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The best Google Pixel 5 alternatives: 8 other phones to consider before you buy

The Pixel 5 is great, but you may want something different.
By
April 24, 2022
Google Pixel 5 in hand 3
David Imel / Android Authority

When launched, the Google Pixel 5 was a good smartphone at a reasonable price. It sacrificed a bit of power on paper to deliver a lower price, 5G, and flagship-level features in other areas. The only issue is that the phone is aging and is now harder to find, especially if you want it new. Maybe it’s time to finally let it go and get one of the best Google Pixel 5 alternatives instead.

We’ll be listing the phones that make the most sense as Pixel 5 alternatives in this post. All of these should offer similar price points, features, and specifications. Let’s dive right in.

Our take: Google Pixel 5 review

Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best Google Pixel 5 alternatives around.


1. Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 on Pixel Stand with phones in background
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Improved design and build quality.
  • Much better overall specs and performance.
  • MSRP is lower!

If you’re a fan of the Pixel 5, why not get the next best thing? The Google Pixel 6 is one of the best Google Pixel 5 alternatives for a few main reasons. Likely the most important factor to consider is the price, as the base Pixel 6 version is pretty affordable. Its MSRP starts at just $599, which is less than the $699 MSRP the Pixel 5 costed at launch.

You’ll also have to factor in all the improvements Google made with its latest devices. The Pixel 6 design experienced a major aesthetics revamp, featuring a more premium glass and aluminum build. The design is much more colorful and fun. It also makes no sacrifices on performance, as it’s the first phone to come with a capable Google Tensor chip. The camera is as good as you would expect a Pixel shooter to be.

Read: Google Pixel 6 review

The Pixel 6 is a much better phone overall, and it comes at a lower price than the Pixel 5 did. You won’t regret going with the latest from Google. If you want something even better and don’t mind paying extra, the Pixel 6 Pro also has a larger screen, bigger battery, and improved specs.

Google Pixel 6

2. Google Pixel 5a

The google pixel 5a on a bench with water splashed droplets
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • It’s the most similar to the Pixel 5.
  • Significantly cheaper.
  • Includes 5G speeds and an IP67 rating.

The Google Pixel 6 series is excellent, but maybe you want something more similar to the Pixel 5 experience. Nothing gets closer to the Pixel 5 than the Google Pixel 5a. It’s also significantly more affordable, considering its $449 MSRP. While we think the Pixel 6 offers more value per dollar, a $150 difference can make a difference for those on a tight budget.

The Google Pixel 5a has been the best offering in Google’s A-series lineup. It’s the first to offer an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. It’s identical to the Pixel 5 in terms of SoC, memory, and camera setups. Performance and battery life are outstanding for the price, and the device supports 5G data speeds.

Also: Google Pixel 5a review

Overall, there’s very little to complain about with the Pixel 5a. We wish it had a higher-end processor and higher screen refresh rates, but those improvements would have probably increased the price significantly.

Google Pixel 5a

3. OnePlus 9

OnePlus 9 review in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • More powerful processor for advanced games and apps.
  • Faster wired and wireless charging.
  • Available in many major markets.

The OnePlus 9 isn’t the biggest leap in the brand’s smartphone history, but you’re still getting a good flagship phone for just a little bit more than the Pixel 5 in the US ($729 MSRP). It matches the Pixel device by packing 5G and 128GB of base storage and upgrading the screen to 120Hz over 90Hz.

OnePlus’ phone steps things up over the Google flagship by offering a more powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset, 65W wired charging (versus 18W charging), a slightly bigger battery, and higher resolution primary and selfie cameras. OnePlus also offers three Android version updates to its flagships, in line with Google.

Read more: OnePlus 9 review

Google’s phone does have a few upsides compared to the OnePlus 9, though, such as an IP rating and a reputation for better camera quality. Meanwhile, the Pixel 5 offers IP68 water and dust resistance.

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, you might want to look at the newer OnePlus 10 Pro. It’s significantly more expensive than the Pixel 5 (and most other phones on this list), but it might be worth the upgrade.


4. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE right rear profile near rocks
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Great Samsung design.
  • High-end specs on a mid-tier budget.
  • Large battery.

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 FE is the best way to dip your phone into One UI and save money in 2022. It comes in at just $699 MSRP, making it one of the best value-per-dollar offerings coming from Samsung. Especially considering everything you get from this device.

Samsung managed to create a relatively affordable high-end smartphone without sacrificing much. Specs include a powerful Snapdragon 888, a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, up to 8GB of RAM, a 4,500mAh battery, and a pretty capable camera system.

More: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review

All of those inclusions are worthy of phones that cost over $1,000. We’re confident to say this is definitely one of the best Pixel 5 alternatives, and it’s actually a much better offering for a similar price.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
$599.99 at Amazon
Save $100.00

5. Apple iPhone 13

Apple iPhone 13 rear panel in hand
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Ticks many boxes for a flagship (powerful, water resistance, wireless charging)
  • Apple tends to support its iPhones for roughly five years.
  • Available in a wide variety of locales.

The iPhone 13 is one of the best Google Pixel 5 alternatives… if you don’t mind switching to iOS. The two phones share features like water resistance, wireless charging, and a dual rear camera setup (main+ultra-wide).

More: Eight things iOS does better than Android

The iPhone 13 differs thanks to its use of the iOS platform in place of Android while also offering a more powerful processor that dukes it out with the best Android chipsets. Otherwise, Apple’s device lacks a high refresh rate display (unless you go for one of the Pro versions) and fingerprint unlock, so the choice might not be clear-cut for many.

Like the idea of an iPhone but want to go even cheaper? Then the $699 iPhone 13 Mini or $429 iPhone SE 2022 are for you. The former is just a smaller iPhone 13, while the latter strips back some features for the sake of affordability. The iPhone SE may have a dated design, LCD screen, and single rear camera, but it does bring wireless charging, water resistance, fingerprint unlock, and Apple’s flagship A15 Bionic processor.

Apple iPhone 13

6. Xiaomi 12

Xiaomi 12 rear panel in hand
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Flagship horsepower.
  • Big battery and fast charging.
  • Comes with a gorgeous 120Hz display.

Are you looking to give Xiaomi a try? Then you’ve also got a great Pixel 5 alternative in the Xiaomi 12. For starters, you get a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is second to none in today’s industry. It also comes with 8-12GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage.

Xiaomi’s handset also packs a triple rear camera (50MP main, 13MP ultrawide, and 5MP telephoto macro), 8K recording, and a 32MP selfie camera. The battery is also pretty large at 4,500mAh, but what’s more impressive is its charging speeds. The device can handle 67W wired charging and a whopping 50W with wireless charging.

Here: Our thoughts on the Xiaomi 12

It’s not as readily available in the US as Google’s phones, but if you want an ultra-fast phone that should last a while, this is worth considering as an import.

Xiaomi 12

7. Samsung Galaxy A53

samsung galaxy a53 back panel
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • Large, crisp, fluid display.
  • Large battery and 25W wired charging.
  • 5G support on a budget.

Samsung’s mid-range Galaxy A53 is a solid competitor to the Pixel 5 on several fronts. It’s the larger of the two devices, and it packs a bigger battery. Both phones can achieve all-day battery life, and you can take your pick between One UI and the breezy Pixel skin.

Read more: The best 5G phones you can buy right now

The Galaxy A53 also packs a quad-camera array. Other specs include a Super AMOLED 120Hz panel, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. Not to mention aesthetics, which Samsung is known for. It’s overall deserving as one of our favorite Pixel 5 alternatives, and it offers far more value than the previous Galaxy A phones.

You’ll also love the huge 5,000mAh battery and faster 25W charging. All things considered, you’re getting a lot for the $449 starting MSRP in the USA.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

8. Asus Zenfone 8

Asus Zenfone 8 rear standing on tracks
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Stands among the best small flagship phones, much like the Pixel 5.
  • Simple glass and metal slab design.
  • Packs the powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset.

Asus may have ditched the flip-up selfie camera for the Zenfone 8, but it’s still a worthy small flagship alternative. While the design and camera options won’t thrill you, the internals are tough to beat.

You’ll find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset tucked away onboard, along with up to 16GB of RAM. Storage tops out at 256GB, non-expandable, but at least you get a headphone jack. Asus added plenty of top flagship features, yet it’s the omissions that might have you scratching your head.

Also read: Asus Zenfone 8 review

The battery isn’t massive at 4,000mAh, though it should easily provide you with a day of juice. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging to be seen, nor is there an official IP rating. Asus also chose just two cameras for the rear of its Zenfone 8: A 64MP primary lens and a secondary 12MP ultrawide option.

Asus Zenfone 8

That’s it for our look at the best Google Pixel 5 alternatives! Are there any other similarly priced phones you can recommend? Let us know in the comments. Have your heart set on the Pixel 5? You can order it below!

Google Pixel 5 taking a photo 4 1
Google Pixel 5 (New)
Google's first 5G smartphone
The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it's a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.
$500.10 at Amazon
Save $198.90

If you’re still not convinced by any of the devices on this list, you should also look at our very favorite smartphones. We have a list of the best overall Android phones, as well as the best budget devices available.