Google’s Pixel 6 is right here, however do you have to purchase a Pixel 3, 4 or 5 as an alternative?

Pixel 6 is on the way, but a Google Pixel 3, 4, 5 or 5A could be better for you

Between the Pixel 3, Pixel 4A, Pixel 5 and Pixel 5A, which Google cellphone is sensible to purchase now?

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This summer time I confronted a dilemma: My Google Pixel 3 XL was on its final legs. Its battery was a pale shadow of its former self. Its USB-C port failed to hold a cost half the time. Either side of the cellphone, display and glass again, have been a spiderwebbed mess of cracks and chips. And in line with Google, the cellphone would not be assured extra Android updates after October. I wanted a brand new cellphone, pronto.

On the time, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional with Google’s new Tensor chip have been months away. Nonetheless, I did not actually wish to wait. And even with Google’s fall launch occasion behind us, there are at all times value cuts that draw individuals to older fashions. A number of months again, my choices seemed easy. Way back, I would thrown in my lot with Google’s pure Android platform again within the days of the Nexus 5. Since then I’ve moved on to the unique Pixel XL and the Pixel 3 XL. So the considered switching to an iPhone like the brand new iPhone 13 was ludicrous. And the thought of utilizing a Samsung Galaxy cellphone was equally alien.

Learn extra: Google Pixel 6 vs. 6 Professional vs. Pixel 5 vs. 5A and what’s Pixel Cross?

My plan was to go together with one other Pixel — the issue was selecting which one. Scoring a refurb Pixel 3 XL was one technique to go. However there have been additionally the Pixel 4A and Pixel 5. The Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5A with 5G have been additionally fascinating choices. Confused but? I do not blame you. Finally although, I settled on the best Pixel for me. When you’re like me and wish a Google handset proper now, learn on. The cellphone I selected (and why I picked it) might make sense to you, too.

Present Pixel telephones ought to get the newest software program first.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Straight Android, no chaser

After I went pure Android, the way in which Google supposed, I might by no means return. Duplicate apps and tons of nonremovable bloatware are however a distant reminiscence. Pixel telephones are additionally the primary to get Android OS and safety updates. That is not normally the case with Samsung or OnePlus gadgets. And the truth that I am a Google Fi mobile subscriber usually narrows my cellphone alternative choices. All that makes getting a Pixel, any Pixel, my chosen path.

It is time for me to maneuver on from the Pixel 3.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Selection 1: Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL

Google now not formally sells the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL. That stated, you could find each fashions on Amazon. To exchange my (then) present Pixel 3 XL (128GB) although, I might have needed to shell out $470. Now it prices $452. Regardless, that is an excessive amount of to pay for an older processor (Snapdragon 845) and a measly 4GB of RAM. Extra importantly, Google will finish assured software program updates quickly. That is why this cellphone is not value it regardless of how a lot the value has dropped since or might drop sooner or later.

Learn extra: Google Pixel 3 vs. 3 XL

The Google Pixel 4A.

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Selection 2: Pixel 4A

The Pixel 4A comes with the Snapdragon 730G, a greater processor than the three XL. You additionally get 6GB of RAM, 128GB of inner reminiscence and promised software program updates from Google up till August 2023. Not a foul deal for $349 — it is a compelling possibility. Nonetheless, I might do higher.

The Google Pixel 5

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Selection 3: Pixel 5

Representing final yr’s final Google-branded Android cellphone is the Pixel 5. It is powered by a respectably muscular Snapdragon 765G processor alongside a sturdy 8GB of RAM and 128GB of inner storage. Google can even maintain the gadget’s software program contemporary till October 2023. Different welcome options embrace wi-fi and reverse wi-fi charging, plus IP68 water and mud safety. The Pixel 5 hyperlinks to 5G mobile networks, too.

Over the summer time the price was $699, which was means too expensive. Now with the arrival of the Pixel 6, the Pixel 5 is priced at an agreeable $449. By comparability the Pixel 6 begins at $599 whereas the Pixel 6 Professional prices a least $899. Nonetheless, paying high greenback final June for the 2020 mannequin wouldn’t have been a shrewd transfer. That is why I handed on the Pixel 5 again then. At its new cheaper price although it is much more tempting.

The Pixel 4A 5G affords a pleasant compromise between value, energy and potential. 

Pixel 4A 5G

Selection 4: Pixel 4A 5G

That is the cellphone I in the end chosen as a result of it was then an ideal compromise of value, efficiency and potential. I ordered my Pixel 4A 5G again in June 2021. With the current launch of the Pixel 6 and value drop of the Pixel 5A, nonetheless, all bets are off. Extra on that beneath). On the time I used to be capable of snatch a Pixel 4A 5G for $500 by means of Google Fi. 

With the identical Snapdragon 765G processor because the Pixel 5, 128GB storage and 6GB of RAM, the Pixel 4A 5G additionally packs a punch. It helps 5G wi-fi and has an even bigger battery than the basic Pixel 4A, too.

Google expects to offer Pixel 4A 5G software program updates till November 2023. All that made this cellphone the clear selection for me — till not too long ago. Google has now formally discontinued the 4A 5G and never longer sells the handset.

The Google Pixel 5A is a good Android deal.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Selection 5: Pixel 5A

What a distinction just a few months makes. Now that Google has unveiled the Pixel 5A and the Pixel 6, my calculus has shifted large time. If I had to decide on at this time, I’d get the Pixel 5A 5G. It is the clear funds Pixel selection. 

Priced at $449, this new cellphone is actually about $50 lower than what I paid for the Pixel 4A 5G. Even so, just like the Pixel 4A 5G, the 5A comes with a beefy Snapdragon 765G processor. Likewise it is decked out with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. You additionally get 5G mobile comparability with the Pixel 5A.

What actually units the Pixel 5A aside, at the very least for now, is its 4,680-mAh battery and 6.34-inch show (2,400×1,080-pixel decision). Each are larger than what both the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G provide. Higher but, Google plans to produce the cellphone with software program updates till August 2024. All that at present makes the Pixel 5A the most effective Pixel deal round.

After all I am sorely tempted by the brand new Pixel 6 telephones. The $599 beginning value for the fundamental Pixel 6 is dearer. That stated every thing about it’s superior to the Pixel 5G. Maybe if I benefit from Google’s new Pixel Cross and commerce in my present Pixel 4A 5G, I might swing it. And boy, that is a fancy matter finest left to a completely new put up.

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For more, here’s how to decide between a Pixel 5, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL, the Pixel 5 vs. the Pixel 4A 5G and the Pixel 5 vs. the iPhone 11, Galaxy S20 FE and OnePlus 8. Plus, six reasons to buy a Pixel and how the Pixel 6 could compare to the Pixel 5.

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