The official announcement of the all-new Google Pixel 6 smartphones was made on Tuesday, Oct. 19th, and there was a lot said by Google during the debut especially in terms of the performance of the device as well as the surprisingly lower price point of the smartphones.
The new Google Pixel 6 comes in two variants – Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro both of which have clear distinct differences to tell them apart from one another.
Also the Pixel 6 Pro is way more expensive than the base model and while that might be surprising to some, looking through the spec sheet, one can suggest that the price tag might be worth it but that is obviously subjective.
But away from the pricing, the devices are equipped with Google’s own Tensor chipset which is expected to push the device’s speed and max it up by 80% while also being power efficient at the same time.
The Tensor chip is going to be AI-heavy as it will rely on Google’s machine learning and AI technologies.
Google is definitely one of the biggest software companies on the planet and taking their time to develop the Tensor chipset to utilize their entire computer infrastructural resources would further enhance the processing capacity of the Tensor chipset obviously.
With that said, you can expect things such as strong photography capacity and an advanced speech-to-text system that’ll further make the device even easier to use by anyone across the globe.
What are Google Pixel 6’s key features?
- TPU: main processing unit.
- ISP: Signal processor.
- CPU: 2x2x4.
- GPU: 20-core chip.
- Context hub: Ultra low-power engine.
The Tensor chipset is the newest kid on the block in the SoC market. This will also be the first time the tech giant will be designing its own chipset in-house while ditching the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset which is used for its previous Pixel 5 models last year.
Google designing its own chipset means it will be easier to create a chipset that is well-tailored to its hardware and its systems. So you can expect a better performance.
Google even bragged that the Tensor will make the Pixel 6 series faster than their previous models – 80% CPU performance improvement and 370% GPU performance improvement.
The Tensor chip will handle processes such as photo improvement, video, search, text-to-speech, and other important features on the device that relates to processing.
A portion of this chip is a mobile version of Google’s Tensor Processing Units found in Google’s massive network of data centers. These TPUs handle complex machine learning for cloud infrastructure, so the Pixel 6 seriously ups the AI/ML game for a mobile device.
A good scenario of how the Tensor chipset will make your photo better can be the capacity to take multiple pictures of a particular subject all at once then the chip will detect the subject’s face, and combine all of the shots it’s taken into a viable image.
Although older Pixel smartphones have been doing this for a long time and that’s why pictures that have been taken on Pixel smartphones often look better than others, the Tensor chip will take this to another level.
Other important things to know about the Tensor chip include its handling of real-time speech translation between two languages in a video for example.
With that, you get better speech recognition with Google Assistant software so making voice commands can now be done in a better way unlike before.
With the help of the Tensor chip, the Pixel 6 phone app will even give you an estimated wait time before you place a call to a business.
- 90Hz refresh rate (Pixel 6) and 120Hz refresh rate (Pixel 6 Pro)
- ful HD+ display (Pixel 6) and full QHD LTPO display (Pixel 6 Pro)
The two Pixel 6 smartphones come in two different screen sizes. The base Pixel 6 has a 6.0-inch full HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate which is pretty standard for 2021 and that might also explain the price point.
But we then have the larger 6.7-inch full QHD LTPO display with a 120Hz refresh rate for the Pixel 6 Pro. Thanks to the LTPO technology, the display is adaptive which means that it can switch automatically between a 10Hz refresh rate to a 120Hz refresh rate depending on the type of content being consumed so you can rest assured that the battery will be fine.
Also, Google has finally gotten the right position to place its front-facing camera which is right in the middle inside a hole-punch cut-out.
The display also houses the under-display fingerprint sensor which was formerly at the back of the Pixel 5.
Cameras and photo features
- Dual rear cameras (Pixel 6) and Triple rear cameras (Pixel 6 Pro)
- 4K resolution for selfies.
- 4K video capture at 60 fps.
- The return of the “magic erasure” feature, which allows you to easily erase items from a photo.
- Face deblur option.
- Manual white balance adjustment.
- Pixel binning used to deliver 12.5MP images from a 50MP sensor for more flexibility.
- Double-tap to the back of the camera to automatically open the camera for apps like SnapChat.
For ages, Pixel smartphones have been taking excellent pictures and that’s where the name is derived from.
With the newly announced Pixel 6 series, you can expect even better camera performance thanks to the Tensor chipset with its advanced photo processing capabilities.
But let’s talk about the interesting camera specifications on both devices. For the base Pixel 6, you get a dual rear camera setup which includes a 50MP primary sensor and a 12MP ultrawide sensor with another 12MP sensor up-front for the selfie camera.
Then the Pixel 6 Pro has a triple rear camera setup which includes a 50MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultrawide lens, and a 48MP 4x telephoto lens. Up-front is a 12MP 94-degree selfie camera.
If you’re going to be using the Pixel 6 Pro for professional photography, you can expect it to not disappoint.
There is also a new feature called Real-Tone which according to Google helps in perfecting your photograph.
Google said it partnered with leading image experts to ensure the cameras do a better job at taking accurate photos of people of color.
This was achieved was by improving face detection, improving auto-exposure, focusing on how the phone handles white balance to prevent over-brightening of darker skin tones, and better detection for different types of natural hair. Google Photos will also include Real Tone baked in.
Another feature is called Motion Mode which utilizes different tech to add motion blur to a photo giving it a lively look and feel.
Another feature is called Motion Mode, which uses numerous new technologies to add motion blur to a photo that would otherwise be static.
Google improved on the battery capacity this time around and the Tensor chip is also expected to help enhance the power efficiency of the device allowing it to last all day.
The Pixel 6 will include a 4,614 mAh battery, while the Pixel 6 Pro will have a larger 5,000 mAh battery. Granted the Pixel 6 Pro version will require that extra juice to power the 120MHz display, but both devices should go all day without a charge.
The cases of both devices are made of recycled aluminum to help lessen the carbon footprint from the manufacturing process. You can also trade in your old Pixel, and Google will make sure it’s responsibly recycled.
Out of the box, the Pixel 6 series runs the latest Android 12 OS with the fascinating Material You user interface laced on top of the device.
It comes with some improvement as well which includes better privacy and security features as well as better gesture and fluid animation. Also, the high refresh rates on both Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will enhance the experience on the Android 12 OS.
Other features in Android 12 include:
- A more playful lock screen that uses dynamic lighting.
- A more intuitive Notification Shade.
- Quick Settings now includes Google Pay and Home Controls.
- Google Assistant can be invoked by long-pressing the power button.
- CPU time has been reduced by 22% to make the OS more performant.
- Privacy Dashboard is a centralized location to manage app permissions.
- An indicator appears in the Notification Shade when an app is using either the camera or the mic.
- Quick settings now include toggles to disable the mic and camera systemwide.
- Android Private Compute Core powers certain features (such as Android Caption) and doesn’t share information with other apps or services.
- AVIF Image support.
- Clipboard read notification in the Notification Shade.
- A new transcoding layer that makes it possible for apps that don’t support High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video compression to take advantage of this much-improved standard.
- App hibernation and pairing.
- Haptic audio.
- One Handed Mode for easier one-handed use.
Specifications: Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro
|Specifications||Pixel 6||Pixel 6 Pro|
|Operating system||Android 12||Android 12|
|CPU||Google Tensor and a Titan M2||Google Tensor and a Titan M2|
|Display||6.4″ FHD+ at 90Hz||6.71″ QHD+ at 120Hz|
|Rear camera system||50MP Wide and 12MP Ultrawide||50MP Wide, 48MP Telephoto, and 12MP Ultrawide|
|Biometric sensors||Under-display fingerprint sensor and facial recognition||Under-display fingerprint sensor and facial recognition|
|Charging||30 W wired USB-C/21 W wireless via Pixel Stand||30W wired, 23W wireless on Pixel Stand|
|5G Network||Sub6, mmWave (US)||Sub6, mmWave (US)|
|Color options||Kinda Coral, Sorta Seafoam, Stormy Black||Stormy Black, Sorta Sunny, Cloudy White|
|Dimension||158.6 x 74.8 x 8.2mm||163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm|
How does the Pixel 6 compare to the Pixel 5?
If you’re thinking about upgrading from the current Pixel 5 series to the new Pixel 6 series, well there has been a couple of improvements that may entice you into ditching the 2020 flagship.
The improved battery life on the new Pixel 6 is one of the most interesting things about the device. Also, Google seems to be working toward creating better batteries for its devices this year.
If you are to compare the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 together, you can see a couple of compromises made by Google at the time. For example, the Pixel 4 series came with a powerful chipset at the time but sports a disastrous battery. However, that got fixed with the Pixel 5 series which compromised with its mid-tier chipset.
As it stands, the current Pixel 6 seems to be the perfect balance between the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 – Great battery and powerful processor all-in-one device. Google claims the Tensor SoC will be 80% more powerful than the Pixel 5’s Snapdragon 765.
How much does the Pixel 6 cost?
The base Pixel 6 model starts at US$599 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model while the Pixel 6 Pro starts at US$899 for the 12GB RAM and 128GB storage model.
The US$300 price difference can buy you the Redmi Note 10 Pro with a 120Hz refresh rate, 6.67-inch AMOLED display, quad rear camera with a 108MP primary sensor, and a 5,000mAh battery but I digress.
When and where will the Pixel 6 be available?
Preorder started immediately after the release on Tuesday by they will be hitting store shelves by Oct. 28th. Also, Google allows for a trade in so if you own an older Pixel smartphone, you can bargain a good deal and get your phone swapped.