The Best Google Phones 2024
1. Google Pixel 7 – Best Google Phone Overall
The Google Pixel 7 stands as a polished upgrade to its predecessor, offering an exceptional Android experience, powered by Google’s Tensor technology. The camera setup, comprising a 50MP main and 12MP ultra-wide angle lens, excels in delivering detailed, colorful shots. The addition of a higher-resolution front camera enhances selfie quality, and the “Photo Unblur” feature is a valuable addition for photo restoration. The phone’s Tensor G2 chip brings efficiency improvements, resulting in commendable battery life and faster performance, especially for low-light photography. The fingerprint sensor is notably improved, addressing a previous drawback. The 6.3-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate remains vibrant and smooth, catering to various activities from gaming to video streaming. However, the cinematic video mode falls short in comparison to competitors, and the absence of a microSD card slot may be a concern for some users. While the Pixel 7 offers substantial upgrades, the price difference from the Pixel 7a, which shares many features, prompts consideration. Ultimately, for those seeking a top-tier Android experience without bloatware, the Pixel 7 remains an excellent choice, especially for users valuing camera quality and efficiency.
2. Google Pixel 7A – Best Budget Google Phone
Google’s Pixel 7A offers decent battery life, comfortably lasting through a workday with about 46-56% battery remaining by bedtime. While it outperforms some pricier competitors on CNET’s battery test, it’s important to note that Samsung’s devices boast brighter displays and higher refresh rates. The 64-megapixel main camera captures vivid and detailed photos, though it struggles with group shots in low light. The ultrawide lens expands perspective effectively. Software updates, including new features like cinematic wallpapers and enhanced safety options, keep the device feeling fresh. However, these updates are not as extensive as full OS upgrades.
The decision between the Pixel 7A and its pricier counterparts depends on preferences. If affordability is paramount, the 7A provides excellent value for its camera capabilities. Potential buyers may also want to consider the Pixel 7, currently on sale for $449, offering a larger screen and slightly advanced camera features. As Google may unveil the Pixel 8 in the near future, weighing these options carefully is advised. Overall, the Pixel 7A stands out as a solid choice for budget-conscious consumers seeking a dependable Android phone with commendable camera performance.
3. Google Pixel 6 – Best Google Phone for Most People
The Google Pixel 6, though nearly two years old, remains a compelling choice at its discounted price of $400. It boasts a 6.4-inch 90 Hz OLED screen, premium build, and houses the Google-designed Tensor chip, driving its image processing and AI capabilities. Notably, the Pixel 6 introduces a distinctive design with a prominent camera bump, setting it apart from conventional designs.
Its camera setup impresses with a 50 MP main sensor, delivering sharp, vibrant images with accurate colors and fine details. While the ultrawide lens provides a slightly wider angle, it maintains quality without significant distortion. Portrait Mode excels in subject separation, though customization options are limited. Night Sight is a standout feature, producing remarkable low-light shots that sometimes resemble daylight scenes.
The device’s display is comfortable and adequately sized, featuring three color calibration options. The 90 Hz refresh rate ensures smooth interactions. However, some color shifting occurs at extreme viewing angles. Despite its slightly thicker bezels, the Pixel 6 provides a well-balanced handling experience.
Overall, the Pixel 6 offers a strong package with its camera prowess, powerful Tensor chip, and striking design. While it lacks a telephoto lens and optical zoom, it remains a solid contender in the Android flagship arena.
4. Google Pixel Fold
The Pixel Fold stands out with its 5x telephoto lens, offering impressive zoom capabilities akin to its predecessor, the Pixel 7 Pro. While Super Res Zoom is limited to 20x, it maintains solid quality. However, some users note a slight instability when zoomed in, potentially leading to blurry shots.
Both front-facing cameras deliver sharp selfies and clear video calls. Yet, for the utmost quality, utilizing the rear-facing setup is recommended. The dual front cams may appear redundant, prompting a potential future revision. The Pixel Fold’s camera system surpasses Samsung’s efforts, demonstrating prowess in mobile photography.
In terms of battery life, the Pixel Fold proves consistent, yielding five to six hours of screen-on time. Adaptive battery management ensures reliable performance, concluding the day with 20-30% charge. The 120Hz display setting, default on this device, reflects Google’s confidence in its battery capabilities. Nonetheless, charging speed, limited to 21W, falls behind some competitors, warranting consideration for those with active lifestyles.
Comparatively, the Pixel Fold contends with Samsung’s foldables. While excelling in camera quality and comfortable closed use, it faces stiff competition from Samsung’s optimized One UI. Google’s debut foldable serves early adopters and devoted Pixel enthusiasts, but further refinement is needed before a widespread recommendation at its current $1,800 price point.
5. Google Pixel 5a with 5G – Best Older Google Phone
The Google Pixel 5a stands out for its solid build quality and notable features. With an IP67 water-resistance rating, it’s the first A-series Pixel phone to offer such protection. The device boasts a large 6.34-inch display with impressively slim bezels, giving it a premium feel compared to its predecessor, the Pixel 4a. The inclusion of a rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor proves highly accurate and intuitive, surpassing even the performance of the Pixel 5’s sensor.
A standout feature is the retention of the 3.5mm headphone jack, catering to users who value this connectivity option. The stereo speakers deliver commendable sound quality, enhancing the multimedia experience. The OLED screen, while not groundbreaking, offers vibrant visuals with impressive clarity.
In terms of photography, the Pixel 5a impresses with its dual-camera setup, featuring a 16MP ultrawide lens alongside the primary 12.2MP shooter. It excels in capturing natural and well-balanced colors, outperforming its competitors in the sub-$500 category.
While the Pixel 5a’s performance, driven by the Snapdragon 765G chip and 6GB of RAM, offers smooth day-to-day usage, it may not match the powerhouse A13 Bionic of the iPhone SE. The device’s battery life, lasting nearly 10 hours, is commendable, but its charging speed at 18W falls slightly short.
Overall, the Pixel 5a emerges as a compelling choice for users seeking a budget-friendly phone with top-tier camera capabilities and a stock Android experience. While it faces stiff competition in terms of processing power, its strengths in photography and software updates make it a strong contender in its price range.