Pixel 6 evaluate: the cut-price Google flagship telephone | Smartphones

The Pixel 6 is Google’s inexpensive flagship telephone for 2021 and proves to be a pacesetter within the subject with a top-class digicam and a brand new superior chip at its coronary heart – whereas undercutting many of the competitors on value.

The telephone prices £599 ($599/A$999), which is £250 lower than the Pixel 6 Professional, whereas nonetheless providing 90% of what you get with Google’s prime mannequin.

It has a 6.4in 90Hz OLED display screen that’s flat, not curved on the sides. The show is barely much less sharp, slower and smaller than that on the 6 Professional, however continues to be superb with wonderful brightness and viewing angles.

The Pixel 6 (proper) is barely shorter however in any other case comparable in dimensions to the Pixel 6 Professional (left). {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The perimeters are painted black aluminium, the again is glass, and there’s a giant digicam bar design much like the 6 Professional. Regardless of the decreased display screen measurement the Pixel 6 just isn’t a small telephone and is just one.1mm narrower and 3g lighter than its larger sibling. These with smaller arms will wrestle to carry it in a single hand with out an attachment.


  • Display screen: 6.4in 90Hz FHD+ OLED (411ppi)

  • Processor: Google Tensor

  • RAM: 8GB of RAM

  • Storage: 128 or 256GB

  • Working system: Android 12

  • Digital camera: 50MP + 12MP ultrawide, 8MP selfie

  • Connectivity: 5G, eSIM, wifi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and GNSS

  • Water resistance: IP68 (1.5m for half-hour)

  • Dimensions: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm

  • Weight: 207g

Tensor chip

Google Pixel 6 review
The Pixel 6 takes just below two hours to completely cost, hitting 50% in 33 minutes utilizing a 30W USB-C adaptor (not included). {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Together with the Pixel 6 Professional, the Pixel 6 is the primary telephone to characteristic Google’s customized Tensor processor. It matches rivals from Qualcomm and Samsung on velocity, however is best optimised for Google’s varied AI techniques.

Battery life is sweet however not nice, lasting about 34 hours between prices, placing on par with rivals from Samsung and however a way behind 46-hour iPhone 13. That was with the display screen on for about 5 hours in varied messaging, note-taking and utility apps, the browser and taking about 20 photographs, spending about two hours on 5G and the remaining on wifi.


Google Pixel 6 review
The 2-tone again appears pretty uninteresting within the ‘stormy black’ variant, however is putting within the bolder color choices. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Google doesn’t present an anticipated lifespan for the battery. These in comparable units usually keep at the least 80% of their authentic capability after 500 full cost cycles. The Pixel 6 is usually repairable by Google and third-party restore outlets. Display screen repairs value £129, again glass repairs value £139 and battery replacements value £89 out of guarantee.

The Pixel 6 incorporates 100% recycled aluminium in its body, accounting for about 14% of the telephone by weight. The corporate publishes environmental impression studies for a few of its merchandise. Google will recycle all Pixel units freed from cost.

Android 12

google pixel 6 review
Tremendous quick simultaneous voice and finger typing is among 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 newest Android 12, which features a load of customisation choices and refinements. For extra, see the Pixel 6 Professional evaluate.

Google will present at the least three years of main Android updates and month-to-month safety fixes. It’ll then present an extra two years of updates with the “frequency and classes of updates relying on the {hardware} capabilities and desires”. Samsung helps its prime telephones for 4 years, whereas Fairphone is aiming for six years and Apple helps its iPhone for as much as seven years.

Digital camera

Google Pixel 6 review
The digicam app is great, with easy however helpful images aids, although it lacks a devoted macro images mode. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Pixel 6 has the identical 50-megapixel predominant and 12MP ultrawide digicam because the 6 Professional and produces very comparable outcomes. That makes it one of many perfect cameras you will get on a smartphone, notably at underneath £600. It lacks an optical zoom digicam, and whereas Google’s as much as 7x digital zoom is among the greatest, it’s no substitute for optical magnification.

The 8MP selfie digicam is sweet, producing detailed pictures with numerous drama, however sometimes the photographs have been a bit gentle, notably in decrease gentle ranges.


google pixel 6 review
The fingerprint scanner is much less dependable than the 6 Professional and whereas not horrible, it’s inferior to that utilized by Samsung or OnePlus. Registering my thumbprint twice helped. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • Name high quality and 5G reception was good, as was Bluetooth efficiency to a number of units of headphones.

  • The underside corners have been noticeably exhausting, digging in additional than different units in my palm when holding it one-handed.

  • The amount and energy buttons work nicely however are a bit of free, permitting them to rattle a bit.


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

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


The place the Pixel 6 Professional is about competing on an equal footing with the highest smartphones available on the market, the Pixel 6 affords all of what makes Google telephones nice whereas considerably undercutting the competitors on value.

You get snappy efficiency, respectable battery life, Google’s prime new chip and a slick expertise filled with all of the software program bells and whistles you’ll be able to’t get anyplace else. Google’s native AI-powered voice and keyboard typing is sort of one thing, and you’re going to get at the least 5 years of safety updates from launch. Plus the telephone has the principle and ultrawide lenses of Google’s next-generation class-leading digicam system.

The dearth of an optical zoom and barely choosy fingerprint scanner might be forgiven for the value. Costing simply £599, the Pixel 6 is priced extra according to Chinese language challenger manufacturers than the highest Samsung and Apple units with which it competes favourably.

That makes the Pixel 6 is an actual discount for a top-flight telephone. You need to spend significantly extra to get a greater Android telephone than this.

Professionals: class-leading digicam, nice display screen, wonderful efficiency, good battery life, recycled aluminium, 5 years of safety updates, Android 12, spectacular native AI options, very competitively priced.

Cons: pretty gradual charging, no optical zoom, fingerprint scanner might be choosy, no face unlock choice, solely three years of Android model updates regardless of 5 years of safety assist.

Google Pixel 6 review
Not like most rivals, the Pixel 6 doesn’t rock round when positioned flat on a desk due to the horizontal digicam bar. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Different critiques

This text was amended on 2 November 2021 to make clear that the Pixel 6 additionally has wifi 6E connectivity.

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