Must you nonetheless purchase Google’s Pixel 3, 4 or 5? What to do now that the Pixel 6 is right here

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 smart to purchase now?


Angela Lang/CNET

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 based on 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. Nevertheless, I did not actually wish to wait. And even with Google’s fall launch occasion behind us, there are all the time value cuts that draw individuals to older fashions. A number of months again, my choices regarded simple. Way back, I might 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 concept of utilizing a Samsung Galaxy cellphone was equally alien.

Learn extra: CNET’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional evaluations

My plan was to go together with one other Pixel — the issue was selecting which one. Scoring a refurb Pixel 3 XL was one option 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. In the end although, I settled on the suitable Pixel for me. If you happen to’re like me and want a Google handset proper now, learn on. The cellphone I selected (and why I picked it) could 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 meant, 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 often the case with Samsung or OnePlus gadgets. And the truth that I am a Google Fi mobile subscriber usually narrows my cellphone substitute choices. All that makes getting a Pixel, any Pixel, my chosen path.

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

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 interchange 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 price it irrespective of how a lot the worth has dropped since or could drop sooner or later.

Learn extra: Google Pixel 3 vs. 3 XL

The Google Pixel 4A.


Juan Garzon/CNET

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


Juan Garzon/CNET

Selection 3: Pixel 5

Representing final 12 months’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 embody 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 associated fee was $699, which was approach too dear. 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 lower cost although it is much more tempting.

The Pixel 4A 5G presents 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 latest launch of the Pixel 6 and value drop of the Pixel 5A, nonetheless, all bets are off. Extra on that under). On the time I used to be capable of snatch a Pixel 4A 5G for $500 by 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 alternative 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 huge time. If I had to decide on at present, I would get the Pixel 5A 5G. It is the clear price range Pixel alternative. 

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 supply. Higher but, Google plans to provide the cellphone with software program updates till August 2024. All that presently makes the Pixel 5A one of the best Pixel deal round.

In fact I am sorely tempted by the brand new Pixel 6 telephones. The $599 beginning value for the essential Pixel 6 is dearer. That stated every part about it’s superior to the Pixel 5G. Maybe if I make the most of Google’s new Pixel Move and commerce in my present Pixel 4A 5G, I might swing it. And boy, that is a posh subject finest left to a wholly new publish.


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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 compares to the Pixel 5.

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