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The 10 best Google products you can buy
Google may be best known for its search engine, but it has a growing slew of branded devices including smartphones, smart speakers, thermostats, media streamers, and more. This guide is all about finding the best Google products you can spend your money on.
Read also: The best Google Assistant devices
The best Google products:
Editor’s note: We’ll update our list of the best Google products as new devices launch.
Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
We weren’t too impressed by the Pixel 5, but Google returned with a vengeance in 2021. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro offer improved build quality and beefier specs at prices that undercut the competition.
Also read: The best Android phones available
The most obvious difference, aside from design, is the company’s choice in display technology. Both use OLED panels sporting HDR and 24-bit depth. The Pixel 6 runs at Full HD+ resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate, which is good enough on its own, but the Pixel 6 Pro takes things a step further with QHD+ and a butter-smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
Performance gets a boost thanks to Google’s proprietary Tensor chipset, as well as 8 or 12GB of RAM, depending on the model. There’s also plenty of battery power on board. The regular Pixel 6 is equipped with a 4,600mAh battery, while Pro owners are treated with a massive 5,000mAh unit.
You should probably hold off though unless you can find the phones at a discount — Google should debut the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro at an October 6 press event. Expect those devices to get better camera sensors and a second-generation Tensor chip, among other upgrades.
Google Pixel 6a
Google’s A-series Pixels have altered the standard for budget phones, offering solid performance at a more reasonable price. The latest one is the Pixel 6a, and it comes with specs and features that might surprise you.
The 6a sports a 6.1-inch OLED display with Full HD+ resolution, if capped at a 60Hz refresh rate. Some other sacrifices to keep price down include a smaller battery, a less impressive main camera and a lack of wireless charging, but you do get a Tensor processor and an IP67 rating against water and dust.
Nest Hub Max
The Nest Hub Max may be the best smart display on the market, beating most anything Amazon has to offer so long as you can afford it. It combines a 10-inch display with a powerful speaker, as well as a front-facing camera that enables video calls, face recognition for personalized content, and security monitoring if you spring for Nest Aware.
Related: The best smart displays
Most importantly, Google’s interface is attractive and intuitive, making it a solid foundation for a smart home whether you use touch controls or Google Assistant. On its own the Max is great for both music and video, thanks to a selection of native apps and support for Google Cast.
If you’re looking for something more affordable and don’t mind giving up a camera, some sound quality, and some screen space, you might consider the standard Nest Hub. It even has something the Max doesn’t — sleep tracking.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The key feature of the Nest Learning Thermostat is right in the name. Within a week of recording manual adjustments, it starts to learn your routine and adapt accordingly. If you turn down the temperature around 10PM every night, for example, the thermostat will begin doing that on its own.
You can alternately turn to scheduling, and/or Home and Away modes, which ease off temperatures when no one’s around. However you use it the product it should ultimately pay for itself, cutting power bills by optimizing heating and cooling.
To save money upfront you might consider the Nest Thermostat, which does away with learning features and Nest Temperature Sensor support, and works with fewer 24V heating and cooling systems. It still supports automation and presence detection though, so if your home is compatible, it’s a worthwhile alternative.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Google joined the fully wireless earbud market in 2020 with the original Pixel Buds. Fast-forward to late 2022 and you have the Pixel Buds Pro, which improve on previous Pixel Buds models in several ways.
The signature feature here is active noise cancellation, which automatically makes the Pro superior for environments like planes and busy sidewalk traffic. Google has also added wireless charging, and strengthened water resistance for both earbuds and the case.
Being Pixels Buds, they’re deeply integrated with Google technology, including Fast Pair and Google Assistant. They’re really a no-brainer for Android users unless you want the best possible sound or something explicitly aimed at fitness.
Chromecast with Google TV
The Chromecast with Google TV is probably the most efficient way to turn any TV into a smart one, or change platforms if you don’t like the one your TV is based on. Specifically it uses Google TV, a reincarnated version of Android TV with a better interface and new features.
Unlike earlier Chromecasts the current model comes with a Google Assistant voice remote, so you’re no longer reliant on a phone, tablet, or laptop for control. You can still use Google Cast, of course, or Assistant-compatible smart speakers.
Speaking of smart speakers, Google’s best audio-only product is the Nest Audio. It’s equipped with a 19mm tweeter and a 75mm woofer, as well as two important software features, Media EQ and Ambient IQ. The former automatically tunes the speaker based on content (music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.), while Ambient EQ adjusts volume based on how noisy your home is.
Related: The best smart speakers
Google’s cheapest speaker, incidentally, is the Nest Mini. We mention it as an alternative, but we’d only really recommend it as a way of extending Assistant in a smart home, or for listening to news and podcasts. For music, you’ll probably want the Nest Audio or a Nest Hub Max.
The latest version of the Nest Doorbell can be used both wired or on battery power, and can keep recording for an hour in the event of a power or Wi-Fi cut. It also performs on-device person, package, animal, and vehicle detection, so when you get an phone notification, you’ll know if you should care.
There are a few drawbacks. Video resolution is small compared to some rivals, and you only get three hours of cloud recording for free — you’ll need to pay for a Nest Aware subscription to expand that to 30 days. Aware does enable recognition of familiar faces, so you’ll be able to tell when a specific friend or family member is stopping by.
We’re expecting a new Doorbell model at Google’s October 6 event, but that one may be wired-only. If so, some people may still want this version.
Google Pixelbook Go
The Pixelbook Go is the current Chromebook model designed by Google itself. It starts at $649, and is made with magnesium, weighing just 2.3 pounds. Its specs date back to 2019, but considering the product runs the lightweight Chrome OS, that may be more than enough.
We’d recommend avoiding the base model with a Core m3 processor. Thankfully there are multiple tiers, up to system with a Core i7 chip, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and 4K resolution. That version costs $1,399 if you can even find it, however, at which point you should probably be looking at Windows laptops.
The Nest Wifi is a mesh router, generating a consistent signal throughout your home by way of extenders, which Google calls “points.” The standard bundle of one router and one point covers up to 3,800 square feet, and you can add more points to grow coverage further, so long as the router can maintain a link with them.
The router is easy to install and configure. Each point even doubles as a Google Assistant speaker, though you’ll still want something like a Nest Audio if you care about sound quality.
There are a few downsides to the product. The only Ethernet ports are two on the router, and Google is still using Wi-Fi 5 when a lot of routers have progressed to Wi-Fi 6. There’s also no dedicated backhaul between the router and points, which limits connection speeds for devices.
Google’s October event could see the launch of a Nest Wifi Pro, making the leap to Wi-Fi 6E. It’s expected to be more expensive, starting at $199 and costing up to $399 for a three-pack, yet that might be worth it given how much better 6E is at handling homes with dozens of Wi-Fi devices.