Should you still buy a Pixel 3, 4 or 5? Here’s what makes sense before Pixel 6 arrives

Between the Pixel 3, Pixel 4A, Pixel 5 and Pixel 5A, which Google cellphone is smart to purchase now?

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Lately, 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 cellphone, display and glass again, had been a spiderwebbed mess of cracks and chips. And according to Google, the cellphone won’t be guaranteed more Android updates after this October. I wanted a brand new cellphone, pronto.

I do know the brand new Pixel 6 is prone to arrive at Google’s subsequent launch event on Oct. 19 (listed here are all the rumors we’ve heard about Google’s next Pixel). Nonetheless, I did not actually wish to wait. And whilst we get nearer to the occasion, there’s at all times the value side that attracts folks to older fashions. At first look my choices seemed easy. Way back, I would 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 phone was equally alien.

Learn extra: 6 tempting reasons to buy a Google Pixel now

My plan was to go along with one other Pixel — the issue was selecting which one. Scoring a refurb Pixel 3 XL is one option to go. However there’s additionally the Pixel 4A and Pixel 5. The Pixel 4A and Pixel 5A with 5G are additionally attention-grabbing choices. Confused but? I do not blame you. In the end although, I settled on the proper Pixel for me. In case you’re like me and wish a Google handset proper now, learn on. The cellphone I selected (and why I picked it) will doubtless 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 service bloatware are however a distant reminiscence. Pixel telephones are additionally the primary to get Android OS and security updates. That is not often the case with Samsung or OnePlus gadgets. And the truth that I am a Google Fi mobile subscriber usually narrows my cellphone alternative choices. All that makes getting a Pixel, any Pixel, my chosen path.

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

Sarah Tew/CNET

Selection 1: Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL

Google not formally sells the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL. That stated, you will discover each fashions on Amazon. To interchange my present Pixel 3 XL (128GB) although, I would have had to shell out $470. 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 cellphone is not value it irrespective of how a lot the value has dropped since or could drop sooner or later.

Learn extra: Google Pixel 3 vs. 3 XL

The Google Pixel 4A.

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Selection 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 inside reminiscence and promised software program updates from Google up till August 2023. Not a foul deal for $349 — it is a compelling possibility. Nonetheless, I may do higher.

The Google Pixel 5

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Selection 3: Pixel 5

Representing the last word Google-branded Android cellphone (a minimum of for now) is the Pixel 5. It is powered by a respectably muscular Snapdragon 765G processor alongside a sturdy 8GB of RAM and 128GB of inside storage. Google can even hold the machine’s software program contemporary till October 2023. Different welcome options embrace wi-fi and reverse wi-fi charging, plus IP68 water and dirt safety. The Pixel 5 hyperlinks to 5G mobile networks, too.

However even at $699, this cellphone is costly. The Pixel 6 will be here soon too, and it is rumored to cost $749. Paying high greenback now for final yr’s mannequin is not a shrewd transfer. However I feel it is higher to be frugal and presumably splurge as soon as Google releases the total Pixel 6 particulars. Relying on how a lot it prices and what it could possibly do, you could determine to move on it or snap one up.

The Pixel 4A 5G gives a pleasant compromise between worth, energy and potential. 

Pixel 4A 5G

Selection 4: Pixel 4A 5G

That is the cellphone I in the end chosen as a result of it is an ideal compromise of worth, efficiency and potential. (Not less than that is what I assumed again after I ordered my Pixel 4A 5G in June. With the current launch of the Pixel 5A, nevertheless, all bets are off. Extra on that beneath). On the time I used to be in a position to snatch a Pixel 4A 5G for $500 via Google Fi. Proper now, Amazon has it in white for $499.

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 (oddly, one month longer than the Pixel 5). All that made this cellphone the clear selection for me — till not too long ago.

The Google Pixel 5A is a superb Android deal.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Selection 5: Pixel 5A

What a distinction just a few months makes. Now that Google has unveiled the Pixel 5A, my calculus has shifted, huge time. If I had to decide on as we speak, I would get the Pixel 5A 5G with no hesitation. After all, I am going to doubtless expertise bitter grapes as soon as the Pixel 6 launches.

Priced at $449, this new cellphone is basically about $50 lower than the Pixel 4A 5G. Even so, just like the Pixel 5 and 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, a minimum of 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 produce the cellphone with software program updates till August 2024. All that at the moment makes the Pixel 5A one of the best Pixel deal round.

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Pixel 5A with 5G: Google surprises us but once more


For extra, this is methods to determine between a Pixel 5, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL, the Pixel 5 versus the Pixel 4A 5G and the Pixel 5 versus the iPhone 11, Galaxy S20 FE and OnePlus 8. Plus, six reasons to buy a Pixel and how the Pixel 6 could compare to the Pixel 5 | Do you have to nonetheless purchase a Pixel 3, 4 or 5? Here is what is smart earlier than Pixel 6 arrives


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