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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Which Google Pixel Phone (and Gear) Should You Buy?

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The Pixel 5 can also shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, a first for Pixels. It also offers the biggest battery of the Pixel family at 4,080 mAh, which keeps the phone alive about a day and a half between charges.

Get the Pixel 5 at Amazon, B&H, and Google

This One … Well, It’s Big!

Photograph: Google 

The Pixel 4A 5G (9/10, WIRED Recommends) shares many features with the Pixel 5, but it also has some similarities with the Pixel 4A.

Let’s start with its similarities to the Pixel 5. You get the same performance with the Snapdragon 765G processor, except there are 6 gigabytes of RAM here instead of 8 (it doesn’t really make much of a difference). It also has the exact dual-camera system and video capabilities, and 5G support. However, the 5G capabilities aren’t as broad on this phone as you’ll find on other 5G-ready phones. The unlocked model only supports sub-6 5G. If you use Verizon and happen to be in one of the company’s 5G coverage areas, you’ll have to pay for a locked version of the Pixel to get the new millimeter-wave service. (We don’t think it’s worth it, so stick to the unlocked Pixel 4A 5G.) Battery life is also a little worse than on the Pixel 5, only lasting about one full day.

Like the Pixel 4A, the Pixel 4A 5G is made of plastic, there’s no wireless charging or water resistance, and the OLED screen doesn’t have a 90-Hz refresh rate. It is larger, though. This 6.2-inch OLED screen is the biggest of the three, and that makes it the best Pixel for anyone who values size.

Get the Pixel 4A 5G at Amazon, B&H, and Google

Should You Buy an Older Pixel?

Probably not. With new Pixels on the way later this year, it doesn’t make sense to drop a ton of cash for anything older than the current lineup. If you can find the Pixel 3A for less than $250, go for it. If a Pixel 4 or 4 XL crops up for $400 or less, then that’s a solid deal. But the battery life on the Pixel 4 range is pretty bad, something Google has rectified in its newest phones. All of these older phones will also stop getting software updates in 2022. You’re better off buying one of the newer models.

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Photograph: Google 
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