The Best Smartphones i Phone 13 or Pixel 5a ?

October 27, 2022
iPhone 13

iPhone 13There’s no one smartphone that is best for everyone, but we’ve spent hundreds of hours testing scores of phones so that you can find the best one for you. pixel 3 used The phone you buy will depend on your budget, your wireless carrier, and which of the major smartphone platforms—Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android—you’re already invested in. But whether you want a top-of-the-line phone or something more affordable, we have recommendations for iPhone and Android, and all of our picks are available for all the major US carriers.

The research

The best iPhone: iPhone 13

Our pick

The iPhone 13 has a fantastic two-lens camera that can use Night Mode for better low-light photos, a fast iPhone processor, long battery life, and a large edge-to-edge OLED screen.

Who it’s for: Someone who wants an iPhone and values getting the latest screen, camera, and processor so that it will look and feel good for years.

Why we like it: Apple’s iPhone 13 is as fast as any other iPhone, including the more-expensive Pro models, and the battery will get almost anyone through a full day on a single charge.

The camera has two lenses and yields excellent photos, pixel 3 used plus it offers better low-light performance than previous iPhone cameras thanks to Night Mode, a feature the iPhone SE lacks.

The iPhone 13 has the same 6.1-inch screen size as the iPhone 12, as well as the same body height and width. Much like the iPhone 4 and 5, the edges are squared off, and we find it a lot easier to grip the iPhone 13 even when the phone isn’t in a case.

The greater water resistance—improved to 6 meters for this version—means it’s likely to survive without issue if you spill something on it or drop it in the sink, a welcome feature for those prone to accidents.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you already had trouble holding the iPhone 6-era design or fitting it into small pockets, the iPhone 13’s large screen makes things a little worse, and you should probably wait for the iPhone 13 mini.

We also don’t think you should buy this (or any) phone for 5G cellular networking. While 5G is theoretically faster than 4G LTE in optimal situations, it’s still a nascent technology with plenty of caveats.

Most people aren’t going to notice immediate speed boosts, pixel 3 is used and though 5G may become more valuable as carriers build up their networks, it’s not a necessary feature at this point.

To see if the iPhone 13 is right for you, read our full guide to which iPhone you should get.

Pixel 5aThe best version of Android, with guaranteed updates through August 2024 (plus a fantastic camera), makes the Pixel 5a 5G better than phones that cost several times as much.

Who it’s for: People who want a fast, secure Android phone with the best camera and guaranteed software updates, but don’t want to spend a thousand dollars.

Why we like it: The Google Pixel 5a 5G offers the high-quality software and cameras that have made all of Google’s Pixel phones great, and it costs just $450. This phone comes with Google’s clean, responsive version of Android 11, and it’s guaranteed to get updates through the summer of 2024.

The Pixel 5a has a dual-camera setup that takes better photos than every non-Pixel phone we’ve tested, aside from the much more expensive Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

Though it has only two camera lenses, Google’s amazing photo processing is borderline magical. The AI-powered digital zoom on the Pixel 5a is almost as good as the optical zoom on phones with dedicated telephoto lenses, too. There’s also Night Sight, which uses long exposures to take clear photos with very little light.

The Pixel 5a has a 6.34-inch 1080p OLED screen, and it’s much nicer than the screens you usually see on phones in this price range. It’s bright enough for outdoor use, and it offers excellent color accuracy.

The Pixel 5a has almost no bezels around its display, and a “hole-punch” selfie camera sits in the upper-left corner of the screen, saving more space than the upper bezels or “notched-out” cameras on other phones.

The plastic-coated body is a bit drab and prone to showing oils from your skin, but it’s nothing a nice case can’t fix.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Pixel 5a supports only a 60 Hz refresh rate, pixel 3 used meaning animations on its display are noticeably less smooth than on phones that support 120 Hz.

It also doesn’t support wireless charging, though it can last two days on a single charge even with heavy usage, and probably up to three days with light use.

While the Pixel 5a is comfortable to hold, the soft-touch plastic back picks up oils from your hand and is harder to clean than glass. pixel 3 is used We also worry about how it will hold up over time: The coating could easily chip when dropped.

To read more about the Pixel 5a and other Android phones we’ve tested, read our full guide to the best Android phones.

About your guides

Andrew Cunningham is a former senior staff writer on Wirecutter’s tech team. He has been writing about laptops, phones, routers, and another tech since 2011.

Before that he spent five years in IT fixing computers and helping people buy the best tech for their needs. He also co-hosts the book podcast Overdue and the TV podcast Appointment Television.

Nick Guy is a former senior staff writer covering Apple and accessories at Wirecutter. He has been reviewing iPhones, iPads, and related tech since 2011—and stopped counting after he tested his 1,000th case. It’s impossible for him not to mentally catalog any case he sees. He once had the bright idea to build and burn down a room to test fireproof safes

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