Best Google Pixel phones in 2024

Best Google Pixel phones in 2024
The Google Pixel lineup is your best bet if you're willing to experience Android in its purest form. Although the custom Android skins that phone manufacturers utilize on their devices have some extra functionality sprinkled on, there's some charm to the mostly stock Android iteration that Google puts on its Google Pixel lineup. 

In recent times, Google's Pixel lineup has taken a slightly different path - instead of trying to match its rivals pound for pound, Google is moving towards a "custom" future, where its domestic lineup of Tensor chipsets make ripples with their amplified reliance on on-device artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Pixels are no longer raw-performance champions, but they have gained something more valuable—the smarts to be a useful everyday companion, thanks to the powerful AI and machine-learning capabilities that Google has thrown inside its latest flagships.

So, what is the best Google Pixel phone to consider in 2024?

Best Pixel phones in 2024:

With always class-leading cameras, super performance, and software that stands out, Google's Pixels are often the recommended choice when it comes to considering the best Android phones available every year. They are typically lauded for their exceptional cameras, ranking them at the very pinnacle of best camera phones available, but it's not the only thing making them a worthwhile consideration. 

So, what is the best Pixel phone right now? Let's see if we can find the answer together.

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Google Pixel 8 Pro

The best Pixel in a while!

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Google Pixel 8 Pro

The Good

  • Good battery life
  • Seven years of updates!
  • Clean software, no bloat
  • Top notch camera system

The Bad

  • Portrait Mode is frustratingly bad
  • Charging is on the slow side
  • No one really big standout new feature
  • Pricier now

The Pixel 8 Pro is easily the best Pixel phone announced in a while. With a very bright 6.7-inch display capable of reaching up to 2,400 nits of maximum brightness, a more capable Tensor G3 that unlocks a whole new layer of AI features and a slightly larger battery, the Pixel 8 Pro is a noteworthy Android flagship. Moreover, the Pixel 8 Pro is the first device with a super-long seven-year software update window. Oh, and there's a thermometer on board, which is more of a gimmick than anything else. 

The phone also scores upgrades across all cameras, which makes it the most capable Pixel phone when it comes to camera capabilities. There's a triple camera with a 50MP main camera, a 48MP telephoto with 5X optical zoom, and another 48MP ultra-wide camera that completes the setup.

Google Pixel 8

Compact powerhouse

Google Pixel 8

Google Pixel 8

The Good

  • Crazy-smart AI features
  • 7 years of software updates!
  • Pro-level display
  • Powerful camera system
  • You get a lot for the price
  • Good battery life

The Bad

  • Lower performance compared to competition
  • Battery charging still leaves room for improvement
  • Audio quality could be better
  • No dedicated telephoto camera

The Pixel 8 is the smaller new Pixel phone, but it's still just as capable as the more premium Pixel 8 Pro. It comes in a more compact 6.2-inch package, with a 2,000-nit OLED display up front that can get substantially brighter than previous Pixel phones. This one also has seven years of software support, but no thermometer. The Tensor G3 and a large 4,575mAh complete the specs sheet.

The Pixel 8 comes along with a dual camera setup, consisting of a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide. Basically, the same setup as the larger Pixel 8 Pro, sans the telephoto camera. Image quality is mostly comparable to the Pixel 8 and is very similar to the Pixel 7

Google Pixel 8a

The new norm

Google Pixel 8a

Google Pixel 8a

The Good

  • Bright and vivid screen
  • Pixel 8-like performance, seven years of software support
  • Affordable

The Bad

  • Big bezels around the screen
  • Slow charging speeds
Google unveiled the Pixel 8a was unveiled a little before Google I/O 2024. Just like most of its predecessors, the Pixel 8a is a mid-range phone that aims to bring the core Pixel experience at an affordable price. Starting at $499, the Pixel 8a is easily the best-value current Pixel, with a plethora of features that match the Pixel 8 flagship almost perfectly. 

The Pixel 8a comes along with a 6.1-inch OLED screen with a 120Hz screen and up to 1,400 nits of maximum brightness. The latter is a substantial upgrade over the 90Hz screen of the Pixel 7a, and essentially means that the Pixel 8a has a screen that's just as good as the one on the Pixel 8

Another common feature of the Pixel 8a and the Pixel 8 is the Tensor G3 chip, which is a decent performer in everyday tasks but also mighty when it comes to artificial intelligence and machine-learning, both of which are all the rage now. 

Unlike the Pixel 7a from last year, the Pixel 8a comes in two storage options: 128GB and 256GB. A larger 4,492mAh battery (vs 4,385mAh) also aims to improve the phone's endurance. 

Most importantly, however, Google has graced the device with seven years of official software support, which means that it will be receiving major Android updates as well as timely security patches until the end of the decade.

Google Pixel Fold

Google's first foldable phone is mostly a winner!

Google Pixel Fold

Google Pixel Fold

The Good

  • Gets the foldable design right
  • Front screen is a lot more useful than on Galaxy Fold
  • Beautiful and clean interface with no bloatware
  • Pixel camera look
  • Decent battery life

The Bad

  • Long-term durability is iffy
  • Gets hot even with ordinary tasks
  • Screen is very delicate, scratches from fingernails
  • Screen is also very reflective, has a crease
  • Pricey

Announced at Google I/O 2023, the Pixel Fold is Google's most advanced phone ever and its very first foldable offering. Our Pixel Fold review leaves nothing to the imagination, and my colleague Victor Hristov is deeply convinced that the Pixel Fold is easily one of the better, if not the best, foldables you can get right now!

The big selling point about the Pixel Fold is its quite usable external screen, which spans 5.8 inches across and is actually wider than most other foldable competitors, making for a friendlier user experience and ditching the need for opening the Pixel Fold all the time. The hinge, another essential hardware element of the Pixel Fold, also feels quite sturdy and satisfying to fold and unfold. 

While it shares lots of hardware with the Pixel 7 Pro, like the Tensor chipset and the camera setup (with some hardware differences), its glaring redeeming quality is the foldable form factor that reveals a large inner screen that will most probably forego your need to get a mini tablet. With the capable Pixel camera and all the AI-powered features and functionalities that Google has in tow, the Pixel Fold is a promising upcoming phone that we can't wait to play with. 

Some issues that the Pixel Fold has are its very delicate and reflective inner screen, which has to be pampered all the time, as well as the noticeable display crease. 

Google Pixel 7 Pro

The best Google phone so far

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

The Good

  • Great deal at $900
  • Speedy performance, clean software
  • Powerful zoom camera
  • Guaranteed day 1 software updates

The Bad

  • Portrait Mode is bad
  • Tensor G2 is not as powerful as rivals
  • Slow-ish charging

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is Big G's hot new flagship for 2022. While it doesn't bring that many revamps over the Pixel 6 Pro, it has quite many enhancements on deck. 

There's the revisited Tensor G2 chipset on board, which offers better performance than the first-gen Tensor, as well as improved machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that make it smarter and more adept.

Another benefit of the new Tensor chip is the improved camera image algorithms and some newly scored camera features. 

For example, the Pixel 7 Pro scores Cinematic Blur for videos, which lets you create appealing videos with a blurred background, as well as improved macro focus, and more. 

Google also promises up to 5 years of software support, and at a starting price of $599 for the 128GB version of the phone, it's a killer deal, all things considered. You are welcome to check out our full review of the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

Google Pixel 7

Compact design, capable camera, stock Android

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7

The Good

  • Compact and friendly design
  • Bright display
  • Excellent $599 starting price
  • Overall good image quality with the signature Pixel look
  • Good battery life

The Bad

  • Ultra-wide camera is still not wide enough
  • Some camera quirks and shutter lag
  • Not very inspiring performance-wise

The Google Pixel 7 is just a slightly improved version of the Pixel 6 that, happily, costs the same at launch but solves several important aspects of the smaller Pixel flagship. The Pixel 7 series generally has the same hardware as its predecessor but with more potent software capabilities, as well as a more compact design.

Sure, it lacks the 48MP 5X telephoto camera that is available on the Pixel 7 Pro is nowhere to be found here, and the battery on board is much smaller, and so is the display, but on the upside, it has a better camera, longer battery life, and a fresh design in addition to being more compact, which will be a pleasant change for those looking for a more manageable gadget.

For the full scoop, refer to our Google Pixel 7 review right here, as well as the direct comparison we have between the Google Pixel 7 Pro vs Pixel 7.


Is it worth buying a Google Pixel phone in 2024?

One should definitely consider buying a Google Pixel phone in 2024. This is especially true for those who are deeply involved in the Android ecosystem, as opposed to those who have shaped their lives with the Apple ecosystem in mind. 

The synergy between the Pixel phones and various other Android-friendly accessories and smart home gadgets is not necessarily superior to that of, for instance, a flagship Samsung device, but in general, a Pixel is a reliable option.

Are there any disadvantages to Google Pixel phones?

Stock Android is one of the biggest strengths of the phone, but it's also an Achilles' heel of the Pixel lineup. The unmodified Android interface may be advantageous to certain individuals, however, it lacks the requisite levels of customization and adaptability typically associated with Android.

Some custom OEM Android skins, like Samsung's One UI, OnePlus' Oxygen OS, and Xiaomi's MIUI, among others, provide a set of features that are nowhere to be found in stock Android and the Pixels as well. This could be a big minus for all those willing to have some better control over their interfaces.

How many years do Google Pixel phones usually last?

The new Pixel 8 series comes along with the industry-leading seven years of software and security updates, which has now been emulated by Samsung with their latest flagship phones, the Galaxy S24 series. The same applies to the Google Pixel 8a as well. 

Google has previously committed to five years of extended security support for the Google Pixel 7 series (until 2027), and three years of guaranteed Android updates (until 2025). The Pixel 6-series, on the other hand, will receive major Android updates until 2024 and will receive software security patches well until late 2026.

The Google Pixel 6a, as it was released later, will get major Android updates until July 2025 and security support will last until July 2027. 

Earlier Google Pixel phones, like the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a-series, are currently halfway through their digital life, and will only receive major Android and security updates for a couple of years more.

The Google Pixel 4a and Google Pixel 4a (5G) will get Android and security updates until August and November 2023, respectively, while the Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a will do so until August 2023 and August 2024, respectively.

Why are Google Pixel phones so revered and well-received?

No matter if it's Pixels or Nexus phones, Google has always been an important factor in the mobile industry, both from a software and hardware perspective.

Google's Pixel phones are coveted for their user-centric experience that relies on software features and artificial intelligence, as well as the might of the Google Assistant to edge out the competition.

Another significant aspect that's frequently thrown around regarding Google Pixel phones is their camera prowess and image quality.

A Pixel phone often hits way above its pay grade even though it doesn't always have the best camera hardware and uses both AI and machine learning to deliver outstanding photos, most of the time, thanks to Google's signature image-processing algorithms.

That's why it's routinely compared to Samsung and Apple flagships despite the latter's hardware superiority.

In terms of image quality, Pixel phones take dramatic and expressive images with true-to-life colors but enhanced contrast and a distinct style that's unmistakably Pixel.

How to choose the best Google Pixel phone for you?

As Google's lineup is pretty slim, there are few options—and little chance to pick the wrong device for you. That said, you should take into account what is the main use of your phone.

If you cherish portability and are not phased by camera prowess, then you should probably go for a regular Google Pixel, with the current best offers being the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 7, if you can find the latter on sale somewhere. Both are pretty capable, but they have slightly smaller, less sophisticated displays than their larger peers. There's no telephoto camera, so you can't zoom in that much.

In case you always go for the best and/or mobile photography is a cherished hobby, then you can't really go wrong with the "Pro" versions of the most recent Pixel flagship phone. The Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro are flagship phones that are both much larger and more adept than their regular peers, with bigger displays with higher refresh rates, longer battery life, and an extra telephoto camera that seals the deal as far as camera versatility goes.

Go for the Pixel 8 Pro if you want the best Google phone in 2023. It's easily the most adept Google Pixel phone available on the Google Store right now, with the best performance, best camera, and best user experience out there. It's often discounted or part of a promotion that can shed quite a lot off its regular price.

Go for the Pixel 8 or Pixel 7 if you want a compact and modern Android smartphone with pretty decent camera image quality, performance, and battery life.

Get the Pixel 7 Pro if you love an Android phone with a large display, good battery life, and decent camera hardware but don't necessarily need the best phone. It's a slightly older model that can be usually found on the cheap, but it still can do much more than regular phone calls. If you can stomach the slightly larger footprint, then it always makes sense to go for the more advanced "Pro" Google phone.

How do we test the best Pixel phones?

As with all devices that we review, we test the battery life, display quality, camera quality, and overall performance of each device.

The camera quality, arguably the most important aspect, is determined by comparing samples from the new phones with their predecessors and some notable rivals. Display qualities are measured with professional equipment by qualified personnel.

Battery life is measured with the phones' displays set at 200 nits and connected to Wi-Fi, with three different use case tests being run on each device: video streaming, 3D gaming, and our custom web browsing test.

We also test the charging speeds of each Pixel with the manufacturer-recommended battery charger, and if the device has a charger in the box, we use that one. Pixel phones usually fare very well in the display category, but they've been somewhat lacking in the performance category.

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