Best Google Pixel Phone (2023): Which Model to Buy, Cases and Accessories, Feature Drops

Any older Pixel is not worth buying anymore. (The Pixel 5’s support window ends in October.) You can still find some of them at various retailers, but unless they’re practically free, you should stick with any of the models above. 

The Best Pixel Cases and Accessories

Official Google Case

Photograph: Google

The revamped case for the Pixel 7 series feels more durable than ever before, and you can match these with your Pixel’s color. The thermoplastic elastomer is nice to touch, and raised edges on the front protect the screen. The Pixel 7’s case is made with more than 30 percent recycled plastics, and the polycarbonate shell uses 77 percent recycled plastics. Thee metal buttons for power and volume are 100 percent recycled aluminum. 

This is hands-down the best case if you frequently attach your Pixel to the handlebar of a bike or an electric scooter. Peak Design’s mounting system lets you magnetically affix the phone to its Universal Bike Mount ($50), and it stays put. After nearly a year of testing, I’ve yet to have a phone fall off my ride using this mounting system. It makes use of Apple’s MagSafe system, so it works with plenty of MagSafe accessories, even wireless chargers. The company also has several other magnetic accessories, like a car vent mount. The case itself is nice; I just wish the edges were raised a bit more for better screen protection.

This is one of the best clear cases you’ll find for the Pixel, especially at this price. The buttons are clicky, the Pixel’s color comes through clearly, and the rear doesn’t feel too sticky, something that can be a problem with clear cases. I also really like Totallee’s Clear Cases ($39), though these are slightly more expensive. They’re available for the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel 7A.

Caseology Tempered Glass Screen Protector

Photograph: Caseology

Pixel phones don’t have a great track record with screen durability—they scratch easily. We first tested this protector for the Pixel 5A, and it held up well. Installation is easy, and it includes a squeegee to get rid of air bubbles. You get two screen protectors for the price (some only include one, check the product page), plus a microfiber cloth, a wipe, and dust-removal stickers.

This is another easy-to-apply tempered glass screen protector. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7A version comes with two protectors, but Spigen only includes one for the Pixel 6A. Boo. You get a whole cleaning kit to wipe down your phone, an alignment tool that helps you get the application right, and a squeegee to get rid of the air bubbles. 

This screen protector was really simple to apply and barely gave me any air bubbles. You only get one protector, but there’s an alcohol wipe to clean the screen beforehand, a microfiber cloth, an application tool, and a squeegee. The problem? It’s not tempered glass, but rather a mix of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a cheaper material that’s typically not as impact-resistant. 

You get only one screen protector here, and it’s expensive. Zagg claims that the protector is five times as strong as traditional screen protectors, and I haven’t seen many scuffs on the Pixels I’ve applied it on, but take this with a grain of salt. It’s really easy to apply with the included application tool, but Zagg doesn’t include a squeegee, so you’ll have to use your fingers to push the air bubbles out. It comes with a dust sticker, a wet wipe, and a microfiber cloth. For the Pixel Fold, the screen protector is only for the external display. 

Google Pixel Stand (Gen 2)

Photograph: Google

Of the Pixels we recommend in this guide, wireless charging is available only on the Pixel Fold, Pixel 7A, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro (plus the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro). Google’s very own Pixel Stand is one of the best wireless chargers around because it’s simple. The base doesn’t slide around, the phone stays put, and it enables some fun features, like the ability to turn the screen into a digital photo frame and quick access to Google Assistant. It’s made of 39 percent recycled materials, with mostly eco-friendly packaging too. Our Best Wireless Chargers guide has more options, including the original and cheaper Pixel Stand. 

This charging adapter is all you need to recharge your Pixel, whichever model you have. The newest high-end Pixel phones don’t come with chargers in the box, so if you don’t have any spare USB-C chargers, it’s worth picking one up. This one’s prongs fold up, so it’s great for travel too. 

These cases are pricey, but they have raised lips and offer decent protection around the edges. The buttons are clicky, and you can choose from a few design options for the rear, including walnut, leather, bamboo, silver pearl, and aramid fiber. (I love the walnut.) What makes this case special is that it supports MagSafe—yes, Apple’s magnetic system for accessories. I’ve used the Mous Limitless 5.0 successfully with a few MagSafe accessories, like a Belkin wireless charger, to recharge the Pixel 7 Pro.

Photograph: Spigen

It’s slim, has a nice texture, retains clicky buttons, and has accurate cutouts for the ports and speakers. What’s not to love? Well, it’s a bit dull, squashing the unique design of the Pixel, but I still think this case is one of the more attractive in Spigen’s lineup. The edges aren’t raised drastically, so don’t expect much screen protection. 

Want a kickstand to prop your Pixel up? This Spigen case has a built-in stand that does the trick, though it unfortunately only works in landscape mode—not great for hands-free TikTok. Its thick bumper offers nice protection around the edges, though there’s not much of a lip sticking out, so you’ll still want to pair it with a screen protector. 

I like the soft-touch material on this case, and it fits the Pixel really well, with accurate cutouts and clicky buttons. It’s a bit dull, but it’s slim and the edges are raised a decent amount to protect the screen. It’s just a little pricey for what you get.  

Casetfiy Clear Case for the Pixel Fold

Photograph: Casetify

Casetify’s Clear and Impact cases are fairly similar to each other, but I found that the buttons are easier to press with the Clear case and the fingerprint sensor is slightly more accessible. It comes in two pieces—one for the front screen and one for the rear. Make sure you remove all the plastic wrap from the inside before you affix it. It’s expensive, but the edges are quite thick. You won’t find as many design options to choose from anywhere else. Seriously, these will make your Pixel Fold stand out even more. 

I have used Pixel Fold cases from OtterBox and Speck, but the one I keep coming back to is the official case from Google. The soft silicone is much nicer than the hard plastic on the others, and it doesn’t add too much bulk. It’s two separate pieces, and there’s a dip on the side so you can access the buttons and fingerprint sensor. 

The Denali case doesn’t really stand out in any particular way, but it’s a fine case if you like the look. It adds some heft to the phone, but wireless charging still works, and Zagg says the D30 material “hardens on impact” for better drop protection. Make of that claim what you will. The camera bar has raised edges all around it, and the buttons are clicky, but edge protection is a little lackluster on the front. 

Photograph: Amazon

It takes some effort to install this case on the Pixel, but once you do, it’s arguably the most protection you’ll find. There’s an inner two-piece polycarbonate shell that snaps over and under the Pixel, and then a thick synthetic rubber slipcover goes over for extreme durability. The buttons are surprisingly clicky, though the whole phone will be thicker, wider, and heavier. It’s made of more than 50 percent recycled plastic, and there’s a holster you can pop it in to carry your Pixel with pride on your belt. (The holster can double as a kickstand.) OtterBox doesn’t make a Defender for the Pixel 7A, but there’s the Commuter Case ($40), which isn’t as durable and doesn’t have a holster but packs more protection than most cases.

This is another nice clear case for the Pixel series. I like the textured power button, which makes it easy to find when you’re not looking, and there are spots on the case to attach a lanyard (not included). It’s not as smudge-resistant as Ringke claims, but it’s easy to clean. 

Our Favorite Pixel Software Features

Wait Times.

Video: Google

There are some key features on Pixels that you won’t find on any other Android phone. Some of these are only available on select Pixels—those powered by Google’s own Tensor chips are more capable. Here’s a quick breakdown:

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