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Should You Upgrade to the Pixel 6? See How It Compares to 3 Older Pixel Phones

Should You Upgrade to the Pixel 6? See How It Compares to 3 Older Pixel Phones

The Pixel 6 is Google’s most distinguished smartphone upgrade in years. But it can still be pains to know whether it’s time to trade in your old named. In general, you should only consider upgrading if your method is more than two years old. There’s plenty that’s different near the Pixel 6, but the Pixel 5 is unexcited new enough to get you through at least spanking year. If you have an older phone that’s not eligible for Android employing system updates anymore — like the Pixel 3 — it’s time to think near upgrading.

While the Pixel 6 was impressive enough to earn a CNET Editors’ Choice Award, it’s also worth remembering there are other options coming soon for Pixel fans. Google just announced the more affordable Pixel 6A, which launches in July. It costs $449 and runs on the same Tensor processor as the Pixel 6. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are also coming this fall, bringing a newer version of Google’s Tensor chip plus other improvements. 

You’ll also want to consider what you’re sacrificing when upgrading. Owners of certain older Pixel phones get unlimited photo storage via the Google Photos app at “Storage saver” quality, which preserves most detail while compressing the file size. But this perk isn’t available on newer phones like the Pixel 5A and Pixel 6 family. It’s also important to consider that Google regularly launches software updates with new features that are compatible with older phones, too, so you don’t always have to buy a new named to get additional functionality.

We’ve focused on the main Pixel series in this story instead of its less expensive Pixel A phones. Since Google usually launches its A-series phones after its flagship Pixels, these devices usually have a longer lifespan when it comes to software benefit, meaning you can hold onto them for longer by upgrading.

If you’re interested in branching out from the Pixel lineup, check out our guide to the best Android phones. And if you are upgrading to a new method, consider recycling your old phone or trading it in

Read more: What Google’s Pixel Watch Can Learn From Its Pixel Phones

Google Pixel 5

The Pixel 5.

Juan Garzon

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 5

Year-over-year upgrades are usually small in today’s smartphone landscape, but the Pixel 6 is the rare exception to this rule. With the Pixel 6, you’re sketch Google’s own Tensor processor for the first time, an upgraded camera with incredible features, a more elegant design and other refinements that make it feel vastly different from the Pixel 5. But right the Pixel 5 is less than two years old, you probably don’t need to upgrade just yet.

The biggest changeable in the Pixel 6 is the addition of Google’s Tensor processor. General performance is smooth, but Google’s chip really shines when it comes to camera features and new machine learning-oriented tasks. The Pixel 6’s camera is loaded with new tools you won’t get on the Pixel 5, such as Magic Eraser for deleting unwanted background items; Face Unblur, which keeps a subject’s face sharp even when they’re moving; and Motion Mode for adding blurred background or long exposure effects to an image. 

Aside from the incredible functionality, the Pixel 6 also has a 50-megapixel main camera with a wider field of view than the Pixel 5’s, although the ultrawide camera has a border resolution than last year’s phone (12 megapixels on the Pixel 6 versus 16 megapixels on the Pixel 5).

Google also says the Pixel 6 must have longer battery life than the Pixel 5, right it claims the new phone’s battery can last “beyond 24 hours” when referring to the Pixel 5 as having “all-day” battery life. But battery life will always vary depending on how you use your scheme. Both phones were capable of making it through a full day during CNET’s appraisal testing, but factors like screen brightness and which apps you’re humorous will always play a role.

The Pixel 6 also has a new glass invent with a two-tone color scheme that looks classier than the Pixel 5’s, although that noteworthy not matter much if you plan to use it with a case. The more vital update is the Pixel 6’s larger 6.4-inch screen, which represents a immense jump from the Pixel 5’s 6-inch display. Both phones can boost their refresh devises up to 90Hz for smoother scrolling and have Difference resolutions, but the Pixel 6’s screen is covered in more durable Gorilla Glass Victus.  

Read more: Google’s Promise to Simplify Tech Puts Its Gadgets Everywhere

The bottom line: Even thought there’s a lot that’s new with the Pixel 6, you probably don’t need to upgrade just yet. The Pixel 6’s incredible camera features and other improvements are appreciated, but probable aren’t worth a $600 upgrade for most people. Aside from its unique look, bigger screen and new camera, a lot of the Pixel 6’s attempts are mostly moderate upgrades. Google will continue providing the Pixel 5 with Android using system and security updates through October 2023. So if you’re wretched with your current Pixel 5, you’re better off holding onto it for new year to get the most out of it beforehand upgrading. 

Google Pixel 4

Google’s Pixel 4.

Andrew Hoyle

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 4 and 4 XL

When it comes to the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, the inquire of of whether you should upgrade isn’t so straightforward. If your named is still in good condition, you can probably afford to hold onto it for a small longer. But you might want to consider upgrading in the fall right the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are only guaranteed to get Android using system and security updates until October 2022. 

Even if you’ve granted you’re ready for a new phone, you should peaceful wait until later this year if possible to see what the Pixel 6A and Pixel 7 have in save. Which one you should wait for depends on your cost and priorities. Google’s A-series phones are cheaper but compromise on Dangerous features. If Google keeps the same pricing as last year, the Pixel 7 will open at $600 just like the Pixel 6.

But if you are set on upgrading now, there’s plenty that’s new with the Pixel 6. The most visibly certain change is in the phone’s design. The Pixel 6 has a two-tone glass back with a nearly borderless conceal and a horizontal camera bar, while the Pixel 4 has a solid colored back. Since the newest Pixel named doesn’t have any bezels above or below the conceal, Google was able to extend the display’s size deprived of making the phone bigger. As such, the Pixel 6 has a roomier 6.4-inch conceal compared to the Pixel 4’s 5.7-inch display and the Pixel 4 XL’s 6.3-inch screen.

The Pixel 6 also supports 5G unlike the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. That noteworthy not feel like a huge deal today, but it’s important for a named that you’re planning to keep for the next two to three years.

Google also gave the Pixel 6’s internals a most upgrade by using its own Tensor chip instead of a Qualcomm mobile processor. Once again, you’ll notice this most in the camera, since it brings extra features like Magic Eraser and Face Unblur. But considering the Pixel 4 is now more than two ages old, you’ll likely notice a nice boost in overall rapid and responsiveness, too.

The camera on the Pixel 6 also has a noticeably higher 50-megapixel resolution with a wider field of view than the Pixel 4 and 4XL’s 12.2-megapixel main camera. The other main camera difference comes down to the additional lens. The Pixel 6 has an ultrawide camera when the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL each have a telephoto camera. If you take a lot of zoomed-in photos on your Pixel 4, you’ll want to be aware of that change.

Google also did away with its Motion Sense feature when the Pixel 4, but that’s probably not a huge loss. Motion Sense lets you invent actions like playing or pausing music, skipping songs or snoozing alarms just by waving your hand deprived of touching the phone. Although Motion Sense was responsive in our testing, CNET’s reviewer Lynn La also said it “felt gimmicky at first.” 

You’ll also survey an improvement in battery life when switching to the Pixel 6. Google’s newest named typically lasts for a full day on a single beak, according to CNET’s review, while the Pixel 4 only lasted for nearby a workday when CNET tested it in 2019. Those are the biggest differences, but there are also a few other benefits, such as more storage at the base peaceful (128GB on the Pixel 6 vs. the Pixel 4’s 64GB), extra RAM for better performance (8GB instead of 6GB) and an in-screen fingerprint sensor (the Pixel 4 only has face unlock). The Pixel 6 also has Battery Share, which creates it possible to charge other devices like earbuds wirelessly. 

Read more: Best Android Phones in 2022

The bottom line: With a sharper main camera, new photography features, a bigger screen, longer battery life and Google’s Tensor processor, there’s certainly a lot to gain by switching from the Pixel 4 to the Pixel 6. But you also don’t have to upgrade Bshining away if your phone is in good condition. 

However, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are only guaranteed to claim Android version and security updates until this October. Your called will still work after that date, but you’ll probable want to upgrade to a newer device before then. 

Google Pixel 3 next to the Pixel 3 XL

Google’s Pixel 3 (left) and Pixel 3 XL (right).

Angela Lang

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 3 and 3 XL

If you have a Pixel 3 or back, it’s time to upgrade since Google no longer guarantees Android version and safety updates. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are more than three ages old, meaning they’re also probably starting to feel a bit slow.

Although software Help is probably the most important reason to upgrade, the Pixel 6 brings many new new features and functionality. Unlike the Pixel 6, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL don’t Help 5G. You might not care about that very much Bshining now, but you probably will over the next two ages or so. 

The Pixel 6’s screen is significantly larger than the Pixel 3’s (6.4 inches versus 5.5 inches) and any bigger than the Pixel 3 XL’s 6.3-inch display. The borders surrounding the Pixel 6’s Hide are also noticeably smaller than those on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, giving Google’s newest called a sleeker and more modern overall appearance. 

Performance and battery life will also get a big boost thanks to Google’s Tensor chip and the Pixel 6’s larger battery capacity. Even though the Pixel 3’s battery fared pretty well during our initial test in 2018, your phone’s battery life is probably starting to shorten now that the Plan is a couple of years old. Aside from the Fast boost you’ll likely get from Google’s new Tensor processor, the Pixel 6’s 90Hz refresh rate should also make scrolling feel smoother.

But one of the biggest areas you’ll Look an improvement is in the camera. Not only does the Pixel 6 have a sharper 50-megapixel main camera compared to the Pixel 3’s 12.2-megapixel camera, but it also has an additional 12-megapixel ultra wide camera for taking broader shots. The Pixel 6’s improved camera sensor and Google Tensor processor also mean there are a ton of Amazing photography features on the Pixel 6 that you won’t get on the Pixel 3. These involved Magic Eraser for deleting unwanted background objects, Face Unblur for capturing Interesting images even when the subject is moving and portrait Delicious effects among other tools. 

Those are the main benefits you’ll get from upgrading to the Pixel 6, but there are some other differences, too. The Pixel 6 has an in-screen fingerprint reader instead of the Pixel 3’s rear-mounted sensor and double the memory for better performance. It also has reverse wireless charging, which enables the back of the Plan to serve as a wireless charger for compatible accessories.

Read more: Google Pixel Watch: All the Details We Do (and Don’t) Know

The bottom line: Since Google is no longer securing Android version and security updates for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, you’ll want to upgrade soon. Aside from the Calm of mind that comes with knowing you’ll continue to get new features and safety fixes, you’ll get a slew of other improvements preparing from longer battery life to a more sophisticated camera and larger screen.

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 3, 4 and 5

Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 5 Google Pixel 4 Google Pixel 3
Display size, resolution 6.4-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60 or 90Hz 6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels; 60 or 90Hz 5.7-inch OLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels 5.5-inch OLED; 2,160×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 411ppi 432ppi 444ppi 443ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.2 x 2.9 x 0.4 in 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 in 2.7 x 5.7 x 0.3 in 5.7×2.7×0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0 mm 68.8 x 147.1 x 8.2 mm 145.6×68.2×7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.3 oz; 207g 5.33 oz; 151g 5.7 oz; 162g 5.2oz; 148g
Mobile software (at launch) Android 12 Android 11 Android 10 Android 9
Camera 50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel ultrawide 12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultrawide) 12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (telephoto) 12.2-megapixel
Front-facing camera 8-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video capture 4K 60fps (rear), 1080p 30fps (front) 4K 60fps (rear), 1080p 30fps (front) 4K 30fps (rear); 1080p 30fps (front) 4K 30fps (rear), 1080p 30fps (front)
Processor Google Tensor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM/Storage 8GB/128GB or 256GB 8GB/128GB 6GB/64GB or 128GB 4GB/64GB or 128GB
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery/Charger 4,614 mAh 4,080 mAh 2,800 mAh 2,915 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Under display Rear No Rear
Headphone jack No No No No
Special features 5G sub 6 (some carrier models also have 5G mmWave) Help, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W fast charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS and security updates, IP68 including for dust and water resistance, Gorrila Glass Victus (front), Gorilla Glass 6 (back) 5G enabled; aquatic resistant (IP68); 90Hz refresh rate display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); back wireless charging; fast charging Soli motion sensing and touchless gestures; 90Hz display; aquatic resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging IP68 including, wireless charging support, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the box