In 2022, Google released the Pixel 6a, the latest in its line-up of Android phones.
Since launching its first Pixel in 2016, Google has been modifying its approach and embracing new and exciting smartphone technology with each new model.
Google Pixel phones have won praise from reviewers for their innovative photo technology, high-quality cameras, battery life, and Google Tensor chip, designed to run Google’s machine learning technology.
When a new model phone hits the stores, fans of the brand rush to buy it, often trading in older versions of their phones.
With the Pixel 6a on the scene, you may find you can pick up a Google Pixel 3 secondhand, a used Pixel 5 or even a barely-used Google Pixel 6 for a fraction of the cost.
But before you head online to pick a Google Pixel second-hand, you might wonder which model is right for you. What’s the difference between all these older models, anyway?
This article looks at Pixel models 3, 5 and 6: what makes each model unique, their stand-out features and some of their pros and cons. It’s handy to learn the differences between the older models so that whatever your priorities are, you can find the right smartphone for you when you purchase a Google Pixel second-hand online.
A few of the Google Pixel models you can pick up refurbished include:
Google Pixel 3
First released in 2018, the Google Pixel 3 has been discontinued but still packs a punch for its compact size.
The high-quality phones on Google Pixel cameras have always been considered one of their selling points. And even for an early model, the Pixel 3 is no exception.
Useful features include Top Shot, which recommends the best moment to press the button to snap the photo (usually when nobody is blinking), and Night Sight, which picks up the finer details even in the dark. If you love using your smartphone for photography, getting your hands on a Google Pixel 3 secondhand is a safe bet.
Solid battery life
The Google Pixel 3 has a very decent battery life and charging time. The adaptive battery gets used to your behaviour and learns to limit its use on apps you don’t use very often to save you power.
You can use the sound of your voice to accomplish tasks with Google Assistant. Set up reminders for yourself or set the mood with the right entertainment in a snap while you focus on other things.
Just one camera
The Google Pixel 3 only has one camera on the back, The Pixel 4 and on up have dual rear cameras with standard and ultra-wide lenses, allowing you to capture objects both close and far away with clarity.
Only ever 4GB of RAM
The Pixel 3 offers no possibility of expanding the level of RAM beyond 4GB, which is alright for many users, but limits gameplay and the potential to download large files for some.
No 4K video recording
If you like to shoot and upload high-quality 4K resolution videos, buying a Google Pixel 3 secondhand probably won’t be the best option.
Google Pixel 5
The Google Pixel 5 was Google’s top-of-the-range phone for 2020 and the first phone to be 5G-compatible. Now discontinued, it won positive reviews and fans during its short run for its ultra-wide camera and higher levels of RAM.
But before you buy a used Pixel 5, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons like always.
16MP ultra-wide camera
Replacing the previous model’s telephoto lens, the Google Pixel 5’s ultra-wide camera lets you fit more into your shots without taking a step back. Whether it’s natural backdrops or the bustle of city life, the photos you snap with this camera show more of the world around you in more precise detail.
The Pixel 5 comes with 8GB of RAM, while the previous model, the Pixel 4, only came with 6GB. This makes a used Pixel 5 or later model a solid choice if you’re gaming, downloading many files, using many apps or doing other activities that can turn RAM-intensive.
One advantage the Pixel 5 definitely has is that, unlike older models, it’s 5G-enabled. With a used Pixel 5, you get all the benefits of 5G Internet, including faster download speeds and lower latency.
The internal storage capacity of the Google Pixel 5 maxes out at 128GB. This is enough for some users but can be limiting if you have a lot of large files like videos or photos.
Critics have said the Snapdragon 765G chipset doesn’t perform as well as expected in this phone, sometimes leading to slower than anticipated processing.
Slower to charge
The Google Pixel 5 comes with an 18W charger. While that certainly isn’t a slow charging speed, it can feel that way compared to what else is on the market.
Google Pixel 6
The Google Pixel 6 has plenty going for it. Available in three smart yet subtle colours, it has an all-new high-grade camera, the highest security rating for a Pixel phone ever and the custom-built Google Tensor processor.
If you want to buy a Google Pixel second-hand, it’s the most powerful performer yet. It allows you to do things you couldn’t do on another brand of phone, using the power of Google.
All-new digital camera
With this Pixel version, Google created an all-new camera with bigger sensors to help you capture greater detail and up to 150% more light than the Pixel 5.
The camera also includes an ultra-wide lens so you can fit more into your shot, as well as photo editing tools like Magic Eraser to remove unwanted bits and Motion Mode to capture people, cars etc., on the move without blurring.
The Pixel 6 is the new phone to feature the Google Tensor chip, a high-end chip designed to run machine learning tasks and make your phone more useful and adaptable.
The Google Tensor’s image processor enhances your photos, and its machine learning capabilities let you do things you can only do with Google, like translate text messages and videos without an Internet connection.
Faster and more powerful
Everything about the Google Pixel 6 is designed for speed and efficiency, with a performance that’s up to 80% faster than the Pixel 5. This means apps and games load quicker, and the battery lasts longer too.
No charger included
The Google Pixel 6 was the first Google Pixel phone to be shipped without a charging brick, as the company figured most customers already had one. It does, however, come with a USB charging and sync cable.
Some issues with adaptive brightness
Adaptive brightness is meant to adjust the brightness of your screen to match the environment. In the case of the Pixel 6, though, it doesn’t always work as well as it’s supposed to.
The Pixel 6 is also larger than the Pixel 5. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is a matter of personal taste, but it may not be convenient for everyone.
Where to Buy Refurbished Google Pixel Phones
The best place to buy a Google Pixel second-hand in Australia is through OzMobiles!
When you purchase an OzMobiles refurbished phone, you buy a phone that’s been thoroughly checked to ensure it still meets Australian working standards, including at least 80% battery health.
OzMobiles offer a 12-month warranty that covers battery life and manufacturing faults. If you can’t afford full price straight away, we offer payment options through services like PayPal and ZipPay. If you’ve found a better deal somewhere else, we’ll even beat that deal by $10 (terms and conditions apply).