Theand were in October -- and as expected, they come loaded with welcome upgrades (including ) that could potentially usher in the tipping of fortunes for the company's struggling phone division.
With the Pixel 6 lineup, Google seems to have, which marked a departure from the pricey . Out goes last year's midrange processor, in comes the company's years-in-the-making . Out went the generic, tried-and-tested hardware design. In comes a statement device with a signature camera bar running across the width of the chassis, which is available in splashy new colors including sorta seafoam (green) and sorta sunny (orange).
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Read more: CNET'sand reviews
This year, there are two phones in the flagship Pixel series, the $599 (£599) Pixel 6 and $899 (£849) Pixel 6 Pro. Of the two phones, the more affordable Pixel 6 is priced to compete with the, Samsung Galaxy S21 as well as other Android midtier phones like the Motorola Edge (2021). Check the table below for a full pricing breakdown.
But beyond the fact that the Pixel 6 lineup is made by Google, boasts top-of-the-line cameras and the best Android update policy around, what also makes it an interesting buy is what's found inside the device's revamped chassis. At the heart of the Pixel 6 series is that aforementioned Tensor system-on-a-chip. Tensor promises up to 48 hours of battery life, better "real-time language translations, highly accurate voice transcription and high-end camera features like the ability to unblur the face of a person in motion," according to a report by CNET's Shara Tibken. This marks the first time the company has built its phones without a Qualcomm chipset, endeavoring instead to build its own in-house. And because Google created Tensor, it's extending security and OS support to Pixel owners to five years.
By the way, if you want to cut to the chase, scroll down to our specs chart below, which compares the Pixel 6 series with the Pixel 5 series side-by-side.
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro differences
As for Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, there are similarities in many ways, but there are also a lot of differences. First of all, there's a $300 price difference between the base and pro models. For ponying up the extra cash, you get a slew of added features including a larger and higher-res screen, a bigger battery, support for both sub-6 and millimeter-wave 5G (the ultrafast but less reliable flavor of 5G) and the third rear camera, a telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom. As a reference point, that's higher than the 's 3x optical zoom.
How does Pixel 6 compare to the Pixel 5 and 5A?
The Pixel 5 and 5A sit squarely in the midrange category, especially compared to the new Pixel 6 series. The Pixel 5 was Google's flagship phone last year, but its midrange position marked a departure from the pricey Pixel phones of years past. The Pixel 5 launched at $699 (£599, AU$999) and included 5G connectivity along with the fantastic cameras that have become the line's main selling point. But with that lowered asking price, Google chose to scale back on some features-- it went with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G.
Like all phones in Google's A series, the 5A is a stripped-down version of the flagship Pixel 5. Again, you can see how these phones stack up against each other in the specs chart below.
Pixel 6 series vs. Pixel 5 series
||Google Pixel 6 Pro||Google Pixel 6||Google Pixel 5||Google Pixel 5A 5G|
|Display size, resolution||6.7-inch LTPO OLED; 3,120x1,440 pixels; 10-120Hz||6.4-inch OLED; 2,400x1,080 pixels; 60 or 90Hz||6-inch OLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels||6.34-inch OLED, (2,400x1,080 pixels)|
|Pixel density||512 ppi||411 ppi||432 ppi||413 ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.5x3.0x0.4 in||6.2x2.9x0.4 in||5.7x2.8x0.3 in||
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||163.9x75.9x8.9 mm||158.6x74.8x8.9 mm||144.7x70.4x8.0 mm||156.2x73.2x8.8 depth mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||7.41 oz; 210g||7.3 oz; 207g||5.33 oz; 151g||6.45 oz; 183g|
|Mobile software||Android 12||Android 12||Android 11||Android 11|
|Camera||50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 48-megapixel (telephoto)||50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)||12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)||16-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (wide)|
|Video capture||4K 30, 60fps (rear), 4K 30fps (front)||4K 30, 60fps (rear), 1,080p 30fps (front)||4K||4K|
|Processor||Google Tensor||Google Tensor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB||128GB||128GB|
|Battery||5,003 mAh||4,614 mAh||4,000 mAh||4,680 mAh|
|Fingerprint sensor||Under display||Under display||Rear||
|Special features||5G Sub-6 and mmWave support, Wi-Fi 6E, Ultrawideband, 30W fast charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS and security updates, IP68 dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (front and back)||5G Sub-6 (some carrier models also have 5G mmWave) support, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W fast charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS and security updates, IP68 dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (front), Gorilla Glass 6 (back)||5G enabled; IP68 dust- and water-resistance; 90Hz refresh rate display; dual SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wireless charging; fast charging||5G-enabled, Titan M chipset (security chip), dual main camera, IP67 water-resistance, dual SIM, stereo speakers; 18W fast charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$899 (128GB)||$599 (128GB)||$699||$449|
|Price (GBP)||£849 (128GB)||£599 (128GB)||£599||£330 (converted)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$999 (128GB)||AU$1,299 (128GB)||AU$999||AU$610 (converted)|