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Top reasons to buy a used Pixel phone
- Users of the Google Pixel have one of the best ways to get software updates out of all Android users. So, even if you bought your Pixel years ago, you could still get fixes for it.
- If you buy a used Google Pixel, you can use Android the way it was meant to be used and be the first to get fixes and cool new features. You get special features that work with other Google products. This makes Pixels the best choice for people who already use a lot of Google products.
- Even older Pixel phones that cost less are known for having great photos.
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Top reasons to pass on buying a used Pixel
- Even though Pixel phones have come a long way, Google is still behind Apple and Samsung when it comes to customer support, the number of retail and service outlets, and third-party ecosystems.
- Pixel phones aren’t known for having specs that will last for a long time. Most Pixel phones have good specs when they first come out, but after a year or two, they may not be as good.
Used Pixel, new Pixel, or others?
If you’re reading this, you probably have a limited amount of money. But if you have a little more money, should you consider getting a brand-new Pixel instead of a used one?
Google doesn’t offer early discounts on its top phones, so if you want a new Pixel but are on a tight budget, you’ll have to look at one of its mid-range phones.
As of this writing, the Pixel 5a is Google’s cheapest phone, with prices starting at $449. You can buy a used Pixel 6 on Swappa for about the same price, which we think is a better deal given its specs and features.
If you are willing to try other names, you don’t have to buy a used Pixel. Our list of the best cheap Android phones is a good place to start, but if you have a little more money to spend, we suggest getting one of the better mid-range phones out there.
Things to know when buying a used Pixel
We have a detailed guide on purchasing used phones that we recommend you read first. Buy here are some key things to keep in mind when making a purchase:
- Make sure you don’t pay too much.Check the phone’s state and look on Swappa or Gazelle for the average price of Pixels that are the same model and are in the same condition.
- Ask about the power source.Repeated charging processes wear down batteries, which can be a problem for phones like Pixels that have small or average-sized batteries. You should try to get a phone with a new battery. Pixel phones that have been restored are more likely to have a new battery.
- Have a look at the phone.If you can look at the Pixel before you buy it, keep an eye out for:
The screen has scratches, dead pixels, or burn-in.
- Problems with the port for charging
Buttons that rattle, get stuck, or are otherwise broken
Any signs of bulging, which could mean the battery is dangerously old,
- Speakers, including the earpiece, that are blown or buzzing
See if there is a guarantee.Even if you’re buying from a private seller, it’s a good idea to find out what, if anything, is left of the guarantee.
- Check the status of the software changes.Pixels that have been used for a long time may no longer get OS changes or even security updates. You should try to stay away from these if you can.
- Check to see if the phone has gone missing or been taken.You can look up the device’s IMEI number and check it against lists of lost, stolen, or blacklisted phones.
- Make sure to restart and unlock the phone.You won’t be able to use the Pixel if the seller hasn’t removed their Google account.
- Does the phone work with your provider?In this way, Pixel phones do pretty well, but network locks can still happen.
Used Pixels: What to avoid
In general, it’s best to avoid used Pixel phones that are more than three years old, which means Pixel 3 series and higher. The main reason is that the battery is likely to be worn out on old, used devices that have been charged and drained many times.
You can check the health of the battery with an app like AccuBattery, but the best thing to do is to look for a newer phone. You can also pay extra to change the battery yourself if you know how.
Also, Pixel phones that are a few years old may no longer be fast enough to provide a smooth experience without a lot of lag and stuttering.
Most of the time, we don’t suggest buying phones that no longer get security updates. We count on the security of our devices for so much of our lives that it’s not something you should take lightly.
At the time this article was written, these Pixel phones no longer get regular security updates:
On Google’s help page, it says that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will only get updates until October 2022.
Checking the average price of a used phone is a good idea. Swappa keeps track of the prices of phones sold on its site, so that’s a good place to look. If the Pixel phone you’re thinking about buying is a lot cheaper than most, you should pay close attention and ask about any possible problems.
This is especially true if you buy from a private seller, since you have no safety from them. Some examples of hidden problems are bootloops, batteries that drain quickly, cameras that don’t work as well as they should, and water damage.
Is it a good time to buy a used Pixel?
As of this writing (May 2022), it might be best to wait, especially if you want a used Pixel phone in the middle of the price range.
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There are rumors that Google will show off the Pixel 6a at its Google I/O developer meeting on May 11 and 12. When a new version comes out, the old ones tend to get cheaper, which is true for used Pixel phones.
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If you want to save money on a high-end used Pixel device, you might want to wait a few months. Since the Pixel 6 has only been on the market for a little over six months, there aren’t many used Pixel 6s to choose from.
It might be smart to wait until Amazon Prime Day 2022, which is usually in July and has deals on cheap phones.