Best Pixel phones 2024: we've ranked all the Google Pixel handsets worth buying

Best Google Pixel phones 2023 Pixel Fold hero
(Image credit: Future | Google)

It's been an eventful year for Google's Pixel line. Coming off the back of its excellent second-gen Tensor-powered Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, the company's used its Google IO 2023 developer conference in May to introduce us to the more affordable Google Pixel 7a and the Google Pixel Fold – the company's first-ever foldable smartphone. Now we have its 2023 flagships to consider too: the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, so with so much Pixel hardware, where are you best pointing your credit card to get the most personal Pixel experience for your needs?

For more in-depth insight into these new Pixel family entries, you can dive deep with our Google Pixel 7a review, Google Pixel Fold review, Google Pixel 8 review and Google Pixel 8 Pro review – that'll cover you for ever Pixel phone released in 2023. Just because these are the latest Pixels doesn't make them the ones to buy without question, however. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have dropped in price significantly since release and there's merit to opting for an older Pixel 6 entry, depending on your needs.

At the same time, some Pixel experiences you won't find anywhere else. The Pixel Fold is the only way to experience Google's clean and specific take on Android, transposed to a folding form factor (which lands it a place on our rundown of the best foldables out there), while the new Magic Editor's generative AI talents are – for the time being – exclusive to the latest Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

If you still don't find your curiosity satiated after checking out this buying guide, why not take a look at our wider choice of the best Android phones; packed full of many other great options. The guide you're reading now is for smartphones that were actually made by Google, with Google inside and out.

Best Pixel phones 2023

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Google Pixel 8 Pro blue press image 16x9

(Image credit: Google)
The best Pixel phone

Specifications

Release date: October 2023
Weight: 213g
Dimensions: 162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 14
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1344 x 2992
CPU: Google Tensor G3
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 5,050mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 48MP + 48MP
Front camera: 10.5MP

Reasons to buy

+
Great, refreshed Pixel design
+
Useful AI supported features
+
Amazing 7-years of software updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Buried features within Android UX
-
Some AI features creepy & impersonal
-
Camera doesn't beat iPhone 15 Pro without help

Starting things with an excellent all-rounder, the Pixel 8 Pro is inarguably Google's best Pixel yet and paves the way for where the company thinks the smartphone is headed; especially with regards to its camera; even if that vision gets a little cloudy sometimes.

It boasts a great screen that's bigger and brighter than similarly-priced rivals, and Machine Learning boosts the phone's photographic capabilities to stand among the best in the business. Some of the newest AI-enhanced functionality feels a little disingenuous and in places creepy, but it also makes for a unique proposition that plays to Google's strengths.

The promise of seven years of updates is also an amazing inclusion that trumps practically everything else the market has to offer, granting the phone superb value and longevity, as a result; not to mention plenty of time for Google to iron out the kinks we did encounter during review.

Read our full Google Pixel 8 Pro review

Google Pixel 8 coral press image 16x9

(Image credit: Google)
The best Pixel for less

Specifications

Release date: October 2023
Weight: 187g
Dimensions: 150.5 x 70.8 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 14
Screen size: 6.2-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Google Tensor G3
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,575mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10.5MP

Reasons to buy

+
New Tensor chip
+
Refreshed Pixel design
+
AI camera tricks

Reasons to avoid

-
Minor design changes
-
Minimal camera upgrades
-
No temperature sensor

Sure, it's not the cheapest Pixel you'll find in this guide, but the latest Pixel 8 offers great value for money by pairing Google's latest Tensor chipset with its newest AI-based imaging and processing smarts, all wrapped up in an attractive package.

Google has finally taken its non-XL/Pro Pixel past 90Hz with the 'Actua' OLED display on the Pixel 8, while its proportions paired with a new, more-rounded design compared to the Pixel 7 series offers a refreshed aesthetic with better ergonomics.

You still only have a pair of cameras on the back – compared to the Pixel 8 Pro's trio – but they demonstrate impressive versatility in their own right and even decent hybrid zoom at up to 8x. Google's Magic Editor and Audio Eraser perhaps push photo and video capture past what the phone is actually capable of capturing, which can making shooting on either new Pixel feel a little disingenuous, but they're impressive additions regardless.

Like the Pro, the Pixel 8 also enjoys an outstanding seven years of software updates, making this impressively-priced affordable flagship even better value.

Read our full Google Pixel 8 review

Google Pixel 7 Pro

(Image credit: Google)
A superb camera, now for less

Specifications

Release date: October 2022
Weight: 212g
Dimensions: 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3120
CPU: Google Tensor G2
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 48MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10.8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Intuitive and easy to use
+
Photo Unblur truly fixes older photos
+
Snappy and responsive interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks the deep feature set of best competition
-
Battery and charging time could be better
-
Macro Focus didn’t blow us away

The Google Pixel 7 Pro takes amazing photos with ease, night and day, but it also takes the photo experience further than its predecessors by actually being able to make photos from older phones look better.

The Pixel 7 Pro listens better than non-Pixel competitors – literally. It recognizes speech more accurately, making Google Assistant more useful. It doesn’t just make photos better, it makes them clearer and more inclusive, using Real Tone technology to enhance skin tones.

One thing that applies to all Pixels in recent years is poor battery life. We really wish that the battery life were more impressive and that it charged faster. Another thing to note is the lack of flexibility when taking pictures compared to some rivals like Samsung. The Macro Focus mode, as an illustration, wasn't as magical as many other Google Photos features. In other words, the phone delivers on some amazing promises, even if it can't keep them all.

Read our full Google Pixel 7 Pro review

Google Pixel Fold closed, from the back, in a hand

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

4. Google Pixel Fold

The first Google foldable is great

Specifications

Release date: June 2023
Weight: 283g
Dimensions: 139.7 x 79.5 x 12.1mm / 139.7 x 158.7 x 5.8mm
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 7.6 inch / 5.8 inch
Resolution: 2208 x 1840 / 2092 x 1080
CPU: Google Tensor G2
RAM: 12GB (LPDDR 5)
Storage: 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 4,727mAh
Rear camera: 48MP (main) + 10.8MP (ultrawide) + 10.8MP (5X telephoto)
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
No-compromises front screen
+
Excellent construction
+
Great cameras and photo tricks

Reasons to avoid

-
Huge bezel around the tablet screen
-
Takes a little push to lie flat
-
The price takes some explaining

The Google Pixel Fold arrives a little late to the foldable party, but it's a smartphone/tablet combo that we've found is a pleasure to use.

From its construction – including its precision hinge – to its high-resolution screens, the Pixel Fold is a well-thought-out Android device that's equally at home as a small-screen (but thick) 5.8-inch phone or, unfolded, as a 7.6-inch mini tablet. It does have quite the bezel, especially compared to Samsung. Oh, and there's also a crease down the middle, another foldable foible. Not to worry, when you start using these devices, the bezels quickly fade into the background, such that you won't notice.

Google's own Pixel software is sleeker than Samsung's stuffed One UI skin, but apps generally look better on Samsung's most recent foldables. It's a deliberate choice from Google to force Android apps to natively support foldables, but it's a tough experience for users in the intervening period.

It is also quite expensive at $1,799 / £1,749. You're essentially gambling on the chance of two premium devices in two different form factors in one here, at a cost that surpasses buying two premium devices separately. Appreciating that book-style foldables are a magical experience on their own for those who swear by them, it's understandable if that's a hard sell for many people.

Read our full Google Pixel Fold review

Google Pixel 7 lemongrass front and back

(Image credit: Google)
A great value Pixel

Specifications

Release date: October 2022
Weight: 197g
Dimensions: 155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.3-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Google Tensor G2
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,355mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10.8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Unique color options and design
+
Same Tensor G2 performance as Pixel 7 Pro
+
Great camera with creative features

Reasons to avoid

-
90Hz display feels dated at this level
-
Lacks the zoom camera of the Pro
-
Faster charging would be nice

Like the Pixel 7 Pro, the Pixel 7 arrived with Google's Tensor G2 chipset, which, paired with Google's own take on an Android 13, delivered a satisfying user experience, with everyday tasks made that little bit easier (the OS has since been updated to Android 14, but fundamentally the experience remains consistent).

The Pixel 7 sports a design that, while divisive, feels considered and premium. The cameras sit within an imposing aluminum band that helps the phone stand out from the crowd, especially in its (nowadays even lower)  price range, and the smaller 6.3-inch display size and thinner bezels (compared to the Pixel 6) mean the Pixel 7 is more comfortable to hold, and more pocketable, than before.

The biggest shortcomings are most notable in areas where this phone, by design, trails behind the Pixel 7 Pro, with its slower display and the absence of a telephoto zoom lens.

Even so, the user experience feels polished, the AI-supported features are unique and competent, and the promise of more functionality via ongoing 'feature drops' mean this Pixel continues to get better with time. If you want an even-cheaper model, check out the Pixel 7a instead.

Read our full Google Pixel 7 review

A Google Pixel 6 Pro against a white background

(Image credit: Google)
A great Pixel camera phone

Specifications

Release date: October 2021
Weight: 210g
Dimensions: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.71-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3120
CPU: Google Tensor
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 5,003mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 48MP + 12MP
Front camera: 11.1MP

Reasons to buy

+
Multitalented camera
+
Big and beautiful screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Contentious design
-
Average battery life

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is arguably the first truly top-end phone Google has ever made.

In its heydey, it took a different approach to most flagships, and to most Pixels sold before it. Its design is all-new, and very different to other phones from any brand. It won’t be to everyone’s taste with its big visor-like camera block, but it will certainly turn heads and be distinctive.

Google had also taken the then-unusual route of equipping the Pixel 6 Pro with a homemade chipset called the Google Tensor. This was designed with AI and machine learning in mind, and it’s built specifically for the Pixel 6 range. The Pixel 7 range – as well as the Pixel Fold, and 2023's Pixel 8 series – run the newer Tensor G2 and G3 processors, respectively.

The Pixel 6 Pro is more than its processor, and when you consider a versatile triple-lens camera, with a 50MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 48MP telephoto (with 4x optical zoom), plus a 6.71-inch QHD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate—this is an enormously exciting handset.

In our review, we found that the battery life wasn't the best, but since the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Fold didn't improve much in that regard, it's a premium money-saving option.

Read our full Google Pixel 6 Pro review

Google Pixel 7a

(Image credit: Google)
The most affordable Pixel right now

Specifications

Weight: 193g
Dimensions: 152 x 72.9 x 9 mm
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Google Tensor G2
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,385mAh
Rear camera: 64MP(wide) + 13MP (ultrawide)
Front camera: 13MP

Reasons to buy

+
Same powerful processor as Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
+
Great photo capabilities and editing tools
+
Slick Android interface 

Reasons to avoid

-
Same inefficient, power hungry processor as Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
-
Shorter software support lifespan than other Android phones 
-
Too expensive 

With the Pixel 7a, you're getting an improved Pixel 6a on almost all fronts. Google adds in wireless charging, a more powerful Tensor G2 processor, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a far more powerful camera. It costs a little more than the Pixel 6a did at launch, but that is because it offers a little more than the Pixel 6a did at launch.

Google's most attractive features here are its clean Android build, camera, and fast updates. With any Pixel, you're all but guaranteed to capture great snaps, have access to Google's latest and greatest software, and get updates right on the day they are ready.

It's not all good though, in our review, we found the Pixel 7a struggling to make a full day. When combined with its terribly slow charging, power users may find themselves plugged into the wall for long swathes of the day. Where rivals from Motorola and Oppo offer brisk charging speeds and long-lasting batteries, that's a considerable flaw from Google, even if the phone's elegant software and standout design make up for it.

Read our full Google Pixel 7a review

A Google Pixel 6 against a white background

(Image credit: Google)
Classic mid-range Pixel

Specifications

Release date: October 2021
Weight: 207g
Dimensions: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.4-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Google Tensor
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,614mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic photos
+
Intriguing design

Reasons to avoid

-
No zoom lens
-
Middling battery

The Google Pixel 6 isn’t quite as exciting as the Pixel 6 Pro, not to speak of the newer Pixels, but the most important features remain intact. That includes an unusual design with a three-tone color scheme, and the powerful new Google Tensor chipset, designed to improve photography, speech processing, and more.

Beyond that, the Google Pixel 6 also has a dual-lens camera that we found capable of taking true-to-life photos, plus a sizeable 6.4-inch screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, and Android 12 out of the box (that's subsequently been bumped to Android 14).

It’s also a remarkably well-priced phone, making the Pixel 6 an ideal choice for anyone who doesn’t feel the need to splash out on a true flagship, but still wants some high-end features.

The lack of a telephoto camera hurts it, and the battery life turned out to be quite average, but the price you pay (especially if you poke around in refurbished outlets), might make these shortcomings forgivable.

Read our full Google Pixel 6 review

Google Pixel 6a in black

(Image credit: Google)
Older budget value

Specifications

Release date: May 2022
Weight: 178g
Dimensions: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Google Tensor
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,410mAh
Rear camera: 12.2+12MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+
Relatively compact size
+
Clean software

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor battery life
-
Slow charging

The Google Pixel 6a is a fairly small and lightweight phone that will easily slip into your pocket. It feels a little cheap but an effective fingerprint scanner and an attractive 6.1-inch full HD+ screen helps counteract that.

The 12.2MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and 8MP selfie cameras are all backed up with a plethora of neat AI software tricks and extras so you can create some great photos here. Even better is Google's Magic Eraser tool to remove unwanted elements (or people) from your snaps. 

Offering mid-range performance works well for the Google Pixel 6a thanks to its clean Android experience, with the only real downside being fairly awful battery life. Despite that though, the Google Pixel 6a is worth checking out for those seeking out a small phone. 

It's the cheapest modern Pixel you can buy right now, and a decent option for poking your toe into the Pixel ecosystem without investing too much.

Read our full Google Pixel 6a review

  • Impressed by the Pixel Fold's form factor but not quite sold? Check out the best foldable phones here.
  • Want the Pixel experience on a larger canvas? Learn about the Pixel Tablet review
  • Learn all about Android 14, the latest big update on Google Pixels.