Pixel 6 overview: the cut-price Google flagship telephone | Smartphones

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The Pixel 6 is Google’s reasonably priced flagship telephone for 2021 and proves to be a pacesetter within the discipline with a top-class digicam and a brand new superior chip at its coronary heart – whereas undercutting many of the competitors on value.

The telephone prices £599 ($599/A$999), which is £250 lower than the Pixel 6 Professional, whereas nonetheless providing 90% of what you get with Google’s high mannequin.

It has a 6.4in 90Hz OLED display that’s flat, not curved on the sides. The show is barely much less sharp, slower and smaller than that on the 6 Professional, however remains to be superb with glorious brightness and viewing angles.

Google Pixel 6 review
The Pixel 6 (proper) is barely shorter however in any other case related in dimensions to the Pixel 6 Professional (left). {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The perimeters are painted black aluminium, the again is glass, and there’s a giant digicam bar design just like the 6 Professional. Regardless of the diminished display measurement the Pixel 6 is just not a small telephone and is just one.1mm narrower and 3g lighter than its greater sibling. These with smaller palms will wrestle to carry it in a single hand with out an attachment.

Specs

  • Display: 6.4in 90Hz FHD+ OLED (411ppi)

  • Processor: Google Tensor

  • RAM: 8GB of RAM

  • Storage: 128 or 256GB

  • Working system: Android 12

  • Digicam: 50MP + 12MP ultrawide, 8MP selfie

  • Connectivity: 5G, eSIM, wifi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and GNSS

  • Water resistance: IP68 (1.5m for half-hour)

  • Dimensions: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm

  • Weight: 207g

Tensor chip

Google Pixel 6 review
The Pixel 6 takes just below two hours to completely cost, hitting 50% in 33 minutes utilizing a 30W USB-C adaptor (not included). {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Together with the Pixel 6 Professional, the Pixel 6 is the primary telephone to characteristic Google’s customized Tensor processor. It matches rivals from Qualcomm and Samsung on pace, however is best optimised for Google’s varied AI programs.

Battery life is nice however not nice, lasting about 34 hours between costs, placing on par with rivals from Samsung and however a way behind 46-hour iPhone 13. That was with the display on for about 5 hours in varied messaging, note-taking and utility apps, the browser and taking about 20 pictures, spending about two hours on 5G and the remainder on wifi.

Sustainability

Google Pixel 6 review
The 2-tone again appears pretty boring within the ‘stormy black’ variant, however is putting within the bolder color choices. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Google doesn’t present an anticipated lifespan for the battery. These in related gadgets usually preserve at the very least 80% of their authentic capability after 500 full cost cycles. The Pixel 6 is usually repairable by Google and third-party restore outlets. Display repairs value £129, again glass repairs value £139 and battery replacements value £89 out of guarantee.

The Pixel 6 accommodates 100% recycled aluminium in its body, accounting for about 14% of the telephone by weight. The corporate publishes environmental influence reviews for a few of its merchandise. Google will recycle all Pixel gadgets freed from cost.

Android 12

google pixel 6 review
Tremendous quick simultaneous voice and finger typing is likely one of the new Pixel-only additions to Android 12 enabled by the Tensor chip. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 6 ships with Google’s newest Android 12, which features a load of customisation choices and refinements. For extra, see the Pixel 6 Professional overview.

Google will present at the very least three years of main Android updates and month-to-month safety fixes. It would then present an extra two years of updates with the “frequency and classes of updates relying on the {hardware} capabilities and wishes”. Samsung helps its high telephones for 4 years, whereas Fairphone is aiming for six years and Apple helps its iPhone for as much as seven years.

Digicam

Google Pixel 6 review
The digicam app is superb, with easy however helpful pictures aids, although it lacks a devoted macro pictures mode. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 6 has the identical 50-megapixel foremost and 12MP ultrawide digicam because the 6 Professional and produces very related outcomes. That makes it one of many absolute best cameras you may get on a smartphone, significantly at underneath £600. It lacks an optical zoom digicam, and whereas Google’s as much as 7x digital zoom is likely one of the finest, it’s no substitute for optical magnification.

The 8MP selfie digicam is nice, producing detailed photographs with a number of drama, however sometimes the photographs had been a bit delicate, significantly in decrease mild ranges.

Observations

google pixel 6 review
The fingerprint scanner is much less dependable than the 6 Professional and whereas not horrible, it’s inferior to that utilized by Samsung or OnePlus. Registering my thumbprint twice helped. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • Name high quality and 5G reception was good, as was Bluetooth efficiency to a number of units of headphones.

  • The underside corners had been noticeably arduous, digging in additional than different gadgets in my palm when holding it one-handed.

  • The quantity and energy buttons work properly however are a little bit unfastened, permitting them to rattle a bit.

Value

The Google Pixel 6 prices £599 ($599/A$999) with 128GB of storage.

For comparability, the Pixel 6 Professional prices £849, Pixel 4a prices £349, the OnePlus 9 prices £629, the Samsung Galaxy S21+ prices £949, the Xiaomi 11T Professional prices £599, the iPhone 13 prices £779 and the Fairphone 4 prices £499.

Verdict

The place the Pixel 6 Professional is about competing on an equal footing with the highest smartphones available on the market, the Pixel 6 affords all of what makes Google telephones nice whereas considerably undercutting the competitors on value.

You get snappy efficiency, first rate battery life, Google’s high new chip and a slick expertise full of all of the software program bells and whistles you’ll be able to’t get anyplace else. Google’s native AI-powered voice and keyboard typing is sort of one thing, and you’re going to get at the very least 5 years of safety updates from launch. Plus the telephone has the principle and ultrawide lenses of Google’s next-generation class-leading digicam system.

The shortage of an optical zoom and barely choosy fingerprint scanner will be forgiven for the worth. Costing simply £599, the Pixel 6 is priced extra in step with Chinese language challenger manufacturers than the highest Samsung and Apple gadgets with which it competes favourably.

That makes the Pixel 6 is an actual discount for a top-flight telephone. You must spend significantly extra to get a greater Android telephone than this.

Execs: class-leading digicam, nice display, glorious efficiency, good battery life, recycled aluminium, 5 years of safety updates, Android 12, spectacular native AI options, very competitively priced.

Cons: pretty gradual charging, no optical zoom, fingerprint scanner will be choosy, no face unlock choice, solely three years of Android model updates regardless of 5 years of safety assist.

Google Pixel 6 review
Not like most rivals, the Pixel 6 doesn’t rock round when positioned flat on a desk due to the horizontal digicam bar. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Different evaluations

This text was amended on 2 November 2021 to make clear that the Pixel 6 additionally has wifi 6E connectivity.

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