Google Pixel 6 assessment: huge mind, small value

Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional had been launched in late 2021, so for many of 2022, they’re nonetheless the very best it is possible for you to to get from Google. And the Pixel 6 is sort of attractive with its $599 MSRP tag — what a steal!

The “smaller” Pixel 6 just isn’t that a lot smaller, with its personal 6.4-inch display, it’s nonetheless constructed with premium supplies — not like some firms who gown their “low cost flagships” in plastic —, and nonetheless has a excessive refresh charge display —not like another firms that restrict their “cheaper flagships” to 60 Hz.

With the identical Google Tensor processor that’s on the Professional and the identical 50 MP foremost digital camera, the Google Pixel 6 has sufficient going for it to deserve your hard-earned $600. Let’s take have a look at it.

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Google Pixel 6 every little thing that’s new

So, Google went in a very totally different course with its new Pixels — it totally embraced the digital camera bump and the multi-camera setup, but in addition designed the telephones to have their very own signature look. , as a substitute of doing one thing just like every little thing else on the market.

  • Recent new look
  • New 50 MP foremost digital camera
  • New Google Tensor chip inside
  • Android 12 and new Pixel-exclusive Assistant options
  • Improved voice typing and translation
  • Magic Eraser to Photoshop photobombers out of your photos
  • Face Unblur to clear up blurred faces
  • New Movement mode in digital camera (Motion Pan and Lengthy Publicity)
  • 30 W quick charging, 21 W quick wi-fi charging
  • No charger within the field (solely USB C cable)

Google Pixel 6 overview

The Pixel 6 is a metal-and-glass sandwich with tapered edges across the again to make it extra ergonomic. No prices have been lower for the $600 mannequin — the entrance panel continues to be Gorilla Glass Victus, as with the Google Pixel 6 Professional, and the again panel is Gorilla Glass 6.

The digital camera bar is a controversial level — some mock it, some prefer it. I occur to fall into the latter camp — it’s distinctive, I believe it appears cool, and it truly helps in dealing with the machine as my index finger comfortably rests in opposition to it and prevents slippage.

The Google Tensor chip inside just isn’t a benchmark champion, however that’s not the purpose. The silicon has been optimized to assist the Pixel 6 with its AI duties — we all know how Google loves to include its sensible Assistant in every little thing you do on a Pixel cellphone. In line with the producer, it’s the Google Tensor that permits the Google Assistant to soar to new heights on the Pixel 6.

The digital camera is a particular enchancment over the previous generations of Pixel telephones as the primary sensor has lastly been upgraded to a 50 MP one with binned pixels for much more light-collection. The superb software program post-processing, as we all know, does the remaining.

The battery life is reliable so long as you don’t count on greater than someday of use on a single cost.

Android 12 is a significant UI overhaul, which brings new daring buttons and new methods of customizing the interface to your fashion.

Is the Google Pixel 6 price shopping for?

Pixel followers had a tough 12 months in 2020, when Google determined to launch the Pixel 5 as a substitute of… properly, a “actual” flagship. It was an upper-midranger at finest with an admittedly nice digital camera, however missing in a number of areas. And nonetheless priced at $700.

I firmly imagine that the Google Pixel 6 gives tons of worth and undercuts a number of its opponents with its $600 price-tag. It gives the identical software program expertise and highly effective {hardware} because the Pixel 6 Professional, with the identical superior digital camera that takes incredible images in each day and night time. It’s a a lot better Pixel cellphone than final 12 months’s Pixel 5, which launched at a steeper value, too.

In truth, this new provide would possibly make firms like OnePlus and Samsung rethink how they value their flagships, and what construct supplies they choose for the “cheaper variants” going ahead.

Because it stands proper now, the Google Pixel 6 can simply take the title of Greatest Android Telephone, particularly within the $600 section. It simply pulls no punches and it doesn’t make any severe compromises. Properly, you do sacrifice the telephoto digital camera, which the Google Pixel 6 Professional has.

Add to that 3 years of Android construct updates and 5 years of safety updates and that’s $600 well-spent.

In case you are in search of a high-performance Android flagship that doesn’t value an arm and a leg, the Google Pixel 6 is true up your alley.

Google Pixel 6 launch date

The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional had been formally revealed in a presentation on the nineteenth of October and commenced transport on the twenty fifth. In different phrases — the Pixel 6 is now out and you’ll in all probability discover it in your favourite tech retailer. If not, the Google Retailer is all the time out there.

That’s for the US. Worldwide market availability could fluctuate.

Google Pixel 6 value

  • $599 for the 128 GB mannequin
  • $699 for the 256 GB mannequin

The Google Pixel 6 begins at $599 for its 128 GB variant. There’s additionally an possibility to purchase it with 256 GB storage, which makes the worth leap to $699 — nonetheless a really aggressive value level, contemplating the smartphone market in 2021.

Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Professional?

In case you are merely in search of a stable Android flagship for value, it’s fairly onerous to suggest the Pixel 6 Professional over the common Pixel 6.

Now, the Professional mannequin does have a 4x telephoto lens digital camera, a barely bigger display with curved edges, and a 120 Hz LTPO panel. So, it positively has sufficient perks to warrant its asking value.

Nevertheless, contemplating that the common Pixel 6 provides you all of the core options and doesn’t skimp on efficiency or construct high quality — it’s simple to decide on this one over the larger sibling.

Google Pixel 6 alternate options

The present alternate options which might be in the identical value vary and provide related efficiency and options are:

The Galaxy S21 is Samsung’s “small flagship” and it does have a 120 Hz AMOLED display and triple digital camera, with an precise telephoto lens, so it beats the Pixel 6 in these areas. However, its again is plastic (oops, I imply “glasstic”), its display is barely smaller at 6.2”, and it has Samsung’s tackle Android — OneUI. Not that that’s dangerous, it simply caters extra in direction of the client that wishes to dive into Samsung’s ecosystem to get essentially the most out of it.

The Galaxy S21 has an MSRP of $799, however because it’s a little bit of an older mannequin proper now, you’ll find it at a reduction recurrently.

OnePlus didn’t launch a second model of its 2021 flagships because it often does. Which implies the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Professional are its most present top-tier telephones.

The OnePlus 9 is fairly stable — it has a 6.5”, 120 Hz OLED display, and a glass again although with a plastic body that imitates steel. There’s a triple digital camera module on the again, however deal with it as a twin cam — extensive and ultra-wide. That third digital camera is only for present (2 MP monochrome sensor).

Generally, it’s a stable flagship, however its Hasselblad-branded digital camera doesn’t outperform the Pixel 6. It’s simply “good”.

Apple’s iPhone 13 is definitely going to be a heavy-hitter — it has an up to date, industry-leading digital camera, the Apple A15 chip is just overkill, however its 6.1-inch OLED display is caught to 60 Hz, and in addition the sluggish Lightning port is getting on tech followers’ nerves by now.

Nevertheless it’s simple that it’s stable, it’s a part of the Apple ecosystem, and it’ll be the Pixel 6’s foremost competitor regardless of being within the $800 value vary.

Google Pixel 6 show

The Pixel 6 comes with a — let’s name it — medium-sized 6.4-inch display on the entrance. By at present’s requirements, it’s not as giant as a plus-sized cellphone, but it surely’s positively not a display you’ll name “compact” or “small” in any case. It’s simply… snug and large enough for many utilization wants so far as smartphones are involved.

It’s an OLED panel that has three totally different colour calibration choices within the settings — Pure, Boosted, and Adaptive. Regardless of which certainly one of these you choose, the colours don’t go tastelessly aggressive. Personally, I caught with Pure as a result of it’s most simple on the eyes.

The white steadiness is barely on the chilly facet, although, fortunately there’s Evening Gentle mode to filter out the blues when the solar goes down.

The Pixel 6’s display has a 90 Hz refresh charge — not as clean as a 120 Hz panel, but it surely positively feels extra responsive and buttery when in comparison with a 60 Hz one. I really feel that, so long as the display goes above 60 Hz and you’ve got a stable contact sampling charge to again it up, you’ll be able to obtain that fluid really feel that 2021 flagships have.

The display will get a lot vivid for out of doors viewing with direct daylight. All in all, it’s a stable expertise from a very powerful a part of a smartphone.

The one challenge I’ve with the Pixel 6 show is seen color-shifting on the slightest change of an angle. This, after all, is finest noticeable when viewing a white background and didn’t interrupt my YouTube binging.

Google Pixel 6 design

I completely dig the brand new look of the Pixels — the digital camera bar on the again provides me RoboCop vizor vibes and what higher cellphone to have that android-like look than… properly, on the Pixel.

Sadly, that digital camera bar just isn’t one seamless slab of glass. No, it seems that the arched sides are made by one thing else — I believe plastic. After which the digital camera glass is only a flat piece that was inserted in there. Clearly, let’s be reasonable, if that was all one glass it will’ve been insanely costly and onerous to provide. However I really feel a bit cheated by the advertising photos.

I’m not an enormous fan of the shiny glass again — I really feel Google missed a possibility right here. The backs of the Pixel 6 telephones are already dual-tone, separated by the digital camera bar. The underside might simply have been frosted glass to offer it a delicate end and scale back the fingerprint smudging, whereas the highest might’ve been shiny nonetheless. 

Dealing with the cellphone is fairly simple — the matte body offers quantity of grip and it’s assisted by the digital camera bump resting in opposition to your fingers on the again. It’s not a really huge cellphone — whereas not compact in any method, it’s fairly simpler to work with than an iPhone 13 Professional Max, for instance.

The Pixel 6 has a barely thicker “chin” than any of its different facet bezels. Google might’ve gotten away with growing the scale of the “brow” and sticking a barely larger speaker in there.

Generally, the bezels are barely thick-ish — thicker than on a Galaxy S21+, for instance — which provides the Pixel 6’s entrance a extra mid-rangey look. It positive makes it simple to deal with the cellphone with no ghost touches, although.

The ability button and quantity rocker on the facet really feel a bit wobbly, however they do press in with a deep and satisfying click on.

There’s a USB C port on the underside for knowledge transfers and charging. Two symmetrical openings for the underside speaker, too, however solely the proper one is dwell, the opposite one is only for aesthetics.

You weren’t hoping for a headphone jack, I suppose. However yeah, the Pixel line has gotten rid of it for some time now. Even if the cheaper “a” sequence do characteristic one, the $600 Pixel 6 doesn’t.

Does the Pixel 6 have water-resistance? Sure, it’s rated IP68 for dust- and water-resistance, identical as most telephones on the market.

Google Pixel 6 efficiency

The brand new Google Tensor chip is an enormous deal, positive, however not as a result of will probably be setting benchmark data.

See, Tensor is all about its AI-oriented cores and performance. The additional {hardware} that Google must do its Assistant magic shortly and successfully straight on the machine.

So, after we have seen the numbers, how does the Pixel 6 carry out? Fairly properly, truly. I truthfully cannot complain about stutters or not having the ability to run the top-tier third half apps from the Play Retailer. The Pixel 6 is a top-tier cellphone by way of and thru and performs as such.

Pixel 6 and Android 12 unique options

Android 12 is now out and it’s official, however not all Android telephones are made the identical. The Google Pixel 6 will get unique sensible options, which Google claims it was solely capable of implement because of the Tensor chip and its AI-dedicated cores for on-device Assistant operations. In different phrases, different telephones will in all probability not get them, which is able to assist Google differentiate the Pixel line in a sea of Android telephones.

OK, so what’s new that the Pixel 6 can do?

For one, speech-to-text — the AI is now surprisingly good at taking your voice dictation (or voice typing) and trasforming it right into a textual content message. I imply, Android was good at this earlier than, however the Pixel 6 simply takes it to a brand new degree. It understands intonation, diction, intention. It might put its personal punctuation and it remembers the names of your folks. This cellphone truly encourages you to make use of voice typing simply because it does it so properly.

The identical tech has been improved for dwell translation — with the Translate app, now you can have two folks holding a dialog in two totally different languages, by talking into the cellphone. It’s nonetheless a bit awkward and it appears humorous, positive. However in case you are stranded out of the country, you would possibly simply thank the heavens for that characteristic.

Generally, the Pixel 6 is extra conscious of context and — for some situations — you’ll be able to discuss to it with out even calling out “Hey, Google”. Like, if an alarm rings, or if somebody calls you, you’ll be able to simply inform the cellphone to “Cease” or “Reply” and it’ll react.

Machine studying is supposedly going to enhance your interactions with the Google Assistant as time progresses, too. And, Google says it’s all finished on-device, because of the ability of Tensor, so that you shouldn’t fear about your voice recordings being saved and analyzed someplace else…

The Pictures app now has a Magic Eraser software, which is unique to the Pixel 6 line, not less than for now. Mainly, you’ll be able to faucet a photobomber or any disagreeable object in a photograph and the AI will delete it and “fill it up” with what it thinks must be behind it. Form of like a therapeutic software in Photoshop or different picture editors.

Does it work? For small objects, positive. It typically appears like a “dangerous Photoshob job”, however the truth that it’s a foul Photoshop job carried out by an AI that found out the perimeters and form of an object after which assumed what the background behind it’s, nonetheless blows my thoughts.

Android 12

Android 12 is a daring new redesign with numerous new customization perks. One thing everybody appears to like is how the UI can choose up the dominating colours in your chosen wallpaper after which unfold them across the interface as accent colours. That’s a fairly cool characteristic solely made higher by Google’s wealthy wallpapers suite, which makes positive you’ll by no means run out of cool photos to place in your background.

The redesigned tiles within the fast settings are in all probability going to be… an acquired style. Google made them approach too huge and now you’ll be able to solely have as much as 8 toggles per web page within the fast settings dropdown. I’m not an enormous fan of that selection, however it’s what it’s.

Google needs you to comprehend it takes privateness issues severely and it type of went overkill with some options in Android 12. You actually have toggles for Microphone Entry and Digital camera Entry within the notifications dropdown. Presumably, should you flip this off, no app by any means can use the microphone or digital camera of your machine. I examined this by making an attempt to make a name or open the Google digital camera app on the cellphone and, positive sufficient, they couldn’t perform.

Conversely, when entry is opened up, a inexperienced dot notification will let an app is utilizing the digital camera or microphone.

There are different tidbits, nuts and bolts unfold round, however I’d say Android 12 looks like a mature, severe system, that occurs to run very easily on the Pixel 6. There are many little animations that make it really feel prefer it has been polished — like once you press the ability button to show the display off and also you see it regularly “shrink” the picture into the ability button.

Then, there are moments the place it doesn’t really feel like that, since you attempt to present that animation to a good friend and it doesn’t work the identical approach, for some cause. Or the truth that, on a contemporary set up, the Pixel 6 was very keen to inform me “Hey, strive the brand new Magic Eraser!”. After I couldn’t discover it, it turned out I nonetheless needed to replace the Pictures app to get it. I imply… First World issues proper right here, however nonetheless dangerous presentation.

It’s price mentioning that the Google Pixel 6 telephones at the moment are assured to have not less than 3 years of Android updates, which implies they are going to rise up to Android 15, and 5 years of safety updates.

Google Pixel 6 digital camera

After all, that is why we’re all right here. Google’s Pixel Telephones digital camera work has been top-notch for the reason that OG Pixel happened and that was all because of the software program enhancing the imagery captured by a 12 MP sensor. Now, we’ve got a 50 MP sensor to work with and we had been all excited to see how the Pixel 6 makes use of that.

Would you be shocked if I mentioned it’s a terrific digital camera? After all not…

The Pixel 6 has two rear cameras — no shenanigans with a “macro lens” or “monochrome lens” to make it appear like there’s a triple system again there. The principle digital camera takes incredible images — sharp and vibrant, with fairly correct colours and nice particulars that you would be able to peep into. The dynamics are, after all, additionally nice because of Google’s HDR work.

And yeah, the picture high quality right here is similar as on the Google Pixel 6 Professional as the 2 gadgets share the identical digital camera sensors on the primary digital camera.

Let the samples do the speaking:

The ultrawide digital camera on the again just isn’t actually extremely… It goes right down to 0.7x  the place opponents like Samsung telephones and iPhones go right down to 0.5x. So, the Pixel 6 ultrawide digital camera is extra of a “barely wider angle”. However not less than it appears good with no intense distortion across the edges. It does look a bit softer, too, as a result of ultra-wide lens and the 12 MP sensor beneath.

There’s additionally a Portrait Mode on board, and I all the time verify that. Regardless of lacking any fancy ToF or LiDAR sensor, the Pixel does a fairly good job at topic separation.

There are a few downsides to the Pixel 6 Portrait Mode — one is that you would be able to’t modify the quantity of background blur in-camera. The cellphone simply has one preset degree and that’s. You may form of tweak it within the Pictures app after, however it may’t transcend the extent of blur your see right here.

Secondly, since there’s no telephoto lens for optical zoom, the 2x Portrait Mode is a digital crop. Actually, I don’t really feel just like the images undergo from that, however nonetheless — it’s digital zoom so take it for what it’s.

These two gripes apart, I really feel just like the Pixel’s Portrait Mode is stripped right down to the core, but it surely performs very solidly as such.

The selfie digital camera just isn’t incredible — its particulars might be delicate and it’s very simple to take a barely blurry selfie when lighting just isn’t ideally suited. Additionally, my skintone appears a bit pale-ish with it. However, in good circumstances, and with regular palms, you’ll be able to seize some good selfies for the ‘gram, positive. Selfie Portrait Mode additionally doesn’t look half dangerous.

Shifting on to nighttime pictures — Google’s Evening Sight has been fairly loopy to this point and the brand new 50 MP sensor solely makes it extra so. In truth, typically, it may make night time images appear like day so you may very well wish to flip it off if you need an precise dramatic low gentle photograph.

I attempted the brand new Movement Mode, too. Mainly, you should use this mode to simulate a protracted shutter impact or — conversely — take a photograph the place a shifting object is in focus and the background is roofed in creative movement blur. It’s type of cool. It really works fairly quick, which implies you don’t want to sit down there for too lengthy.

However, conversely, this additionally means that you would be able to’t get sufficient objects to move by way of to get a very convincing lengthy shutter, and it’s typically onerous to seize your shifting topic inside a brief window of time for an motion shot.

Movement mode looks like a little bit of a distinct segment characteristic and I’m not positive why it needed to be featured entrance and heart within the Digital camera app — however there you’ve it. A brand new toy!

Talking of blurring, although, the Pixel 6 now incorporates a Face Unblur algorithm. Just like how Google’s HDR+ already works — the cellphone captures frames earlier than and after you press the shutter. Then, it makes use of AI and machine studying to discover a face, work out if it’s smudged by movement blur, and “reconstruct” it by combining the entire frames it took through the course of. Yeah, it does that robotically.

Google Pixel 6 audio system

The Pixel 6 sports activities two audio system in a stereo setup — a bottom-firing driver and an earpiece that is truly one other loudspeaker. They sound a bit tinny and mid-heavy, so I would not say you’ll be able to take heed to music on them. However they do high quality for YouTube movies, particularly the speaking head form. They do not get too loud, however the alarm did handle to wake me up.

All in all, OK audio system, however not ones that can wow you. The Pixel 6 Professional is barely louder and thicker-sounding and the iPhone 13 sequence actually knocks it out of the park this 12 months.

Google Pixel 6 battery life

With all of the smarts on board of this tiny factor, the battery life is fairly OK. It’s not mind-blowing, 2-day endurance champ, however with common utilization it didn’t really feel like I used to be dropping an excessive amount of juice.

I’m speaking — chatting, shopping Insta and TikTok, listening to some music. About 3.5 hours of display on time per day and I nonetheless have about 30% within the night, so I don’t really feel rushed to get to a wall outlet.

The Pixel 6 does assist wi-fi charging (21 W quick wi-fi charging, at that), so you’ll be able to simply plop it on a Qi mat every time you aren’t utilizing it, ensuring it would by no means run out of juice. It additionally helps energy share, that means you ran cost one thing else with it — like a smartwatch or earbuds that assist wi-fi charging.

For wired charging, you’ll be able to hook it as much as the USB C port and get 30 W quick charging if the brick helps it. Yeah, you should purchase one aftermarket should you don’t have one already.

After all, there’s the well-known Excessive Battery Saver mode on board, which limits your cellphone’s features to only the necessities. You should use that one to avoid wasting juice when on a protracted journey or a hike, however I by no means discovered the necessity for it in my day-to-day.

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