We’ve reviewed every single phone Google has made from the original Nexus line to all of today’s Pixel phones, so we know what makes a handset worthy of your money. The Pixels have always been top performers, with specs rivalling other flagship phones like the iPhone 14 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Pixel 7 Pro sits at the top of the pile, with the best performance, a slick design and a triple camera array that takes some of the best images you can get from a phone. And it does it at a price that undercuts its rivals by a healthy measure.
But if you’re shopping on a smaller budget, the most recent Pixel 7A still offers a stellar all-round experience, with powerful cameras, a smooth and enjoyable interface and a price that won’t leave quite as big a dent in your bank balance. Then there’s the Pixel Fold. It’s the most expensive of all Google’s phones, but it has a folding display that opens up into a large 7.6-inch screen that’s great for watching YouTube videos or playing games.
The range has grown and with older models still on sale it can be a bit confusing to work out which one is best for you. We’ve pulled together the top Pixels currently on sale to help you decide.
Read more: Best phone to buy in 2023
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are expected to launch in October so it may be worth waiting a while if you’re specifically looking for a Pixel phone.
What is the best Google Pixel phone right now?
The Pixel 7 Pro remains at the top of Google’s phone lineup, packing the latest Tensor G2 processor and a superb triple camera system into a great-looking body. It’s not the cheapest Google phone, but if you want the best the company has to offer (and you don’t want to splash the cash on its foldable), then the 7 Pro is the one to go for right now.
How we test phones
Every phone on this list has been thoroughly tested by CNET’s expert reviews team. We actually use the phone, test the features, play games and take photos. We assess any marketing promises that a company makes about its phones. And if we find something we don’t like, be it battery life or build quality, we tell you all about it.
We examine every aspect of a phone during testing:
- Design and feel
- Processor performance
- Battery life
- Camera quality
We test all of a phone’s cameras (both front and back) in a variety of conditions: from outdoors under sunlight to dimmer indoor locales and night time scenes (for any available night modes). We also compare our findings against similarly priced models. We have a series of real world battery tests to see how long a phone lasts under everyday use.
We take into account additional phone features like 5G, fingerprint and face readers, styluses, fast charging, foldable displays and other useful extras. And we, of course, weigh all of our experiences and testing against the price so you know whether a phone represents good value or not.
Read more: How we test phones
How to choose a Pixel phone
Deciding which Pixel phone is best for you will likely come down to how much you’re willing to spend. As with anything, the more cash you splash, the better features you’ll get. The Pixel 7 Pro is the most expensive of the range (excluding the foldable) and as a result it comes with the best camera system.
But if photography isn’t important to you, then you can save yourself some money and look instead toward the Pixel 7A. It has the same processor as the 7 Pro, so you can expect similar overall performance, but its dual rear camera is aimed more toward those of you simply wanting to take the odd snap of your kid on the beach, rather than those looking for Instagram stardom.
If you want the most cutting-edge piece of tech in your pocket then the Pixel Fold’s foldable display certainly makes it stand out in the range. But you’ll pay a hefty price for this brand-new technology meaning it’s not a phone for everyone to consider.
Pixel phone FAQs