The best Google Pixel phones are a good choice if you don't want to spend a fortune on a smartphone device, but still want a high-end phone with the latest features. Google phones tend to be cheaper than the latest Apple iPhone (opens in new tab) or Samsung phone (opens in new tab) models, but they're still packed with up-to-date technology.
Google launched its first Android handset back in 2013, and since then has unveiled further Pixel models every year. The latest release, the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 7 (opens in new tab), sell for an affordable price, and they're easily the best Google phones available today.
The Pixel 7 Pro could definitely be classed as one of the best camera phones (opens in new tab) overall. However, if you’re on a budget, then most of the previous Pixel phones are also very powerful, capable, and user-friendly... and you can usually get them for a sensible price. For example, the Google Pixel 6a (opens in new tab) is a great camera phone for the cash conscious, combining combines Google's camera smarts and styling with loads of power.
To help you choose the best Google phone, we’ll go through all the Pixel phones on sale today in this article, highlight the main differences between them – and point you to the best available deals on each. You'll be able to find the best Google phone for your needs and budget.
The best Google Pixel phone 2022
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The Google Pixel 7 Pro was launched with the Pixel 7 as the latest in the lineup, but it has 0.4-inches of extra screen space and a faster screen refresh rate. In terms of cameras, the Pixel 7 Pro has an impressive triple rear-camera system, including a 48MP telephoto zoom lens, with 5x Optical zoom. Features include Face Unblur and Cinematic Blur, but the Pixel 7 Pro also (exclusively) has a Macro Focus mode – useful for close-focusing on subjects up to 3cm away – and 30x Super Res Zoom for capturing far-away objects.
More generally, the Pixel 7 Pro has Google's new G2 chip, which means you get faster and more efficient processing, enabling you to do more, but with a longer battery. You also get Google’s Titan M2 chip, designed to protect your security online.
This is by far the best Google Pixel phone for photographers, and although it's the most expensive, it's still cheaper than the equivalent flagship iPhone. See our full Google Pixel 7 Pro (opens in new tab) review.
The Google Pixel 7 has a 6.3-inch fast and responsive display, just a touch smaller than the Pixel 7 Pro. It has a dual rear camera system consisting of a 50 MP wide camera with ƒ/1.85 aperture and optical and electronic image stabilization, as well as a 12 MP ultrawide camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture. The front-facing camera has a 92.8° ultrawide field of view which should make group selfies easy.
It features the same camera features as the Pixel 7 Pro, except Macro Focus. The phone also gets many of the same tech innovations as the Pixel 7 Pro, including the Tensor G2 processor and the Titan M2 security chip, plus built-in VPN.
If you don't need the three-camera setup found on the Pixel 7 and want a slightly smaller, cheaper phone, this is an excellent option. See our full Google Pixel 7 review (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the best Google handset yet - and particularly so if you are after it for taking great pictures. It has a 50 megapixel main camera, and a useful 12 megapixel ultra-wide too - but its party piece is the 48 megapixel telephoto lens with a periscope zoom. The three cameras sit on a raised strip on the back - giving this handset a distinctive, sci-fi look that we rather like. This is a big handset - which comes with a meaty weight to match - but for this you do get a beautiful 6.7inch phablet screen (and it is still lighter than its Apple rival the iPhone 13 Pro Max (opens in new tab).
The Google Pixel 6a (opens in new tab) mixes top-end and midrange features. It gets the same mighty Google Tensor processor introduced on the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro – so should deliver flagship performance and 5G data speeds. Google also revisits its playful Pixel 6 styling, for a two-tone, black bar rear, and the phone's frame is a rich, blasted metal. With some competition like the Galaxy A53 5G sporting plastic at the price, things are looking good for the Google 6a's design, and it's water-resistant too. The Pixel 6a is another excellent option for anyone after a great smartphone that doesn't cost the earth.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
There’s no question about it: the Pixel 5 is the best Google phone available today, hands-down.
With the trademark quirky look that’s come to define the Pixel range, it offers a compact design, a reliable point-and-shoot camera, and smart Google software that makes using the latest Android 11 operating system a joy.
You also get a nice 6-inch screen with Full HD resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate and strong viewing angles. The main camera module features a 12.2MP sensor plus a 16MP ultrawide lens, and lets you shoot 4K video in 60fps. 5G is supported, storage is a generous 128GB, the phone is water-resistant, and you get wireless charging, too.
Admittedly, you’re missing a few high-end features that you’d find in the top iPhones or Samsung phones, such as a telephoto lens and optical zoom. But given the reasonable price of the Pixel 5, you’re getting a quite brilliant phone for your money. To learn more, read our Google Pixel 5 review (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
If you want something a little cheaper than the Pixel 5 or 6, but which is still a quality phone, then you’ll find it in the Google Pixel 4 XL.
Even though it’s been around since October 2019, it’s still a very impressive device. The screen itself is superior in many ways to the Pixel 5’s: larger, at 6.3 inches, and offering a higher resolution of 1440 x 3040 pixels. The processor is a little more powerful than the Pixel 5’s, too.
Elsewhere, you’re taking a step down in terms of the specs: there’s no 5G, the battery is slightly less powerful and the operating system is one down from Android 11. But it’s a pretty small step on the whole.
The cameras, too, are pretty similar between the two phones. Yes, you can only capture 4K in 30fps, half the frame rate of the Pixel 5, but overall this is a great phone for shooting both stills and video.
In short, then, the Pixel 4 XL doesn’t quite match up to the Pixel 5, but isn’t far off. And as you should be able to get one for a lower price, it’s well worth considering. To learn more, read our Google Pixel 4 XL review (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
Holding your purse strings tightly? Then you’ll want to check out the Pixel 4a, which launched in August 2020 and is the best cheap Google phone available today.
A stripped down version of the Pixel 4 (number 6 on our list), this budget-busting phone does involve some compromises. For example, the Full HD screen’s quite small at 5.81 inches, the rear camera has just one sensor, offering a fairly modest 12.2MP resolution, and there’s no 5G connectivity.
That said, you can shoot 4K video at 30fps, as well as 120fps in 1080P, and 240fps in 720P. And while the 3140mAh battery isn’t the most powerful on our list, Google’s intelligent app management system means it should last a day on average use.
On the whole, then, for such a low price the Google Pixel 4a offers great value for money.(opens in new tab)
From the name alone, you might assume that the Google Pixel 4a 5G is the exact same phone as the Google Pixel 4a (number 3 on our list), but with added 5G.
As well as being able to access the faster internet speeds of 5G, this phone is more advanced in other ways, including powerful battery, a more advanced camera system, and it’s a different size and weight too.
In short, the Google Pixel 4a 5G – which launched in November 2020 – is best thought of as a slightly less powerful version of the Pixel 5, for a lower price.
That means you get the full Android 11 experience and the same impressive camera you find in the Pixel 5. On the negative side, you don’t get water resistance or wireless charging, and the screen refresh rate is just 60Hz to the Pixel 5’s 90Hz. To learn more, read our Google Pixel 4a 5G review (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
Another 2019 phone, the Pixel 4 didn’t impress us greatly on its release. Most notably, its 2,800mAh battery is the least powerful on our list, the camera lacks an ultra-wide lens and storage is a maximum of 128GB. With that in mind, at time of release we felt it was definitely overpriced.
On the plus side, the design of the Pixel 4 looks great, it runs Android 10, and its camera generally works well as a point-and-shoot. With that in mind, it’s at least worth considering, especially if there's a discount on offer. (The price widgets on this page update in real-time, so that's easy to check). To learn more, check out our Google Pixel 4 review (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
The Google Pixel 3 XL was first released back in 2018, and given recent events, that might seem like a lifetime ago. But in actual measurable time, it’s still pretty recent. And this model remains a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap phone today.
Running Android 10 and offering just 4GB of RAM, this isn’t the fastest Google phone you can buy today. But if you can get it for a discount, it might be the best value. Especially as its large (6.3-inch), Super AMOLED screen offers a high QHD resolution of 1440 x 2960, which is more detailed than even the Pixel 5, the number 1 phone on our list.
The 12.2MP camera is very capable too, allowing you to shoot 4K at 30fps, and you get two 8MP selfie cameras to boot.
Overall, if you can afford the pricier Pixel 5 then you'll be getting a much better phone. But if you're counting the pennies, then the Pixel 3 XL is a worthy alternative.(opens in new tab)
Launched in 2019, the Google Pixel 3a remains a pretty decent smartphone, and at such a bargain price, it's a tempting buy.
Don't get too excited. It’s got quite a small screen at 5.6 inches, limited storage at 64GB and there’s no 5G support. The camera is fairly no-frills too, compared to the latest Pixel phones, with just one 12.2MP sensor.
That said, the battery is decent, the screen’s roughly the same resolution as the Pixel 5, and you do get a headphone jack. To learn more, read our Google Pixel 3a review (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
Launched in 2018, the Pixel 3 is showing its age, but still has a lot to offer. So if you’re looking for a cheap Google phone, it’s worth a look.
The OLED screen is the smallest on our list, at just 5.5 inches, but that means the phone as a whole is compact too, which may be a plus for some people. Wireless charging is included. The single-lens 12.2MP rear camera takes decent photos, and you get two 8MP front-facing cameras too.
On the downside, battery life isn’t great, and with just 4GB RAM and an older processor, it’s not going to be as zippy as the more recent Google phones.
You might also be interested in the best budget camera phones (opens in new tab), or if you're an Apple fan, the best iPhone for photography (opens in new tab). Don't forget the best Samsung phones (opens in new tab) and the best flip phones (opens in new tab).