Tech

Google Pixel 6 review: At $599, this is the best phone you can buy

There’s lots of hype across the Google Pixel 6, which has new cameras, Google’s Tensor chip and extra premium ambitions. A few of that hype is from Google saying the telephone months earlier than it was launched and a few of it comes from the telephone’s daring two-tone design, which washes away the unhealthy style left by the understated Pixel 5. The Pixel 6 is probably the most vital telephone improve Google has made because it launched the Pixel line in 2016.

Earlier Pixel phones have lived within the secure, quiet and crowded midtier area the place telephones value between $600 and $800. For most individuals, they had been good and typically nice telephones however lacked the luster, specs and enchantment of extra premium telephones from Samsung and Huawei.

Like

  • The 2-tone design
  • The worth for the worth
  • The primary digicam is Google’s finest

Do not Like

  • Underneath-display fingerprint reader might be irritating
  • Battery life is sweet, however arduous to get greater than a day
  • The ultrawide digicam is respectable however not on the identical stage as the principle digicam

So what’s the issue? Nicely, in brief, Pixel telephones have not bought properly. It jogs my memory of the early days when Michael Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls however weren’t profitable championships but. The Pixel 6 is an try to construct the telephone as much as be extra profitable and interesting. It is like when the Bulls determined to construct a staff round Jordan to assist them win championships.

As a substitute of powering the telephone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Google made its personal chip, known as Tensor. This enables the Pixel 6 to do computations and AI extra securely and shortly on the telephone than consistently utilizing the cloud. Tensor opens up a slew of recent software program options Google would not have been ready so as to add utilizing a distinct processor.

Google prolonged its three years of OS and safety updates to 5. Within the US, the Pixel 6 is obtainable each by means of Google and all main carriers. And Google even created a subscription program a la Apple’s iPhone Improve program. It is known as Pixel Pass and prices $45 a month for 2 years.

Even the Pixel’s crown jewel cameras, acquired upgraded lenses and {hardware} which might be extra premium. Now that Google has improved the whole lot in, on and across the Pixel is it prepared for its championship? (I promise that is the final Bulls reference.) Briefly, sure.

That is the Pixel I at all times needed from Google. I spent over per week with the brand new telephone and it lives as much as lots of the hype. The Pixel 6 begins at $599 (£599, AU$999) and comes with 128GB of storage. For that value, I am unable to consider a greater telephone to advocate proper now.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for an in-depth have a look at the Google Pixel 6 Professional, check out the review my UK colleague Andy Hoyle wrote.

Google Pixel 6

At $599, the Google Pixel 6 is without doubt one of the finest telephones you should buy.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The Pixel 6’s daring two-tone design makes me swoon

The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch, 1080p display screen. It may be set to robotically change from 60Hz to 90Hz relying on the content material on display screen. There’s an gap punch cutout for the selfie digicam and the display screen is flat with thick sharpie like bezels that bleed into the matte end aluminum sides. For comparability’s sake, it jogs my memory a little bit of the iPhone XR and 11, which additionally had comparable bezels and rounded sides, and that is not essentially a nasty factor.

In use the display screen is nice. The decision is sweet, however it’s higher on the Pixel 6 Professional. 

The entrance is roofed in Gorilla Glass Victus. Underneath the display screen is a fingerprint reader, which at first labored for me half of the time. It was irritating and never an excellent expertise. After a maddening few days, I double registered my thumb prints and it labored almost each time. I do not even have to smash my finger into the display screen.

Google Pixel 6

My evaluate unit’s coloration is Sorta Seafoam. The again beneath the digicam bar is gentle grey however relying on the sunshine it may look gentle blue.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The again is the place the telephone’s design actually makes me swoon. It is fabricated from Gorilla Glass 6 and has a two-tone coloration scheme. My evaluate unit is Sorta Seafoam, which suggests the underside of the again is form of gentle grey or form of gentle blue relying on the lighting. The highest again strip is gentle lime inexperienced, which contrasts properly in opposition to the deep black of the digicam bar. The general look of the Pixel 6 jogs my memory a tad of the Pixel 2 XL and its panda coloration. 

The horizontal digicam bar runs throughout the width of the again and appears daring and completely different. The digicam bar is not simply designed to be a Google branding component, you’ll be able to put the Pixel 6 and not using a case on a desk and it would not wobble.

General, the match and end are good. If you happen to seize a Pixel 6 Professional, which prices $300 extra, you’ll be able to see a number of small methods it feels extra premium than the Pixel 6.

Google Pixel 6 camera bar

The digicam bar homes a predominant vast angle digicam and an ultrawide-angle digicam.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The Pixel 6 takes wonderful photographs

Out of all of the enhancements, I used to be most hyped to attempt the Pixel 6 cameras and Google positively delivered. The Pixel 6, with its larger specced lenses and sensors, takes improbable photographs. Let me instantly undercut that to remind you that that is nonetheless a telephone. A mirrorless digicam or DSLR can constantly take higher photographs in a wider vary of lighting and circumstances. However folks do not at all times have a mirrorless digicam with them.

The Pixel 6 has two rear cameras: a predominant digicam with a large angle lens and a second digicam with an ultrawide-angle lens. These are the very same vast and ultrawide cameras discovered on the Pixel 6 Professional. The ultrawide digicam provides 0.7x magnification as an alternative of the 0.6x magnification on the Pixel 5. General the ultrawide is sweet however not nice. Particulars in photographs are OK however typically smooth.

Google Pixel 6 ultrawide

Underneath brilliant smooth lighting the ultrawide can seize some respectable photographs.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 ultrawide

Try the highlights within the flames.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 ultrawide

The dynamic vary is respectable however restricted. 


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 ultrawide

In brilliant lighting, the ultrawide is able to good pores and skin tones.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 ultrawide

In medium to low-light conditions like right here, the ultrawide exhibits its limits.


Patrick Holland/CNET

There’s a noticeable step down in high quality going from the principle digicam to the ultrawide. Check out the photographs beneath that I took of the Transamerica constructing in San Francisco.

I want the ultrawide digicam was wider. I want the attitude from the ultrawide cameras on the Galaxy S21 Extremely and iPhone 13 Professional extra. Try a comparability beneath.

The primary digicam has a 50-megapixel sensor, which uses pixel binning to create 12.5-megapixel pictures. Pictures from the Pixel 6 are wonderful. Particulars are nice.

Google Pixel 6 main camera

The colours and readability on this picture are glorious and correct.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 main camera

For a telephone, the Pixel 6 has a superb dynamic vary.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 camera portrait mode

Take a look at the colours and element of this matcha ice cream cone.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 main camera

One other instance of the Pixel dealing with a large dynamic vary properly.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 main camera

Discover the distinction of the main points in direct daylight and people within the shadows.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 main camera

Textures look excellent. Try the paint brush marks on the previous hearth hydrant.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 main camera

I like how the Pixel captured the feel of the fur on every canine.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 main camera

In medium and low-light, I observed some ghosting and flaring when a lightweight supply is within the body just like the cafe string lights. This wasn’t problematic and never almost as unhealthy as another telephones bought at this time.


Patrick Holland/CNET

There are such a lot of Pixel 6 digicam modes and instruments

Google and its Tensor chip permits for much more digicam modes and instruments. There’s Evening Sight, Google’s model of mixing a number of photographs collectively when it is too darkish. It’s glorious on the Pixel 6.

Google Pixel 6 Night Sight

I just like the dramatic method Evening Sight renders photographs.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 Night Sight

This Evening Sight picture was taken with the ultrawide digicam.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 Night Sight

In actual life, this was just about all in shadow except for the sunshine and home windows.


Patrick Holland/CNET

There’s the brand new Movement mode, which has two choices: Motion Pan and Lengthy Publicity. Motion Pan offers the background of a photograph a dramatic movement blur. It is enjoyable. It is not going to reinvent pictures however it’s fairly enjoyable to make use of.

Google Pixel 6 Action Pan

Motion Pan can take what may be an in any other case lame picture and add pizazz.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The second Movement mode is Lengthy Publicity, which mimics a protracted publicity picture. There are apps that do one thing comparable however I acquired some respectable gentle trails from site visitors and a few silk-like water from a fountain. Once more, it is enjoyable. It would not exchange doing lengthy publicity pictures on a devoted digicam.

Google Pixel 6 Long Exposure

Google’s Movement mode for Lengthy Publicity works well-enough. It is just like changing a Dwell Photograph in iOS to Lengthy Publicity.


Patrick Holland/CNET

However that is not all. Google offers you a neat instrument known as Magic Eraser. It enables you to decide an object, an individual or part of a photograph to take away. You may get to it one in all two methods. In Pictures, you may see a suggestion about eradicating folks within the background. Or whenever you go to edit, faucet on Instruments to disclose the function.

Magic Eraser finds and establish the silhouettes of individuals within the background. It’s also possible to use your finger to color out the half you need gone. General it really works good however it’s removed from excellent. Typically I get completely wonderful outcomes like eradicating folks from the picture beneath of a pedestrian walkway. Although on nearer inspection, you’ll be able to see the blurry patches the place elements of the picture had been eliminated.

Different instances, like within the picture beneath, there have been transition artifacts. It eliminated two folks within the background right here, but in addition disfigured the hand on the girl to the precise.

There are such a lot of extra digicam options that I wasn’t in a position to spotlight on this evaluate like Face UnBlur. However CNET could have an much more in-depth have a look at the Pixel 6 cameras quickly.

The Pixel 6 digicam treats complexions extra equitably

One enchancment Google talked about was Actual Tone, which was a significant rethink and exploration about how photographs, particularly Google’s algorithms and engineers, deal with folks with completely different complexions. I nonetheless need to discover this function extra, however the photographs I took of associates, co-workers and folks with darker complexions look good, even when they don’t seem to be beneath probably the most flattering gentle. Usually after I confirmed somebody a photograph I took with the Pixel 6, even when it is them doing an earthly factor, they requested for a replica.

Google Pixel 6 Real Tone

That is one in all my favourite photographs I took with the Pixel 6.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 Real Tone

Even beneath harsh fluorescent lighting, Laban’s pores and skin appears good.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 Real Tone

This was taken in a really dim restaurant. The Pixel raised the general brightness however protected the colour, tone and particulars of the pores and skin.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Beneath is a photograph taken with harsh backlight. Admittedly, this is not a good way to take a photograph, however I needed to see what would occur. Google stated the Pixel 6 handles stray gentle higher. See the way it did in opposition to a photograph taken with the iPhone 13 beneath.

The variations between the 2 photographs aren’t drastic, however Eric, who’s the topic, most well-liked the picture from the Pixel 6. He appreciated the way it dealt with the colour and highlights in his pores and skin. You’ll be able to actually discover this in his arms.

Movies from the Pixel 6 are higher and selfies are simply OK

The Pixel 6 information the perfect video from any Pixel telephone. Particulars and coloration accuracy are higher. When it comes to evaluating the picture high quality between photographs and movies, there’s a smaller distinction than there was on prior Pixels. Do not get me incorrect, photographs are nonetheless the power of the Pixel.

When recording video in medium and low gentle, picture noise is fairly obvious. Additionally, the enhancements Actual Tone brings to photographs are unmatched with how movies deal with completely different complexions.

On the entrance, the Pixel 6 has an 8-megapixel digicam that shoots 1,080p video. The Professional has a wider selfie digicam that may file 4K. Selfies photographs from the Pixel 6 are good however in medium and low gentle begin to look noisy.

Google Pixel 6 selfie camera

Here’s a Portrait mode selfie from the Pixel 6.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Pixel 6 selfie camera

My colleague Lexy took this low-light selfie. The standard is OK, however general there’s a contact of movement blur.


Lexy Savvides/CNET

The Pixel 6 is outlined by Google’s Tensor chip

The Pixel 6 would not run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip present in almost each different flagship Android telephone just like the Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9 Professional. The Pixel 6 runs on Google’s Tensor processor. It is the primary chip Google ever made and was particularly designed by Google for the Pixel. When it comes to use, the Tensor chip and the 8GB of RAM had been peppy. Opening the digicam app is quick, app animations look easy and it handles video games properly.

When it comes to efficiency benchmark exams, the Tensor chip would not set any new information. Actually it is largely on par with the Snapdragon 888 and that is OK. The benefits Tensor brings are its safety and on-device machine studying and AI.

GEEKBENCH V.5.0 SINGLE-CORE

Word:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

GEEKBENCH V.5.0 MULTICORE

Word:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMARK SLINGSHOT UNLIMITED

Word:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Google quotes a day on a completely charged battery and in common use I would say that’s correct. However in heavy use, like taking pictures a lot of photographs and movies it had extra like a three-quarters of a day battery life. Throughout the 10 days I examined the telephone, the Pixel 6 averaged a screen-on time of 6 hours, which is sweet, however not nice.

Android 12 is stable on the Pixel 6

The Pixel 6 runs Android 12 and it is most likely probably the most underrated side of the telephone. Android 12 is a delight to make use of. I like the large apparent buttons and sliders. The general look of Android 12 is welcoming and prioritizes readability over animations. I like with the ability to match and complement system colours with my telephone’s wallpaper.

Google Pixel 6 Android 12

The Pixel 6 runs Android 12 and even has a handful of particular options.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Android 12 mixed with the Tensor processor supplies a lot of welcomed privateness and safety upgrades. The Pixel 6 comes with a number of of its personal Android 12 particular options, a few of that are powered by Tensor. A stand out for me is voice recognition. I discovered there to be lots of enchancment with translation, particularly after I had a dialog with a Portuguese speaker. Translations had been quick and correct. For voice typing specifically, appears to know context higher, auto-punctuate extra precisely and is less complicated to command and clear errors.

I examined the Pixel 6 on Google Fi, T-Mobile and Verizon right here in San Francisco. The Pixel 6 helps sub-6 5G. There are particular service variations of the Pixel 6 that additionally assist mmWave 5G and begin at $699 as an alternative of $599.

Google Pixel 6 battery

The Pixel 6 has 30W fast-charging over USB-C and helps wi-fi charging as pictured above.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Google improved the Pixel 6 in some ways

With the entire upgrades to software program and {hardware}, you need to surprise if that will likely be sufficient to make the Pixel 6 profitable. And that is actually the one factor I am unable to reply. I can say that is the best phone Google has ever constructed. As tempting because the Pixel 6 is, for $300 extra you’ll be able to improve to the marginally extra premium Pixel 6 Professional, which provides a telephoto digicam; a 6.7-inch show with curved edges, the next decision and high-refresh price; extra RAM; an ultrawideband chip and Gorilla Glass Victus to the again. When you have $600 and are on the lookout for a brand new telephone, the Pixel 6 is my advice.

Google Pixel 6 specs vs. Google Pixel 6 Professional, Google Pixel 5, Apple iPhone 13

Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 6 Professional Google Pixel 5 Apple iPhone 13
Show measurement, decision 6.4-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60Hz or 90Hz 6.7-inch LTPO OLED; 3,120×1,440 pixels; 10-120Hz 6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels
Pixel density 411 ppi 512 ppi 432 ppi 460 ppi
Dimensions (inches) 6.2×2.9×0.4 in 6.5×3.0x0.4 in 5.7×2.8×0.3 in 5.78×2.82×0.3 in
Dimensions (millimeters) 158.6×74.8×8.9mm 163.9×75.9×8.9mm 144.7×70.4x8mm 147x72x7.65mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 7.3 oz; 207g 7.41 oz; 210g 5.33 oz; 151g 6.14 oz; 174g
Cellular software program Android 12 Android 12 Android 11 iOS 15
Digicam 50-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel ultrawide 50-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 48-megapixel (telephoto) 12.2-megapixel (customary), 16-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
Entrance-facing digicam 8-megapixel 11-megapixel 8-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video seize 4K 30, 60fps (rear), 1,080p 30fps (entrance) 4K 30, 60fps (rear), 4K 30fps (entrance) 4K HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60fps
Processor Google Tensor Google Tensor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Apple A15 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
RAM 8GB 12GB 8GB Undisclosed
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery 4,614 mAh 5,003 mAh 4,000 mAh Undisclosed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor Underneath show Underneath show Rear No (Face ID)
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Particular options 5G sub-6 (some service fashions even have 5G mmWave) assist, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W fast-charging, wi-fi charging, Magic Eraser, Movement mode, Actual Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS safety updates, IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (entrance), Gorilla Glass 6 (again), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G sub-6 and mmWave assist, Wi-Fi 6E, Extremely-wideband, 30W fast-charging, wi-fi charging, Magic Eraser, Movement mode, Actual Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS safety updates, IP68 ranking for dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (back and front), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; water resistant (IP68); 90Hz-refresh-rate show; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wi-fi charging; quick charging 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
Value off-contract (USD) $599 (128GB) $899 (128GB) $699 $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB)
Value (GBP) £599 (128GB) £849 (128GB) £599 £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB), £1,079 (512GB)
Value (AUD) AU$999 (128GB) AU$1,299 (128GB) AU$999 AU$1,349 (128GB), AU$1,519 (256GB), AU$1,869 (512GB)

https://www.cnet.com/tech/cell/google-pixel-6-review-at-599-this-is-the-best-phone-you-can-buy/ | Google Pixel 6 evaluate: At $599, that is the perfect telephone you should buy

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