Google Pixel 6 Review
The Pixel 6 is a powerful mid-range phone from Google that succeeds the good but uninspired Pixel 5. It sits between Google’s high-end flagship, the Pixel 6 Pro ($899), and the more cheap Pixel 5a With 5G ($449), and for $599, it packs quite a punch in terms of features-to-value.
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The Pixel 6 comfortably outperforms the competition and replaces the Pixel 5a because of its combination of outstanding camera performance, extended battery life, and unbeatable Android OS. The Pixel 6 is a more premium phone than its predecessors, with a more sleek appearance and more capable cameras.
Google Pixel 6 Price, Variants, Availability
The Google Pixel 6 is now available in stores across the USA, and the pricing varies depending on where you purchase it. The 128GB variant will set you back $599 (approx Rs 44,900) if purchased through Google Fi, T-Mobile, or Xfinity Mobile. Adding more storage adds an additional $100 to the cost. Google Pixel 6 price in India and availability is still not confirmed but I strongly feel it is not making its way to the Indian market.
Google Pixel 6 Box Contents
Apart from the Pixel 6 phone, you will get the following inside the box:
- SIM tool
- Quick Switch Adapter
- 1m USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
- Quickstart packet (guide, safety, and regulatory information)
- Google Pixel USB-C earbuds (France)
Google Pixel 6 Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the Google Pixel 6, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.4-inches AMOLED
- Chipset: Google Tensor
- RAM & ROM: 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB
- Software: Android 12
- Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP
- Selfie camera: 8MP
- Battery: 4614 mAh
- Weight: 207g
- Dimensions: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm
Google Pixel 6 Design and Build
Google Pixel 6 has a new design that was unveiled months before the phones were released. Perhaps this was done to prepare the public for the drastic overhaul of the Google Pixel 5, which had a single-colour back with only a subtle fingerprint sensor and a square camera block. The back of the new Pixel 6 is two-toned and separated by a horizontal camera block that runs the width of the phone. It’s definitely unique, and it could be a deal-breaker for people who prefer a phone with a smaller camera array. As a result, the Pixel 6 will most probably require a special case – and it appears to be borderline necessary.
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In the box, Google included a silicon Pixel 6 case with additional bumpers above and below the camera gap to prevent the glass from scratching on the surface on which the smartphone is placed. We’re not sure if the glass on the back is the same as the Gorilla Glass Victus that protects the front, and we’re not sure if it would endure a drop that directly affected the phone’s backside. The Pixel 6 won’t rest flat on a desk with or without the case because of the large camera bump, which causes a ramp-like incline.
The Pixel 6 features a glass back rather than the metal that went around the back and sides of the Pixel 5, but it has a matte finish that matches the metal frame and is made of high-quality materials that don’t feel cheap. Both the power and volume keys are located on the handset’s right edge, with the latter fitting comfortably under the thumb. For people with smaller hands, the power button will be a little out of reach, but the placement isn’t bad.
Google Pixel 6 Display
Consider the Pixel 6’s display to be the Goldilocks of smartphone displays: at 6.4-inches, it’s neither too big nor too little, but most users will find it just perfect. The 2400 x 1080p resolution is extremely sharp, and the thin bezels allow apps to use up all of the available screen room.
If you want a phone with a 120Hz refresh rate, you’ll have to pay for the Pixel 6 Pro, but users of the less priced Pixel 6 won’t be left out in the cold. The Pixel 6 has an adaptive 90Hz refresh rate, which scales up when your on-screen activity benefits from smoother navigation and gameplay and drops back down to 60Hz when battery life is needed.
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When compared to similarly priced phones with AMOLED displays, the Pixel 6’s display has reasonably consistent colours. The display has a more vibrant blend of colours than handsets like the iPhone 12 Pro, and this isn’t only in terms of the overall palette. In a side-by-side comparison of contrast, the Pixel 6’s OLED screen revealed more contrast in adjacent colours, going from brighter to darker hues; the iPhone 12 Pro’s display flattened more of the colour together.
Google Pixel 6 Performance
The Google Tensor SoC is available for the first time in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Google developed its processors, coprocessors, instruction sets, and other software exclusively for the Pixel lineup to offer a hybrid computing experience. Despite its primary eight-core CPU, the Google Tensor’s 5nm technology is energy efficient. The CPU has four 1.8GHz Cortex-A55 cores for simple tasks, two 2.8GHz Cortex-X1 cores for demanding tasks, two 2.25GHz Cortex-A76 high-performance cores.
The Google Tensor is responsible for the performance, and one of the most serious questions about Tensor has been how it will compare to the Snapdragon 888 processor found in the majority of Android handsets.
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The answer is that Tensor is on par with the Snapdragon 888 while being a few sections behind it.
The Tensor’s graphics performance is comparable to those of other top Android flagships. Even though my aim wasn’t great, playing a graphics-intensive game like PUBG Mobile on the Pixel 6 looked sharp and response times were good.
Google Pixel 6 Software
The Pixel 6 is the first smartphone to run Android 12, Google’s most recent software update for Android devices. This isn’t just a change; Android 12 includes Google’s new Material You interface, which is pre-installed on the Pixel 6. That means the wallpapers adjust to your Pixel’s colour – the available wallpapers were all tweaked to match my device. The built-in Google apps get customised icons, and even features like the keyboard take on the shading of your smartphone.
Many basic features are improved by Google’s Tensor processor, which is notably visible in apps that have voice functionality. Live translation is available in Google Messages, Snapchat, and a number of other messaging apps. This feature was tried in French and German, and the translations were perfect. Even better, the recorder application can translate conversations in real-time.
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That’s a lot of new functionality to take in, and Google doesn’t always make it easy to discover it, forcing you to go through settings to enable it. But I’m delighted Google is continuing to put its machine learning skills to good use.
Google Pixel 6 Camera
I was most excited to try the Pixel 6’s cameras out of all the upgrades, and Google did not disappoint. The Pixel 6 captures amazing photos thanks to its higher-spec lenses and sensors. Let me quickly counter that by reminding you that this is still a smartphone. In a wider range of lighting and circumstances, a mirrorless camera or DSLR can consistently shoot better images. However, hardly everyone carries a mirrorless camera with them at all times.
While it’s obvious that the Google Pixel 6 shoots excellent images given the qualities of its predecessors, the Pixel series has been doing wonders with 12MP cameras for years, and we were curious to see what Google’s new phone could do with its 50MP main camera and Tensor processor. The answer is a – heck of a lot.
The Pixel 6 includes new primary and ultra-wide cameras, however, it lacks the telephoto lens on the Pixel 6 Pro. The primary camera has a 50MP resolution, an f/1.85 aperture, a 1.2m pixel width, and a large 1/1.31-inch sensor. For precise 12.5MP photos, it employs an Octa PD Quad Bayer technique with all-pixel autofocus.
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In our low-light camera testing, we saw blooming and a considerable loss of fine detail.
A 12MP ultra-wide sensor with a 1.25m pixel width and an f/2.2 aperture is also included. The lens has a field of view of 114 degrees. To reduce distortion, Google employs computational photography in conjunction with upgraded lens elements. Overall, the ultrawide is adequate but not exceptional. Photographic details are acceptable, however, they are often mushy.
The Pixel 6 takes great photos with a lot of depth of field.
The camera bar also has a spectral and flicker sensor, as well as laser detect autofocus (LDAF). Optical and electronic image stabilisation is available on both the primary and ultra-wide lenses.
Both cameras are capable of taking photographs that are among the best in their class. For the most part, our daylight test images show superb detail and excellent depth of field, but a couple appears slightly soft. Our main complaint is that our images appear washed out. While Google is known for their natural-looking colour science, images taken with the Pixel 6 appear to be a little warm and undersaturated. However, you can simply make changes to your photos on Google Photos.
The front-facing camera on the Pixel 6 Pro has a larger field of view than the selfie camera on the Pixel 6, allowing you to include more friends in group photographs. The latter, on the other hand, performs well, with good sky detail in the standard photo, something that practically every phone’s front-facing camera suffers with.
The Tensor chip from Google enables even more camera modes and functions. When it’s too dark, there’s Night Sight, Google’s equivalent of combining multiple photos.
Google Pixel 6 Battery
The Google Pixel 6’s battery capacity is 4,612mAh, up from 4,080mAh in last year’s Pixel 5 and significantly more than the Pixel 4’s meagre 2,800mAh. While the Pixel 6 Pro‘s battery has a higher capacity at 5,000mAh, the Pixel 6 easily lasts a full day of use. The phone’s battery life is claimed to be up to 24 hours, which may be extended to 48 hours with the use of the Extreme Battery Saver mode, however, we expect less based on our tests. While a USB-C to USB-C connection is included in the box, there is no plug adaptor.
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The Pixel 6 enables fast-charging up to 30W. Because Google appears to have joined other phone manufacturers in the battle on e-waste, you’ll have to find one on your own. While testing, we were able to charge the battery to just over 80% in an hour. Wireless charging (up to 21W) is also supported by the Pixel 6, allowing you to place the smartphone on a charging mat without having to search for a cable. This is similar to other phones’ maximum wireless charging rates of 10W and 15W.
Google Pixel 6 Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
The Pixel’s speakers, which are placed at the top and bottom of the phone, amazed me. It has a good balance of highs and lows. Other handsets have unequal splits between their dual speakers (usually near the earpiece and adjacent to the power port), with treble or bass dominating one over the other; however, the Pixel 6 feels much more balanced, with its two speakers producing a more even mix. There is no headphone jack on this device. This is Google’s first smartphone to include an in-screen fingerprint scanner, which has been available on other flagships for several years. The fingerprint reader on the Pixel 6 appears to be working fine at least in the initial days.
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Google Pixel 6 Pros & Cons
- Google Tensor chip
- Snappy performance
- Smooth and dynamic display
- Impressive battery life
- Excellent camera
- Excellent value
- Slow fingerprint scanner
- No zoom lens
Google did it. Finally, they have developed a handset that feels like a full-fledged flagship smartphone. It’s taken six long years, but the Pixel 6 finally seems like Google isn’t going to hold back out of fear for its Android licensees or any other commitment issue. A new Google SoC, a slew of AI software features that really works, and an all-new Android version. These features combine to create the finest Android smartphone available—the Android ecosystem’s One True Flagship. The Pixel 6 is an obvious “buy” recommendation with its affordable pricing.