 90Hz AMOLED panel and while it lacks plenty of the Pro’s specs and fizziness, for the asking price ($599) this is still a very good display. It is more than equal to what you get on Apple’s iPhone 13 and 13 Mini.
  • Battery – The Pixel 6 runs a 4614 mAh battery and, like the Pixel 6 Pro, it supports 30W wired charging and 21W wireless charging. Google does not include a charger with either the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, though, so you’ll need to buy a 30W charger in order to tap into its fast-charge abilities.
  • Camera – Google has heavily updated the camera module on the Pixel 6 compared to what we got on the Pixel 5. The Pixel 6 runs a dual-lens camera module that is made up of a 50 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide) lens and a 12 MP, f/2.2, 114˚ (ultrawide). It doesn’t have lazer auto-focus like the Pixel 6 Pro, and it lacks the telephoto lens too, but for a $599 phone this is a very decent upgrade over the Pixel 5’s camera module.
  • Fingerprint Sensor – Google has finally killed off the physical fingerprint scanner on its Pixel 6 range of phones. Both the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro now use under-display fingerprint scanners. I don’t know how I feel about this; I really love the fingerprint sensor on the back of the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5.
  • RAM – The Pixel 6 runs 8GB of RAM and is available in either 128GB or 256GB storage variants. Neither the Pixel 6 nor the Pixel 6 Pro feature SD support or a headphone jack.
  • Colors – The Pixel 6 is available in the following color options: Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral, Stormy Black

Pixel 6 Pro Updates

  • Display – The Pixel 6 Pro runs a 6.7in 120Hz 1440 x 3120 pixels display with HDR10+. The screen tech is LTPO AMOLED. This is the most advanced display Google has ever deployed on a Pixel phone. From its size to its refresh rate, the Pixel 6 Pro’s dwarfs the Pixel 5’s from 2020.
  • Battery – The Pixel 6 Pro has a large display and it runs 5G, so it needs a large battery to keep everything running smoothly. Google has opted for a 4905mAh battery inside the Pixel 6 Pro with 30W Fast-Charging. Although, to take advantage of the 30W fast charge, you’ll need to buy a separate charger; Google does not include a charger in the Pixel 6 box.
  • Camera Tech – Google has massively updated the Pixel 6 Pro’s camera module. The Pixel 6 Pro uses a triple lens camera module that runs a 50 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), a 48 MP, f/3.5, 104mm (telephoto), and a 12 MP, f/2.2, 114˚ (ultrawide). The camera supports 4x optical zoom, lazer auto-focus, and optical image stabilisation.
  • Google Tensor – Google’s new Tensor CPU is jam-packed with AI and machine learning algorithms to make the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smarter than any other phone on the market. Tensor’s AI abilities extend to all areas of the phone, from live translation and voice typing, to its camera module for video and photo editing on the fly. Tensor even has things like Magic Eraser that removes unwanted things from images and video.
  • CPU Performance – While Google’s Tensor CPU packs in plenty of special features and AI smarts, it likely won’t be as powerful as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 or Apple’s A15 CPU. This shouldn’t be seen as a deal-breaker, however. Google’s Pixel phones have always been underpowered compared to the competition. And Tensor’s AI abilities should more than make up for the shortfall in performance.
  • Android Updates – Google has confirmed that it will be offering five years of Android support to everyone that buys a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro. This means if you buy the Pixel 6 Pro in 2021, you’ll get Android updates until 2026. That is the best you’ll get in the Android market and it is nearing Apple’s industry-standard support. Not too shabby.
  • RAM & Memory – The Pixel 6 Pro runs 12GB of RAM and is available in the following storage options: 128GB, 256GB and 512GB.
  • Colors – The Pixel 6 Pro is available in the following color options: Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny, Stormy Black


That’s a quick overview of what makes the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro tick, but if you want or need more information on Google’s 2021 Pixel phones, check out the additional resources below.

Additional Resources:


Google Pixel A Series – The Cheaper Pixel Option

The entire MO with Google’s Pixel phones is simplicity. From the software to the choice of phones, Google has done everything it can to make choosing between its phones as simple as possible.

If you want high-end features and the best camera performance, go with its Pro model.

If you want excellent performance and a very good camera, but can live without all the fancy bells and whistle, go with the base model – it’ll do everything and more that you need.

Buy beyond its two main phones, Google also has its A series Pixel phones. The current latest model is the Google Pixel 6a which is the follow up to the Pixel 5a.

Google’s first A-series Pixel was the Pixel 3a and this phone, largely speaking, is responsible for putting Google’s Pixel phone brand on the map – it was cheap, potent, and it shipped with a wicked-good camera that nothing else at the $399.99 price point could match.

Since then, Google’s A-series has remained popular with users looking for that quintessential Pixel experience, just for quite a bit less money.

As of 2022, the latest cheap Pixel phone is the Pixel 6a. But we expect to see a $399.99 version of the Pixel 7 launched at some point in 2023 in the form of the Pixel 7a.

Should You Buy A Pixel Phone?

As you can see, there’s quite a lot of stuff to get through when talking about Google’s Pixel phones. But when it comes to actually buying and using one, there are a few chief reasons why people flock towards Google’s Pixel phones (and also a few reasons why they don’t).

In this post, we’ll look at both the PROS and CONS of Google Pixel phone ownership.

Let’s do this!

Google Pixel Phone PROS – Why You’d Buy One

refurbished phones buying guidePin

Before we get into the not-so-good stuff, let’s first take a look at why you would buy a Pixel phone. Or, more specifically, why I decided to use Pixel phones for the past several years instead of – technically more exciting – phones from Samsung, Huawei, and OnePlus.

1. Pixels Phones Are Best For Android Updates

Getting early access to the latest Android updates is one of the main reasons why I – and millions of other people – use Pixel phones. Google designs and makes its Pixel phones. Google also makes Android.

The two are designed to work together seamlessly. And when there’s a new Android update coming, Pixel users ALWAYS get it first. If early access to new Android versions is important to you, Pixel phones are the way forward.

On top of this, ALL new Pixel phones are guaranteed for three years’ worth of Android updates, so if you buy one today you will be getting Android updates for the next several years.

Samsung has now matched this on some of its phones, but 99.9% of Android phones only ever get two Android updates maximum – some get even fewer. And running the latest build of Android is important too; it keeps you protected from malware and security breaches.

2. Beautiful Software Design

There are BILLIONS of Android phones in circulation today, and they all run on the same operating system – Android. But in order to differentiate their respective products, Android phone companies skin Android with custom software – sometimes called an Android Skin.

These skins vary in look and feel. Some are great (like OnePlus’) and others not so much (like Xiaomi’s). They’re all still Android phones at a source code level, so you get most of the same functionality, but they all look and function slightly differently.

And most aren’t great, either.

With a Pixel phone, you get the purest Android experience possible; it’s Android just as Google intended. Android running on a Pixel phone looks stunning, way better than iOS does on the iPhone. It is also free from ALL the useless bloatware you get on most Android phones.

For me, the software and UX design of Google’s Pixel phones is one of the #1 reasons to go with Pixel over, say, a phone from another Android phone brand. Google’s UX design is flawless, free from bloatware, and super intuitive to use. I could never go back to a custom-skinned Android phone.

3. Google’s Pixel Camera Tech is Amazing

Besides Android updates and software design, Google’s camera tech is the main thing that its Pixel phones are known for. Unlike everybody else in the mobile phone space, Google’s Pixel phones are ALL about doing more with less.

While Samsung and OnePlus are adding in more and more lenses, Google is working on ways to make its camera software smarter. This approach has worked too; Google’s Pixel phones (even the cheap ones) constantly top “best camera” lists all around the web.

Google Pixel 7 Pro Camera SpecsPin

Rather than shoe-horning a myriad of hardware into a phone, Google’s approach to camera technology focuses on fewer physical components and more machine learning – AI, to you and me.

With machine learning in place, Google’s camera can capture better images than some Android phones that have twice the amount of lenses.

Google’s secret sauce is essentially a combination of machine learning (AI) and its image processor. Combined with things like HDR+, this helped Google create one of the most powerful (and easy-to-use) mobile phone cameras on the planet.

4. Simplicity – Pixel Phones Focus on Utility, Not Gimmicks (Most of The Time)

As phones have gotten bigger, they’ve got more complex. Bigger phones, more features, multiple camera lenses that most people don’t use – all of these things have combined to inflate the price of phones.

And that’s not exactly good for the consumer. Around the launch of the Pixel 3a, Google stumbled onto something, something it originally discovered back around the time of its Nexus 4 phone: that people ACTUALLY just want affordable, good-quality phones.

The Pixel 3a was Google’s best-selling Pixel phone to date. For this exact reason: it was awesome and it was cheap. Google followed suit in 2020 with the release of the Pixel 4a and, importantly, the lessons learned from its 3a and 4a range informed how it positioned the Pixel 5. And now you have the Pixel 6a to consider too (it’s a killer phone, just like the Pixel 6 – only it retails for $150 less).

And with the Pixel 7, prices start from $599 which is a damn sight cheaper than the iPhone 14 and/or the Samsung Galaxy S22. When the Pixel 7a drops, it will likely retail for even less. So, yes, if you’re looking for value for money on your next phone, a Pixel phone could be just what you’ve been looking for.

5. The “Not-So-Flagship-Flagship” Phone

Back in 2020, Google didn’t really make a flagship phone: it just did a kind of mid-range, high-end approach. And it worked too. But from around 2021, Google’s approach to price matured yet again – we now have its base model, its pro model, and the A series model. And they all hit different price points.

The base model Pixel 7, for instance, retails for $599, while the Pixel 7 Pro costs $899. With the iPhone 14, you’ll pay almost as much for Apple’s base model as you would for Google’s Pro model. And this is significant. If you get a Pixel phone, you’re basically getting more for less. And that is something everybody can get behind, right?

Google now makes its own chipsets too, the Tensor chip, which is now in its second generation aboard the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Developing and designing its chips in-house means that Google can get more optimization in place, ensure better performance, and tweak things exactly how it likes. It also makes the unit cost per phone less, as Google is essentially making its own CPUs – not buying them in from Qualcomm.

Like Apple, Google has finally woken up to the fact that the vast majority of consumers DO NOT want to pay north of £1000 for a phone. It knows that by retailing a solid phone at a fair price it will sell more units, make more friends, and, in the end, generate more revenue and profits.

This changed slightly in 2021, with the release of the Pixel 6 Pro, and followed a similar track in 2022 with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, but Google has managed to keep the costs of ALL of its Pixel phones well below the market average for flagships.

Google Pixel Phone Cons – Why You’d Look Elsewhere

iPhone 15 Pro Max UltraPin

Google’s Pixel phones – in my humble opinion – are great; they tick nearly all of my boxes with respect to performance, software, and usability. But there are definitely some things, not issues per se, but factors you should know about before you commit to buying a Pixel phone.

Below, I’ll give you a quick overview of things that Google’s Pixel phones don’t do especially well, as well as areas where other phones do things better.

1. Still Not As Good As iPhone with Updates

When it comes to Android updates, Google is the clear leader in the Android space. Samsung comes in a close second, following its announcement that “certain” Galaxy devices (spoiler: the most expensive ones) will get three years’ worth of Android updates. Neither can match Apple, however.

Google now offers five years’ worth of Android updates on its Pixel phones. This is currently the best level of support you can get in the Android phone market. And this applies to its newer Pixel 7 phones as well.

With iPhone, you’ll get six, possibly more years of iOS updates. My iPhone SE, now an ancient relic in phone years, just got updated to iOS 14, Apple’s latest build of iOS. No Android phones launched during the same period as the iPhone SE are getting Android updates today – they’ve all been left out to pasture.

This is one of the major reasons I like Apple’s iPhone so much. I know that if I buy an iPhone today, I will be able to use it, more or less seamlessly, with the latest software, until its internal battery reaches its end-of-life cycle (around 10,000 charges).

No one else in the phone space does updates and support quite like Apple. This is likely the #1 reason why it has so many loyal fans. That and the fact that its phones, which aren’t even that pricey anymore by modern Android flagship standards, look and function perfectly over extended periods of time.

2. Funky Issues Plagued Older Pixel Phones

Google’s first few generations of Pixel phones, while impressive, weren’t without their problems. There were issues with the OLED panels on certain models, problems with the charging ports on some, and my Pixel 2 XL just stopped working for no apparent reason. I still don’t know what happened.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL weren’t loved either. But all agreed that one thing remained constant throughout all the ups and downs: Google’s software was still the best available version of Android you could use and its camera tech kicked A LOT of ass.

With the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, Google has finally hit its stride. The design is on point. The specs and pricing make sense. And the camera tech has evolved to bring even more performance. Basically, Google has finally found its own special niche in the phone market, a place that should help it make a lot of new friends and converts in 2022 and beyond.

But Google still has plenty of gremlins inside its Pixel 6 Pro, for instance, which isn’t really acceptable from a user perspective. This is largely down to Google’s quality control which, compared to Apple and Samsung’s, isn’t quite as robust. Has this changed with the Pixel 7 series? Potentially, but that phone hasn’t been out for too long, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Additional Resources:

OK, that’s basically my 2¢ on Google’s Pixel phones. As you can probably tell, I like Pixel phones. For me, they’re the most utilitarian (in a good way) phones on the market.

When Will Pixel 7 Go On SalePin

Pixel phones, now Google has figured out its place in the market, are well priced, have great battery life, nice OLED panels, gorgeous software, and killer camera tech.

As a 36-year-old dude that isn’t trying to impress anyone with my tech, that’s just about all I need from a phone. If you want massively impressive performance and one of the best cameras on the market, Google has you covered with its Pixel 7 Pro – it is utterly superb, easily on par with anything from Samsung and Apple.

But if you’re looking for more of a value for money kinda deal, the Pixel 7 is more or less unbeatable right now.

Google Pixel 7 Pro
4.5
From $899

If you want the absolute best Google has to offer, the Pixel 7 Pro is an obvious choice. It packs in a market-leading camera, complete with a 48MP telephoto lens, a 120Hz QHD+ OLED display, 12GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It's a spec-monster and it is considerably cheaper than Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max too.

Pros:
  • Big, Bright Display w/ 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Fast Performance
  • Amazing Camera w/ 48MP Telephoto Lens
  • Masses of Power
  • Great Battery Life
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Google Pixel 7
4.0
From $599

The Pixel 7 is a great phone with plenty of attractive features. It has a killer camera, an amazing array of photography modes, solid battery life, and plenty of power under the hood. Add in three years' worth of Android updates and a price tag of $599, and it is impossible not to like this phone...

Pros:
  • Great Price
  • Excellent Performance
  • Solid Design
  • Brilliant Camera
  • Good Battery Life
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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