Google Pixel 6 review: This phone is everything I wanted

Google Pixel 6 review: This phone is everything I wanted

Editor’s note, Nov. 18: The mix of rate, style, video cameras, processor and software application make the Google Pixel 6 among the very best worth phones you can purchase, which is why we’ve offered it a CNET Editors’ Choice Award. The initial evaluation follows.


The Pixel 6 exhibits the very best of what Google services and Android 12 need to use. Much so that I ‘d declare that the Pixel 6 is the most considerable phone upgrade Google has actually made given that it introduced the Pixel line in2016 The phone’s brand-new cams, Google’s Tensor chip and premium aspirations follow months of buzz– partially coming from Google revealing the phone months prior to it was launched — and its strong two-tone style. All of these modifications come while keeping the Pixel 6 at a midtier $599 rate, which quickly gets rid of the bad taste left by the downplayed Pixel 5

Read more: The Pixel 6 will go on sale at Target for Black Friday

Previous Pixel phones have actually resided in that safe, peaceful and congested midtier area where phones cost in between $600 and $800 For many people, they were excellent and in some cases terrific phones however did not have the radiance, specifications and appeal of more premium phones from Samsung and Huawei.

Like

  • Two-tone style
  • Value for the rate
  • The primary cam is Google’s finest

Don’t Like

  • Under-display finger print reader can be discouraging
  • Battery life is great, however hard to get more than a day
  • The ultrawide electronic camera is good however not on the very same level as the primary electronic camera

So what’s the issue? Well, simply put, Pixel phones have not offered well. It advises me of the early days when Michael Jordan signed up with the Chicago Bulls however they weren’t winning champions. The Pixel 6 is an effort to develop the phone approximately be more effective and attractive. It’s like when the Bulls chose to develop a group around Jordan to assist him win champions.

Instead of powering the phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Google made its own chip: Tensor This enables the Pixel 6 to do calculations and AI more firmly and rapidly on the phone than continuously utilizing the cloud. Tensor opens a multitude of brand-new software application functions Google would not have actually had the ability to include utilizing a various processor.

Google extended its 3 years of OS and security updates to 5. In the United States, the Pixel 6 is offered both through Google and all significant providers. And Google even produced a membership program a la Apple’s iPhone Upgrade program. It’s called Pixel Pass and costs $45 a month for 2 years.

Even the Pixel’s crown gem– its electronic cameras– got updated lenses and hardware that’s more premium. Now that Google has enhanced whatever in, on and around the Pixel, is it all set for its champion? (I assure that’s the last Bulls recommendation.) Simply put, yes.

This is the Pixel phone I constantly desired from Google. I invested over a week with the brand-new phone and it measures up to a great deal of the buzz. The Pixel 6 starts at $599(₤599, AU$999) and features 128 GB of storage. For that rate, I can’t think about a much better phone to advise today.

If you’re trying to find an extensive take a look at the Google Pixel 6 Pro, have a look at the evaluation my associate Andy Hoyle composed

At $599, the Google Pixel 6 is among the very best phones you can purchase.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

The Pixel 6’s vibrant two-tone style makes me swoon

The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch, 1080 p screen. It can be set to immediately change from 60 Hz to 90 Hz depending upon the material onscreen. There’s an hole-punch cutout for the selfie video camera and the screen is flat with thick, Sharpie-like bezels that bleed into the matte-finish aluminum sides. For contrast’s sake, it advises me a little bit of the iPhone XR and iPhone 11, which likewise had comparable bezels and rounded sides, which’s not always a bad thing.

In usage the screen is enjoyable. The resolution is great, however the Pixel 6 Pro’s is much better.

The front is covered in Gorilla Glass Victus Under the screen is a finger print reader, which initially worked for me half of the time. It was aggravating and not an excellent experience. After a frustrating couple of days, I double-registered my thumbprints and it worked almost whenever. Now I do not even require to smash my finger into the screen.

My evaluation system’s color is called Sorta Seafoam. The back listed below the cam bar is light gray however depending upon the light it can look light blue.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

The back is where the phone’s style truly makes me swoon. It’s made from Gorilla Glass 6 and has a two-tone color design. My evaluation system is Sorta Seafoam, which indicates the bottom of the back is sort of light gray or sort of light blue depending upon the lighting. The leading back strip is a light lime green, which contrasts perfectly versus the deep black of the electronic camera bar. The total appearance of the Pixel 6 advises me a little of the Pixel 2 XL and its panda color.

The horizontal cam bar encounters the width of the back and looks strong and various. The cam bar isn’t simply created to be a Google branding component; you can put the Pixel 6 without a case on a table and it does not wobble.

Overall, the fit and surface are good. If you get a Pixel 6 Pro, which costs $300 more, you can see numerous little methods it feels more exceptional than the Pixel 6.

The cam bar houses a primary wide-angle electronic camera and an ultrawide-angle video camera.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

The Pixel 6 takes remarkable pictures

Out of all the enhancements, I was most hyped to attempt the Pixel 6’s video cameras, and Google certainly provided. The Pixel 6, with its higher-specced lenses and sensing units, takes great images. Let me instantly damaged that to advise you that this is still a phone. A mirrorless electronic camera or DSLR can regularly take much better pictures in a broader variety of lighting and conditions. Individuals do not constantly have a mirrorless electronic camera with them.

The Pixel 6 has 2 rear video cameras: a primary electronic camera with a wide-angle lens and a 2nd cam with an ultrawide-angle lens. These are the precise very same large and ultrawide video cameras discovered on the Pixel 6 Pro. The ultrawide video camera uses 0.7 x zoom rather of the 0.6 x zoom on the Pixel 5. In general the ultrawide is great however not fantastic. Information in images are okay however frequently soft.

Under intense soft lighting, the ultrawide can catch some good images.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Check out the highlights in the flames.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

The vibrant variety is good however restricted.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

In intense lighting, the ultrawide can great complexion.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

In medium to low-light circumstances like here, the ultrawide reveals its limitations.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

There is an obvious action down in quality going from the primary video camera to the ultrawide. Have a look at the images listed below that I took of the Transamerica structure in San Francisco.

I want the ultrawide video camera were larger. I choose the point of view from the ultrawide cams on the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro more. Take a look at a contrast listed below.

The primary cam has a 50- megapixel sensing unit, which utilizes pixel binning to produce 12.5- megapixel images Pictures from the Pixel 6 are remarkable. Information are terrific.

The colors and clearness in this image are outstanding and precise.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

For a phone, the Pixel 6 has an exceptional vibrant variety.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Look at the colors and information of this matcha ice cream cone.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Another example of the Pixel dealing with a large vibrant variety well.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Notice the contrast of the information in direct sunshine and those in the shadows.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Textures look exceptional. Have a look at the paint brush marks on the old fire hydrant.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

I like how the Pixel caught the texture of the fur on each canine.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

In medium and low light, I saw some ghosting and flaring when a light remains in the frame, like the coffee shop string lights here. This wasn’t bothersome and not almost as bad as some other phones offered today.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

There are a lot of Pixel 6 cam modes and tools

Google’s Tensor chip enables a lot more electronic camera modes and tools. There is Night Sight, Google’s variation of integrating several images together when it’s too dark. It’s outstanding on the Pixel 6.

I like the significant method Night Sight renders images.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

This Night Sight picture was taken with the ultrawide electronic camera.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

In reality, this was practically all in shadow aside from the light and windows.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

There’s the brand-new Motion mode, which has 2 choices: Action Pan and Long Exposure. Action Pan offers the background of a picture a remarkable movement blur. It’s enjoyable. It’s not going to transform photography however it’s quite enjoyable to utilize.

Action Pan can take what may be an otherwise normal picture and include flair.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

The 2nd Motion mode is Long Exposure, which imitates a long-exposure image. There are apps that do something comparable however I got some good light routes from traffic and some silklike water from a water fountain. Once again, it’s enjoyable. It does not change doing long-exposure photography on a devoted video camera.

Google’s Motion mode for Long Exposure works all right. It’s comparable to transforming a Live Photo in iOS to Long Exposure.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

But that’s not all. Google offers you a cool tool called Magic Eraser. It lets you choose an item, an individual or a part of a picture to eliminate. You can get to this tool in one of 2 methods. In Photos, you’ll see an idea about eliminating individuals in the background. Or when you go to modify, tap on Tools to expose the function.

Discover the most recent news and finest evaluations in smart devices and providers from CNET’s mobile professionals.

Magic Eraser discovers and recognize the shapes of individuals in the background. You can likewise utilize your finger to paint out the part you desire gone. In general it works well, however it’s far from ideal. In some cases I got definitely remarkable outcomes like getting rid of individuals from the image listed below of a pedestrian sidewalk– though on closer evaluation, you can see the blurred spots where parts of the image were gotten rid of.

Other times, like in the picture listed below, there were shift artifacts. It got rid of 2 individuals in the background here, however likewise injured the hand of the girl to the.

There are numerous more cam functions that I wasn’t able to highlight in this evaluation, like Face UnBlur. CNET will have an even more extensive appearance at the Pixel 6 video cameras quickly.

The Pixel 6 electronic camera deals with skin tones more equitably

One enhancement Google spoke about was Real Tone, which was a significant rethink and expedition about how images, particularly Google’s algorithms and engineers, deal with individuals with various skin tones. I still wish to explore this function more, however the pictures I took of buddies, colleagues and other individuals with darker skin tones look excellent, even if they’re not under the most lovely light. Frequently when I revealed somebody a picture I took with the Pixel 6, even if it’s them doing an ordinary thing, they requested a copy.

This is among my preferred images I took with the Pixel 6.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Even under severe fluorescent lighting, Laban’s skin looks great.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

This was taken in an extremely dim dining establishment. The Pixel raised the total brightness however secured the color, tone and information of the skin.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Below is an image taken with severe backlight. Undoubtedly, this isn’t a fantastic method to take a picture, however I wished to see what would occur. Google stated the Pixel 6 deals with roaming light much better. See how it did versus a picture taken with the iPhone 13 listed below.

The distinctions in between the 2 images aren’t drastic, however Eric, who is the topic, chose the picture from the Pixel 6. He liked how it dealt with the color and highlights in his skin. You can actually see this in his arms.

Videos from the Pixel 6 are much better and selfies are simply okay

The Pixel 6 records the very best video from any Pixel phone. Information and color precision are much better. In regards to comparing the image quality in between images and videos, there is a smaller sized distinction than there has actually been on previous Pixels. Do not get me incorrect, pictures are still the strength of the Pixel.

When taping video in medium and low light, image sound is quite evident. The enhancements Real Tone brings to pictures are unequaled with how videos deal with various skin tones. Have a look listed below at some sample videos I tape-recorded with the Pixel 6.

On the front, the Pixel 6 has an 8-megapixel cam that shoots 1,080 p video. The Pro has a larger selfie cam that can tape 4K. Selfies pictures from the Pixel 6 are great however in medium and low light start to look loud.

Here is a Portrait mode selfie from the Pixel 6.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

My coworker Lexy took this low-light selfie. The quality is okay, however in general there is a touch of movement blur.


Lexy Savvides/CNET.

The Pixel 6 is specified by Google’s Tensor chip

The Pixel 6 does not work on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip discovered in almost every other flagship Android phone like the Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 Pro. Rather, it works on Google’s Tensor processor. It’s the very first chip Google has actually made and was particularly created by Google for the Pixel. I discovered the Tensor chip and the 8GB of RAM made the phone vivacious to utilize. Opening the video camera app is quickly, app animations look smooth and it deals with video games well.

In regards to efficiency standard tests, the Tensor chip does not set any brand-new records. It’s mainly on par with the Snapdragon 888 and that’s Okay. The benefits Tensor brings are its security and on-device artificial intelligence and AI.

GEEKBENCH V. 5.0 SINGLE-CORE

Google Pixel 6

1,045

Google Pixel 5

591

Samsung Galaxy S21

1,084

Apple iPhone 13

1,721

Note:

Longer bars suggest much better efficiency.

GEEKBENCH V. 5.0 MULTICORE

Google Pixel 6

2,926

Google Pixel 5

1,602

Samsung Galaxy S21

3,282

Apple iPhone 13

4,681

Note:

Longer bars show much better efficiency.

3DMARK SLINGSHOT UNLIMITED

Google Pixel 6

9,959

Google Pixel 5

3,954

Samsung Galaxy S21

10,070

Apple iPhone 13

6,653

Note:

Longer bars suggest much better efficiency.

Google prices quote a day on a completely charged battery and in routine usage I ‘d state that is precise. In heavy usage, like shooting lots of images and videos, it had a battery life of more like three-quarters of a day. Throughout the 10 days I checked the phone, the Pixel 6 balanced a screen-on time of 6 hours, which is excellent, however not excellent.

Android 12 is strong on the Pixel 6

The Pixel 6 runs Android 12 and it’s most likely the most underrated element of the phone. Android 12 is a pleasure to utilize. I like the huge apparent buttons and sliders. The general appearance of Android 12 is inviting and focuses on clearness over animations. I like that its system colors can match and match my phone’s wallpaper.

The Pixel 6 runs Android 12 and even has a handful of unique functions.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Android 12 integrated with the Tensor processor supplies a variety of invited personal privacy and security upgrades. The Pixel 6 includes numerous of its own Android 12 unique functions, a few of which are powered by Tensor. A standout for me is voice acknowledgment. I discovered there to be a great deal of enhancement with translation, specifically when I had a discussion with a Portuguese speaker. Translations were quick and precise. For voice typing in specific, it appears to comprehend context much better and stress more precisely and it’s much easier to command it and clear errors.

I checked the Pixel 6 on Google Fi, T-Mobile and Verizon here in San Francisco. The Pixel 6 supports sub-6 5G There are unique provider variations of the Pixel 6 that likewise support mmWave 5G and begin at $699 rather of $599

The Pixel 6 has 30 W fast-charging over USB-C and supports cordless charging, as imagined above.


Patrick Holland/CNET.

Google enhanced the Pixel 6 in numerous methods

With all of the upgrades to software application and hardware, you need to question if that will suffice to make the Pixel 6 effective. Which’s actually the only thing I can’t address. I can state this is the very best phone Google has actually ever developed. As appealing as the Pixel 6 is, for $300 more you can update to the a little more superior Pixel 6 Pro, which includes a telephoto cam; a 6.7-inch screen with curved edges, a greater resolution and high refresh rate; more RAM; an ultrawideband chip and Gorilla Glass Victus on the back. If you have $600 and are looking for a brand-new phone, the Pixel 6 is my suggestion.

Google Pixel 6 specifications vs. Google Pixel 6 Pro, Google Pixel 5, Apple iPhone 13



Google Pixel 6. Google Pixel 6 Pro. Google Pixel 5. Apple iPhone13
Show size, resolution. 6.4-inch OLED; 2,400 x1,080 pixels; 60 Hz or 90 Hz. 6.7-inch LTPO OLED; 3,120 x1,440 pixels; 10-120 Hz. 6-inch FHD OLED; 2,340 x1,080 pixels. 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532 x1,170 pixels.
Pixel density. 411 ppi. 512 ppi. 432 ppi. 460 ppi.
Measurements (inches). 6.2 x2.9 x0.4 in. 6.5 x3x0.4 in. 5.7 x2.8 x0.3 in. 5.78 x2.82 x0.3 in.
Measurements (millimeters). 1586 x748 x8.9 mm. 1639 x759 x8.9 mm. 1447 x704 x8mm. 147 x72 x7.65 mm.
Weight (ounces, grams). 7.3 oz; 207 g. 7.41 oz; 210 g. 5.33 oz; 151 g. 6.14 oz; 174 g.
Mobile software application. Android12 Android12 Android11 iOS15
Electronic camera. 50- megapixel (large), 12- megapixel ultrawide. 50- megapixel (broad), 12- megapixel (ultrawide), 48- megapixel (telephoto). 122- megapixel (requirement), 16- megapixel (ultrawide). 12- megapixel (large), 12- megapixel (ultrawide).
Front-facing electronic camera. 8-megapixel. 11- megapixel. 8-megapixel. 12- megapixel.
Video capture. 4K 30, 60 fps (back), 1,080 p 30 fps (front). 4K 30, 60 fps (back), 4K 30 fps (front). 4K. HDR video recording with Dolby Vision as much as 4K at 60 fps.
Processor. Google Tensor. Google Tensor. Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 G. Apple A15 Bionic.
Storage. 128 GB, 256 GB. 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB. 128 GB. 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB.
RAM. 8GB. 12 GB. 8GB. Concealed.
Expandable storage. No. No. No. No.
Battery. 4,614 mAh. 5,003 mAh. 4,000 mAh. Concealed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback.
Finger print sensing unit. Under display screen. Under screen. Rear. No (Face ID).
Adapter. USB-C. USB-C. USB-C. Lightning.
Earphone jack. No. No. No. No.
Unique functions. 5G sub-6 (some provider designs likewise have 5G mmWave) assistance, Wi-Fi 6E, 30 W fast-charging, cordless charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS security updates, IP68 ranking for dust and water resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (front), Gorilla Glass 6 (back), dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM). 5G sub-6 and mmWave assistance, Wi-Fi 6E, Ultra-wideband, 30 W fast-charging, cordless charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS security updates, IP68 score for dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (front and back), dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM). 5G made it possible for; waterproof (IP68); 90 Hz-refresh-rate display screen; dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse cordless charging; fast-charging. 5G made it possible for; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); cordless charging; dual-SIM abilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM).
Cost off-contract (USD). $599(128 GB). $899(128 GB). $699 $799(128 GB), $899(256 GB), $1,099(512 GB).
Cost (GBP). ₤599(128 GB). ₤849(128 GB). ₤599 ₤779(128 GB), ₤879(256 GB), ₤ 1,079(512 GB).
Cost (AUD). AU$999(128 GB). AU$ 1,299(128 GB). AU$999 AU$ 1,349(128 GB), AU$ 1,519(256 GB), AU$ 1,869(512 GB).

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