Best Google Pixel smartphones: which model to buy in 2021?

The Google Pixels are among the best Android smartphones on the market. Very different from the competition, they especially appeal to photography and innovation enthusiasts. We take stock of the best models available on the market today. Follow the guide.

Our selection of the best Google Pixel smartphones

Since 2018, Google has been marketing Pixels in France. Currently, there are therefore a handful of variants on the French market, particularly on the Boulanger, Darty, Fnac and Rue du Commerce sites. We have selected the best Google Pixels to buy in 2021. At the end of the article, we also answer some questions about them.

Google pixel 5

pixel 5

The Pixel 5 sports a 6-inch OLED display, while the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL had a 5.7-inch and 6.3-inch panel, respectively. Just like its predecessors, the Pixel 5 is equipped with a display with a refresh rate of 90 Hz.

While the Pixel 5 has the Snapdragon 765G SoC, engraved in 7 nm and is 5G compatible, the Pixel 4 has the Snapdragon 855, which is not 5G compatible. There is also 8 GB of RAM when the Pixel 4 is content with 6 GB. The internal memory is 128 GB.

Regarding the battery, the latter has a capacity about 50% greater than that of the Pixel 4. We go from 2800 mAh (only) to 4080 mAh. What offer a much better autonomy knowing that the SoC is a little more light this year. The smartphone is also compatible with 18W fast charging.

The +
The –
Finally real autonomy on a Pixel! Facial recognition has disappeared in favor of a simple rear fingerprint sensor
Photo processing always on top High-end SoC gives way to mid-range, but why?
The weight, design, handling of the device The price remains too high against the competition
Screen quality

To see: the best offers to buy a Google Pixel 5 at the cheapest price

Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a

Design level, the Pixel 4a stands out from the Pixel 4 with in particular a screen with holes, and an OLED panel surrounded by thick borders. On the back, there is a camera arranged in a square shape similar to the one we can see on the Pixel 4.

Whether on the Pixel 4 or the 4a, there is always a rounded fingerprint sensor on the upper part of the back of the smartphone. The Pixel 4 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6 GB of RAM, a 2800 mAh battery while the Pixel 4a offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, 6 GB of RAM, and a 3140 mAh battery.

The +
The –
The grip, design and ultra compact appearance of the device Call quality (in reception only)
The quality of photos in daylight as well as in low light No fast charging
The good overall performance of the device No fingerprint sensor under the screen like the OnePlus Nord
Port Jack No ultra-wide-angle sensor
Updates guaranteed for a long time

To see: the best offers to buy a Google Pixel 4a at the cheapest price

Google Pixel 4

Google Pixel 4

The Google Pixel 4, launched in October 2019, the smartphone is built around a 5.7-inch 90Hz OLED display. It indeed stands out from the competition with a 90Hz refresh rate, ideal for watching movies. videos or play video games. The Pixel 4 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 paired with 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM. The Pixel 4 performs in all situations.

Unlike its predecessors, the flagship skips the fingerprint scanner on the back. Instead, Google opts for a 3D facial recognition system that aims to compete with iPhone Face ID, Face Unlock. Intuitive and secure, this system allows you to unlock the smartphone with your face in an instant. Thanks to sensors housed in the upper border, it is also possible to control the Pixel 4 without touching it.

This feature is unfortunately quite a gadget. The Pixel 4 surprises especially in the field of photography. Thanks to a double photo sensor doped with algorithms, the smartphone obtains impressive results. We especially note the success of the formidably effective portrait mode. On the video side, the Pixel 4 can shoot in 4K at 30 fps, in Full HD at 30, 60 or 120 fps and in HD up to 240 fps. The Pixel 4 on the other hand sins on two points: design and autonomy.

Unlike the competition, Google has big bezels around the phone’s OLED screen. This choice is rather questionable for a smartphone that wants to be high-end. Finally, we regret the ultra disappointing autonomy. With its tiny 2800 mAh battery, the smartphone is not able to last a single day with a recharge.

Google limits the damage with the 18W fast charge, which goes from 0 to 50% in under 30 minutes, and from 0 to 100% in just an hour. Despite its flaws, the Pixel 4 is a sure bet. It is available from many resellers around 500 euros.

The +
The –
The 90 Hz screen An outdated design
The camera Motion Sense which turns out to be a useless gadget
The stunning portrait mode Catastrophic autonomy (less than a day)
Good performance
Face Unlock
Fast efficient recharging

Google Pixel 4 XL

Google pixel 4 XL

Very similar to its little brother, the Google Pixel 4 XL stands out mainly thanks to its 90 Hz 6.3 ″ OLED QHD + screen. Unsurprisingly, it inherits the power of the Pixel 4 thanks to the Snapdragon 855 supported by 6 GB of RAM. With the same set up as its little brother, the Pixel 4 XL achieves feats in the field in the photo. Very versatile, it allows you to take quality photos in most situations.

It also slightly outperforms the Pixel 4 on the autonomy side. Google has integrated a 3700 mAh battery in its large format model. Under these conditions, the flasghip is able to last a whole day with a single recharge. In addition, the device is able to recharge up to 30% in just 20 minutes, and 44% in 30 minutes. More complete than the Pixel 4, the Pixel 4 XL will delight lovers of large formats. It is available around 850 € at most retailers.

The +
The –
The quality of the shooting in any situation The correct autonomy without more
Screen quality Lack of bass
Glossy back The design is a bit heavy
The power of the Snapdragon 855

To see: the best offers to buy a Google Pixel 4/4 XL at the cheapest price

🤔Why buy a Google Pixel smartphone?

With its Pixels, Google has always played the card of the difference. On the design side, the search giant has always made choices against the current of the market. This culture of difference also emerges on the hardware side. While most smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung or Huawei, are increasing the number of photo sensors, Google continues to opt for single or dual photo sensors.

The Mountain View firm compensates for the starving hardware of its devices with its software expertise. Thanks to algorithms specializing in image processing, Pixels are among the best smartphones in the field of photography.

That’s not all. The Pixels are also distinguished by a clean and light interface. Unlike brands like Samsung or Xiaomi, Google doesn’t add heavy overlays to its phones. This approach has several advantages. The lightness of the software first allows the Pixels to offer high performance without needing a large amount of RAM.

In addition, the Pixels are still among the first smartphones to be able to install Android updates. By choosing a Pixel, you get the guarantee that you can install Android 11 or Android 12 as soon as they are released. Likewise, you will receive monthly security patches before anyone else!

💽How much internal storage space?

Google is not one of the most generous manufacturers on this point. Since its arrival in France, the Pixel range has left the choice between 64 or 128 GB of internal storage. The 64 GB of ROM will be sufficient for the most basic uses. If you mainly use your smartphone to call loved ones, send messages or check social media, you can opt for the 64 GB variant.

On the other hand, if you are used to installing many applications, including Android games, taking dozens of photos a day or recording videos, we strongly advise you to turn to the 128 GB internal storage.

Note also that the Pixels are devoid of MicroSD port. In case of full storage space, you will have to turn to a Google Cloud storage subscription. On the other hand, Google offers unlimited storage space for your photos and videos on Google Photos for 5 years.

🤷‍♂️Fingerprint sensor or facial recognition?

The Google catalog includes models equipped with a fingerprint reader on the back, and a 3D facial recognition system, Face Unlock. Like Apple, Google has decided not to dwell on the fashion for the fingerprint sensor hidden under the touch screen. On this point, everything depends on your users and your tastes.

If you are used to the fingerprint reader placed on the back, as was the case on most Android phones in recent years, you will not be out of place with the scanner of the Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3 XL. On the other hand, the Pixel 4 will force you to get used to Face Unlock.

🙄What accessories to go with my Pixel?

Once you’ve chosen your Pixel, you’ll obviously want to accompany it with a handful of accessories. On its official website, the American brand offers many neat accessories. First, opt for a protective shell to avoid damaging your new companion.

Most of the models in this selection are compatible with wireless charging, so we also invite you to fall for an induction charging base. We recommend the Pixel Stands for example. Finally, you can add a pair of wireless headphones from Google, the Pixel Buds, or Google Home speakers to your cart.

💰How much budget for my Google Pixel?

For less greedy users, we advise you to opt for the Pixel 4a. Mid-range oriented, it is available around 300 euros. For users looking for high performance and a more premium experience, we recommend the Pixel 5, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL.

We hope this buying guide to the best Google Pixels on the market will allow you to make informed purchases. If you have any other advice for the Phonandroid community, or if an error has inadvertently slipped into this file despite our vigilance, we invite you to let us know in the comments below.

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