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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 too, including smartphones, smart speakers, streaming devices, thermostats, and more. This guide is all about finding the best Google products you can spend your money on.
Read more: 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.
Google Pixel 5a
Google’s A-series Pixels have altered the standard for budget phones. These offer good performance at a meager price while keeping reasonably solid build quality. The latest one is the Pixel 5a with 5G, and it comes with specs and features that might surprise you.
For starters, the Pixel 5a was the first A-series device to offer water and dust resistance, thanks to its IP67 verification. Other specs include an OLED panel, a Snapdragon 765G processor, 6GB of RAM, and a respectable 4,680mAh battery. Then there’s the camera system, which Google’s phones are famous for.
If you still think the Pixel 5a is still a little pricey, you might try hunting down the Pixel 4a, which is fine if you don’t mind a smaller device with 5G missing and reduced specs. Google no longer sells it directly.
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, though, 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 your 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 manual scheduling, and/or Home and Away modes, which ease off temperatures when no one’s around. However you use it the product 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 is incompatible with the Nest Temperature Sensor.
Google Pixel Buds A-Series
There’s no wireless charging, no touch-based volume control, and they lack attention alerts to catch outside sounds like sirens or crying babies. If you can live without these features however, the Pixel Buds A-Series may be a fantastic deal.
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 is the Nest Mini. It’s extremely affordable, 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.
Google Pixelbook Go
The Pixelbook Go is the latest Chromebook model direct from Google. It’s not as prestigious as the older-generation Pixelbook, but it comes with newer components plus a streamlined, minimalist design. It’s also cheaper, starting at $649.
The laptop is made from magnesium and weighs just 2.3 pounds. Specs are pretty robust, considering the Go runs the lightweight Chrome OS. If need be you can still pay for extra power, up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and 4K resolution. That version costs $1,399 if you can 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 through your home through the use of “point” extenders. 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 potential 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.