The Google Pixel is a series of Android smartphones originally released by Google on October 20, 2016. The Pixel was created to replace the Nexus. Like its predecessor, the Pixel runs a "stock version" of Android, meaning it receives updates as soon as they are released. Other Android phones sometimes delay updates for months, or include custom versions of Android like One UI.
The Google Pixel offers its users free unlimited photo storage on Google Photos. Also, Google Photos for the Pixel does not reduce picture quality to save room.
The Google Pixel is often shortened to "pixel." To help prevent confusion between it and a display pixel, we suggest using the full name.
Versions of the Google Pixel
Since its initial release, there have been other versions of the Google Pixel. Below is a list of each of the Google Pixel phones released.
- Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL - The original Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL were released in October 2016. It has a circular icon theme and provides free unlimited full-quality photo storage.
- Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL - The second-generation Google Pixel was released in October 2017 and followed the trend of removing the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. The XL version of the phone contained very slim bezels, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone X smartphones. Despite not having two cameras, it also boasted a far better camera than its competitors.
- Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL - Released in October 2018, the Google Pixel 3 continued with trends set by the first two phones. Improvements to the display, camera, screen, and other parts were made. The Pixel 3 still only contains one rear camera, despite almost all competitors adding a second or even third camera. The Pixel 3 XL also features a "notch" at the top, like the iPhone X, but can be hidden. The Pixel 3 phones also feature wireless charging.
- Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL - First released on May 7, 2019, the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are less expensive versions of the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL. The most notable differences are as follows: The 3a has a single selfie camera, whereas the 3 has a dual selfie camera system. The 3a and 3a XL are made of polycarbonate and have a smaller processor than the 3 and 3 XL.
- Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL - Released on October 24, 2019, the 4th generation of the Google Pixel smartphone drastically improved face unlock, which serves as the only biometric security feature. A third rear-facing camera was added to the phone, allowing for more advanced depth-sensing and low-light photos. The notch was replaced by a standard top bezel on the front, which houses the cameras and front-firing speaker.
- Google Pixel 4a - Released on August 20, 2020, the Google Pixel 4a is a budget alternative to the flagship Pixel 4. While it lacks some of 4's features, its excellent camera and attractive price point of $349 earned it mostly positive reviews.
- Google Pixel 5 - Released on October 15, 2020, the Google Pixel 5 adopted the hole-punch selfie camera and replaced the telephoto camera with a wide-angle sensor. Like similar phones, the Pixel 5 has midrange specifications and a competitive price point of $699, rather than previous Pixel phone's flagship price and features.
- Google Pixel 6 - Released on October 19, 2021, the Google Pixel 6 featured a design overhaul, including a wide, horizontal camera strip. Inside the phone, they used Google's custom silicon processor, Tensor, instead of the Snapdragon processors used in previous models. This allowed the phone to better support proprietary Google features in a battery-efficient way.