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Best Google Pixel Phone 2023: Top Pixels tested and ranked

Since we reviewed the first generation many moons ago, our team of reviewers have found that Google’s Pixel range has revolutionised the camera phone market, with each new model pushing forward what kind of snaps we expect to be able to get out of our smartphones.

The Pixel range might have started off simple, but there are now multiple models across various price points. We’re not talking Samsung levels of product, yet there’s more Pixel choice than we’ve seen before.

We’ve reviewed all the Pixel phones, past and present, including all the models released in 2022, and we know what makes them tick. We’ve compared all the cameras, batteries and displays along with thoroughly running them all through our rigid performance tests.

Rumours are already heating up that we might see a foldable Pixel next year to take on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and a Pixel 7a seems a given.

We also have other best lists for those after something a little less specific. Our best camera phone round-up focuses on a device’s photographic and videography skills, while our best cheap phone and best mid-range phone lists focus solely on more affordable options depending on your budget.

Best Google Pixel phone at a glance

How we test

How do we test Google Pixel phones?

Every Google Pixel phone included in the below list has been properly tested and used for an extended period by one of our product experts. We don’t review phones based purely on specs or a manufacturer’s claims – we use them as our everyday device for at least five days and usually for much longer.

Our review process includes a mixture of real-world tests, along with more than 15 measured tests and industry-standard benchmarks. We believe this gives the most rounded view of a device.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

The best flagship Pixel phone
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Pros

  • Excellent camera and loads of clever camera tricks
  • The best version of Android on the market
  • Priced well for the European market

Cons

  • Charging could, and should, be faster
  • Very glossy finish and some odd design elements
  • Not a huge upgrade on the Pixel 6 Pro

Our pick for the best Google phone is the Pixel 7 Pro – the current flagship of the series and a perfect combination of features and affordability. This is very much of a rival to devices like the Galaxy S22 Plus, but it’s slightly more affordable while offering a slicker software experience and one of the best cameras around.

All the phones featured here boast smooth, clean and frequently updated software. As Google makes both the phone and the underlying Android software, Pixel phones get updates as soon as Android releases them so you’ll be first in line for Android 14 when it arrives in 2023. This is a rare treat on Android, which in our experience is extremely slow to get updated when new versions come out.

There are a number of reasons why you’d pick the Pixel 7 Pro over the cheaper phones on this list. First off it’s the only model with a 6.7-inch 1440p, 120Hz display meaning it’s bigger, sharper and faster than the Pixel 7 and 6a. It’s certainly the best display on this list, so if that’s a priority you should focus on this model.

It’s also the only version with a triple camera array. Both the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have excellent main and ultra wide cameras, but with the Pro, you’re also getting a 48MP telephoto zoom. It’s not the very best telephoto zoom we’ve used even if it’s the best on the list.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Google Pixel 7 Pro review

Google Pixel 7

The best mid-range Pixel phone
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Pros

  • Great camera
  • Good screen
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Few upgrades from the Pixel 6
  • No telephoto camera
  • Slow charging

Right in the middle of Google’s smartphone range, you’ll find the Pixel 7. This device might not offer quite the same specs as the Pro version (most notably lacking a telephoto sensor and having a slightly smaller screen), but it still packs quite the punch, especially given its relatively modest price tag.

The camera, like with other Pixel phones, is the main highlight here, delivering gorgeously detailed and punchy images regardless of whether you’re using it during the day or at night, but it’s not the only reason you might feel tempted to make one of these your own.

The OLED screen, measuring 6.3-inches, is plenty capable enough of giving some life to the TV shows and games you like to enjoy while you’re on the go, and the design certainly looks sleek and feels premium to the touch as well.

While the slow charging speeds and lack of a telephoto sensor are two obvious compromises, we certainly don’t think that these should be dealbreakers when a smartphone offers as good overall performance as the Pixel 7 does.

Reviewer: Peter Phelps

Full review: Google Pixel 7 review

Google Pixel 6a

The best affordable Pixel phone
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Pros

  • Lovely small form-factor
  • Reliable camera for the price
  • Google’s excellent software

Cons

  • 60Hz display feels slow compared to the rivals
  • Slow to fully charge

The most affordable addition to the Pixel family is a fantastic little device that packs a good camera, Google’s excellent software and a compact design that’s not too common at this price point.

The Pixel 6a isn’t the one to choose if you want the very best camera, but if your budget is a little more restrictive and won’t stretch to the pricier Pixel 6 options it remains an excellent choice we thoroughly recommend after in-depth testing.

Google has plucked some of the big features from the 7 and 7 Pro to bring down to the 6a. The Tensor chip, for example, enables AI skills like the smart translator and Magic Eraser in the camera. Magic Eraser lets you remove unwanted guests from pictures with the help of AI, and it’s a very useful feature we really like. 

Tensor is the first smartphone SoC chip designed by Google, and it’s really the star of the show. It enables the Pixel 6a to play the latest games and run everyday tasks with ease. The performance here is pretty much on par with the 6 and 6 Pro, which for a phone at this price is impressive.

Wireless charging is missing, but there is an IP67 rating for added durability  – a feature often left out of phones like this.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Google Pixel 6a review

Pixel 5a

The best Pixel phone with a Qualcomm chipset
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Pros

  • New low price now under $400
  • Camera over-performs
  • Android 12 and guaranteed updates
  • Vibrant display

Cons

  • Feels old hat now Pixel 6 is here
  • Only 60z display

Our final pick is the Pixel 5a – a device that Google only released in the USA and Japan. If you’re in other territories the Pixel 4a is another good choice, especially if your budget is low and you can find it on sale.

The Pixel 5a is a small phone only slightly larger than the Pixel 6a, capable of taking pictures that pop in all manner of conditions. It lacks the performance of the 6 series phones based on our experience using it, but the mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset used here is still capable of most everyday tasks.

Outside of these sacrifices there’s an IP67 rating, 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. All specs you’d also find on the Pixel 6a.

Reviewer: Chris Smith

Full review: Google Pixel 5a review

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FAQs

Do these Pixel phones come with a charger, or do you need to provide your own?

None of the phones included in our Best Pixel Phone list comes with a charger in the box, so you’ll have to provide your own. They all come with a USB-C cable and work with the PD charging standard.

Is the Tensor chipset good for gaming?

Google’s Tensor chipset is very capable and plays games just fine in our tests. You will, however, get better GPU from more recent phones with Apple’s A-series chips or a recent 8-series Snapdragon version.

Trusted Reviews test data

You can see a summary of the test data we collected reviewing all the Pixel phones in this list in the table below.

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
3D Mark – Wild Life

Comparison specs

You can compare the core specs of all the Pixel phones in this list using the table below.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Wirless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours
Stated Power

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

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Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.