The Pixel range is your best bet if you want to experience Android at its best. Despite the subtleties that Samsung & Co put into their custom skins, there is something reassuring about Google’s version of Android that, despite its strengths, is not as common and loses out on custom Android skins.
With always top-notch cameras, great performance, and great software, Pixels is often the recommended choice, and rightly so. While I find superior hardware features and exclusive functionality elsewhere, the truth is you can’t go wrong with a Pixel. This has been the case since the Pixel range was launched in 2016 and hopefully things wouldn’t change in the near future.
But which is the best pixel smartphone? Let’s see if we can find the answer together. Since we’ve played with all the pixels from the start, we can see the best of them all, and in the case of the pixel, the newest is not necessarily the best choice.
Google Pixel 6 and 6 XL
Okay, we know we’re a little early to think about it The Pixel 6 family as the best Pixel smartphones to date, but from what we’ve seen so far, this is the Pixel 6 is becoming Google’s path to regaining its somewhat shaky position in the phone market. After the Pixel 5, a glorified mid-range device, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL Definitely sounds like a return to shape for Mountain View, and we definitely like what we see.
That being said, the “normal” Google Pixel 6 also sounds like a pretty solid upgrade over the 2020 upper-midrange Pixel 5, with a significantly larger AMOLED display in tow, a primary 50 MP rear camera, a secondary 12 MP Ultra-wide-angle lens, a rather powerful 4,614 mAh cell, the same 8 GB RAM number, 128 and 256 GB storage configurations and of course preinstalled Android 12 software. Unsurprisingly, the Pixel 6 Pro is expected to borrow the main snapper and ultra-wide image sensor from the Pixel 6, while adding the aforementioned telephoto shooter on the back and upgrading the single selfie camera from 8 to 12 megapixels. There are also rumors of a massive 5,000 mAh battery that would power the larger pixel to come, and that should be enough for a full day of heavy use.
Google Pixel 4a and 4a 5G
Okay, it’s weird that the mid-range second pixel might be the best pixel out there right now, but it checks so many boxes that not only does it make it a worthwhile equivalent to the Pixel 5, but it also completely trumps it in our opinion essentially does the same things, but costs significantly less to start up.
The Pixel 4a comes in two different sized flavors: 5.8- and 6.2-inch versions, the latter of which is 5G capable and the 4a 5G name. Apart from that, it comes with a Snapdragon 765G chipset, 6 GB of RAM with 128 GB of storage and a 3885 mAh battery. There’s a dual camera setup made up of a 12 MP and a 16 MP ultra-wide sensor, and from what we’ve seen, it’s pretty much the same as the one in terms of overall quality, what you get from the Pixel 5.
Google Pixel 5
Okay that Pixel 5 is definitely not the best Pixel you can get right now, especially considering that the Pixel 4a / 4a 5G is definitely better value for money. What is preventing the latest Google flagship from being accepted as such by the Android community? It’s just an upper mid-range device that is good in itself, but it’s hard to talk about the best Pixel phones and automatically think of the newest as the best.
The Pixel 5 Done right with most of the mistakes that plagued the Pixel 4 range. It ditched the tricky Motion Sense sensors and opted for a classic fingerprint scanner, had much better battery life, and resulted in a much smoother smartphone experience overall, without the experiments that the Pixel 4 introduced. Although it was only available in one size and was certainly overlooked by people who want bigger phones, the Pixel 5 is an excellent compact phone to date and easily one of the best Pixel phones, only surpassed by the Pixel 4a and 4a 5G .
Check it out Here’s our Pixel 5 review and see what’s stopping it from being the best Pixel phone in 2021.
Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the first pixels with high-refresh displays: at 90 Hz they offer a smoother experience than their predecessor and benefit from the already established high refresh rate. In addition, the Pixel 4 series introduced dual cameras in the Pixel line for the first time. However, it was not an ultra-wide-angle camera, as expected, but a somewhat superfluous telephoto camera.
The Pixel 4 series came on board in Clearly White, Just Black, and Oh So Orange color versions with the not-so-well-preserved Motion Sense technology that lets you control media and skip the fingerprint sensor for a dedicated face unlock. The Google Pixel 4 XL comes with a 90Hz 6.3 “OLED display, a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB RAM, 64GB storage, a 3700mAh battery, a dual camera (wide angle + telephoto) and availability from all major US providers.
Its big notch and mediocre battery life prevent it from being crowned the best Pixel phone out there. Check out our The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL review why they weren’t so warmly received and are barely considered the best Pixel phones out there.
Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL
The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL was Google’s first fairly successful experiment that proved that people would absolutely love a mid-range Pixel phone with a powerful camera package, especially if it comes in two sizes. Sure, it was made of plastic and not metal, but in any case, compromises had to be made to enable the very first affordable pixels. This certainly made them some of the best Pixel phones at the time, especially considering the Pixel 3 XL wasn’t received as warmly.
The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will certainly show their age in mid-2021: With a Snapdragon 670, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of non-expandable storage, we can’t really expect much longer from the Pixel 3a series. But if you’re in no hurry to get the latest technology.
So these are the best Pixel phones in 2021. We expected a Google Pixel 5a series to arrive in 2021, but so far it has remained a pipe dream. There are rumors that it could arrive by the end of summer, but honestly, the Pixel 6 leaks got us a lot more pumped up.
Keep watching this area as we will regularly update this article as new pixels arrive and older ones fall out of favor.