Google wants us to recognize that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are turning points. With big screens, big ambitions, and small prices, Google claims to be ready to take on Apple and Samsung finally
After many exposures, official teases, and months of anticipating, Google eventually opened its latest Pixel phones to a formal launch. The new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are the latest high-end phones from the company that hasn’t traditionally made much of a cut in the high-end phone market. Both are available for preorder from October 19 and will commence shipping on October 28.
There are many things to cover with the new Pixels, but the most important place to start is this: $599 and $899. Of course, aggressive pricing has long been a Pixel thing, and though the latest Pixel 6 and 6 Pro render a new push from Google to produce ambitious phones with the best from Apple and Samsung.
The next thing to note with the Pixels is their new processor, a custom-designed ARM SoC (System on a Chip) that Google calls Tensor. A custom TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) for AI built right into the chip and many main processing pipelines. In extension, there are two high-power application cores, two mid-range cores, four low-power cores, a dedicated coprocessor for security, a private compute core, and an image processing core. The Pixel 6 pairs the new chip with 8GB of RAM, while the Pixel 6 Pro possesses 12GB.
Visually, the new mobiles are a deviation from prior Pixel phones. Though they share a primary design language, that language doesn’t connect back to the Pixel 5 or the Pixel 4 that arrived before. In addition, Google offers each phone in three distinct colors, but the 6 Pro’s are decidedly more monotonously “professional,” while the regular Pixel 6 colors are more fun.
The most noticeable feature of the 6 and 6 Pro is the back camera installation. Google appears to relate to it as a “bar,” but it’s an immense protuberance that spans the undivided width of the phone and houses two (Pixel 6) or three (6 Pro) cameras and associated sensors in it.
That back camera installation is so prominent because the camera is necessary for these latest models, as typical with Pixel phones. Both phones hold a 50-megapixel primary sensor that is hardcoded to output 12.5-megapixel photos. It’s a much more comprehensive sensor than Google’s used before, comes with 1.2μm pixels, and is behind an f/1.85 aperture optically stabilized lens. As a result, Google announces it seizes 150 percent more light than the Pixel 5’s camera. Following is a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with a 114-degree field of view, f/2.2 lens, and correspondingly large 1.25μm pixels.
The front cameras vary between the models, too, with the Pixel 6 arranging an 8-megapixel, 84-degree range of view and the 6 Pro employing an 11.1-megapixel, 94-degree camera. That interprets that you’ll be ready to fit more people in a selfie with the 6 Pro than you contain in the 6.
The new processor allows new image editing features, similar to a “magic eraser” tool that automatically removes distracting elements in your pictures and new long-exposure and motion blur capture forms.
For video, both phones can solicit up to 4K 60fps, now conclude with Google’s auto HDR image processing, or seize up to 240fps slow-mo video at 1080p. While Google has usually surpassed at still image capture, it has dramatically been behind Apple in video capture.
Shifting to the front of the tools, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro have large OLED displays. The 6’s screen contains 6.4 inches diagonally, has a 1080p comprehensive resolution, and can refresh at 90Hz for a smoother scrolling activity. However, it’s a flat panel and has imperceptibly larger bezels all-encompassing than the 6 Pro, which employs curved sides on its 6.7-inch, 1440p screen to reduce the bezels. The 6 Pro also uses LTPO technology to vary its refresh rate from as low a 10Hz up to 120Hz. Of course, it depends on what you’re performing on the phone. Both phones’ displays are covered in the latest Gorilla Glass Victus glass and support HDR.
The screens are sharp and view good, though if you tilt them off-axis, you can observe the noticeable color variation, and there’s a visible shadow in the 6 Pro’s curves. Those are something we don’t recognize in the best screens from Apple and Samsung at this time.
Among the two, the 6 Pro seems extra “premium.” Its aluminum surfaces are thinner and polished to a shine; the regular 6 has matte and thicker textures.
Both possess wireless charging & reverse wireless charging for accessories, in-screen optical fingerprint sensors, IP68 weather resistance ratings, fast charging support, and stereo speakers.
Both phones also carry 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, though only the 6 Pro and a relevant variant of the 6 for Verizon, which costs $100 more, have millimeter-wave support. Batteries are necessary in both models: 4614mAh in the six and 5004mAh in the 6 Pro.
Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro combine a few new highlights that leverage their custom processors, like faster on-device translation and those unique AI-powered image editing features. Notably, Google says the new phones will get five years of software support, more profound than any other Pixel before. In addition, Google says all the major US carriers, plus retailers such as Amazon, will be selling the phones.