Google Pixel 6

MSRP $599.00

“The Pixel 6 could also be flatter and cheaper than the Pixel 6 Professional, however the software program, efficiency, and even the display and digital camera get shut sufficient to nonetheless make it tempting.”

Professionals

  • Nice digital camera
  • Display is colourful and vibrant
  • Newest Android 12 software program
  • Years of software program updates

Cons

  • Flakey connectivity
  • Quick charger not included

The Pixel 6 Professional is Google’s heavy hitter in its new smartphone lineup for 2021, however the Pixel 6’s lower cost — $599 somewhat than $899 — makes it significantly extra tempting for most individuals. However now that we all know how good the Digital Tendencies’ Editors’ Selection-winning Pixel 6 Professional is, does the cheaper model nonetheless make sense given the {hardware} trade-offs?

Design

In case you solely give them a cursory look, there’s not a lot to distinguish the Pixel 6 from the Pixel 6 Professional, particularly in the event that they’re each facedown. Look extra intently, and it’s apparent which is which, because the Pixel 6 has a smaller part of physique above the digital camera module in comparison with the 6 Professional. If the sunshine’s proper, you’ll see the Pixel 6’s digital camera module doesn’t comprise a periscope zoom digital camera, both.

Back of the Pixel 6.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Choose the Pixel 6 up, and the flat display design offers it a extra “traditional” in-hand really feel, and there’s really higher grip than with the curvy Pixel 6 Professional. I haven’t needed to juggle the Pixel 6 as a lot as I did with the Pixel 6 Professional, and I’ve typically felt much less more likely to by chance drop it. The Pixel 6is product of glass and steel, although, which suggests it nonetheless slips about on many surfaces. It’s additionally fairly substantial at 8.9mm thick and 207 grams.

The truth is, it’s barely any smaller than the Pixel 6 Professional — simply flatter — and this introduces a little bit of an issue. Whereas the Pixel 5 was compact by trendy requirements, neither Pixel 6 telephones are svelte, and when you’re searching for a pocket-friendly, light-weight Google telephone to switch your Pixel 3 or Pixel 4, then there’s nothing within the Pixel 6 lineup for you. It’s the Pixel 5a (when you’re within the U.S. or Japan) or going for a special model altogether.

Pixel 6 from the side.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The colour of the telephone in my images is known as Seafoam, and the minty tone may be very fairly certainly. I’ve used the telephone for a number of weeks now, and it has frolicked inside and out of doors of luggage and pockets, however not been handled too badly. I’ve observed a number of floor scratches on the Gorilla Glass 6 rear panel, which could be felt together with your fingertip, however they’re solely seen when the sunshine catches it in the appropriate means. Oddly, the Pixel 6 Professional hasn’t collected these marks, regardless of being product of the identical supplies.

Pixel 6 Pro (left) and Pixel 6 (right).

Pixel 6 Professional (left), Pixel 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Pixel 6 Pro (left) and Pixel 6 (right).

Pixel 6 Professional (left), Pixel 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Bezel comparison of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

Pixel 6 Professional (backside), Pixel 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

I’d have favored the Pixel 6 to be smaller to essentially be a clearer alternative from the Pixel 6 Professional, however in any other case, the design is a winner. It has character and visible attraction, the body-wide digital camera module seems to be cool, and the colours are impressed, silly names apart. It’s a really completely different and welcome strategy this time round in comparison with Google’s dreary designs on earlier Pixels.

Display

The opposite defining design facet of the Pixel 6 is its display, which is flat in comparison with the curved Pixel 6 Professional. It measures 6.4 inches and has a 20:9 facet ratio and a 2400 x 1080 pixel decision, plus a 90Hz refresh fee. It helps HDR and has an always-on display. This can be a decrease specification than the 6 Professional, however in actuality, the 2 aren’t that completely different.

Pixel 6 screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Earlier than going into extra element, it curiously doesn’t appear to undergo from the identical issues I encountered with the Pixel 6 Professional’s 120Hz refresh fee. Scrolling is smoother within the apps, which had been problematic on the Pixel 6 Professional at 120Hz, though possibly not fairly as easy as on different telephones. It nonetheless doesn’t really feel fairly proper, however is significantly higher than the Pixel 6 Professional.

The refresh fee points had been the one blight in opposition to the Pixel 6 Professional’s display, which is in any other case superb. So, can the Pixel 6’s lower-spec display sustain? It’s clearly not fairly so pin sharp as a result of decrease decision, however you do need to go searching for the distinction. Watching video exhibits it’s a tiny bit cooler than the deliciously pure and heat Pixel 6 Professional display, however it takes a couple of minutes of cautious examine to see the distinction.

Video on the Pixel 6.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The display is basically stunning and a excessive level of the Pixel 6, however it’s not flawless. It’s let down by the bezels and the general flatness. There will likely be those that don’t thoughts the flat display, however for me, it (together with the 20:9 facet ratio) makes it look low cost and aged, and the bezels are fairly substantial, particularly on the chin. The auto brightness could be dim-witted, and the general brightness isn’t that prime, both. I can nonetheless see it in daylight (effectively, the U.Ok.’s largely pitiful daylight), however it requires most brightness, making me query its potential if I went to a spot with correct solar.

Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The in-display fingerprint sensor is extra dependable and barely extra correct than the one within the Pixel 6 Professional. I’ve not needed to reregister my fingerprint in an effort to make it work extra constantly, and I’ve been in a position to make use of the PIN much less as effectively. Google says enhanced safety measures make the sensor slower to make use of than some others, however I’ve had completely different experiences throughout each telephones, so I’m undecided whether or not that is actually the case. For me, the Pixel 6’s fingerprint sensor is best to make use of and reside with every day than the one on the Pixel 6 Professional.

Digital camera

If you’d like Google’s greatest digital camera, you must purchase the Pixel 6 Professional, however the Pixel 6 nonetheless has the identical fundamental 50-megapixel, f/1.85 aperture digital camera and 12MP wide-angle digital camera with a 114-degree subject of view. It doesn’t have the 48MP telephoto zoom digital camera. The selfie digital camera can be completely different, with the Pixel 6 making do with a fixed-focus 8MP digital camera within the hole-punch cutout.

Pixel 6 camera module.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

With the identical fundamental digital camera, you’d anticipate images to be an identical between the 2 telephones, however there are some sudden variations. Not higher or worse, only a slight change in shade tone and steadiness — and never on a regular basis. Nonetheless, in all my comparisons, it was the Pixel 6 Professional that took the higher images, suggesting it’s extra than simply modifications within the mild, angle, or atmosphere. Check out the gallery under to see what I imply.

There’s no actual want for concern, although, because the Pixel 6’s fundamental digital camera is superb. Check out our Pixel 6 Professional assessment for extra particulars on it and the wide-angle digital camera. The Pixel 6 has the identical Motion Pan and Lengthy Publicity digital camera modes because the Pixel 6 Professional, and you should use Magic Eraser in Google Pictures, too. Its lower cost means a telephoto digital camera hasn’t been included; Google’s digital zoom, which shoots at as much as 7x, on supply as an alternative. It’s respectable for a digital zoom, however the 6 Professional’s optical telephoto digital camera is of higher high quality, which makes it extra versatile.

How concerning the selfie digital camera? Regardless of the technical variations between them, each the 6 and 6 Professional take respectable and fairly similar-looking selfies, with the Pixel 6 producing barely hotter pores and skin tones and a stronger distinction typically, however each offering an identical degree of element. I desire the Pixel 6 Professional’s brighter picture and wider subject of view, however there’s little within the Pixel 6’s selfie that couldn’t be fastened with a filter. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional’s Actual Tone function improves the way in which it exposes and balances images of individuals with darker pores and skin, one thing no different telephone digital camera can declare.

Sure, the Pixel 6 Professional is the smartphone to purchase when you’re actually into images, however when you simply need a succesful digital camera for on a regular basis snaps, the Pixel 6 will greater than suffice. What’s spectacular is how precisely and effortlessly it captures nice images, hardly ever disappointing, irrespective of the state of affairs or time of day. I additionally in contrast the Pixel 6 Professional’s digital camera to the Apple iPhone 13 Professional and to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely, so have a look to get a good suggestion of simply how good the digital camera is.

Software program

The Pixel 6 has Android 12, making it as updated as Android telephones get. I speak concerning the software program expertise intimately within the Pixel 6 Professional assessment and recommend you look there for insights into the great Materials You design. What I’ll word right here is how a lot I just like the always-on display, which very helpfully exhibits a big clock and notification particulars, and in addition the final velocity of the software program.

It’s very quick all through, however it’s the bigger buttons, clearer menus, and integration of Google Assistant that allow you to refine your workflow. I’ve even gotten used to telling Assistant to show off the telephone, somewhat than fiddle with the repurposed energy button. There are a number of shortcuts that velocity issues up, together with a double press of the ability button to activate the digital camera from the lock display, and Fast Faucet, the place a faucet of the rear panel can activate a selected function. I’ve used it as an correct and handy approach to name up Google Assistant.

Particular point out also needs to be made about Google’s Assistant Typing, the place you’ll be able to communicate aloud just about any message, wherever within the working system, and the telephone understands. You possibly can even ship messages together with your voice, providing an entire hands-free expertise. It’s extremely correct and really quick, making it useable on a regular basis.

The Pixel 6 has Android 12, making it as updated as Android telephones get.

Any issues? The setup course of took a number of tries to get proper, a really uncommon incidence, and as soon as I used to be lastly into Android 12, the efficiency wasn’t fairly proper for the primary day or so. There have been stutters and a few app-opening bugs, however it all quickly cleared up, and I’ve had no downside since. Nonetheless, I’m additionally conscious I could have been fortunate with my normal lack of points on the Pixel 6. I’ve had emails and heard anecdotal proof from individuals about bugs and different issues that painting the Pixel expertise as much less polished than would appear acceptable. This inconsistency is a priority, however it’s tough to quantify, though I do appear to have heard extra about Pixel 6 software program bugs than on every other latest telephone launch.

Efficiency and connectivity

The Pixel 6 has Google’s Tensor processor inside, together with 8GB or RAM, which is down from the 12GB contained in the Pixel 6 Professional. Throughout on a regular basis use, I’ve not observed any distinction in velocity or switching between apps, having come from the Pixel 6 Professional on to the Pixel 6. Taking part in Asphalt 9: Legends posed no downside in any respect, and the telephone solely will get barely heat to the contact even after an hour of play.

Asphalt 9 on the Pixel 6.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Way more irritating is that my telephone is plagued with connectivity points. It’s the identical set of issues I had with the Pixel 6 Professional, the place it doesn’t appear to efficiently change between Wi-Fi, 4G, or 5G very successfully. It should present sign, however the knowledge connection won’t work, and sometimes not even a restart solves it. It’s irritating, and though it appears to simply get higher by itself, I wished to throw it throughout the room when it didn’t work.

I’m utilizing the U.Ok. model of the Pixel 6, which connects to a Sub-6 5G community, however within the U.S., a model with an mmWave 5G connection can be out there. A 5G connection is a obligatory addition to a telephone because it will increase its longevity, however as a result of protection continues to be sparse, you in all probability received’t profit from it each day simply but.

Battery

Google says to anticipate “past 24 hours use” from the 4,614mAh battery within the Pixel 6, and that is about proper. If I exploit the telephone usually — emails, messages, calls, images, and social networking — totally on Wi-Fi with some 4G, and switch it off in a single day, it’ll simply final by means of two full days. I often ended the day with round 60% battery remaining after about three hours of display time.

Charging the Pixel 6.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The Pixel 6 is provided with wi-fi charging utilizing the Qi normal and a 30-watt quick wired charging choice. The charger included within the field doesn’t assist the quickest charging speeds, so that you must purchase a 30W USB-PD 3.0 charger to get them, and even then, it’s behind the competitors. It’s an unlucky omission, as most different producers have wired quick charging included even on midrange gadgets. OnePlus’ WarpCharge is a part of the Nord 2, for instance.

Worth and availability

The Google Pixel 6 is out there now, though it might be in brief provide. It prices $599 within the U.S. or 599 kilos within the U.Ok.

Our take

If the Pixel 6 was the identical general measurement because the Pixel 5, it might have wowed me much more than it has. As a result of it’s not, all of the design alterations (a flat display and fewer curves) do is emphasize that is simply the cheaper, lower-class model of a greater telephone. It’s not a telephone that may go well with somebody with completely different preferences, only one that may attraction to a special pockets. That’s high quality, however it’s additionally a wasted alternative. In any other case, you’re left with the Pixel 5a if you need a smaller Google telephone, however once more, solely within the U.S. and Japan.

In case you purchase the cheaper Pixel 6 as an alternative of the Pixel 6 Professional, all you’re actually lacking out on is the higher digital camera. In any other case, I’ve discovered the software program and efficiency to be mainly the identical, issues and all. The battery life is respectable at as much as two days, plus it has all the sturdiness and software program updates you want for it to be an enduring buy. The display could have completely different specs, however more often than not, you received’t discover the decision or refresh fee distinction. Fortunately, and maybe bizarrely, the fingerprint sensor by some means manages to be higher than the one on the 6 Professional.

The Pixel 6 Professional’s larger worth is mirrored in its digital camera, its design, and the really stunning display. If each are inside your finances and also you’re not sure which to get, we’d suggest the Pixel 6 Professional each time. Nonetheless, the Pixel 6 isn’t that far behind when you aren’t critical concerning the digital camera, and at $599, it represents glorious worth. What a disgrace it’s not considerably extra compact than its dearer sibling.

Is there a greater various?

For across the similar worth because the Google Pixel 6, you might select the Samsung Galaxy S21, the OnePlus 9, or the Galaxy A52 5G. All have key benefits, together with a excessive refresh fee display, quick safety strategies, quick charging, and good cameras. All three telephones symbolize good worth, even the Galaxy S21, which could be discovered for a lower cost than at launch, however none can match the Pixel 6’s digital camera.

In case you’re within the U.Ok., additionally contemplate the OnePlus Nord 2 if you wish to spend rather less, and try the Realme GT, too. Each have nice designs, plus the Nord 2 has quick charging, whereas the Realme GT has the highest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor.

How lengthy will it final?

Apart from the usual one-year guarantee, Google’s software program dedication means the Pixel 6 will obtain main Android updates till October 2024, and safety updates till October 2026. This implies by shopping for the Pixel 6 (or the Pixel 6 Professional), you’ll obtain updates for longer than every other Android smartphone at present out there.

The telephone has an IP68 water-resistance ranking, Gorilla Glass Victus over the display, and Gorilla Glass 6 on the rear. The chassis is product of steel. Regardless of the final toughness supplied by these options, we suggest a case because the telephone is kind of slippery and has already suffered from small scratches on the again. Purchase the Pixel 6, and also you shouldn’t have to contemplate upgrading for the subsequent three years.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. In case you don’t prioritize the digital camera or a curved display, the Pixel 6 does virtually all the things the Pixel 6 Professional does for much less cash.

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