Best Google Pixel Phone (2022): Which Model to Buy, Cases and Accessories, Feature Drops
If you calculate all those individual services with the cost of the Pixel 6 Pro over the course of two years, your total comes out to $1,746. So you are effectively paying less. But it’s only really worth it if you watch a ton of YouTube and use YouTube Music, instead of other options like Spotify.
Google says if you already subscribe to one of these services, your current plans will be canceled and you’ll get a single bill for Pixel Pass once your Pixel ships (though you will need to manually cancel YouTube Premium or YouTube Music Premium before subscribing to Pixel Pass).
About Those Older Pixel Phones
The Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G from 2020 have disappeared from the Google Store. You can find them at Amazon, but the Pixel 5 is pricier than the newer Pixel 6, and it’s absolutely not worth that price when Google’s current flagship trounces it in every way.
Amazon currently sells the Pixel 4A 5G for the same price as the Pixel 6, and while it’s a good phone, that price doesn’t make any sense. You’re better off sticking with the Pixel 5A 5G. That is unless you’re not in the US or Japan, and you really want a Pixel with a headphone jack. Then it’s worth picking up, though don’t expect it to be in stock for much longer.
The Pixel 3 range is too old, and that includes the Pixel 3A. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL suffer from poor battery performance and aren’t worth picking up. These older phones will also stop getting software updates in 2022. Buy one of the newer models.
Cases and Accessories We Like
The official Google cases feel like they deliver more protection than their predecessors. There are several fun colors, a dual-layer design that helps absorb shocks when you drop it, and raised edges on the front to protect the screen. The inner layer of the Pixel 5A case is made with 75 percent recycled plastic, and the other two are made with 30 percent post-consumer recycled material.
Of all the Pixel cases I’ve tried, this feels the best. It has a wonderful texture that’s pleasant to touch, and the case keeps a slim profile. The buttons remain clicky, and the ports are well exposed. It’s affordable, but the front edges aren’t raised. There’s a good chance the screen will hit the ground when you drop it.
Pixel phones don’t have a great track record with screen durability—they scratch easily. We tested this protector originally for the Pixel 5A, but it’s not available anymore. Caseology does sell it now for the Pixel 6. Installation is easy, and it includes a squeegee to get rid of air bubbles. You get two screen protectors for the price, including a microfiber cloth, a wipe, and dust removal stickers.
It’s slim, has a nice texture, retains clicky buttons, and has accurate cutouts for the ports and speakers. What’s not to love? This is arguably Spigen’s most attractive case lineup too. The edges aren’t raised drastically, so don’t expect much screen protection. Pair it with the Caseology screen protector above to cover all your bases.
The Pixels have great cameras, but you can take them further by using third-party lenses like these from Moment. Slap on a fish-eye lens for a fun, distorted photo effect. Use a 58-mm telephoto to get even closer to your subject. Whatever lens you pick, you’ll need a Moment case for the system to work. It takes about two seconds to attach or remove a lens with a simple twist. The Pixel 6 cases have Moment’s (M)Force magnets embedded inside, so they’ll work with the company’s various MagSafe mounts, like one for tripods, video lights, and mics, or other MagSafe accessories.
This is a solid Pixel wallet case with a kickstand. You can prop it up in landscape mode with the foldable leather flap on the back. Underneath this magnetic flap, it can store a credit card or two. The whole thing is chunky, but the buttons are easy to press. It also has raised edges on the front to protect the screen.
This dual-layer case from Otterbox feels really tough, yet it’s fairly slim. The edges around the camera module and front screen are raised, the buttons are easy to press, and the headphone jack and USB-C port are protected from the elements. This one offers a step up in protection compared to the above picks.
Of the Pixels in this guide, wireless charging is only available on the Pixel 5, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6 Pro. Google’s very own Pixel Stand is one of the best wireless chargers around because it’s simple. The base doesn’t slide around, the phone stays put, and it enables some fun features, like turning the screen into a digital photo frame and quick access to Google Assistant. It’s made of 39 percent recycled materials with mostly eco-friendly packaging too. Our Best Wireless Chargers guide has more options.
This charging adapter is all you need to recharge your Pixel, whichever model you have. The newest high-end Pixel phones don’t come with chargers in the box, so if you don’t have any spare USB-C chargers, it’s worth picking one up. This one’s prongs don’t fold up, but it’s still really compact.
It takes some effort to install this case on the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, but once you do, it’s arguably the most protection you’ll find for your Pixel. There’s an inner two-piece polycarbonate shell that snaps over and under the Pixel, and then a thick synthetic rubber slipcover goes over for extreme durability. The buttons are surprisingly clicky, and it’s not as thick as I expected it to be (it does make the phone very wide, though). It’s made of 50 percent recycled plastic, and there’s a holster you can pop it in to carry your Pixel with pride on your belt.
Hidden Tricks to Try If You Get a Pixel
There are some key features exclusive to Pixels that you won’t find on any other Android phone. Some of these are only available on the new Pixel 6 series, especially since they rely on the processing power of the Tensor chip. Here’s a quick breakdown: