1. Whooricane's Avatar
    Hi guys and gals,
    I am on the point of buying a new mobile, my old Xperia x compact is now 4 years old and showing signs that its ready for retirement.
    For several reasons, the Pixel 5 is pretty much the only device atm I see fitting for my needs. But the phone being a google device also causes a certain uneasy feeling as for the safety of my data and my privacy. Of course its an Android device and I am aware of what that means in terms of privacy. But the question is: Does the fact that Pixel phones are google's own devices give them any "advantage" at obtaining my information? Or in other words: Is my privacy any less safe/private on a Pixel phone than it would be on any other Android device?
    And if so, what other phone(s) could you guys recommend as alternative? I fail to find anything else that is really worth considering, as I got a few hard requirements:
    - max price: 600€
    - max size: 6" (thats a very hard limit, I already consider 6" as kinda too big)
    - a great camera
    - good battery
    - absolutely no devices from Huawei or Xiaomi

    Looking forward to any hints and tips! Thanks in advance
    Chuffed likes this.
    03-02-2021 06:51 AM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! Maybe I'm a bit too naive, but I still trust Google with my data. This may be a over a year old, but check out this article from the tech journalist I trust the most, JR Raphael: https://www.fastcompany.com/90350359...isit-right-now
    mustang7757 likes this.
    03-02-2021 11:36 AM
  3. Whooricane's Avatar
    Hey B. Diddy! Thanks for the warm welcome and your response. I get the same, I still kinda trust google with my data, but with the addendum that I want to stay in control of what I share and what not. If I look up what they know about me, I think I have for the bigger part done a decent job so far. But thats the issue exactly. The link you provided is helpful indeed, but covers Android settings in general. So as long as I set it up correctly, there shouldnt be any difference from one phone to another. My question was more, if google had any other ways whatsoever of obtaining more information about me, just through the fact that I am using a pixel phone and not any other Android device. It's not like other companies haven't tried this before... Then again, I am almost more concerned about the data collection that bloatware on other phones does, and there I don't even know who is collecting it and where it's going to.
    03-02-2021 12:09 PM
  4. mustang7757's Avatar
    Hey B. Diddy! Thanks for the warm welcome and your response. I get the same, I still kinda trust google with my data, but with the addendum that I want to stay in control of what I share and what not. If I look up what they know about me, I think I have for the bigger part done a decent job so far. But thats the issue exactly. The link you provided is helpful indeed, but covers Android settings in general. So as long as I set it up correctly, there shouldnt be any difference from one phone to another. My question was more, if google had any other ways whatsoever of obtaining more information about me, just through the fact that I am using a pixel phone and not any other Android device. It's not like other companies haven't tried this before... Then again, I am almost more concerned about the data collection that bloatware on other phones does, and there I don't even know who is collecting it and where it's going to.
    Hi welcome to AC!
    I definitely trust Google with security and one of the reasons i buy their phones , they probably will give Ads that related on such things like web browsing.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    03-02-2021 01:28 PM
  5. Whooricane's Avatar
    Hi Mustang! Thanks for your welcome and your reply as well. I agree with you, when it comes to security in terms of preventing a third party from accessing my data I think google is excellent. We as users are definitely the weakest link there! I'm more worried about the data giant itself.... That they have some sort of backdoor build in their phones that allows them to access my data even though I explicitely checked everything relevant off in Android settings.
    mustang7757 likes this.
    03-02-2021 02:06 PM
  6. mustang7757's Avatar
    Hi Mustang! Thanks for your welcome and your reply as well. I agree with you, when it comes to security in terms of preventing a third party from accessing my data I think google is excellent. We as users are definitely the weakest link there! I'm more worried about the data giant itself.... That they have some sort of backdoor build in their phones that allows them to access my data even though I explicitely checked everything relevant off in Android settings.
    For them to get back door data I would think highly unlikely, if you asked me this question 30 years ago and with what I know now , I would say it could be a possibility. They have people , Devs that can exploit things like this today . Google is a big company and wouldn't want that type of bad recognition. That's my take on it , it's your decision what you think is safe for you and go with that . Your welcome and glad your part of the forums now.
    B. Diddy, Whooricane and Chuffed like this.
    03-02-2021 02:39 PM
  7. Whooricane's Avatar
    Yes of course they got a reputation to loose. But so do other companies that did this kind of things before... Not saying google is doing those kind of things, but yea obtaining data about everyone is their core business after all. I get your point though that I also dont think google would do such phishy thing with their phones. Also I guess this kinda stuff would have probably been discovered by now. And the fact that here on the forum are still no people flailing their arms and screaming their heads off to warn me about those mean Pixel phones is another good sign! Especially as I said I dont really have an alternative. I'll head to the store tomorrow to take a closer look and get a feel for it! I'll let you guys know! Thanks!
    mustang7757 and B. Diddy like this.
    03-02-2021 04:16 PM
  8. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    For them to get back door data I would think highly unlikely, if you asked me this question 30 years ago and with what I know now , I would say it could be a possibility. They have people , Devs that can exploit things like this today . Google is a big company and wouldn't want that type of bad recognition. That's my take on it , it's your decision what you think is safe for you and go with that . Your welcome and glad your part of the forums now.
    I agree with this. For too many years Google didn’t make devices and it doesn’t want to push customers away from Android in general. I believe it treats proprietary devices from both hardware and software perspective as line not really worth crossing as tempting as it might seem.
    Whooricane and mustang7757 like this.
    03-02-2021 05:22 PM
  9. Whooricane's Avatar
    Small update. So I went to the shop the other day, but even though I had an appointment and made it clear I want to see/have a Pixel 5, they only discovered when I was in the shop that they don't have a single Pixel 5 in stock. They are ordered, but nobody knows when they will arrive. Of course I could just go to another store, but their offer is as for pricing just too good to pass along. So I have to play the waiting game right now...
    03-05-2021 06:53 AM
  10. mustang7757's Avatar
    Small update. So I went to the shop the other day, but even though I had an appointment and made it clear I want to see/have a Pixel 5, they only discovered when I was in the shop that they don't have a single Pixel 5 in stock. They are ordered, but nobody knows when they will arrive. Of course I could just go to another store, but their offer is as for pricing just too good to pass along. So I have to play the waiting game right now...
    Check around while you wait , maybe can find same or close enough deal .
    Whooricane likes this.
    03-05-2021 08:22 AM
  11. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Do they have the Pixel 4a or 4a 5G in stock? There isn't a huge difference between them and the 5 for most practical purposes, and they're significantly cheaper. You'd still get the screen (especially with the 4a 5G, which is a little bigger than the 5), great camera, and I believe even better battery life (and also a headphone jack). The main tradeoffs would be no water resistance rating and no wireless charging.
    Whooricane likes this.
    03-05-2021 12:06 PM
  12. Whooricane's Avatar
    Well, they do have both models of the 4a. The point is, the pixel 5 is only 60 bucks more than the 4a 5g. And especially the water resistance and the slightly smaller screen of the Pixel 5 just seem more appealing to me! Maybe another store will get on par with their pricing soonish, but from all I could find so far, their offer is at least 100€ cheaper than everywhere else.
    Chuffed likes this.
    03-06-2021 05:06 AM
  13. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Oh wow, where are you shopping? I didn't see any official sales going on for a new Pixel 5 (in the US), so here, it's still $699 brand new, while the Pixel 4a 5G can be had for $449 (and it's also on sale at Best Buy for $400 this weekend).

    With a price differential like that, then I agree, go for the 5!
    Chuffed likes this.
    03-06-2021 11:07 AM
  14. mustang7757's Avatar
    Well, they do have both models of the 4a. The point is, the pixel 5 is only 60 bucks more than the 4a 5g. And especially the water resistance and the slightly smaller screen of the Pixel 5 just seem more appealing to me! Maybe another store will get on par with their pricing soonish, but from all I could find so far, their offer is at least 100€ cheaper than everywhere else.
    Yeah I would go with the pixel 5
    Chuffed likes this.
    03-06-2021 01:11 PM
  15. Whooricane's Avatar
    I live in the Netherlands. The official sales price would be around $850 here. The offer I found was a special offer in connection with renewing my mobile contract, so I only would have to pay around $650. On second look though, the 4a 5g is clearly cheaper than just the 60 bucks I mentioned yesterday (forgot to take renewing contract into account yesterday) but still I'd rather go with the pixel 5.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    03-07-2021 05:42 AM
  16. Chuffed's Avatar
    I use a throwaway gmail account for my phone (and of course turn off all the ad personalization options on it). Not tying it to your email address you've been using for the last 10 years is a good start in not handing your data to Google on a silver platter. They are smart enough to probably figure out who you are, but at least make them work for it! Enjoy the new phone 8).
    mustang7757 and Morty2264 like this.
    03-08-2021 12:48 PM
  17. mustang7757's Avatar
    I use a throwaway gmail account for my phone (and of course turn off all the ad personalization options on it). Not tying it to your email address you've been using for the last 10 years is a good start in not handing your data to Google on a silver platter. They are smart enough to probably figure out who you are, but at least make them work for it! Enjoy the new phone 8).
    Hi, welcome to AC!
    Chuffed likes this.
    03-08-2021 01:51 PM
  18. Chuffed's Avatar
    Thank you; good to be here!
    mustang7757 likes this.
    03-14-2021 01:38 PM
  19. Morty2264's Avatar
    I use a throwaway gmail account for my phone (and of course turn off all the ad personalization options on it). Not tying it to your email address you've been using for the last 10 years is a good start in not handing your data to Google on a silver platter. They are smart enough to probably figure out who you are, but at least make them work for it! Enjoy the new phone 8).
    Welcome to Android Central! I especially like your "at least make them work for it" mandate!
    Chuffed likes this.
    03-14-2021 01:44 PM
  20. Chuffed's Avatar
    Thank you, lol.
    Morty2264 likes this.
    03-14-2021 01:56 PM
  21. Kizzy Catwoman's Avatar
    I have the 4a 5G and it is the best Pixel I have owned. I prefer it to the 4xl I had in 2019 that I gave to my husband. My main phone is a S10+ and I love using the pixel. I paid £399 for my 4a 5G and it was worth every penny.
    03-17-2021 10:39 AM
  22. stevenjb2020's Avatar
    Once you setup an Android phone - Google assigns a unique ID. Most of what you do with a PlayStore app can be tracked by Google using this ID. If you're concerned about this tracking - check out the Open Source apps in Fdroid.

    Even the cell carrier you use does some tracking.

    You can reduce Web browser tracking by using a browser such as Brave Browser

    I have been considering reducing my Pixel 3a footprint by using a more private OS, such as CalyxOS
    03-17-2021 10:58 AM

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