Should you buy an original Pixel XL in 2019?

Android Central

Android Central
Android Central
Nov 30, 2015

Best answer: For about $300, there's still value in an original Pixel XL. However, it's been almost three years old now, and it has no software upgrade future — making it very hard to recommend in 2019. For a reasonably priced Pixel XL, your better choice is to get a Pixel 2 XL for around $500 instead.

The Pixel XL is tempting but isn't worth buying in 2019

The Google Pixel 3 XL is an enticing phone. It's one of our favorites here at Android Central. But not everyone is going to spend that kind of money, and so it's a perfectly reasonable question of whether the original Pixel XL is still worth a buy in 2019 at a fraction of the price. After all, you can find them refurbished online for under $300. However, come 2019, it's not a great choice even at that price.

The original Pixel still feels modern in many respects, but lacking update support really hurts its value.

There's no denying that the original Pixel XL is still a solid phone. The screen is pretty good, the hardware absolutely holds up to the test of time, and its battery life and features are great by the standard of the phones in its current price bracket. The camera is also probably the best you can buy for $300. As we move through 2019, the Pixel XL is nearing its software sunset. Android 9 Pie is the final major software update for the first Pixels, and after October 2019 they will no longer be guaranteed to receive security patches.

Even if the Pixel's hardware and specs may hold up to phones in similar price ranges today, getting regular software updates is one of the best features of a Pixel. When you miss out on that benefit, it takes away a large portion of the appeal. The phone will continue to work, but it won't receive any features or fixes from the moment you take it out of the box.

The Pixel XL is still a very good phone as a standalone device, and some may still find it a good value at a price of about $300. However, our recommendation for anyone who wants a Pixel for less money than the latest Pixel 3 XL is to split the difference and buy a Pixel 2 XL instead. You can find refurbished models for about $500, and international or used models for even less. The Pixel 2 XL has a guaranteed update path ahead of it, a better camera and improved specs. It's worth the extra money if you can afford it.

Our pick

Google Pixel 2 XL

$499 at Amazon

Split the difference between age and price

The Pixel 2 XL still feels modern, with great hardware and a wonderful camera. It has a long road of software updates ahead of it, including Android Q, while being a few hundred dollars cheaper than the latest Pixel 3 XL model.

Old but still good

Google Pixel XL

$329 at Amazon

You can do better in 2019

Google still supports the original Pixel XL but its love won't last forever. That being said, it's still a great phone with an awesome camera that can be picked up for under $330.

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