Google Pixel 6 Pro review

Google Pixel 6 Pro review

Google Pixel 6 Pro review

Pros

  • Incredible camera
  • Fun camera features and editing tools
  • Vibrant, colorful screen
  • Android 12
  • Long software support

Cons

  • Unreliable in-display fingerprint sensor
  • Flaky cellular connection in some situations
  • 120Hz screen can jitter

Google Pixel 6 Pro review

The Pixel 6 Pro is an exciting and much-needed addition to Google’s Pixel phone lineup. Pixels had evolved into midrange, uninspiring-to-look-at smartphones for nerds and photographers by the third generation. On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro is a premium phone with a striking design and cutting-edge technology. It also boasts a superb camera, cutting-edge software, and a price that won’t break the bank.

Is the Pixel 6 Pro now a phone for everyone, and one that can truly compete with Apple and Samsung’s best? Yes, but not entirely.

Design (Google Pixel 6 Pro review)

With its high-fashion color scheme, premium materials and feel, and unique style that makes it impossible to mistake for anything else, the Pixel 6 Pro is a fantastic-looking smartphone. Google has given the Pixel 6 Pro a look that matches its clean and attractive software after a string of boring, strictly functional mobile devices. It’s one of the most attractive phones released this year.

Google Pixel 6 Pro review

Is everything finished? Is there nothing except applause for you? No, no, and no. The Pixel 6 Pro is huge, and it looks almost comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the other monster phone of 2021. It’s not very thin, either, at 8.9mm thick, and its 210-gram weight ensures that you always know it’s in your pocket. It’s far from ideal for one-handed operation. The metal and shiny glass don’t provide much grip, so if you don’t hold it tightly, you risk causing a major, costly accident.

Even when you’re not holding the phone, the risk of a tragedy remains, as the phone’s slippery nature causes it to slide around on a variety of surfaces. To keep it secure, a case is required, and I found myself checking to see if it was screened up on surfaces, as the large camera module on the back can act as an anchor. On the Sorta Sunny version in the accompanying photos, the single raised module strip spans across the entire rear and is coated in black glass with gold trim. This edging is somewhat raised, which may help prevent scratches on the glass and lens.

The Pixel 6 Pro isn’t the only phone that’s huge and slippery, but given that it’s constructed of the same materials, it’s a shame the non-Pro Pixel 6 isn’t any smaller or less likely to make a break for freedom. Unfortunately, due to their similar sizes, neither Pixel 6 phone is suited for someone looking for a compact Google phone. I’ve finally accustomed to the Pixel 6 Pro’s size and weight, as well as the oddity of the power key being situated too high on the chassis, during the previous few weeks. If you’re upgrading from a smaller phone, be aware that the phone may not feel as natural in the beginning.

Screen

The Pixel 6 Pro features a curved Gorilla Glass Victus-coated 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 3120 x 1440-pixel resolution, and a 120Hz refresh rate. This is where it distinguishes itself from the Pixel 6, which has a smaller, flat-screen with a lower resolution and a refresh rate of 90Hz. The curvature is slight, and the screen does not bend much over the phone’s sides, and it is primarily taken up by visible bezels.

It’s bright and has excellent viewing angles, and you can watch videos on it while it’s flat on the table without losing clarity or color. When compared directly to the iPhone 13 Pro, the viewing experience is quite similar, with only a tiny drop in contrast. The Ferrari 250 SWB video from Carfection showcases beautiful hues and knife-edge clarity. The Pixel 6 Pro is a video watcher’s dream.

The dual speakers are cleverly arranged, with the main speaker at the top of the screen and the bottom speaker at the bottom of the phone. Despite the fact that the sound is pushed forward, it still has a large soundstage. Although the immersion from the ingenious arrangement of the speakers helps the Pixel 6 Pro sound good in almost all settings, the bass is lacking.

So far, everything has gone OK, however, there are two severe screen-related difficulties that have irritated me greatly. The first is the in-display fingerprint sensor, which is a complete waste of time. The issue is that it is both slow and unreliable. I’ve tried reregistering my print multiple times, but nothing has changed. I’ve used my PIN code to unlock the Pixel 6 Pro more than any other phone, and there’s no way to escape the annoyance of the fingerprint sensor with face unlock. I’ve gotten past that by using Android’s Smart Lock feature, which keeps the phone unlocked when it’s in my pocket or at home. It is, however, not particularly dependable.

There’s also the 120Hz refresh rate to consider. Instead of being dynamic like the screen on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it’s switchable between 60Hz and 120Hz, and while most of the software runs smoothly, there are a few that don’t. Twitter is a perfect example, as reading through my feed on the iPhone 13 Pro seems like wading through mud. I’m very certain this is a screen refresh issue because it scrolls freely, albeit with greater fuzz, when I manually force a 60Hz pace. Screens with a high refresh rate reduce eye strain and make browsing the web and scrolling material more enjoyable. At the moment, this isn’t always the case on the Pixel 6 Pro.

Both of these flaws go against the Pixel 6 Pro’s sleek outer design and aren’t what you’d expect from a new, high-end flagship phone from a corporation of Google’s size. A software update could fix the refresh rate irregularity, and the fingerprint sensor’s unreliability could be enhanced in the same way. However, for the time being, those are substantial drawbacks that set the Pixel 6 Pro apart from its more expensive competitors.

Camera

A 50-megapixel main camera, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera with 4x optical zoom, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera are all included. The Pixel 6 Pro also has Laser Detect Autofocus, optical image stabilization on both the primary and telephoto cameras, and can capture 4K video at 60 frames per second (fps). There’s also an 11MP selfie camera in a hole-punch cutout in the top-center of the screen.

I’ve already compared the Pixel 6 Pro’s camera to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 13 Pro, and it outperforms both. Everything you’ve heard about the camera on the Pixel 6 Pro is accurate – it’s that fantastic. Stills are vibrant, colorful, and detailed. I’ve yet to come across a situation where I need to alter a photo much, if at all, before sharing it, and the variety of cameras available allows me to experiment and be creative.

It’s the ease with which you can capture spectacular images that makes it so appealing. The 6 Pro sorts everything out for you, whether it’s night or day, whether the subject is moving or motionless, close or far away. You simply click a button and a stunning image appears.

2. Wide-angle

3. Portrait mode

4. Pixel 6 Pro

5. Pixel 6 Pro

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8. Pixel 6 Pro

10. Pixel 6 Pro

11. Pixel 6 Pro

12. 4x optical zoom

13. 20x digital zoom

16. Pixel 6 Pro

17. Pixel 6 Pro

There are a few Pixel camera modes to try out. Action Pan allows you to shoot images with a blurred backdrop motion effect, which is great for action shots of fast-moving autos and other objects. Simply shoot a shot as usual, and Google’s software will apply the speed effect for you. Long Exposure mode accomplishes the same function without requiring you to track the object, however, I haven’t found it to be as useful in comparison to Action Pan mode.

Magic Eraser is a feature in Google Photos that works by digitally erasing undesired items from your shot. It’s only available on the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro. It’s simple and effective, and it removes random people and objects from your photos’ backgrounds with only a few swipes. It even works with photographs that weren’t taken using the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s part of Google Photo’s extensive photo-editing suite, which includes far more than just HDR and saturation adjustments. With only one button push, you may even modify the appearance of the sky in your photo.

Is there anything that you don’t like? Close-up photographs are challenging because to the big sensor, and there is no macro setting to compensate. I’ve also seen some strange distortion from the main camera, in which objects look to be a different form than they are. Apart from that, you get an interesting photo and video modes, powerful editing capabilities, and a camera that produces stunning photos regardless of your skill level or the setting. The camera on the Pixel 6 Pro is currently the greatest on a smartphone.

Software and performance

Google’s new proprietary Tensor processor is combined with 12GB of RAM in the Pixel 6 Pro. You can choose between 128GB and 256GB of storage space. Over the course of a few weeks, I’ve been using the phone normally, playing Asphalt 9: Legends, and taking close to 500 images. The phone has been a standout performer throughout. When it comes to regular day-to-day use, I haven’t detected any difference between the Tensor-powered Pixel 6 Pro and a phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor.

Google debuted Android 12 on the Pixel 6 phones. The Material You design is the most noticeable difference when compared to other Android phones. It makes Android cleaner than ever before, as well as a little more customizable, because the accent colors may be changed to match your wallpaper. There are a few new widgets with varying degrees of utility, with the YouTube Music widget being the most useful for me and the new clock widgets being the most appealing.

The notification shade’s fast-access buttons are larger, easier to press and offer new functionality. They didn’t make a substantial impact on my daily use, but they’re certainly attractive. I enjoy the “bounce” feature integrated into the operating system’s vertically scrolling pages, however, the one-handed mode isn’t very helpful because it doesn’t allow you to navigate across the operating system and instead forces you to utilize a single app. On such a large phone, that’s not particularly useful. I really appreciate the Google Assistant Voice Typing mode, which works in Messages and WhatsApp and allows you to enter and send messages without using your hands. It’s accurate and quick, and I use it on a daily basis.

The Tensor chip is designed to improve on-device translation of foreign languages, and it’s noticeably faster than prior iterations on older Pixel phones. In a few other languages, including Japanese, Live Caption provides text subtitles to videos. The translation was excellent enough to comprehend what was going on when watching one of AKB48 vocalist Yuki Kashiwagi’s recent YouTube videos, although it took a while to get into its stride. It will still make mistakes, especially when the conversation is fast-paced, and will completely misunderstand what is being said, but it works well in general and is fast enough to keep up.

Despite some internet reports that Android 12 has a slew of issues, nothing stuck out during my time with the phone, at least not in terms of regular use. It runs all of the programs I installed and hasn’t crashed or done anything to annoy me while I’m working. However, I’ve discovered that the Assistant doesn’t always pass on requests to Google Home, and will sometimes act on the same commands as well. When I instructed Home to stop playing a radio station, Assistant, for example, stopped playing a YouTube video.

Google Pixel 6 Pro review

I find Android 12 to be easy to use and quick, but there is a slight learning curve. Once you’ve read the beginning guide, Google doesn’t always bring up cool features again. The helpful Pixel introduction cards that appear when you first set up the phone and guide you to significant new features eventually fade away, and you’ll have to go into the Settings menu to reactivate them. It’s a shame because you could miss out if you don’t take the time to learn how to use Android 12 to its full potential.

Battery and connectivity

With a 5,000mAh battery, a USB-PD 3.0 charger that charges to 50% in 30 minutes, and Qi wireless charging, Google claims the Pixel 6 Pro will last for around 24 hours before needing to be recharged. After testing, I expect the Pixel 6 Pro to last at least as long as it claims, and I’m impressed with the battery life, especially considering the screen’s size and features, as well as the constant 120Hz refresh rate.

For example, the battery had roughly 30% remaining in the late evening after three hours of GPS use, a hundred images shot, apps open, social networking, and a few other easy tasks. With mild to moderate daily use, the battery has rarely dropped below 50% at midnight. However, it took around two days and two charges for the phone to adapt to my usage, and the battery had to work much harder before that. After that period of adjustment, the battery life significantly increased.

Depending on the version you choose, this is a 5G smartphone that connects to either Sub-6 or mmWave networks. In the United Kingdom, I’m putting the phone through its paces on the EE 4G and Sub-6 5G networks. I’ve found the connectivity to be spotty, and it’s failed to sustain a data connection multiple times despite reporting a 4G or 5G connection. I’ve observed it does this more after I’ve been driving, which could indicate it’s having trouble switching between cell towers, as well as 3G, 4G, and 5G. It doesn’t happen all the time, and it may just occur in locations with low coverage, but it’s worth noting.

Otherwise, call quality is excellent, with clear voices and a loudspeaker (though finding the perfect place on your ear can be a little hard). Connecting Bluetooth earbuds or casting YouTube to my TV has also been a breeze.

Price and availability

The Pixel 6 Pro is priced at $899 and is currently available through Google’s web store and several networks. The Pixel 6 Pro starts at 849 British pounds in the United Kingdom. If you attempt to order one right now, be prepared to wait because demand has been high and availability has been low.

# Google Pixel 6 Pro review

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