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The best Google Pixel 6 alternatives: 5 phones to consider before you buy

From Google and Apple to Samsung and beyond, there are quite a few devices that can duke it out with the Pixel 6 series.
By
January 23, 2023
Google Pixel 6 Pro back camera bump close-up with red plants in the background
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Google Pixel 6 series is here! The standard model looks like a very reasonably priced flagship device, while the Pixel 6 Pro brings plenty of premium features to the table. Looking for something a little different or just wondering what else is out there? You’re in luck, as this is our rundown of the best Google Pixel 6 alternatives.

Google Pixel 6Google Pixel 6
Google Pixel 6
Premium, unique design • Upgraded cameras • Competitive price
One of the most well-rounded smartphones on the market
The Google Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch FHD+ display and runs on the all-new Google Tensor SoC. It has an upgraded camera system, exclusive software features, and offers some of the best hardware Google has ever produced.
Google Pixel 6 ProGoogle Pixel 6 Pro
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Consistent cameras • Exclusive software perks • Long-term software support
Great cameras, software, and design
The Pixel 6 Pro has superb cameras and offers a clean OS experience. It's powered by Google's own Tensor chipset and sports a design that turns heads.

The best Google Pixel 6 alternatives

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 series

samsung galaxy s22 ultra back
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 series is one of the best Pixel 6 alternatives, bringing four years of OS updates and five years of security updates. But there’s more to these phones than simply offering an incredible update commitment.

What we thought: Galaxy S22 review | Galaxy S22 Plus reviewGalaxy S22 Ultra review

These phones come with an Exynos 2200 SoC or Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, 120Hz OLED panels, wireless charging, water-resistance, and 8K video recording. The S22 Ultra is also equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, QHD+ display, and a quad rear camera setup consisting of a 108MP primary shooter, a 12MP ultrawide lens, and a pair of telephoto cameras. Meanwhile, the standard Galaxy S22 is smaller than ever with a 3,700mAh battery, 6.1-inch FHD+ screen, and a 50MP+12MP+10MP rear camera trio.

The middle child is the Galaxy S22 Plus, and it shares the S22’s camera system but offers a 6.6-inch FHD+ screen and a 4,500mAh battery. So you won’t be short of choices if you want a recent Samsung flagship.

Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraSamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultra-premium build quality • Gorgeous screen • Solid performance
The Note and S series merged in one device
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra pushes productivity, power, and photography to the utmost to satisfy the most demanding users out there. The phone combines outstanding performance, a stunning design, and the S Pen previously found on Galaxy Note handsets.
Samsung Galaxy S22 PlusSamsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Excellent display • Powerful camera package • Top-notch performance
A great all-rounder
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus can do just about anything. It has more than enough power under the hood, sports a terrific camera system, offers great battery life, and also looks great. The fantastic software support is worth a mention as well.
Samsung Galaxy S22Samsung Galaxy S22
Samsung Galaxy S22
Compact design • Impressive camera setup • Unrivaled software support
The smallest and cheapest phone in the series
While it's the entry phone of the Galaxy S22 series, this handset still offers plenty of power, a gorgeous screen, great cameras, and a fantastic software promise. It's also compact enough to easily use with one hand.

2. Apple iPhone 14 series

apple iphone 14 plus lock screen
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Apple’s latest iPhones are worth a look if you’re open to iOS and want a well-rounded flagship experience. One of the biggest perks is that these phones regularly get five or more years of software updates, ensuring that you’re running the latest iOS version years down the line.

The two base iPhone 14 models stick with Apple’s beefy A15 processor, wireless charging, and IP68 water/dust resistance. So you’re covered there in terms of excellent additions. But things differ when we come to screen and camera details, to name a few.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max bring back 120Hz screens and ditch the notch for the first time ever. Instead, you’re living on Dynamic Island, with a whole new way to manage your notifications. Both Pro models also get the benefit of a 48MP main camera instead of the classic 12MP shooter. The Pro Max also comes with a huge battery, and we thought endurance was fantastic on this device.

Apple iPhone 14Apple iPhone 14
Apple iPhone 14
All-day battery life • Capable cameras • Great software support
The cheapest phone of the series
While the iPhone 14 isn't a massive upgrade over its predecessor, it's still a great phone overall. It has a great design, long-term software support, and a capable camera system. It also costs a lot less than the other phones in the series.
Apple iPhone 14 PlusApple iPhone 14 Plus
Apple iPhone 14 Plus
SOS satellite system • Updated 12MP camera • Larger display base model iPhone
A mix between the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Plus has the same specs and features as the regular iPhone 14 but comes with a larger display that's the same size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max's. You also get great cameras, fantastic software support, and plenty of other bells and whistles.
Apple iPhone 14 ProApple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Premium design and build • Upgraded main camera • Dynamic Island
This resort is all-exclusive
The iPhone 14 Pro is a fantastic phone. It sports excellent cameras, powerful internals, and the all-new Dynamic Island cutout that breathes more life into your notifications.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro MaxApple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Unbeatable software support • Powerful SoC • Dynamic Island
Apple's premium phone with a massive screen
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a massive 6.7-inch display that's great for content consumption. It also sports impressive cameras, the interesting Dynamis Island cutout, and great software support.

3. OnePlus 10T

OnePlus 10T rear on a coffee table with some plectrums
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

You could argue that Google specifically aims at OnePlus with the Pixel 6 series pricing. Now, the OnePlus 10T has arrived, and it’s priced to compete with Google’s affordable flagship.

The OnePlus 10T offers 155W wired charging in the US and 150W charging internationally, but there’s not actually a hardware difference this time. It runs on a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC with a 50MP primary camera, but you won’t find Hasselblad branding on the 10T. The performance-based flagship is also in line for three years of OS updates and four years of security patches — a year short of the new Pixels for security updates but still pretty good.

More reading:  OnePlus 10T review

As you’d expect, the OnePlus 10T makes the most of its internals. It offers up to 16GB of RAM with an optional performance mode that tests the limits of what OnePlus can do. Unfortunately, only the North American model offers an IP rating, and it’s only IP54 at that. Nevertheless, the OnePlus 10T is still worth considering as a Pixel 6 alternative — especially if you’re after raw power.

OnePlus 10TOnePlus 10T
OnePlus 10T
Affordable price • Stellar display • Blisteringly fast charging
A high-end phone on a budget
The OnePlus 10T packs plenty of power under the hood and supports 150W charging that gets it from zero to full in around 20 minutes. It also comes with a great display and all-day battery life.

4. Google Pixel 6a

google pixel 6a back
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Pixel 6a is finally available for purchase, and it’s tough to find a better Pixel 6 alternative at a lower price. It’s stayed put at $450 and is closer to the Pixel 6 family than ever.

You’re still getting that Pixel software experience, but this time the mid-ranger packs a Google Tensor chip onboard. The Pixel 6a also packs a hybrid dual rear camera setup that blends the tried and true 12.2MP lens from the Pixel 5 with the 12MP ultrawide from the Pixel 6 series. Google tapped a 4,410mAh battery and kept the durable IP67 rating. So there’s a lot to like here.

Our thoughts: Google Pixel 6a buyer’s guide

While there are plenty of improvements on the Pixel 6a, it’s not perfect. Google ditched the Gorilla Glass back panel in favor of a 3D thermoformed composite, and the 6.2-inch display only offers a 60Hz refresh rate (no 90Hz or 120Hz here). The Pixel 6a’s solid battery is also limited by slow 18W wired charging, and there’s no wireless charging. Some of these downgrades are understandable, but things like 18W charging are real disappointments in 2022.

Google Pixel 6aGoogle Pixel 6a
Google Pixel 6a
Powerful Tensor chip • Excellent cameras • Great software
The cameras and software make the Pixel 6a stand out
This affordable phone has everything most people need: A great design, fantastic cameras, an outstanding software experience, and a long-term update commitment.

5. Sony Xperia 1 IV and 5 IV

Sony Xperia 1 IV back standing hero
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is perhaps the most premium Sony flagship to date, pulling almost no punches and hanging onto some classic features. The 6.5-inch 4K OLED panel at 120Hz, 4,500mAh battery, 30W wired charging, wireless charging, and water-resistant design are only the start.

Verdict: Sony Xperia 1 IV review

Switch to the camera side of things, and the Xperia 1 IV brings the heat here too. It hangs onto a familiar trio of 12MP lenses — one wide, one ultrawide, and one telephoto — but the Xperia 1 IV packs a camera app that feels like it was pulled right from a Sony Alpha camera. You can even mount the phone to your trusty mirrorless setup to serve as an external monitor.

Sony’s phone also stands out from other 2022 flagships by virtue of its 3.5mm port. So audiophiles should be happy with this phone.

The company also offers the more compact Xperia 5 IV, trading a 6.5-inch 4K panel for a 6.1-inch FHD+ screen. It also offers wireless charging for the first time and holds onto premium features, including a variable telephoto camera and a 3.5mm port.

Sony Xperia 1 IVSony Xperia 1 IV
Sony Xperia 1 IV
4K display • Unique content creator apps • Stellar video capture
A Sony flagship aimed at content creators
The Sony Xperia 1 IV matches a large 4K 120Hz display with a camera that can shoot the same. A high-end phone with high-end specs, and it even has a headphone jack!
Sony Xperia 5 IVSony Xperia 5 IV
Sony Xperia 5 IV
Excellent video capture • Superb camera autofocus • Compact design
One of the best multimedia hardware packages
The Sony Xperia 5 IV is for the folks who like the Xperia 1 IV but can't stomach the price. While it's cheaper and offers less than its bigger brother, it's still one of the best phones for creators out there.
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Google Pixel 6 alternatives: Honorable mentions

  • Oppo Find X5 Pro (£1,049): Oppo’s phone isn’t available in the US, but this is one of the better 2022 flagships. The Find X5 Pro offers a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a 5,000mAh battery, and quick 80W wired charging. You’ve also got premium extras like an IP68 rating, 50W wireless charging, and a 120Hz QHD+ OLED screen. The phone doesn’t have a long-range zoom camera, but it swaps this for a 13MP 2x telephoto camera and a pair of impressive 50MP shooters.
  • Xiaomi 12 Pro (£1,049): The Pixel 6 Pro is a high-end device, but Xiaomi has its own top-end flagship in the Xiaomi 12 Pro. The two phones bright 120Hz QHD+ OLED screens, ~5,000mAh batteries, and 50MP primary cameras. However, Xiaomi’s phone also packs a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, 120W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, a 50MP ultrawide camera, and tips the scales on performance.
  • Google Pixel 7 ($599): The Google Pixel 7 is less of an alternative and more of a successor, which is why we’ve relegated it to an honorable mention position. On the bright side, it picks up almost exactly where the Pixel 6 left off, rocking a camera bar, a squared-off design, and Google’s in-house Tensor chipset — this time, however, it’s the Tensor G2. Google’s Pixel 7 has even more camera features up its sleeves and the latest Android software to boot.

These are our favorite Google Pixel 6 alternatives. Are there any other devices you’d recommend? Let us know via the comments section below.