These are the Best Pixel Phones to buy in 2022
Google Pixel phones are often ranked as the “god tier” of the best Android devices, often earning praise from reviewers and users alike. After all, Google makes Android, so a phone made by Google running Android should be the perfect Android phone, right? Well, some people would definitely agree. While Pixels have slowly made their way to the mainstream, there’s still a lot of improvement needed to get there. While that happens though, they still have their charm. It’s not a coincidence they consistently become fan favorites and they’re often considered among the best smartphones. You can’t truly experience Pixel phones without trying one out, though. So if you’re interested in getting a Google Pixel phone, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Pixel phones you can currently get.
From flagship devices like the Pixel 6 Pro to cheaper ones like the Pixel 5a (5G), Google’s lineup has gotten extensive enough to warrant making a list.
Navigate this guide:
- Best Overall: Google Pixel 6 Pro
- Best for Most People: Google Pixel 5a (5G)
- Best Mid-Range: Google Pixel 4a
- Best Older: Google Pixel 5
- Best Budget (Compact): Google Pixel 4
- Best Budget (Large): Google Pixel 4 XL
Best Overall: Google Pixel 6 Pro
The Pixel 6 Pro is Google’s latest flagship smartphone for 2021 and is arguably one of the best Pixel smartphones ever launched. It has the latest Tensor chip custom-made by Google along with flagship-grade specifications that make it a truly enticing option for a price tag of $899. The display is a QHD+ LTPO AMOLED panel that can refresh at 120Hz and has curved edges. Both the front and back are protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus.
The new Tensor chip allows for better AI and ML processing on the phone. It’s not just the chipset, but Google has also refreshed the camera hardware on the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s got a new 50MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 48MP telephoto lens with 4X optical zoom. The front has an 11.1MP ultra-wide camera. A large 5000mAh battery is what powers everything. Other features like wireless charging and IP68 rating that are generally found on flagships are also present on the Pixel 6 Pro.
Google has also promised 3 years of Android version updates and 5 years of security patches on the Pixel 6 Pro. It comes with the latest Android 12 out of the box with all the Material You goodness. If you’re looking for a flagship Pixel with excellent cameras, this is the one to get.
Second Best: Google Pixel 6
The Pixel 6 slots in right below the Pixel 6 Pro and is an excellent value offering which is why a lot of people may even opt for the Pixel 6 over the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s got the same new Tensor chip with all the AI and ML capabilities. The display has been slightly toned down with the Pixel 6 compared to the Pro. It’s still a good display though with a 90Hz OLED panel. The rear houses the same two cameras — a 50MP primary sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide but misses out on the telephoto lens from the Pixel 6 Pro.
The camera on the front isn’t as wide as the one on the Pro and also drops the resolution to 8MP. Other than that, there’s not a lot you’re missing out on with the standard Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 is also slightly smaller than the Pixel 6 Pro which a few people may prefer. You get the same sort of software support on the Pixel 6 too. The battery is slightly smaller at 4600mAh but the smaller screen and lower refresh rate mean that the battery life is going to be as good as the Pro if not better. For $300 lesser than the Pro, the Pixel 6 is a great value offering and should be the phone most people should get if you want the best value flagship.
Best for Most People: Google Pixel 5a (5G)
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with the Google Pixel 6, you might do just fine with the Pixel 5a (5G). Or even if you do want some of them, actually. See, the thing about the Google Pixel 5a (5G) is that it’s actually closer to the Pixel 5 than it is to the older Pixel 4a. It has the same Snapdragon 765G, the same dual rear camera setup, and the same software. The phone is also bigger than both the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a. It’s got a beefy battery too so it’s going to last you all day with ease.
It’s one of the best Pixel phones to get if you’re looking into something to get into the Google ecosystem, don’t want to break the bank, and still want to get the absolute most out of it.
Best Mid-Range: Google Pixel 4a
The Google Pixel 4a is dipping well into the mid-range territory. While the Pixel 4a 5G sort of did (and even the flagship Pixel 5 for that matter), the Pixel 4a is the option Google pitches for those looking into getting a phone on a tighter budget. It features a Snapdragon 730G SoC, a tiny 5.8-inch display, and a single 12MP camera on the rear, which manages to punch well above its weight thanks to the stellar camera processing that’s become a hallmark of Pixel smartphones.
The best part of all? It’ll run you $349, making it an excellent deal for those looking for one of the best mid-range phones in the budget segment, as well as one of the best cheap Android smartphones overall.
Best Older: Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 was Google’s top-of-the-line flagship for 2020. They made an odd decision with it though. Instead of putting a Snapdragon 865 on it, like any other 2020 flagship, they decided to put a Snapdragon 765G on it in order to not make costs astronomical. It paid off. With the previous Pixel 4 phones starting at $799 and most other 2020 flagships coming in with price points over $1,000, the Pixel 5 at $699 wasn’t actually the craziest thing ever. Now, even with 2021 phones out, it still manages to keep some of its shine.
It was praised by reviewers and users alike, and it comes with an awesome display and camera, and most importantly, at one of the cheapest price points for a Pixel flagship. It truly is one of the best Pixel phones out there.
Best Budget (Compact): Google Pixel 4
If you’re looking for a more compact option, then Google’s Pixel 4 might just fit the bill. It’s roughly around the same size as the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5, carries the same Snapdragon 855 SoC as the bigger model and doesn’t skimp on specifications elsewhere. There are tradeoffs that come with having a smaller phone, however, and one of them is the battery. The Pixel 4’s battery sits at 2,800 mAh, which was actually a contentious point back when it came out, with reviewers slamming the phone’s poor battery life, further worsened by the fact that it carries a 90Hz display.
Still, if you’re willing to look past that, the Pixel 4 is still a very respectable device in the compact territory. It’s quite old at this point which means you should be able to get it for cheap. Plus, Google is providing one more year of software support for the Pixel 4 series which is great.
Best Budget (Large): Google Pixel 4 XL
Not a fan of the fact Google didn’t release a smartphone with a Snapdragon 800-series chipset? If so, you might want to look at Google’s last “true flagship” phone, the Pixel 4 series. The Pixel 4 XL in particular was a pretty good option back in the day. It launched with the Snapdragon 855 CPU, which was ballin’ fast then and is actually still fairly respectable well into 2021 (the recently-released Snapdragon 860, which powers phones like the POCO X3 Pro, is based on this silicon). We also have 6 GB of RAM, no display notch (and Google’s Soli sensor which was retired with the Pixel 5), and a 3,700 mAh battery.
If you can grab one today, it’s still one of the best Pixel phones you can currently get on a budget given that it’s already quite old.
This is pretty much it for our list of the best Pixel phones you can get right now. The most logical choices you can get right now include the Google Pixel 6 Pro and the Pixel 6. They are arguably the best Pixels phones ever made. If you don’t have $700 to pony up on a smartphone though, then you might be well served by the Pixel 5a (5G) or, heck, even the Pixel 4 or the Pixel 4 XL.