The Google Pixel 6 – A Review
If you’re looking for an affordable, yet impressive new flagship smartphone, Google’s Pixel 6 is a great choice. It’s got a fresh design, big batteries, 5G connectivity, in-screen fingerprint sensors, and an all-new Tensor chip.
It’s also packed with AI features, ranging from a camera that’s capable of 7x zoom to Magic Eraser that can remove photobombers.
The Google Pixel 6 and its bigger sibling, the Pixel 6 Pro, are renowned for their advanced cameras. They feature a large 50MP primary sensor that allows 150% more light into the camera, along with a 12MP ultra-wide lens and a 48MP telephoto lens.
The main camera is capable of capturing extremely detailed photos, and despite using a 50MP lens, the results are surprisingly natural-looking. It’s also quite capable of shooting in low light, thanks to its f/1.85 aperture and a combination of OIS, EIS, and LDAF.
It has a secondary, smaller 12MP ultrawide lens with a 114-degree field of view for better low-light shots. You won’t get a telephoto lens like the one on the Pixel 6 Pro, but Super Res View does a good job of cleaning up any noise that can be caused by a digital zoom, resulting in clearer images than the ones from previous-generation Pixel phones.
Video also looks great on the Pixel 6, with wide-angle and 2x optical zoom and up to 4K resolutions at 60 frames per second. There’s also support for slow-motion and time-lapse videos, which are useful for documenting events that might otherwise be missed if you had to wait for them to happen.
Another new addition is Real Tone, which improves the rendering of diverse skin tones, as well as Face Unblur, which removes defocus from faces without sacrificing resolution. Other features include a Motion Mode, which helps you capture crisp photos and videos by reducing background blur in fast-paced scenes.
The camera software on the Pixel 6 is advanced and uses artificial intelligence to deliver impressive image and video quality. That’s why it’s been ported to a number of devices, including some of the latest Android smartphones, by popular GCam modders such as cstark, Arnova, Parrot, BSG, and Urnyx.
These GCam ports work on many devices running Android 9 or higher, and are compatible with the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro. They allow you to use the latest GCam camera app on your device, which includes all of the features previously only available in the Google Camera app.
Google Pixel phones are known for their snappy performance, and the Pixel 6 is no exception. It features a custom-designed processor called Tensor, which Google claims is 80% faster than other chips that have been used in previous Pixel phones.
The phone is also built with a 6.4-inch Corning Gorilla Glass Victus display, which is two times more scratch-resistant than previous Pixel devices. The Pixel 6 is also the first smartphone to feature an in-display fingerprint reader.
While it’s a little less reliable than the ultrasonic sensor found on Samsung’s flagships, Google’s fingerprint scanner is still very fast and secure. It’s also comfortable to use thanks to an optical fingerprint sensor that rests under the screen and generates 2D images rather than 3D images like ultrasonic sensors.
Another standout feature of the Pixel 6 is the camera. It comes with a primary 50-megapixel Octa PD Quad Bayer wide sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, both of which are incredibly responsive and provide excellent image quality. They’re also well-equipped to handle low light situations, and their overall performance is more consistent than the cameras in many other phones.
On the graphics side, GFXBench shows that the phone has very good performance in modern APIs, but it struggles a bit when it comes to older ones. In the JetStream benchmark, for example, the phone doesn’t perform quite as well as rivals such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra or ZenFone 8.
Overall, the Pixel 6 is a very smooth experience and feels responsive in any situation. Everything from loading apps to flicking through multiple open windows at once feels quick and fluid. In particular, games such as Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Real Racing 3 run very smoothly.
The Google Pixel 6 is an instant-recognizable smartphone thanks to its unique design. Nothing on the phone is flashy, yet at the same time elements like the rear camera bar demand your attention (and are unmistakably Google).
In a world of nondescript rectangles, the Pixel 6 has a distinct identity that’s instantly apparent. It eschews the square camera bump trend, and it borrows from the visor design of the Nexus 6P to create a unified design with one cohesive element: the rear camera strip.
It houses the primary camera sensor and telephoto lens, as well as an LED flash, laser AF emitter/receiver, and a’spectral and flicker sensor’. In addition, there’s a microphone.
While the Pixel 6’s rounded edges are a bit of a departure from the angular lines of many recent Made by Google smartphones, they feel great in the hand and don’t look out of place on a smartphone. The Pixel 6 Pro is more pronounced, with curved edges and a pleasantly glossy finish to its front, while the smaller model looks more like last year’s Google Pixel 5a.
Overall, the design is simple and clean without compromising on quality. The Pixel 6 is a good choice for anyone looking for an affordable smartphone with a strong design and solid performance.
The Google Pixel 6 runs Android 12 with the new Material You theming engine that uses colors and patterns to give a more personalized touch to the software. The default apps now mimic the color of your wallpaper, and a number of redesigned widgets make the software feel more vibrant and fresh.
For example, the clock animates as you tap the screen or swipe up from the bottom of the display, and a “dashboard bar” that announces itself in the center of the homescreen is also available to let you see more at once. There’s a lot to like about the software, and it really feels as though Google has been listening to its users and made improvements based on feedback.
The Pixel 6 also has a couple of new software features that emphasize Google’s promise to improve its camera AI. Firstly, Best Shot captures more details and suggests frames that may be worth saving. Secondly, Frequent Faces prioritizes faces you take the most frequently and helps to show skin tones more clearly.
The Google Pixel 6 is a top-tier Android smartphone that packs an impressive set of features for its price. It comes with a brand-new Tensor system on a chip (SoC), big batteries, 5G connectivity, in-screen fingerprint sensors and newer, larger camera sensors.
It costs $599 in the US and is available at all major carriers, Best Buy, Amazon, and the Google Store. It comes in two storage variants — 128GB and 256GB, and in three colorways.
This device is $100 cheaper than Apple’s iPhone 13 Mini and $150 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S22. It also starts at a very competitive $599 in Canada, undercutting the iPhone 13 Pro’s $799 starting price and the Samsung S21 Ultra’s $800 MSRP.
In addition to a great design, the Google Pixel 6 has one of the best cameras we’ve seen in a mobile phone, a smart software experience and excellent battery life. The only minor issue is that the fingerprint sensor isn’t quite as fast as it was on the Pixel 5.
If you’re looking for a new phone, the Pixel 6 could be a good choice. Its affordable pricing puts it right in line with the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S22, despite being much larger and offering more features than either of those devices.
For example, the Pixel 6 includes a new feature called Wait Times that displays how long you’ll have to wait before the person you’re calling answers your call. It’s similar to the popular times chart in Google Maps, but for phone calls.
Another interesting feature is that the Pixel 6 uses a special AI chip to do things like sift through robocalls and transcribe phone tree menus to make it easier to get through to a real person. It also includes voice commands to help you send and edit text messages as well as a new dictation app that lets you dictate texts with emojis.