Saturday, September 23

Pixel 6 review: Google’s flagship phone at a cut price | Smart phones

TThe Pixel 6 is Google’s affordable flagship phone for 2021 and proves to be a leader in the field with a first-class camera and advanced new chip at its heart, while undercutting most of the competition in price.

The phone costs £ 599 ($ ​​599 / A $ 999), which is £ 250 less than the Pixel 6 Pro, and at the same time offers 90% of what you get with Google’s top model.

It has a 6.4-inch 90Hz OLED screen that is flat, not curved on the sides. The screen is slightly less sharp, slower, and smaller than the 6 Pro’s, but it’s still very good with excellent brightness and viewing angles.

Google Pixel 6 review
The Pixel 6 (right) is slightly shorter but similar in dimensions to the Pixel 6 Pro (left). Photograph: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

The sides are painted black aluminum, the back is glass, and there is a large camera bar design similar to the 6 Pro. Despite the reduced screen size, the Pixel 6 is not a small phone and is only 1, 1mm narrower and 3g lighter than its big brother. Those with smaller hands will have a hard time holding it in one hand without an accessory.


  • Screen: 6.4-inch 90Hz FHD + OLED (411ppi)

  • Processor: Google Tensor

  • RAM: 8GB RAM

  • Storage: 128 or 256 GB

  • OS: Android 12

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

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

  • Waterproof: IP68 (1.5m for 30 minutes)

  • Dimensions: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm

  • Weight: 207g

Tensioning chip

Google Pixel 6 review
The Pixel 6 takes just under two hours to fully charge, reaching 50% in 33 minutes with a 30W USB-C adapter (not included). Photograph: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Along with the Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 6 is the first phone to feature Google’s custom Tensor processor. It matches rivals Qualcomm and Samsung in speed, but is better optimized for Google’s various AI systems.

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Battery life is good, but not great, lasting about 34 hours between charges, on par with Samsung’s rivals and, but somewhat behind the 46-hour iPhone 13. That was with the screen on for about five hours in various messages, note taking. and utility applications, the browser and taking around 20 photos, spending about two hours on 5G and the rest on Wi-Fi.


Google Pixel 6 review
The two-tone rear looks rather dull in the ‘stormy black’ variant, but is striking in the bolder color options. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Google does not provide an expected battery life. Those of similar devices typically maintain at least 80% of their original capacity after 500 full charge cycles. The Pixel 6 can usually be repaired by google and third party repair shops. Screen repairs cost £ 129, rear glass repairs cost £ 139 and battery replacements cost £ 89 out of warranty.

The Pixel 6 contains 100% recycled aluminum in its frame, which makes up about 14% of the weight of the phone. The company publishes environmental impact reports for some of their products. Google will recycle all Pixel devices free.

Android 12

google pixel 6 review
Ultra-fast simultaneous voice and finger typing is 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 latest Android 12, which includes a host of customization options and improvements. For more information, see the Pixel 6 Pro review.

Google will provide at least three years of major Android updates and security fixes monthly. It will then provide an additional two years of updates with “update frequency and categories based on hardware needs and capabilities.” Samsung supports its best phones for four years, while Fairphone targets six years and Apple supports its iPhone for up to seven years.

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Google Pixel 6 review
The camera app is excellent, with simple but useful photo aids, though it lacks a dedicated macro photography mode. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

The Pixel 6 has the same 50-megapixel, 12MP ultra-wide main camera as the 6 Pro and produces very similar results. That makes it one of the best cameras you can get on a smartphone, particularly for under £ 600. It lacks an optical zoom camera and while Google’s up to 7x digital zoom is one of the best, it is no substitute. to optical magnification.

The 8MP selfie camera is good and produces detailed shots with a lot of drama, but images were occasionally a bit soft, particularly in lower light levels.


google pixel 6 review
The fingerprint scanner is less reliable than the 6 Pro, and while it’s not terrible, it’s not as good as the one used by Samsung or OnePlus. Registering my fingerprint twice helped. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian
  • Call quality and 5G reception were good, as was Bluetooth performance for various headsets.

  • The bottom corners were remarkably hard, sinking deeper than other devices into my palm when I held it with one hand.

  • The volume and power buttons work fine, but they’re a bit loose, allowing them to vibrate a bit.


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

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


While the Pixel 6 Pro is all about competing on an equal footing with the best smartphones on the market, the Pixel 6 offers everything that makes Google’s phones great while also significantly lowering the price of the competition. .

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You get snappy performance, decent battery life, Google’s new top chip, and a slick experience packed with all the software bells and whistles you can’t get anywhere else. Google’s AI-powered local keyboard and voice typing is pretty big, and you’ll get at least five years of security updates from launch. In addition, the phone has the main and ultra-wide lenses of Google’s next-generation class-leading camera system.

The lack of an optical zoom and a slightly fussy fingerprint scanner can be forgiven for the price. Costing just £ 599, the Pixel 6 is priced more in line with competing Chinese brands than the leading Samsung and Apple devices that it competes favorably with.

That makes the Pixel 6 a real bargain for a top-tier phone. You have to spend a lot more to get a better Android phone than this.

Pros: class leading camera, large screen, excellent performance, good battery life, recycled aluminum, five years of security updates, Android 12, impressive local artificial intelligence features, very competitive prices.

Cons: fairly slow charging, no optical zoom, fingerprint scanner can be demanding, no face unlock option, only three years of Android version updates despite five years of security support.

Google Pixel 6 review
Unlike most rivals, the Pixel 6 doesn’t rock when laid flat on a table due to the horizontal camera bar. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

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