Best Google Pixel Phone (2023): Which model you should buy, cases and accessories, loss of functionality

Unless you can find the Pixel 6 series for $300 or less, you’re better off buying one of the newer phones we recommend above. It’s no longer worth buying an older Pixel. (The Pixel 5 support window just ended.) You can still find some of these at various retailers, but unless they’re practically free, stick with one of the models above.

The best Pixel cases and accessories

Pixel case

Photo: Google

This silicone case allows you to customize the color of your Pixel phone. It’s durable, comfortable to the touch, and features raised edges on the front to protect the screen. The Pixel 8’s body is made from more than 42 percent recycled plastic and the polycarbonate shell is made from 75 percent recycled plastic. I just wish they didn’t attract lint and dust so easily.

Totallee is known for his Super thin cases, and the one I tried for the Pixel 8 almost feels like you don’t have anything on the phone. It just protects the phone from everyday scratches. I suggest you go for the clear case instead. It features clicky buttons and subtle raised bezels on the edges of the screen. Plus, the color of the Pixel phone comes through quite well.

This is undoubtedly the best case if you often attach your Pixel to the handlebars of a bike or electric scooter. Peak Design’s mounting system allows you to attach the phone magnetically Universal Bike Mount ($50), and it stops. After almost a year of testing, I have never had a phone fall off my ride with this mounting system. It uses Apple’s MagSafe system, so it works with a variety of MagSafe accessories, even wireless chargers. The company also has several others magnetic accessoriesas a Car vent mount. The case itself is beautiful; I just wish the edges were a little higher to protect the screen better. It comes in more colors than ever before.

This is one of the best clear cases you’ll find for the Pixel, especially at this price. The buttons are easy to press, the color of the Pixel stands out clearly, and the back doesn’t feel as sticky as some other clear cases. Totallee’s clear case offers slightly more protection, but is almost twice as expensive.

Caseology tempered glass screen protector

Photo: Caseology

Pixel smartphones don’t have a particularly good track record when it comes to display durability – they scratch easily. We first tested this protection for the Pixel 5A and it held up well. Installation is easy and a squeegee is included to remove air bubbles. For the price, you get two screen protectors (some only include one, see product page), as well as a microfiber cloth, wipe, and dust removal stickers.

This is another easy to install tempered glass screen protector. They come in twos, although I should note that on the Pixel 8 series there are black borders around the protective film. You get a complete cleaning kit to wipe down your phone, an alignment tool to help you apply it correctly, and a squeegee to remove air bubbles.

This screen protector was really easy to apply and left me with hardly any air bubbles. You only get a protective film, but there is an alcohol pad to clean the screen beforehand, a microfiber cloth, an application tool, and a squeegee. The problem? It’s not tempered glass, but a blend of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a cheaper material that’s typically not as impact-resistant.

You only get one screen protector here, namely expensive. Zagg claims the protector is five times stronger than traditional screen protectors, and I didn’t see many scratches on the Pixels I put it on, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. It can be easily applied using the included application tool. However, since Zagg doesn’t include a squeegee, you’ll have to use your fingers to squeeze out the air bubbles. The scope of delivery includes a dust sticker, a wet wipe and a microfibre cloth. On the Pixel Fold, the screen protector is only intended for the external display.

This is another expensive protection from Zagg that is easy to use. It’s noticeably thicker than any of the other screen protectors in this guide. So if you frequently drop your phone, it might be worth paying for this type of screen protector. You will receive a wet wipe, microfiber and dust removal stickers, and an application tool to easily apply the protective film.

Google Pixel Stand (Gen 2)

Photo: Google

Of the Pixels we recommend in this guide, wireless charging is only available on the Pixel Fold, Pixel 7A, Pixel 7 series, and Pixel 8 series (as well as the Pixel 6 series). Google’s own Pixel Stand is one of the best wireless chargers on the market because it’s simple. The base doesn’t slip, the phone stays in place and allows for some fun features like the ability to turn the screen into a digital photo frame and quick access to Google Assistant. It consists of 39 percent recycled materials and is predominantly packaged in an environmentally friendly manner. Our guide to the best wireless chargers offers more options, including the original and cheaper ones Pixel stand.

This charging adapter is everything you need to charge your Pixel, no matter what model you have. The latest high-end Pixel phones come without chargers. So if you don’t have any spare USB-C chargers, it’s worth getting one. Since the tines are foldable, it is also ideal for on the go.

These cases are expensive, but they have a raised lip and provide good protection around the edges. The buttons are clickable and you can choose from a few design options for the back, including walnut, leather, bamboo, silver pearl, and aramid fiber. (I love the walnut wood.) What’s special about this case is that it supports MagSafe – yes, Apple’s magnet system for accessories. I’ve successfully used the Mous Limitless 5.0 with a few MagSafe accessories, such as a Belkin wireless charger.

Spigen Liquid Air case

Photo: Spigen

It’s slim, has a nice texture, has clickable buttons and precise cutouts for the ports and speakers. What’s not to love? Well, it’s a little boring as it takes away from the Pixel’s unique design, but I still think this case is one of the more attractive in the Spigen range. The edges aren’t raised much, so you can’t expect much screen protection.

Do you want a stand to support your Pixel? This Spigen case has a built-in stand that does the trick, although unfortunately it only works in landscape mode – not ideal for hands-free TikTok. Its thick bumper offers good protection around the edges, although there’s barely any lip protruding, you should still pair it with a screen protector.

I used Pixel Fold cases from OtterBox And bacon, but I keep coming back to Google’s official case. The soft silicone is much nicer than the hard plastic of the others and is not too bulky. It’s made up of two separate parts and features a recess on the side so you can access the buttons and fingerprint sensor.

Casetify Clear Case for the Pixel Fold

Photo: Casetify

Casetify’s Clear and Impact cases are pretty similar to each other, but I found that the buttons on the Clear case are easier to press and the fingerprint sensor is a bit more accessible. It consists of two parts – one for the front window and one for the back. Make sure you remove all plastic wrap from the inside before attaching it. It’s expensive, but the edges are pretty thick. Nowhere else will you find such a large selection of design options.

Casetify is for you if you want your Pixel phone to stand out even more. There are tons of designs to choose from, and Impact cases feature rigid bumpers, grippy sides, and responsive buttons. The edges around the screen are also significantly raised.

I only tested the Grip case with the Pixel 7 Pro, but it had clicky buttons and incredibly grippy edges (hence the name). Really, I don’t think I’ve ever felt a gripper case. It feels sturdy yet quite slim. You can choose a fancy design, but you have to attach this “skin” to the back of the case yourself. There’s a lot of room for error here, so be careful and Watch Dbrand’s installation video for tips. The Pixel 8 series version of this case has MagSafe support so you can use your Pixel with MagSafe accessories, but I haven’t tested it yet.

The Denali case for the Pixel 8 series has graphene embedded in it, which Zagg says improves durability. I’ve found that graphene distributes heat better during demanding tasks. So if you often push your Pixel to its limits, this might be a good one to try, even if it’s a bit dull in the design department. For the older Denali case models, Zagg says the D30 material “hardens upon impact” to provide better drop protection. The camera bar has raised edges all around and the buttons are pressable, but the edge protection on the front is a bit poor.

OtterBox Defender Pro

Photo: Amazon

Installing this case on the Pixel requires a bit of effort, but once you do, it arguably offers the best protection you’ll find anywhere. There’s an internal two-piece polycarbonate shell that slots above and below the Pixel, and a thick protective synthetic rubber cover sits over that for extreme durability. The buttons are surprisingly clicky, although the entire phone will be thicker, wider and heavier. It’s made from more than 50 percent recycled plastic and there’s a holster you can put it in to proudly wear your Pixel on your belt. (The holster can serve as a stand.)

This is another nice clear case for the Pixel series. I like the textured power button that’s easy to find when you’re not looking, and there are places on the case to attach a lanyard (not included). It’s not as smudge-proof as Ringke claims, but it’s easy to clean.

I like the soft-touch material of this case and it fits the Pixel really well, with precise cutouts and clicky buttons. It’s a bit boring, but it’s slim and the edges are noticeably raised to protect the screen. It’s just a little expensive for what you get.

Our favorite Pixel software features

Waiting times.

Video: Google

There are some key features of Pixels that you won’t find on any other Android phone. Some of these are only available on select Pixels – those with Google’s own Tensor chips are more powerful. Here’s a quick breakdown:

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