It’s hard to get a good phone for ~$350. As flagship prices continue to skyrocket, options in this affordable price range are hard to come by. Today, though, Amazon has knocked the Google Pixel 2 family to as little as $359 as a part of its Deal of the Day. Here’s why this is the best Android phone for the price right now.
The best gifts for Android users
Before we dive in, there’s one thing to keep in mind with this Pixel 2 deal. These aren’t brand new devices. Rather, they’re refurbished and tested by an “Amazon qualified supplier.” Still, you’ll get a 90-day money-back guarantee from Amazon on the product. With that said, let’s get into it.
Still among the best cameras available
The biggest reason to buy any Pixel phone is the camera, and that’s no different with the Pixel 2. Despite being a year old, Google’s mix of hardware and software holds up incredibly well, even taking down huge competition. The Pixel 3 may have a few more tricks up its sleeve, but with a Pixel 2 deal this great, you’re getting an excellent camera at a fraction of the price it’s worth.
Looking at other devices in this price range, the Pixel 2’s camera is clearly its standout feature. The Nokia 7.1, for example, offers an excellent overall experience with what I’d argue is an even better hardware build, but it lacks a camera remotely as good. Sad to say, with most affordable devices, the camera is the first thing to suffer.
Updates for 2 more years
Another big perk for buying a Google device is for the sake of software updates. Nothing in the Android world, save for the Essential Phone, gets a software update at the same speed as a Pixel. That includes major platform updates such as Android Pie, but also monthly security updates.
Google’s policy for updates on its own devices for quite a while was 3 years worth of security updates, but only 2 years of major platform updates. That still beats most other OEMs, but starting with the Pixel 2, the company upgraded that policy to 3 years for all updates. That means the Pixel 2 will continue getting updates until late 2020.
Works with every US carrier, including Google Fi
A common thread you’ll find with less expensive Android smartphones is a lack of carrier support. Many are sold as carrier exclusives and plenty of others are only compatible with GSM networks. That’s fine if you use T-Mobile or AT&T, but leaves you out of luck on Verizon. The Pixel 2 family, on the other hand, works with every carrier in the United States. It also works with Google’s Fi mobile network.
(Mostly) Excellent battery life and performance
Like the camera, one of the first things to suffer with mid-range devices in this price range is the performance. With a Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM, the Pixel 2 isn’t lacking much. There have been reports from many that the devices feel a bit sluggish over time, but overall, they’re still solid performers across the board. Battery life is also a plus, especially on the larger Pixel 2 XL.
Is there a catch?
For prices between $359 and $465, today’s Pixel 2 deal isn’t just a good price on a good phone. It’s a great phone for a price that’s not really matched in the market at this exact moment in time. Sure, you can save some cash by buying used or even opt for other options such as the Nokia 7.1 or Moto G6 to get a brand new device for the same, if not less, money.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL may have their shortcomings. One has abundant bezels, the other has a display that isn’t great, and both suffer from other assorted, minor issues. However, for today’s prices, I don’t think there’s a much better deal out there. Plus, they’ll ship in time for the holidays.
Buy Google Pixel 2:
Buy Google Pixel 2 XL:
More on Google Pixel:
- Google’s ‘Call Screen’ feature now rolling out to some Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL users
- Despite major upgrades, Apple’s iPhone XS still doesn’t match the Pixel 2’s camera
- Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL Review: Third time’s a charm [Video]