Google Pixel 6 evaluation second opinion: So near perfection

Patrick

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional flip a brand new web page for the corporate’s smartphone {hardware} ambitions. The Massive G isn’t fully abandoning its reasonably priced flagship experiment — the Pixel 6 is without doubt one of the greatest worth for cash choices out there — however with the marginally costlier Pixel 6 Professional, Google is returning to the premium tier and catering to the fanatic market as nicely.

I’ve had the pleasure of taking each telephones for a spin over the previous few weeks. They’re actually extra alike than not, however they do exist with barely completely different consumers in thoughts. The Google Pixel 6 Professional is, clearly, the definitive version of Google’s newest imaginative and prescient, however the Pixel 6 isn’t as far behind as the worth tag would possibly indicate.

Our full verdict: Google Pixel 6 evaluation | Google Pixel 6 Professional evaluation

Each fashions already earned Android Authority’s coveted Editor’s Selection award, which tells you simply how well-liked these telephones are across the workplace. However how do the little particulars truthful after just a few weeks of use and which of the 2 do you have to spend your cash on? Stick to our Google Pixel 6 evaluation second opinion to seek out out.

New design, each inside and outside

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Android 12 homescreens

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

For those who’re bored of the identical previous look and smartphones with frankly stagnant aesthetics, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional are the breath of recent air you’ve been ready for. Not simply when it comes to the funky new colorways — Android 12 additionally marks a significant departure from the feel and appear of Android OS’s passed by. I’d charge these two alongside the Oppo Discover X3 Professional because the best-looking telephones of the 12 months, and I’d lean in direction of giving the Pixel 6s the trophy.

For those who’re bored of the identical previous look, the Pixel 6 collection is the breath of recent air you have been ready for.

The horizontal digicam housing stands out from the group and the Pixel 6 Professional’s polished alloy body provides to the premium look. Not everybody likes curved show edges however they work for me on this one, owing to the Professional’s gargantuan measurement. The common Pixel 6 has straight edges with a tactile alloy body that makes the cellphone really feel fatter. It appears boxier and a bit cheaper too — suppose Galaxy S20 FE and also you’re in the precise space.

Whereas these telephones are so significantly better trying than earlier Pixels, they aren’t with out some caveats. The protruding digicam housing collects mud and is straightforward to dent. The Pixel 6 Professional’s big 6.7-inch measurement and glass again additionally makes it extremely slippery, verging on fully unusable in a single hand. Regardless of Google choosing Corning’s newest with Gorilla Glass Victus on the entrance, again, and digicam module, I’m not bought on the scratch resistance particularly of the quilt glass. The Pixel 6 Professional picked up a protracted, albeit surface-level scratch sitting alone in my trouser pocket on the second day of use (you’ll be able to see this and the dusty digicam module within the pictures under). The construct high quality is ok however not distinctive. I’d recommend you purchase a pleasant case.

The Pixel 6 appears nice however the {hardware} has just a few small points.

The audio system are wealthy and loud, however pretty bottom-heavy, making it simple to muffle the cellphone’s sound when held panorama. Then there’s the in-display fingerprint scanner. I don’t prefer it, I don’t hate it, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly not the polished expertise you would possibly count on from a flagship cellphone — a sense echoed by a lot of our workforce. Studying occasions are gradual in comparison with the Pixel 5’s rear capacitive scanner and the Samsung Galaxy S21’s ultrasonic in-display mannequin. The optical nature additionally leads to a blinding brilliant flash when unlocking your cellphone at evening. Google is already addressing this through software program updates, however Google undoubtedly must file this one within the “please repair for the Pixel 7” drawer.

Nonetheless, the punchy Kinda Coral and Sorta Seafoam colorways for the Pixel 6 are a pleasant choice to have. I’d like much more selection although, particularly for the Pixel 6 Professional that is available in simply Stormy Black, Cloudy White, and Sorta Sunny. Though I have to say that Cloudy White is a timelessly good look.

Shade customization is on the coronary heart of Android 12 too, the place Google’s Materials You marks a significant aesthetic departure from Android 11. Shade extraction pulls out the important thing colours out of your wallpaper and applies them throughout the OS, widgets, and supported apps, as seen under. You’ll be able to override this feature in the event you like, nevertheless it’s fairly a pleasant method to preserve your cellphone feeling recent.

Different redesigned parts embody the bubbly-looking Fast Settings tiles and much more white house within the Settings menu. These adjustments look higher on the massive screens of the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional than they do on the smaller Pixel 5. Re-design apart, in the event you’ve used Android earlier than, all of the acquainted goodies are nonetheless right here — a number of it simply appears completely different. There’s a bunch of recent options too, which you’ll learn all about on the hyperlink under.

Learn extra: Every little thing it’s good to learn about Android 12

General, Android 12 is as feature-packed as ever and extra customizable than earlier than, though it’s a bit finicky in locations. Navigating the settings menu to allow options like Bubbles and Reside Translate is more and more labyrinth-like, and I’m undecided why these aren’t on by default. I’ve additionally skilled random display screen locking and damaged Fast Setting tiles when rotating the display screen, so Android 12 just isn’t fully bug-free in the mean time both.

The recent look won’t be to everybody’s style, however Google likes it sufficient to supply three years of OS and 5 years of safety updates for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional. That’s one of the best within the Android enterprise, if not fairly as strong an replace roadmap as some had been hoping for, and it’s nonetheless a way behind Apple.

The debut of Google Tensor

Google Pixel 6 GeekBench 5 on screen

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

In fact, the opposite main newly designed aspect with the Pixel 6 collection is the Google Tensor processor. Co-designed with Samsung, the processor sports activities a novel Arm-based CPU structure and an exterior Samsung 5G modem, alongside Google’s built-in in-house machine studying and Titan M2 safety smarts. You’ll discover precisely the identical options and efficiency in each the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional. Though the Pixel 6 is backed by 8GB reasonably than the Professional’s 12GB of RAM, this makes no discernable distinction exterior of utmost multitasking conditions, which I by no means encountered throughout my testing.

We’ve already lined the deeper specs elsewhere — suffice to say that the Google Tensor performs each bit in addition to you’d count on from a flagship processor. Sporting two Cortex-X1 powerhouse CPU cores and a 20-core Mali-G78 graphics association, there’s greater than sufficient efficiency on supply right here in your extra demanding smartphone use circumstances. The cellphone additionally presents distinctive battery life, which has been a priority in Pixel generations passed by. The Pixel 6 Professional took me via a full day of net shopping, video watching, and a spot of images with some battery to spare, as did the common Pixel 6, though neither was fairly a two-day system for me.

For those who’re eager about benchmarks, outcomes are available someplace across the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and Samsung Exynos 2100 for single-core CPU scores, however nearer to the earlier era for multi-core. Graphics-wise, the hefty GPU core depend sees it outperform different 2021 flagship chipsets, relying on the workload.

The Google Tensor performs each bit in addition to you’d count on from a flagship processor.

I’ve seen the Pixel 6 develop into a bit heat throughout 5G downloads and whereas recording 4K 60fps video. A stress take a look at benchmark reveals that the cellphone fails to maintain peak graphics efficiency for so long as different main smartphones. Nonetheless, this received’t be a consider most titles as a stress take a look at is way extra demanding than most gaming workloads. I didn’t discover any lag or slowdowns when taking part in Name of Obligation: Cell for half an hour, for instance. However this can be one thing to think about in the event you play probably the most demanding cell video games for extended durations of time.

In fact, there’s extra to a contemporary chipset than simply efficiency, and Google Tensor is full of machine studying and safety parts which have some tangible results on the person expertise. For starters, the Pixel 6 sports activities quicker and extra correct text-to-speech translation and speed-to-text recognition. Reside Translate additionally presents real-time conversion with out the help of cloud companies.

Google’s machine studying smarts prolong to the digicam’s picture sign processor, with HDR+, Night time Sight, Magic Eraser, and extra working on the chip to the touch up your pictures (extra at that within the subsequent part). For those who’re massive into Google’s voice options via Google Assistant and snapping pics, you then’ll be benefiting from the Tensor chip’s capabilities. If not, there are many different nice high-performance telephones on the market too and I actually wouldn’t purchase this cellphone only for Google’s semi-custom silicon.

Google Tensor is a positive chip however the lack of 5G mmWave makes it much less future-proof than some.

The Google Tensor SoC is paired with an exterior Samsung Exynos 5123 modem for 4G and 5G networking capabilities. Different chipsets supply built-in modems for improved effectivity. The one method to lay palms on blazing-fast mmWave capabilities is in the event you purchase the Pixel 6 Professional within the US or the Pixel 6 instantly from AT&T or Verizon. Within the latter case, the Pixel 6 comes with an additional $100 premium on prime. All different carriers and consumers of any Pixel 6 system in Europe are out of luck.

Associated: The most effective 5G telephones you should buy

Whereas unlikely to be a dealbreaker for a lot of, particularly as mmWave sign availability is so restricted, it’s some extent price contemplating in the event you plan to maintain the cellphone for Google’s full five-year anticipated lifespan. By then mmWave might be extra of a factor, and flagship telephones from Apple, Samsung, and others are extra future-proof on this regard. Nonetheless, the $100 hike for the Pixel 6 might be exhausting to abdomen for many, even when the Pixel 6 remains to be well-positioned in opposition to the competitors even with the raised $699 asking value.

When it comes to speeds on the sub-6GHz mannequin, I examined London’s spotty protection and hit fiber-level speeds of about 80Mbps down. Consider me, that’s fairly good for the UK however the cellphone did get fairly heat throughout the obtain session.

What about these cameras?

Google Pixel 6 Pro and Google Pixel 6 camera lenses

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

You’ll be able to’t evaluation Pixels with out taking a detailed take a look at the cameras and I’ve used them extensively over the previous few weeks. Google has lastly upgraded its digicam {hardware} this era, choosing a a lot bigger most important picture sensor and improved ultra-wide snapper. Google’s Pixel 6 Professional sees much more upgrades, with a 4x optical zoom lens and a brand new selfie digicam besides. Combining Google’s machine studying smarts with some much-needed new digicam {hardware} has produced the corporate’s greatest digicam package deal up to now, notably within the 6 Professional. Nonetheless, there are some caveats.

Learn extra: Every little thing it’s good to know concerning the Pixel 6’s new digicam

So far as picture high quality goes, the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional hammer dwelling wonderful white stability, publicity, and colours that provide just a bit bit extra saturation than in earlier years. Nonetheless, daylight footage, excessive HDR, and basic particulars don’t actually look any completely different from final 12 months’s Pixel 5. Those that had been anticipating a significant improve to basic picture high quality could also be left considerably unhappy right here — though the Pixel 5 was a positive shooter in daylight anyway and the Pixel 6 is equally nice.

We spot extra significant enhancements over Google’s predecessor relating to low-light images. Whereas nonetheless closely reliant on Night time Sight for taking pictures at nighttime, the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional present cleaner-looking footage, with much less noise and far richer particulars in difficult circumstances. The handsets’ portrait mode can also be a step up, offering improved pores and skin textures and tones together with pretty trying bokeh blur that’s accurately utilized more often than not. Likewise, the Pixel 6 Professional, with its new 4x zoom digicam, is aggressive with one of the best within the enterprise relating to medium and even long-range images, because of Google’s Tremendous Res Zoom algorithms. Its selfie digicam can also be marginally improved on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 6, notably in decrease lighting circumstances.

The Pixel 6’s digicam is a bit too near the Pixel 5. It is the Professional mannequin you may need for a much bigger improve.

By comparability, the ultra-wide-angle lens is a disappointment. Whereas providing improved dynamic vary and colours over the Pixel 5, it’s nonetheless fairly noisy in decrease gentle and suffers from noticeable lens distortion when taking pictures in opposition to brilliant gentle. For those who commonly attain for the ultra-wide snapper, I’d in all probability search for a greater digicam cellphone. I’ve additionally seen the odd ugly texture element, and Google’s algorithms are a bit heavy on the sharpening. Google’s digicam package deal doesn’t all the time maintain up brilliantly on very shut inspection.

Nonetheless, the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional — notably the latter — take some completely wonderful snaps, as I believe you’ll agree from our gallery above. For those who’re massive into portrait mode, the Pixel 6 is a superb selection and the Pixel 6 Professional is even higher in the event you like to zoom in. General, I’d actually charge it above the iPhone 13 Professional Max, except you’re critically into videography the place Apple nonetheless has the sting.

See extra pics: Google Pixel 6 Professional digicam shootout vs Apple and Samsung

Nonetheless, I’m not satisfied Google’s flagship digicam setup is sort of as versatile as Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Extremely. Though it prices $300 additional and doesn’t all the time take the higher snap, Samsung’s flagship gives low gentle, ultra-wide, and zoom capabilities which might be just a bit extra constant than Google’s Pixel 6 Professional. Regardless of all that, any of those gadgets are a wonderful decide for documenting your life and the Pixel 6 stands out as a selected cut price for a general-purpose digicam.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Professional: The little particulars depend

Google 30W USB C Power Charger resting on Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There are just a few different high quality of life variations between the flagship Pixel 6 Professional and the cheaper Pixel 6. For starters, the previous presents an adaptive 120Hz QHD+ show and the latter a locked 60/90Hz FHD+ decision model. Each shows look nice and are completely crisp. The Pixel 6 Professional maybe appears a fraction smoother when scrolling, however the common Pixel 6 presents a lot of the identical expertise.

The Pixel 6 Professional additionally helps ultra-wideband know-how, which the Pixel 6 doesn’t. Use circumstances are area of interest in the mean time, so once more this isn’t a function I’d really feel compelled to purchase the Professional mannequin for. The Professional, nevertheless, does supply a bigger 512GB storage possibility, do you have to want that a lot house.

Daily, the Pixel 6 presents 90% of the Professional’s expertise for a fraction of the worth.

These are small variations, and the telephones have much more in widespread. Each sport an IP68 mud and water resistance score, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6E, and quick wi-fi charging through the brand new Pixel Stand. There’s a small technical distinction right here, with the Pixel 6 providing 21W versus the Professional’s 23W, however it will make a marginal if any distinction to cost occasions.

Talking of charging, the 2 telephones additionally transfer over to USB Energy Supply PPS quick charging. Though Google recommends utilizing its new 30W adapter, each telephones truly solely draw 22W peak energy, so you will get away with a decrease energy third-party charger. Sadly, each telephones undergo from fairly gradual cost occasions, taking slightly below two hours to go from empty to full. The smaller battery within the Pixel 6 costs a bit quicker however solely by mere minutes. Neither cellphone comes with a charger within the field, so in the event you’re in search of a brand new plug, try our information under.

Learn extra: The most effective chargers to accurately quick cost the Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 evaluation second opinion: Getting nearer to perfection

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro review outdoor with autumn leaves

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Google’s Pixel 6 and 6 Professional are two excellent smartphones, though hardly ever have I used handsets which might be so equal components thrilling and imperfect. For every part these two do proper, there’s virtually actually a caveat. The brand new cameras are nice, the ultra-wide shooter not a lot. I like the shows, however the fingerprint scanner is finicky. And whereas the design appears superb, the Pixel 6 Professional is extra slippery than a Teflon politician.

General, I like each of them and relating to worth for cash you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a higher purchase than the Google Pixel 6. At $599 it’s extra reasonably priced than the Samsung Galaxy S21 ($799) and OnePlus 9 ($729) but feels each bit nearly as good to make use of and can obtain updates for the following 5 years. For those who’re after a flagship-tier cellphone that received’t break the financial institution, the Pixel 6 is it.

Google’s Pixel 6 is an absolute cut price and the Professional is not far off the mark both.

Maybe the more durable query is whether or not the Pixel 6 Professional is well worth the $300 additional. Regardless of various specification variations, the one actual tangible enhancements, in my expertise, are with the digicam’s zoom and the finer points of the Professional’s bodily design. The Pixel 6 Professional actually appears and feels a bit extra premium within the hand, placing it aesthetically nearer to top-tier iPhone and Galaxy territory. That stated, the cellphone’s fingerprint scanner, lack of world mmWave, and the iffy ultra-wide digicam shouldn’t command the identical value as Apple’s and Samsung’s greatest. So it’s job the Pixel 6 Professional is $899 and never $1,000 plus, however even then I’d solely suggest it over the common Pixel 6 for many who are fairly choosy relating to design and images.

Personally, I’m studying to like the Google Pixel 6 Professional, warts and all. Regardless of its flaws, it’s my favourite cellphone to make use of this 12 months because of its distinctive design and highly effective digicam setup. But whereas the smaller Pixel 6 doesn’t have fairly the identical technological wow issue, it’s an unbelievably good purchase for these seeking to spend a extra affordable sum on a really succesful, reliable smartphone.

google pixel 6 pro camera

Google Pixel 6 Professional

The Pixel 6 Professional outshines its little brother with a 6.7-inch QHD+ show and 120Hz refresh charge. It has the identical two rear cameras because the Pixel 6 however with a further 4x optical telephoto lens.

google pixel 6 press image sorta seafoam

Google Pixel 6

The extra reasonably priced Pixel

The Google Pixel 6 incorporates a 6.4-inch FHD+ show and runs on the all-new Google Tensor SoC. It has an upgraded digicam system, unique software program options, and presents a few of the greatest {hardware} Google has ever produced.

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