Google’s Pixel phones are our favorite Android phones here at WIRED, and they have been for a few years. They have industry-leading cameras, get software and security updates directly from Google (like iPhones do from Apple), and are priced competitively. In past years, choosing a Google phone wasn’t hard, but the 2020 lineup is different. The Pixel 4A, Pixel 4A 5G, and Pixel 5 are cheaper than their predecessors, but it’s hard to know which model to pick.
Don’t fret—we break down the differences between the three new Pixels and sort out the right one for you. We also have Pixel-exclusive tips to get the most out of your new phone, and we recommend some cases we’ve tested and like if you want extra protection.
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The Best Pixel for Most of Us
The Pixel 4A (9/10, WIRED Recommends) is our favorite Android phone at the moment. It costs only $350 yet manages to excel in every fundamental way. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor and 6 gigs of RAM inside deliver impressive performance with very few stutters, even when gaming, the 3,140-mAh battery capacity easily lasts a full day, and the main camera is the same as on the 2019 flagship Pixel 4.
That last point is the most important. You’re getting excellent image quality at any time of day. Google’s Night Sight mode, which takes a few seconds to snap multiple photos at different exposures and blend them together, produces bright and colorful pictures in low-light scenes. It’s leaps and bounds ahead of what you’ll find on most cheap phones. Set it on a tripod in a dark area and you can even capture the stars.
It’s no iPhone 12 Mini, but this is one of the smallest Android phones available. Don’t worry, the 5.8-inch OLED screen still looks great and modern, with slim bezels all around. The body is made of plastic, but it feels nice to hold, and you don’t have to worry about shattering the back. Did I mention it has a headphone jack, NFC for Google Pay, and a rear fingerprint sensor? There’s no water resistance or wireless charging, and it lacks a MicroSD card slot (the latter is missing on every Pixel), so you have to make do with the 128 gigabytes of storage, though that’s pretty generous.