Pixel 6 Professional assessment: the perfect Google telephone | Google

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The Pixel 6 Professional is Google’s reinvigorated try and beat Apple and Samsung’s greatest smartphones, with highly effective new cameras, customized chips and a standout design.

The brand new mannequin is Google’s prime telephone for 2021 and prices £849 ($899/A$1,299), sitting above the usual Pixel 6 costing £599.

From the entrance, the Pixel 6 Professional seems to be like an ordinary top-end telephone with a big 6.7in OLED display screen that’s actually handsome, crisp, shiny and easy, with a 120Hz refresh fee. There’s a small gap punch on the prime for the selfie digital camera and fingerprint sensor underneath the show for unlocking the telephone.

google pixel 6 pro review
The digital camera bar splits the two-tone colored glass again and appears a bit like Geordi La Forge’s visor from Star Trek. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Flip it over to disclose a way more uncommon design. As an alternative of the cameras clustered in a lump down one aspect or within the prime nook, the lenses are organized in a big horizontal bar that stretches proper throughout the again. I can’t say it’s notably enticing, however it means the telephone doesn’t rock round when positioned on a desk or desk like most different smartphones, which is a plus.

The 6 Professional is definitely a really huge telephone, however its curved glass sides make it simpler to grip than some and really related in dimension to Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Extremely, simply 17g lighter. It feels a properly made and premium system able to compete on the prime of the market.

Specs

  • Display: 6.7in 120Hz QHD+ OLED (512ppi)

  • Processor: Google Tensor

  • RAM: 12GB of RAM

  • Storage: 128 or 256GB

  • Working system: Android 12

  • Digital camera: 50MP + 12MP ultrawide + 48MP 4x telephoto, 11.1MP selfie

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

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

  • Dimensions: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm

  • Weight: 210g

Tensor

google pixel 6 pro review
The Pixel 6 Professional takes over two hours to cost and hits 50% in 35 minutes utilizing a 30W USB-C adaptor (not included). {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 6 Professional has Google’s first customized Tensor processor, which performs equally to different top-flight Android chips from Samsung and Qualcomm in benchmarks and basic use. The customized components, nevertheless, are designed to hurry up and cut back energy consumption when operating Google’s numerous AI components.

From native speech and object recognition to digital camera processing and photograph enhancing, all of Google’s extra superior programs definitely run quicker on the 6 Professional than on the earlier Pixel 5. However evaluating like for like with rivals such because the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely and OnePlus 9 Professional proved troublesome.

Total, efficiency was a minimum of on par with top-flight rivals: responsive, easy and snappy all spherical.

Battery life is sweet however not nice, lasting 36 hours between expenses with the display screen on for about 5 hours utilizing numerous messaging, note-taking and utility apps, the browser and about 20 photographs, spending about two hours on 5G and the remainder on wifi. That places the 6 Professional on par with the S21 Extremely, however a way behind the 42-hour iPhone 13 Professional.

Sustainability

google pixel 6 pro review
Each the Pixel 6 (left) and Pixel 6 Professional (proper) are fabricated from 100% recycled aluminium. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Google doesn’t present an anticipated lifespan for the battery. These in related units sometimes keep a minimum of 80% of their unique capability after 500 full cost cycles. The Pixel 6 Professional is usually repairable by Google and third-party restore outlets. Display repairs value £189, again glass repairs value £149 and battery replacements value £99 out of guarantee.

The 6 Professional incorporates 100% recycled aluminium in its body, accounting for about 14% of the telephone by weight. The corporate publishes environmental impression studies for a few of its merchandise. Google will recycle all Pixel units freed from cost.

Android 12

google pixel 6 pro review
Android 12 introduces extra color to extra components of the system than earlier than. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The 6 Professional is among the first smartphones to ship with the newest Android 12, which introduces Google’s Materials You design and programs. It is among the greatest visible overhauls given to straightforward Android and provides personalisation choices which have required third-party apps or instruments supplied by the likes of Samsung, OnePlus and others prior to now.

The entire interface can now be color coordinated, together with icons and widgets. System animations are refined with good touches such because the display screen turning on by increasing outwards from the ability button.

google pixel 6 pro review
Tensor-enhanced dictation instruments will let you dictate and edit textual content along with your finger on the identical time for quick textual content enter. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

A brand new “privateness dashboard” exhibits how typically apps are accessing options reminiscent of location, your contacts, the mic, digital camera and different bits. Privateness icons for the digital camera and mic pop up on the prime of the display screen after they’re being accessed by apps, and you may flip mic and digital camera entry fully off with new quick-settings toggles.

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

Digital camera

google pixel 6 pro
The Google Digital camera app is superb, with efficient focus monitoring, however there’s no devoted macro mode. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The 6 Professional has Google’s first actually new set of cameras in years. On the again there’s a 50-megapixel foremost digital camera, 12MP ultrawide digital camera and a 48MP 4x optical zoom telephoto digital camera, plus an ultrawide 11.1MP selfie digital camera on the entrance.

The principle 50MP digital camera is, merely put, one of many perfect on a smartphone. It simply captures a surprising quantity of element throughout a spread of excellent and tough lighting situations, with usually well-judged color steadiness and a lovely stage of vibrancy. The telephoto digital camera is well top-of-the-line accessible, producing unrivalled pictures at 4x magnification in good and medium mild, with little or no high quality drop-off in comparison with the principle digital camera, which is uncommon. Solely Samsung’s S21 Extremely with each 5x and 10x optical zoom beats it on utility, although not essentially on high quality.

The ultrawide digital camera is the weakest of the three. With a 0.7x magnification, it isn’t fairly as “ultrawide” as I would love, in contrast with rivals which have 0.5x magnification and a wider area of view. Nevertheless it produces actually good pictures which might be slightly bit softer on element than the principle digital camera.

Low mild efficiency on the principle digital camera is superb, whereas the devoted evening sight mode works wonders on all three cameras in very dim scenes. The 11.1MP selfie digital camera can be superb and might shoot regular and ultrawide photographs for when you might want to match extra folks into a bunch shot.

Video high quality is a step up from earlier Pixels, however remains to be not practically pretty much as good as Google’s nonetheless pictures, and lags behind Apple and Samsung.

Enjoyable new instruments embody devoted modes to blur the background when capturing a fast-moving object reminiscent of a motorcycle, or to blur shifting objects in a static scene reminiscent of the sunshine trails of shifting vehicles on a avenue at evening. These are spectacular technical feats, however I’ve but to grasp them, producing some very blended outcomes.

The “Magic Eraser” software will take away undesirable objects from photographs, reminiscent of strangers or energy traces, much like the inpainting instruments of desktop photograph editors. It really works miraculously about 70% of the time, however generally leaves artefacts on the picture the place the article was eliminated.

Observations

google pixel 6 pro review
The fingerprint scanner is sweet however not fairly as fast as these on the Galaxy S21 Extremely or OnePlus 9 Professional. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • The haptics or vibrations that recreate a way of contact for buttons and different interactions are actually sharp and good in contrast with most Android rivals.

  • The telephoto digital camera meeting rattles slightly once you flip the telephone over, much like a Galaxy S21 Extremely.

  • Name high quality and 5G reception was good, as was Bluetooth efficiency to a number of units of headphones.

Value

The Google Pixel 6 Professional prices £849 ($899/A$1,299) with 128GB of storage, or £949 ($999/$A1,449) for 256GB.

For comparability, the Pixel 4a prices £349, the OnePlus 9 Professional prices £829, the Samsung Galaxy S21+ prices £949, the Galaxy S21 Extremely prices £1,149, the Xiaomi 11T Professional prices £599, the iPhone 13 Professional prices £949 and the Fairphone 4 prices £499.

Verdict

With the Pixel 6 Professional, Google has lastly delivered a flagship-class telephone that may compete with the perfect within the enterprise in all facets, not simply the digital camera.

The battery life is cheap, the display screen is incredible and Android 12 is probably the most polished and refined software program Google has placed on a telephone. The promise of 5 years of safety updates is sweet, too.

It seems to be, feels and operates like a £1,000 telephone, with all of the bells and whistles you may anticipate for that type of cash. However aggressively priced at £850, it undercuts top-flight rivals by as a lot as £300, making it surprisingly good worth if not precisely low-cost.

The Pixel 6 Professional is one of the best telephone Google has ever made. Whether or not that will probably be sufficient for it to be a success stays to be seen.

Professionals: class-leading digital camera, 4x optical zoom, incredible display screen, wonderful efficiency, good battery life, recycled aluminium, 5 years of safety updates, Android 12, spectacular native AI options, competitively priced.

Cons: pretty sluggish charging, fingerprint scanner not as quick as rivals, no face unlock possibility, solely three years of Android model updates regardless of 5 years of safety assist.

google pixel 6 pro review
The digital camera bar is the principle design function, however I might choose a extra thrilling color possibility than the black and gray. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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