After Google has finally given its latest Pixel 6 2021 a formal unveiling after countless leaks, public teases, and months of anticipation. The new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are the latest high-end phones from a firm that hasn’t had much success in the high-end phone market in the past. Both are available for preorder beginning today, October 19th, and shipping will begin on October 28th. All major US carriers, as well as shops such as the Google Store, Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, Costco, and others, will sell the phones, according to Google.
There’s a lot to talk about with the new Pixels, but the most important thing to know is that they’re $599 and $899. Those are the starting costs for both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. That pricing is competitive when compared to equivalent iPhones, Samsung phones, or even OnePlus phones, especially when you consider that both base versions come with 128GB of storage. (The 6 can have up to 256GB of storage, while the 6 Pro can have up to 512GB.)
The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro mark a fresh drive by Google to build phones that are competitive with the finest from Apple and Samsung, but these prices are just lower than the competition. Many people may be attracted to the Pixels since, at the end of the day, they are less expensive.
Another notable feature of the Pixels is their new CPU, a custom-designed ARM SoC (System on a Chip) dubbed Tensor by Google. Google claims it can compete with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, which is found in almost every other high-end Android phone on the market right now.
With this CPU, there’s a lot going on. The most important feature is that the chip includes a proprietary TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) for AI as well as numerous major processing pipelines. There are also two high-power application cores, two mid-range application cores, four low-power application cores, a dedicated security coprocessor, a private computation core, and an image processing core. The Pixel 6 comes with 8GB of RAM, while the Pixel 6 Pro has 12GB.
WITH GOOGLE’S NEW TENSOR PROCESSOR, THERE’S A LOT GOING ON.
The latest Pixel phones look different than previous Pixel phones. Despite the fact that they share a design language, it isn’t particularly connected to the Pixel 5 or the Pixel 4 that came before it. Instead, these are more flamboyant, shinier phones, with polished metal frames (on the 6 Pro) and gleaming glass backs (on both). Each phone is available in three colors, however, the Pixel 6 Pro colors are more “professional” (read: boring), whilst the normal Pixel 6 2021 colors are plainly more fun.
We can’t quite put our finger on how we feel about the new designs, but they do have an undeniably generic vibe to them. These might be phones from Samsung, TCL, OnePlus, Oppo, or any of a number of other Chinese OEMs if the G logo is removed from the back. Prior Pixel phones were panned for having a bland design that resembled a reference design, yet they all had a Google-like style. We’re not sure if the new models have it or not.
By the way, according to Google’s guidelines for reviewers and influencers, we can now talk about hardware impressions and specs but not about software, performance, or image quality. It’s designed to give you hands-on experience; rest assured, we’ll have a lot more to say about it in the entire review.
The back camera housing is the most noticeable feature on the iPhone 6 and 6 Pro. It’s an enormous protuberance that spans the entire width of the phone and houses two (Pixel 6) or three (6 Pro) cameras and related sensors.
I call it a ledge; you might call it a shelf; Google seems to refer to it as a “bar,” but it’s an enormous protuberance that spans the entire width of the phone and houses two (Pixel 6) or three (6 Pro) cameras and related sensors in it. The bar is large, but unlike camera housings in the upper corner found on iPhones and Samsung phones, it does not cause the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro to sway when placed on its side. A case will very certainly assist in reducing the size.
A CAMERA UPGRADE YEARS IN THE MAKING
Because, as is customary with Pixel phones, the camera is one of the most essential features of these new models, that back camera housing is quite noticeable. After four generations of using the same camera sensor, Google has finally moved to a new one. Both phones have a 50-megapixel primary sensor with a 12.5-megapixel output hardcoded. It’s a significantly larger sensor than Google has used before — physically larger than even the iPhone 13 Pro’s new camera sensor — with 1.2 million pixels and an optically stabilized lens with an f/1.85 aperture. It captures 150 percent more light than the Pixel 5’s camera, according to Google. A 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with a 114-degree field of view, f/2.2 lens, and 1.25m pixels sits next to it.
You get a 4x telephoto camera on the Pixel 6 Pro, which isn’t available on the ordinary Pixel 6 2021. This camera boasts 48 megapixels (which may also be binned down to 12-megapixel output) with an f/3.5 aperture lens. 4x is slightly more reach than the iPhone 13 Pro’s 3x telephoto lens, but not nearly as far as Samsung’s 10x lens, which has been included on its high-end phones (not to mention the even longer lenses companies like Xiaomi and Huawei have deployed recently).
The front cameras are also different across the versions, with the Pixel 6 having an 8-megapixel camera with an 84-degree field of view and the Pixel 6 Pro having an 11.1-megapixel camera with a 94-degree field of view. With the 6 Pro, you’ll be able to fit more people in a selfie than you can with the 6.
New picture-editing tools enabled by the new processor include a “magic eraser” tool that automatically removes distracting areas from your images, as well as new long-exposure and motion blur capture modes.
Both phones can shoot 4K 60fps video, which now includes Google’s auto HDR image processing, as well as 240fps slow-mo video at 1080p. While Google has always excelled at still image capture, it has long lagged behind Apple in video capture; when we examine the phones, we’ll see how far it’s come and if it’s more competitive now.
The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro both sport big OLED panels on the front of the handsets. The screen of the iPhone 6 measures 6.4 inches diagonally, has a 1080p wide resolution and can refresh at 90Hz for better scrolling. It sports a flat panel and wider bezels all around than the iPhone 6 Pro, which has curved sides on its 6.7-inch, 1440p screen to reduce bezels. The 6 Pro also employs LTPO technology to adjust the refresh rate of the display from as low as 10Hz to as high as 120Hz, depending on what you’re doing on the phone. The displays on both phones are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus glass and enable HDR.
The screens are bright and attractive, but if you rotate them off-axis, you’ll notice a considerable color change and a shadow in the curves of the 6 Pro. At this time, we don’t see those features on Apple or Samsung’s top screens.
Both of these phones are large, as you can undoubtedly see from their screen sizes. Unlike previous years, when Google offered a tiny and a large phone, this year’s range lacks a true little phone. In fact, the Pixel 6 2021 is roughly the same size as an iPhone 13 Pro Max; the 6 Pro is even bigger, though its curves assist to hide its bulk.
The 6 Pro feels more “premium” than the other two. Its aluminum sides are thinner and gleaming, whereas the normal 6’s sides are broader and matte. There are additional rough edges to find: the camera bar has a different radius curve than the rest of the phone, and the clickiness of the buttons in the phones we’ve handled so far is inconsistent.
THERE AREN’T ANY MAJOR FEATURE OMISSIONS THIS TIME AROUND — A RARITY FOR PIXEL PHONES
The items you’d expect to find on a premium phone in late 2021 round out the physical features. Both enable wireless charging (and reverse wireless charging for accessories), as well as IP68 weather resistance, in-screen optical fingerprint sensors, stereo speakers, and fast charging. However, you won’t get a charger in the package, so you’ll have to buy one separately or make do with something you already have to take benefit of that last function.
Both phones include 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, but millimeter wave capability is only available on the 6 Pro and a special version of the 6 for Verizon (which costs $100 extra). Both devices have huge batteries: the 6 has 4614mAh while the 6 Pro has 5004mAh. We won’t know for sure until we have a chance to fully review them, but the worries about Pixel phones arriving with underpowered batteries appear to be a thing of the past.
Finally, like current iPhone and Galaxy models, the Pixel 6 Pro contains an ultrawideband processor.