The latest Flagship, Pixel 6 Pro, represents Google’s seriousness about their smartphone business. It is the best smartphone that Google has ever made and one of the best smartphones that the world has ever seen.
What’s so special with Google Pixel 6 Pro?
The device has Google’s own custom processor, 120Hz curved screen, one of the best camera sets, Android 12 along with other flagship features. The pricing starts from $899 (only) giving a direct competition to the other flagships. Basically Google is trying to say, “We have an excellent quality smartphone with all flagship features but at a cheaper rate.”
However, average battery backup and relatively less CPU power are some concerning factors. In my Google Pixel 6 Pro Review, I will talk about each and every aspect of the smartphone and we will see if it is worth choosing over iPhones and Samsung Galaxy variants.
For people in a hurry, let’s look at the positives and negatives of Google Pixel 6 Pro real quick!
- I’d say this is a premium looking smartphone overall.
- 120Hz curved screen gives you good gaming experience.
- This little smartphone supports Android 12.
- I must say, Google Pixel 6 Pro comes with an amazing camera.
- The guys will provide you software support for the long haul.
- Fast-charging feature is quite average in my opinion.
- Sadly, you won’t find scope for external memory.
- I wouldn’t call the fingerprint scanner particularly responsive.
Let’s get to the actual Pixel 6 Pro review that you have been waiting for.
Design and The Build: How Do They Stack Up?
Unique, premium, and classy are the words that came out of my mouth when I first saw the Pixel 6 Pro. At the front, it has a 6.7-inch curved AMOLED screen with a front-facing camera at the top-middle and an under-display finger-scanner at bottom-middle.
The fingerprint scanner is an under-display one, which I like. But it is slow and picky about placing fingers, which I don’t like. However, Google is working on that one to ensure better user experience.
At the back, the phone has a black camera strip covering all the rear cameras. The width of the camera strip is the same as the phone. Basically, the rectaglish camera hump is the main focal point of the phone’s back. The glossy looking back is made of gorilla glass victus technology. This ensures less scratches and more longevity.
The phone weighs 210 grams and I thought it would be a heavy but cool-looking brick in my hand. Surprisingly, I found the phone not-so-heavy and comfortable in my tiny hands (I guess the curved edges helped it a bit).
The phone’s frame is made of polished aluminum all the way around except for the top part. The top part is made of hi-grade plastic because it is easier for 5g signals to penetrate into plastic than aluminum.
On the bottom, the device has a USB-C port, featuring in the middle of two speaker sets. On the right-hand side, it has the power button, volume button, and sim card day, whereas the left side is totally empty. The SIM card tray contains only one room for a nano-SIM card and no room for external memory.
Moving on, the phone is IP68 certified (IP68 certification ensures the smartphone is dust, water, and dirt resistant). So, you have the luxury to take your Pixel phone for a little bath. Although I would not recommend the bath to be longer than 30 minutes.
The Google Pixel 6 Pro comes in three different finishes: (from left) Sorta Sunny, Cloudy White, and Stormy Black. Though all three finishes look premium and bold, I like the Sorta Sunny more.
How Good is 120Hz AMOLED Display?
Pixel 6 Pro packs the best and biggest display ever on a Google phone. It has a 120Hz 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED screen with the resolution of 1440 x 3120 pixels. Moreover, the dynamic screen feature will let you set the screen refresh rate way down to 10Hz and shoot up to 120Hz if necessary.
Pixel 6 Pro has one of the sharpest-looking display panels in the industry. Rich colorimetry, accurate saturation, and soothing presentation really impressed me. I watched some HDR10+ content and guess what, it came out marvelous.
However, I have found the screen is not as bright as other flagships, but it is more than alright. Let’s see a comparison between Pixel 6 Pro and two other top-end flagship smartphones in the market.
Let’s see a comparison between Pixel 6 Pro and two other top-end flagship smartphones in the market curtesy: TomsGuide.
As you can see in the above chart, Pixel 6 Pro’s display performance is not-that-bad against iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra. Pixel 6 Pro is even winning in some areas. Clearly, iPhone 13 Pro Max is in the lead in terms of brightness but Pixel 6 Pro surely gives a good fight against Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Since I am a gamer, I played some of the high-end games on the phone and the display did an awesome job. The 120Hz screen certainly showed its class and provided a top-notch service. I was able to swipe correctly and the screen felt ultra-responsive and accurate like a 120Hz screen should be.
Pixel 6 Pro has three color display modes: Natural, Adaptive, and Boosted. And the most disappointing part is, you do not have options to customize your modes. Except for this and the brightness part, to be very honest, I don’t have anything against the handset’s display.
Tensor CPU is Here to Do It’s Magic!
The difference between other flagships and Google Pixel 6 Pro is Tensor.
Tensor is Google’s own customer made processor that is capable of doing more ML (Machine Learning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) tasks than ever. According to google, only Tensor SoC (System on a chip) is able to perform the high-end ML tasks. For this reason, they set themselves apart from Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.
Tensor is a high-quality processor which brings revolution in the field of computational photography, language processing, and security. It can do things that were not possible before. For example, with your new Pixel 6 Pro, you can have the luxury to have instant transcribing and accurate translation of any video you watch. Isn’t it phenomenal!?
Suppose you’re walking and you hear a line or two of a song. You came back to your house and now you wanted to listen to that previously heard song. What will you do? Well, if you are me, I will surf the internet and try to find the song with two subconsciously heard lines.
Sometimes I do find the song, sometimes I don’t. But with Google’s Tensor, I can easily identify which song is playing nearby.
Google Tensor takes advanced photography to the next level. It has Google’s Live HDR+ tone-mapping technology, low-light video, and custom auto-focus engine to capture the most zestful picture ever. You will see the results at the camera part later.
Aside from advanced speech recognition and photography, Tensor ensures advanced hardware security too. It has a Titan M2 co-processor to ensure better response against different attacks. This extra layer of security enables Pixel 6 Pro to protect your valuable information.
We will talk about Tensor’s performance later on our Google Pixel 6 Pro review. But up till that point, it is safe enough to say, Google’s first generation SoC aka Tensor surely impressed me a lot.
How is the Camera Set? How Good are the pictures?
Google Pixel 6 Pro is one of the best camera phones in 2022. It has three rear cameras and one front facing camera. Let’s look at the cameras.
- 50 MP f/1.85 Aperture Main Camera
- 12 MP f/2.2 Aperture Ultrawide Camera
- 48 MP f/3.5 Aperture Telephoto Camera
- 11.6 MP Selfie Camera
Pixel phones are well-known for their great cameras. So, it is pretty much obvious that the Pixel 6 Pro has one of the best Smartphone cameras in the market right now. Google claimed that with the help of Google Tensor processor, the Pixel 6 Pro is supposed to take outstanding pictures. After seeing the results, I kind of saw what google was trying to say.
The picture you see above, was taken by the 50 MP main camera. You can see that the main camera is able to take hi-res pictures with rich colorimetry and accurate sharpness. Vivid colors, exact saturation, and limited highlights are seen in the picture. Every detail is just perfect and well-balanced.
Pixel 6 Pro has 4 camera zoom options: .7x, 1x, 2x, and 4x. The 4x zoom directly switches to its dedicated 48 MP periscope telephoto camera. The telephoto sensor is able to click pictures at the maximum 20x zoom. 20x zoom uses Pixel’s hi-res zoom technology but the results are not that satisfying. However, I get to see excellent results up to 10x zoom.
The Ultrawide 12 MP camera is probably the weakest among the three. Yes, it is still flagship quality and capable of capturing great pictures, but I found the whitening ratio in this mode is not up to the mark. Still, the overall performance of the rear cameras in daylight is more than great and one of the if not the best in the market. Now, let’s look at night time photos.
Google promised that their own custom made SoC will make sure you get the best night pictures ever. And I believe, Google kept their promise. Look at the photo. It’s perfect! Live details, perfect shadowing, accurate saturation, to-the-point sharpness, all together, a great performance.
Another ambitious feature of the phone’s camera is its “Magic Eraser.” It is an AI-based tool. It’s capable of removing any unwanted objects from your picture. Well, the Tensor integrated AI is able to identify your chosen unwanted objects perfectly, but it is still imperfect in removing those. Yes, Magic Eraser is able to erase your chosen objects but it kind of ruins your image too.
On the right side, you can see the magic eraser is able to remove all the humans but it is still far behind to do it properly. However, it is still an impressive attempt to do something new. Google is working on Magic Eraser along with other features to improve.
Apart from Magic Eraser, Pixel 6 Pro packs another cool camera feature called Motion Tool. You can use the motion tool to be more creative and dynamic with your pictures and photography. Motion tool has two sub-tools: Action Plan and Long-Exposure.
Action plan enables you to focus the moving object and blur everything around it. On the other hand, long exposure does the opposite. It adds blur to the moving object within the scene.
The best part of the Motion Mode is that it is not hard to use like the Magic Eraser tool. Lastly, the 11.1 MP front-facing selfie camera click’s incredible selfies. Perfect colors and top-notch details make the selfies better than ever. However, I don’t think the HDR mode in selfie cameras works that well. When I clicked some photos in HDR mode, I found coloring issues.
All in all, Pixel 6 Pro cameras performed really well.
How is the Google Pixel 6 Pro Video Quality?
Pixel phones were a little bit mediocre in terms of video shooting capability in the past. But thanks to Tensor, Pixel 6 Pro is able to click great videos using all of its three rear cameras. The phone is able to record 4K videos in 30 frames per second with correct detailing and rich colors.
Here’s a bit of a sample of how things look!
Moreover, with advanced speech recognition, selfie recording is noise free and smooth. So, you can easily use your Pixel 6 Pro as a recorder in your own studio.
How Good is Android 12 with Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro?
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro run on Android 12, which is the first phone to debut with Snow Cone (as the boys lovingly call it) by the way. We all know that Android 12 is all about technology and advancement. And when the latest android OS is powered by another ahead-of-time tech Tensor, it’s a stellar combo.
Snow Cone lets you design your interface the way you want. You can customize your widgets, icons, and the basic outlook of your UI. Furthermore, the auto-adaptation of the latest system makes your customization easy and attractive.
For example, The Color Extraction feature by Android 12, identifies your wallpaper’s predominant colors and uses those to redesign your theme OS. So, if your wallpaper is predominantly Yellow, you will see yellow tint all over your user interface.
As you can see, the wallpaper is predominantly blue. So, the graphics and icons became bluish too.
Android 12 is surely much more than just color extraction. It ships new features that you didn’t see in other versions of Android. I expected the Pixel 6 Pro’s Google Assistant to be similar to its predecessors.
To my surprise, I found the Google Assistant much more responsive and accurate, thanks to both Android Snow Cone and Tensor.
Google said that there will be a minimum 5 years of security support for Pixel 6 Pro and at least three years of software updates. This means, you can have Android 12, 13, 14, and 15 in your Pixel 6 Pro. So, you will have the full support from Google up to Android 15.
Okay, How Good is the Overall Performance?
I hate to repeat myself, but Google used their own custom-made processor called Google Tensor as a replacement of Qualcomm Snapdragon in Pixel 6 Pro. The reason behind the replacement is that Google believed their own chipset will perform better with their own hardware.
We’ve already seen how great Tensor made Pixel 6 Pro’s cameras. Aside from making the cameras great, Tensor also amplified the software features and quality. And I am not talking about just any funky feature, most of the features we’ve never seen in any other phones up till now.
However, what about the overall performance? Is Tensor able to perform on the same level as iPhones and Samsung Galaxy variants? Let’s have a look!
In the above comparison among Pixel 6 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and Galaxy S21 Ultra, we can see that Google Tensor puts up a decent fight against Apple’s bionic and Samsung’s Snapdragon processor.
Clearly, iPhone 13 Pro Max’s A15 Bionic processor is winning the race and far ahead of Pixel 6 Pro. But the Pixel 6 Pro rivals S21 Ultra. In other words, Tensor is able to take on the Snapdragon 888 anyday. So, we can say that Tensor is not “the best” but still a decent performer in the flagship chipset club.
Let me tell you, benchmark results are not the “most accurate” form of measuring a device’s performance. If you ask for my opinion, I will say I liked the Pixel 6 Pro’s performance.
The handset felt smooth and super-responsive on my hands. I played some of the biggest hi-end phone games and I am satisfied with the results. I was able to play at decent and constant frame rates without burning up my hands. Yes, there was no heating or lagging issues at all. Though Pixel 6 Pro lacks a little bit on the overall performance section, it is still one of the better performing flagships in the industry.
How Good is Google Pixel 6 Pro Battery and the Charging?
Battery life is the biggest let down of the Pixel 6 Pro. Despite having a relatively bigger battery of 5000 mAh, the battery life is not up to the mark. I was expecting at least 10 hours of battery life in the adaptive mode (60Hz).
But I was shocked to see it lasted only 8 hours in the adaptive mode and I believe the number will be less in extreme usage. Still, 8 hours of heavy usage is not that bad but other rivals like Galaxy S21 Ultra goes on 11 hours in the adaptive mode.
However, in normal day usage, the phone is able to go on for more than a day. The smartphone’s battery life might not be that satisfactory, but it is not awfully bad.
One thing that made me disappointed more than battery life is its charging capability. Although Google claims the Pixel 6 Pro comes with a fast-charging feature, I do not believe it. If the first charging (wired) tops out at 30W, I will not call it “fast-charging”.
It takes 30 minutes to reach from 0% to 40% and 1 hours and 15 minutes to reach 100%. It is decent enough but there are plenty of phones in the market that can do much much better. Besides, you won’t get any charging adapter with the phone. So, either you have to buy one or stick to the wireless charging, which by the way tops at only 23W.
How are Pricing and Availability?
The best part of the Google Pixel 6 Pro after its camera features is its pricing. The pricing starts from $899 in America for the 12/128 variant. A lot of hardware power, next-gen techs, and Google’s long software and security support comes at under $1000 is of course a good deal.
The 12/512 variant is only available to some selected parts in the world. Also, unlike other smartphone manufacturers, Google Phones are not available everywhere. They lag behind in the distribution process. However, here is a list of countries where Google phones are officially available right now.
The Final Verdict
This Google Pixel 6 Pro review wasn’t in vain let me tell you that. This little device is the first serious smartphone project by Google. For this reason, we can see true flagship features and quality integrated into the phone. Despite having so many complex technologies, Pixel 6 Pro is still very user friendly and a smart companion.
Big and Vibrant 6.7-inch sharp display, set of excellent cameras, Android 12 experience, and new AI and ML techs are surely something that any technophile would like to try. However, relatively less battery and CPU power will be something to be concerned about too.
However, you cannot expect Pixel 6 Pro to be overall superb like iPhone 13 Pro or Pro max. But still, Pixel 6 Pro is overall a more-than-decent below $1000 product. The next gen features will be a step towards the future and you get to experience something new.
My final verdict is, if you want an exciting smartphone offering all flagship qualities and you want to be reasonable as well ($899 is still a lot of money), the Google Pixel 6 Pro will not be a bad decision.