When it comes to buying smartphones, things are much different in 2022 than they were just a few years back. Notably, it’s much easier and more commonplace to discuss an unlocked handset.

Google is one brand who has long championed the “direct-to-consumer” method for selling its devices. Starting back in 2010 with its Nexus One, Google’s phones have been largely sold through the internet. That’s changed over the years though as carriers have been increasingly warmed to the Pixel line.

If you’re in the hunt for an unlocked phone, or are curious about what Google offers today, you’re in luck. We’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help you better understand its current offerings.

Pixel 7

While it won’t arrive until later in 2022, the Pixel 7 series promises to dial things up where they matter most. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will run Android 13 and house the next-gen Tensor processor. This means smarter, more secure, and more helpful than ever.

Pixel 6

The current flagship line of Google’s phone portfolio, it’s one of our favorite handsets of the year, and for a variety of reasons.

While we love stock Android and the clean experience that comes with it, Google bakes in some extras just for its Pixel phones. It’s the smartest, most intuitive way of interacting with our devices and maybe the most fun, too.

Not only do you get superb intelligence and security with Google’s Tensor processor and Titan M2 chip in the Pixel 6 series, but you have one of the best all-around hardware packages, too.

Big screens, generous batteries, and incredible cameras are some of the main draws here, but we also appreciate the performance and added personalization that comes with Android 12. 

The Google Pixel 6 and its 6 Pro counterpart come in a variety of fun colors, including Sorta Seafom, Kinda Coral, and Stormy Black. 

Pixel 6a

Released in summer 2022, this is the junior flagship version of Google’s handset line. Think of all the stuff that makes the Pixel series so impressive, shave off a few bleeding edge features, and you end up with the Pixel 6a. That is to say it’s all of what you need with a little bit of what you want, too.

Here, you get the same Tensor processor and Titan M2 chip and incredible AI features for the camera. There’s plenty of performance to be had as well, thanks to the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage capacity.

The screen is bit more pocketable, too, at 6.1-inches and the 60Hz refresh looks good for games as well. The most reassuring detail? That would be the five years of Pixel updates for security and major releases of Android.

Pixel 5a

The Pixel 5a marks the first of the A-series to have IP67 water and dust resistance. It’s also the last one to include the headphone jack.

Clad in a metal unibody, the handset offers up a large 6.3-inch display with a 12-megapixel and 16-megapixel (wide) camera array on the rear. Around front is an 8-megapixel shooter for selfies. Oh, and that 4,680mAh battery is among the largest in the Pixel line.

Running Android 11, the Pixel 5a has a modest amount of hardware including a Qualcomm 765G processor with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Rounding things out are a rear fingerprint reader, NFC, fast charging, and support for all 4G and sub-6 5G networks.

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