Between the Pixel 3, Pixel 4A, Pixel 5 and Pixel 5A, which Google phone makes sense to buy now?
Recently, I faced a dilemma: My Google Pixel 3 XL was on its last legs. Its battery was a pale shadow of its former self. Its USB-C port failed to carry a charge half the time. Both sides of the phone, screen and glass back, were a spiderwebbed mess of cracks and chips. And according to Google, the phone won’t be guaranteed more Android updates after this October. I needed a new phone, pronto.I know the new Pixel 6 is likely to arrive at Google’s next launch event on Oct. 19 (here are all the rumors we’ve heard about Google’s next Pixel). However, I didn’t really want to wait. And even as we get closer to the event, there’s always the price aspect that draws people to older models. At first glance my options looked straightforward. Long ago, I’d thrown in my lot with Google’s pure Android platform back in the days of the Nexus 5. Since then I’ve moved on to the original Pixel XL and the Pixel 3 XL. So the thought of switching to an iPhone like the new iPhone 13 was ludicrous. And the idea of using a Samsung Galaxy phone was equally alien.Read more: 6 tempting reasons to buy a Google Pixel nowMy plan was to go with another Pixel — the problem was choosing which one. Scoring a refurb Pixel 3 XL is one way to go. But there’s also the Pixel 4A and Pixel 5. The Pixel 4A and Pixel 5A with 5G are also interesting options. Confused yet? I don’t blame you. Ultimately though, I settled on the right Pixel for me. If you’re like me and need a Google handset right now, read on. The phone I chose (and why I picked it) will likely make sense to you, too.Current Pixel phones should get the latest software first.
Straight Android, no chaserAfter I went pure Android, the way Google intended, I could never go back. Duplicate apps and tons of nonremovable carrier bloatware are but a distant memory. Pixel phones are also the first to get Android OS and security updates. That’s not usually the case with Samsung or OnePlus devices. And the fact that I’m a Google Fi cellular subscriber often narrows my phone replacement options. All that makes getting a Pixel, any Pixel, my chosen path.It’s time for me to move on from the Pixel 3.
Choice 1: Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XLGoogle no longer officially sells the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL. That said, you can find both models on Amazon. To replace my current Pixel 3 XL (128GB) though, I would have had to shell out $470. That’s too much to pay for an older processor (Snapdragon 845) and a measly 4GB of RAM. More importantly, Google will end guaranteed software updates soon. That’s why this phone isn’t worth it no matter how much the price has dropped since or may drop in the future.Read more: Google Pixel 3 vs. 3 XLThe Google Pixel 4A.
Choice 2: Pixel 4AThe Pixel 4A comes with the Snapdragon 730G, a better processor than the 3 XL. You also get 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal memory and promised software updates from Google up until August 2023. Not a bad deal for $349 — it’s a compelling option. Still, I could do better.The Google Pixel 5
Choice 3: Pixel 5Representing the ultimate Google-branded Android phone (at least for now) is the Pixel 5. It’s powered by a respectably muscular Snapdragon 765G processor alongside a robust 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Google will also keep the device’s software fresh until October 2023. Other welcome features include wireless and reverse wireless charging, plus IP68 water and dust protection. The Pixel 5 links to 5G cellular networks, too.But even at $699, this phone is pricey. The Pixel 6 will be here soon too, and it’s rumored to cost $749. Paying top dollar now for last year’s model isn’t a shrewd move. But I think it’s better to be frugal and possibly splurge once Google releases the full Pixel 6 details. Depending on how much it costs and what it can do, you may decide to pass on it or snap one up.The Pixel 4A 5G offers a nice compromise between price, power and potential.
Pixel 4A 5G
Choice 4: Pixel 4A 5GThis is the phone I ultimately selected because it’s a perfect compromise of price, performance and potential. (At least that’s what I thought back when I ordered my Pixel 4A 5G in June. With the recent launch of the Pixel 5A, however, all bets are off. More on that below). At the time I was able to snatch a Pixel 4A 5G for $500 through Google Fi. Right now, Amazon has it in white for $499.With the same Snapdragon 765G processor as the Pixel 5, 128GB storage and 6GB of RAM, the Pixel 4A 5G also packs a punch. It supports 5G wireless and has a bigger battery than the classic Pixel 4A, too.Google expects to provide Pixel 4A 5G software updates until November 2023 (oddly, one month longer than the Pixel 5). All that made this phone the clear choice for me — until recently.The Google Pixel 5A is a great Android deal.
Choice 5: Pixel 5AWhat a difference a few months makes. Now that Google has unveiled the Pixel 5A, my calculus has shifted, big time. If I had to choose today, I’d get the Pixel 5A 5G with no hesitation. Of course, I’ll likely experience sour grapes once the Pixel 6 launches. Priced at $449, this new phone is essentially about $50 less than the Pixel 4A 5G. Even so, like the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G, the 5A comes with a beefy Snapdragon 765G processor. Likewise it’s decked out with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. You also get 5G cellular comparability with the Pixel 5A.What really sets the Pixel 5A apart, at least for now, is its 4,680-mAh battery and 6.34-inch display (2,400×1,080-pixel resolution). Both are bigger than what either the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G offer. Better yet, Google plans to supply the phone with software updates until August 2024. All that currently makes the Pixel 5A the best Pixel deal around.
Pixel 5A with 5G: Google surprises us yet again
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For more, here’s how to decide between a Pixel 5, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL, the Pixel 5 versus the Pixel 4A 5G and the Pixel 5 versus the iPhone 11, Galaxy S20 FE and OnePlus 8. Plus, six reasons to buy a Pixel and how the Pixel 6 could compare to the Pixel 5.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Will Debut With One UI 4.0 Based on Android 12: Report
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has leaked multiple times in the past. Ahead of an official announcement from the South Korean smartphone brand, a new report now claims that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will debut with One UI 4.0 based on Google’s latest operating system Android 12. The phone was earlier speculated to launch this…
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has leaked multiple times in the past. Ahead of an official announcement from the South Korean smartphone brand, a new report now claims that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will debut with One UI 4.0 based on Google’s latest operating system Android 12. The phone was earlier speculated to launch this year as the successor to Galaxy S20 FE. But recent leaks suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will now launch during the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2022.According to a report by SamMobile, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will run on One UI 4.0 update based on the latest Android 12. With this, the upcoming Galaxy S21 FE will also reportedly join other Samsung phones that will get OS upgrades until the rollout of Android 15.Samsung released the Android 12-based public beta of the One UI 4 update in September this year with new themes, colour pallets, and privacy settings. Samsung started the official rollout of the new Android skin on the Galaxy S21 series including Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra. The update is reaching a large number of Samsung phones in India in December. The stable update brings more customisation options and offers new widgets as well as a wider variety of emoji features, GIFs, and stickers on the keyboard. Privacy features of the new Android skin include alerts when an app attempts to access the camera or microphone.Previous leaks suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will come with both the Snapdragon 888 and the Exynos 2100 SoC in different markets. The phone may get the Exynos 2100 chipset in India.The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is tipped to sport a 6.4-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,340 pixels) AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It is said to pack 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. The handset is expected to feature a 64-megapixel triple camera setup, along with a 32-megapixel selfie camera in the front.
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro default settings you should change now – CNET
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Andrew Hoyle/CNET Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro offer significant upgrades over the Pixel 5 line. The new smartphones get Google’s own Tensor chip, top-notch cameras and an eye-catching design. But to make the most of your new Pixel phone, you’ll want to dig into the settings and…
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro offer significant upgrades over the Pixel 5 line. The new smartphones get Google’s own Tensor chip, top-notch cameras and an eye-catching design. But to make the most of your new Pixel phone, you’ll want to dig into the settings and make a few tweaks.Some of these changes will give the user interface a fresh look, while others will help you get more out of your Pixel phone’s camera or battery. Google has also baked some interesting new features into the phone app that can make it easier to call customer service numbers without waiting on hold. We’ll show you how to turn those settings on and off, too.
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Read more: Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 6 Pro: Google’s flagship phones comparedHere’s a look at the settings you should change on your Pixel 6 right away. Turn on themed icons to make your icons match your wallpaperOne of the biggest features in Android 12 is Material You, which customizes the software’s color palette to match your wallpaper. You’ll notice that some elements within certain apps — like the keyboard in Messages and Gmail’s Compose button — will have colored accents that match your wallpaper as part of the broader Material You refresh. If you go into Settings, you can choose from a few options.
But you don’t have to stop there. To give your app icons a colorful refresh that resembles your wallpaper, long-press any empty space on your Pixel 6’s home screen. Then tap Wallpaper & style and make sure the switch next to Themed icons is toggled on. Now app icons on the home screen should match your wallpaper, as shown below. You can make app icons on the Pixel 6 match its wallpaper.
Use Quick Phrases to dismiss an alarm or phone call without saying, ‘Hey, Google’We’ve all been there. It’s 6 a.m., your alarm starts blaring and you barely have the energy to reach for your phone. Google makes this a little easier on the Pixel 6 by enabling you to pause or dismiss an alarm by simply saying, “Snooze” or “Stop” without requiring the “Hey, Google” trigger phrase. You can do the same for phone calls by saying, “Answer” or “Decline” without having to grab your device.To turn this on, open the Settings menu and choose Apps. Then, select Assistant and tap Quick phrases. You should see options for alarms and timers and incoming calls. Tap the switch next to each one to enable this feature.This feature lets you dismiss alarms and answer calls without using the “Hey, Google” wake phrase.
Have Google Assistant wait on hold for you and transcribe automated phone menusTired of waiting on hold? Try using Google’s Hold For Me feature, which has Google Assistant wait on hold and then notify you when a customer representative becomes available. If you don’t want to remember which number to punch the next time you’re sitting through automated voice prompts, you can also turn on Direct My Call. This transcribes automated menus so that you don’t have to remember which number to press to get directed to the correct extension. Both of these features are accessible from the Pixel 6’s phone app. Open the Phone app and tap the three dots in the top right corner to get started. Choose Settings and you should see Hold for Me and Direct My Call under the Assistive section.The Direct My Call feature seems promising, but it only works for toll-free numbers in English right now. That can make its transcriptions a bit confusing since many automated phone menus typically read options in Spanish, too.Google Assistant can transcribe automated menus for you when calling toll-free numbers, but only in English.
Choose whether you want to extend battery life or boost performance Google’s Pixel phones can optimize battery life depending on how you use your phone. While that’s a useful perk, there may be times when you’d prefer to turn this feature off so that you can get better performance out of your device. You can turn this setting on or off anytime by opening the Settings menu, choosing Battery and tapping Adaptive preferences.The Pixel 6 can optimize its battery based on your phone usage.
Turn on Smart Storage to avoid running out of spaceIf you take a lot of photos and videos, you know how precious your device’s storage space can be. As one way to deal with that problem, you can choose to have your Pixel phone automatically delete old photos to free up space. If you enable this feature, your Pixel device will erase photos backed up to your Google Photos account that have been on your device for 60 days if your phone’s storage is less than 25 percent.
To turn this on, open Settings, choose Storage and tap Free up space. Then tap the menu icon in the top left corner and select Settings. Toggle the switch next to Smart Storage.Google’s Smart Storage feature automatically deletes old photos to save space.
Use Storage Saver to optimize your Pixel’s photo and video storageIf you want to save space, there’s another option: Enable Storage Saver on your Pixel device. This changes settings that use large amounts of storage, such as saving RAW images as JPEG and recording videos in 1080p instead of 4K. If you care more about saving space than having the best resolution possible, you might want to try this.Launch the Camera app and tap the settings cog in the top left corner. Then, tap More settings and select Device storage. Toggle the switch next to Storage Saver.The Pixel can also change certain media settings to optimize storage.
Customize what happens when you press the volume key while taking photosYou can use the volume button to snap a photo, adjust the zoom or control the audio volume on your Pixel device. Open the Camera app, press the settings icon and choose More settings. Then, choose Gestures and select Volume key action to choose your preferred option.You can customize the volume key on the Pixel 6.
Make sure your Pixel’s screen automatically switches orientation when neededFew things can be more annoying than having your phone stuck in portrait mode when you’re holding it in landscape mode to watch a video. Avoid this on your Pixel 6 by opening the Settings menu, choosing Display and tapping Auto-rotate screen. You can also choose to turn on face detection to make autorotate more accurate. Google says images used in face detection are never stored or sent to the company. Make sure your Pixel switches its screen orientation when you want it to.
Identify songs playing nearby on the lock screenEver heard a song playing at a restaurant and wondered what it’s called? Google Pixel devices can recognize songs and display the name of the song and artist on your phone’s lock screen. Open the Settings menu, choose Display and tap Lock screen. Press Now Playing and toggle on the switch next to Identify songs playing nearby.The Pixel 6 can display the track title and artist for songs playing nearby.
Choose whether you want smoother scrolling or longer battery lifeThe Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are capable of boosting their refresh rates to enable faster scrolling and smoother animations, which makes the software generally feel more responsive. The Pixel 6 can bump its refresh rate up to 90Hz, while the Pixel 6 Pro can go up to120Hz. But since this feature increases battery usage, there are times when you might want to turn it off.To access this option, open the Settings menu and choose Display. Scroll down to Smooth Display and toggle the switch to turn it on or off.
You can choose to increase the screen’s refresh rate or maximize battery life on the Pixel 6.
Add captions to videos, podcasts and phone callsGoogle’s Live Caption feature generates captions for media playing on your device, and it works on older Pixels dating back to the second-generation model too. It’s an accessibility feature, and it can also be useful for times when you’re stuck without headphones and need to hear the content of a video or podcast in a public setting. To turn this on, press the volume button and tap the Live Caption icon, which looks like a speech bubble. Just remember that using Live Caption can use additional battery resources. Google’s Live Caption technology captions audio playing on your device.
Edit your quick settings to easily access shortcutsPulling down from the top of the screen will launch the quick-settings menu. Tap the pencil icon to edit this menu and add the settings you use most often. Google offers a wide variety of options ranging from battery saver to enabling and disabling the microphone and accessing alarms. You’ll find staples like airplane mode, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi here.These are just a few of the many settings shortcuts available on the Pixel 6.
Looking for more advice for your other Google devices? Check out our tips for boosting your productivity on Chromebooks and getting the most out of your Google Nest.Update, Nov. 11: Clarified the section on Material You and themed icons.
Realme GT 2 Pro Announcement Set for December 9: All You Need to Know
Realme GT 2 Pro announcement is taking place on Thursday, December 9, the Chinese company announced on Weibo on Tuesday. The new Realme phone is already confirmed to have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC that was unveiled earlier this month. It is also claimed to be the company’s “first-ever ultra-premium flagship” that could be…
Realme GT 2 Pro announcement is taking place on Thursday, December 9, the Chinese company announced on Weibo on Tuesday. The new Realme phone is already confirmed to have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC that was unveiled earlier this month. It is also claimed to be the company’s “first-ever ultra-premium flagship” that could be designed to take on top-end models from companies including Xiaomi. The announcement may, however, not reveal complete details about the Realme GT 2 Pro and just give a glimpse of its features ahead of the official launch.Through a teaser posted on Weibo, Realme revealed the announcement date of the Realme GT 2 Pro. It does not clearly indicate anything on the launch plans, though Realme VP Madhav Sheth recently suggested a December announcement in the works.Realme GT 2 Pro announcement teaser has been posted onlinePhoto Credit: Weibo Realme may take some time in launching the Realme GT 2 Pro in the market, though the company is likely to reveal some of its details during the announcement planned for later this week. This move could particularly be planned to compete against Motorola that is launching the Moto Edge X30 in China on Thursday itself and is marketing the model as the first smartphone to come with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. The Moto Edge X30 is also going on sale in the Chinese market later this month.In addition to Realme, Xiaomi is in the race of being the fastest manufacturer to launch its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship under the Xiaomi 12 series. The Beijing-based company has, however, not yet revealed any exact launch details.The Realme GT 2 Pro is reportedly in plans to debut early next year. Meanwhile, some recent reports suggested that the phone may come with 125W fast charging and feature a 120Hz display. Some renders suggesting the design of the Realme GT 2 Pro also indicated that the phone may come with a vertical camera bar at the back.Official details about the Realme GT 2 Pro are yet to be announced. But in the meantime, we can expect some fresh teasers and marketing materials coming from Realme to create some hype before the formal launch.Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth joins Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast for an exclusive wide-ranging interview, as he talks about the 5G push, Make in India, Realme GT series and Book Slim, and how stores can improve their standing. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.