Now that Google’s Pixel 6 is right here, do you have to nonetheless purchase a Pixel 3, 4 or 5?

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 telephone is smart to purchase now?


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This summer season 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. Each side of the telephone, display screen and glass again, have been a spiderwebbed mess of cracks and chips. And in accordance with Google, the telephone would not be assured extra Android updates after October. I wanted a brand new telephone, 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 at all times worth cuts that draw folks to older fashions. Just a few months again, my choices appeared easy. 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 thought of utilizing a Samsung Galaxy telephone was equally alien.

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

My plan was to go together with one other Pixel — the issue was selecting which one. Scoring a refurb Pixel 3 XL was one approach 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 appropriate Pixel for me. Should you’re like me and want a Google handset proper now, learn on. The telephone I selected (and why I picked it) might make sense to you, too.

Present Pixel telephones ought to get the most recent software program first.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Straight Android, no chaser

After I went pure Android, the best way Google supposed, I may 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 typically narrows my telephone 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 Go?

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


Sarah Tew/CNET

Alternative 1: Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL

Google not formally sells the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL. That mentioned, you’ll find each fashions on Amazon. To switch my (then) present Pixel 3 XL (128GB) although, I’d 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 telephone is not value it irrespective 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.


Juan Garzon/CNET

Alternative 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 choice. Nonetheless, I may do higher.

The Google Pixel 5


Juan Garzon/CNET

Alternative 3: Pixel 5

Representing final yr’s final Google-branded Android telephone 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 may even preserve the gadget’s software program recent 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 season the price was $699, which was method 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 presents a pleasant compromise between worth, energy and potential. 


Pixel 4A 5G

Alternative 4: Pixel 4A 5G

That is the telephone I in the end chosen as a result of it was then an ideal compromise of worth, efficiency and potential. I ordered my Pixel 4A 5G again in June 2021. With the latest launch of the Pixel 6 and worth drop of the Pixel 5A, nevertheless, 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 way 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 traditional Pixel 4A, too.

Google expects to supply Pixel 4A 5G software program updates till November 2023. All that made this telephone the clear alternative for me — till just lately. Google has now formally discontinued the 4A 5G and never longer sells the handset.

The Google Pixel 5A is a superb Android deal.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Alternative 5: Pixel 5A

What a distinction a number of months makes. Now that Google has unveiled the Pixel 5A and the Pixel 6, my calculus has shifted massive time. If I had to decide on right this moment, I would get the Pixel 5A 5G. It is the clear finances Pixel alternative. 

Priced at $449, this new telephone 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, no less than 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 provide the telephone with software program updates till August 2024. All that at present makes the Pixel 5A the perfect Pixel deal round.

In fact I am sorely tempted by the brand new Pixel 6 telephones. The $599 beginning worth for the essential Pixel 6 is dearer. That mentioned every little thing about it’s superior to the Pixel 5G. Maybe if I reap the benefits of Google’s new Pixel Go and commerce in my present Pixel 4A 5G, I may swing it. And boy, that is a posh subject finest left to a completely 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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