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Google Pixel 6 Pro review: getting started

Availability

  • United KingdomListed Price: £ 849
  • USAListed price: $ 849

Introduction

The Pixel 6 Pro is Google’s first truly high-end phone, and at least on paper, it seems to be one of the most interesting Android devices released this year.

The road to release for both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro has been interesting to say the least. After the first series of leaks showing Google’s change in design focus, the search giant itself announced the phones in August, confirming the updated look and feel of the Tensor chipset it designed itself.

After a few months and many other leaks, we finally got all the details about the new Google devices, including camera specs, battery size, and more. While the Google Pixel 6 Pro will have to wait for a full review, here are some practical thoughts after a few days of use.

Design and screen

  • Brand new design
  • Three color options
  • 6.7 ” OLED panel @ 120Hz

The Pixel 6 Pro is the most interesting phone Google has ever released, with its striking visor, interesting color combinations and stylish looks. While previous Pixel phones like the Pixel 5 have always focused more on simplicity, the Pixel 6 Pro is struggling to assert itself.

I wouldn’t say this statement is also conveyed in this version of Stormy Black, but choose the Sorta Sunny with its various shades of orange and you have a very distinct phone.

The back of the device has a glossy surface that collects fingerprints with ease, while the sides of the phone and the display curve into one another. At first I was concerned that the display might be curved too harshly, but it really isn’t; it just tilts slightly at the edges. There is certainly a hint from Samsung in the design, the color scheme here reminds me of the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The Pixel 6 Pro is IP68 rated for splash-proof, and the glass back allows for wireless charging.

In terms of display, the 6 Pro easily outperforms its smaller sibling with a 120Hz adaptive panel and a larger 6.7-inch size. It also has sharper QHD + resolution. For the first time, Google has also added an in-display fingerprint sensor for secure unlocking – and this is the only form of biometric unlocking available.

The first impressions of the screen are positive. It’s sharp, colorful and energetic. The use of OLED, a staple of previous Pixel phones, should also further enhance HDR performance.

Performance and battery life

  • Powered by Tensor Chipset
  • 12 GB RAM, 512 GB storage tier in some regions
  • 5000mAh battery and Qi fast charging

The Pixel 6 Pro doesn’t use a Qualcomm chip like all previous Google phones; In fact, this device does not use the chipset that has ever been used in a phone before. Instead, the Pixel 6 is powered by Google’s own Tensor SoC (System-on-a-Chip).

Some previous leaks have suggested that Tensor was created by Samsung and was designed by Google and is similar in structure to the Exynos chip. However, it also has elements that have been seen in Google phones over the years, including an emphasis on AI and ML (machine learning).

Tensor will give Google deeper control over the Pixel 6 Pro, and it has already confirmed leaks that both new 2021 Pixel 6 phones will receive security updates within five years. Alongside the Tensor chip, you will find the Titan M2 coprocessor that covers all aspects of phone security.

It will take me more time with the phone to identify competing devices to which it compares, and to evaluate how Tensor performs on a daily basis; however, I am already in awe of this potential. Many of the phone’s camera functions are made possible by Tensor, and the dictation and real-time translation features have been improved. While it seems like we’ve reached the point where most phones are fast enough, it’s becoming more interesting to be able to go beyond mere productivity.

Tensor is paired with 12GB of RAM – the most in a Pixel phone – and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. A 512 GB model will also be introduced in some regions. As always with Pixel phones, expandable storage isn’t possible, so choose wisely if you don’t want to rely on the cloud.

It is too early to pass a verdict on battery life, so I will focus only on the technical specifications. Inside the Pixel 6 Pro is a 5,000mAh battery that supports 30W charging. Google doesn’t have a charger, however, so you’ll need your own plug.

Pixel 6 Pro camera in hand

Google says that when you use your own 30W outlet, you get 0 to 50% in 30 minutes. There’s also a new Wireless Pixel Stand that can charge up to 23W – again, that’s a separate purchase.

Android 12 is a big software update and for the first time it seems like it has been tailored specifically for Pixel phones. The Material You theme engine, first announced in May at Google I / O, gives you much more control over the look of your phone with deeper customization of accent colors and icons. There are also new widgets, including the quirky clock, which I’m a big fan of. I just wish there were more of these new widgets.

Camera

  • Rear triple camera system
  • New 50MP main sensor with f / 1.85
  • Updated 11.1MP selfie camera

A Pixel phone is as good as its camera, and there is a lot to rejoice about.

The Pixel 6 Pro has three cameras on the back, including a telephoto lens that the Pixel 6 lacks. There is a 50MP main wide-angle sensor (1.2μm, f / 1.85, 1/13-inch sensor), 12MP ultra-wide with a 114-degree field of view and a 48-megapixel sensor with 4x optical zoom (and 20x SuperRes digital zoom).

Pixel 6 Pro camera

Several points should be noted here. First, it’s nice to see the old 12MP sensor finally ditched in favor of a device with much larger pixels. This should let in significantly more light – 150% more than the Pixel 5, according to Google – and display beautiful, natural depth-of-field effects. It’s also the first Pixel device to offer a suitable zoom camera – something I’ve asked for for years.

These hardware features work alongside Google’s excellent photo processing algorithms and a range of new software tweaks using the Tensor chip. For example, there is Magic Eraser, which uses AI to remove unnecessary additions from your shots, and a blur tool, which tries to add a sense of motion to shots of waterfalls, moving cars, and so on.

Google’s excellent low-light mode returns, and the Pro model has a superior 11.1MP wide-angle front camera – up from the 8MP version on the smaller Pixel 6. It can also record in 4K.

There’s a lot to love about the Pixel 6 Pro cameras, and updates are definitely welcome. I will be testing the sensors at much deeper depths for our full review, so stay tuned.

First impressions

It will take me a lot longer with the Pixel 6 Pro to really appreciate its merits. However, after a short acquaintance with the phone, things are not bad. Thanks to Tensor, new camera sensors and an interesting design, this could very well be Google’s first big hit.

Pixel 6 Pro specifications

Want to know all the specs of the Pixel 6 Pro, then you’ve come to the right place

RRS UK

RRS USA

Manufacturer

Screen size

Spaciousness

Rear camera

Front camera

Video recording

IP rating

Battery

Wireless charger

Fast charging

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

Operating system

release date

permission

HDR

Update frequency

Ports

Chipset

ram

Colors

A “hands on review” this is only our first impression of the product – this is not a complete test and verdict. Our author must have spent some time with the product to describe an early understanding of how to use it. We call them “how-to reviews” so they can be seen in searches. However, they are never evaluated or recommended. Learn more about our review policy.


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