Software: All About You
- Android 12, updated to Android 13
- Three years of OS updates, five years of security patches
The Google Pixel 6 was one of the first devices to ship with Android 12. The twelfth of Googles OS was a major visual overhaul from Android 11, with an all-new design language called Material You. It themes just about every aspect of the software the quick settings, keyboard, icons, settings menus, and more with a color scheme that matches your wallpaper. Its incredibly personal and addictive to use at times.
Android veterans will notice other key design element changes around the user interface. The quick settings toggles are rectangular, the notification shade is now a full-screen element, theres a big emphasis on themed , and the lock screen is entirely different from previous Android versions.
Android 12 also brought native , one-handed mode, a quick-tap gesture to access the Google Assistant, and a that tells you which apps used certain permissions at what time. You can even toggle on/off access to the microphone and camera right from your quick settings.
Android 12 is a refreshing, sometimes addicting overhaul to the operating system.
Google rolls out semi-regular software updates to Pixel phones, which it calls Feature Drops, that bring new software features, wallpapers, and more. This is nothing new almost every other manufacturer rolls out new features to their devices every few months. Google just calls it by a nice name.
Choosing The Right Pixel 6 Storage Option
In total, Google offers three different storage options, but the exact number available depends on the device. For example, while the Pixel 6 Pro is available to buy with either 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage, the standard Pixel 6 can only be purchased with either 128GB or 256GB. As to be expected, the exact price of the phone will also depend on how much storage is required. The Pixel 6 starts at $599 and the Pixel 6 Pro at $899, but Google adds an extra $100 to the cost for each storage jump.
With no ability to physically expand the storage, consumers may want to consider how much they will need before placing an order. Though hard to know in advance, it might be worth considering how much storage the shopper’s existing phone has and how often they run close to the overall limit. For example, if upgrading from a phone with 64GB storage and almost never having issues with space running low, then it is likely the base 128GB version will be fine. If hoping to make the most of the Pixel 6s camera and video-recording abilities, and not planning to rely on cloud storage solutions like Pixel Pass, then it may be worth considering upgrading to the 256GB model. For those wanting the most storage space to play with, they will need to consider paying the extra $300 for the Pixel 6 Pro, as well as the additional $200 cost for upgrading the storage level to 512GB.
How Much Storage Do I Need On My Pixel 6
The amount of Pixel 6 storage you need depends on how you use yourphone.If you frequently capture photos or videos, download a lot of music, or install a bunchof games and apps, you should probably opt for the larger storage size.On the other hand, if you primarily stream video and music online, store most of yourphotos and videos in the cloud, and only install a few games and apps at a time,you can save money by getting a smaller storage option.
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Google Pixel 6 Review: The Verdict
The Google Pixel 6 represented a lot of things for Google. It was a shift away from the specs arent that important mindset thats followed the company around since the Nexus days and offered more proof that Google can make a damn good phone for well under $1,000. Now, the Pixel 7 has taken its place, further pushing the envelope at the same friendly price tag.
I wont pretend that there arent caveats. The camera system, while much improved, still wont be versatile enough for some users due to the missing zoom lens. And lets not forget, these are big, slippery phones, so anyone hoping for a real Pixel 5 successor will be disappointed. Also, Google took a big risk with Tensor, and while its machine learning smarts are impressive, it lacks raw compute power and struggles with sustained performance. The company also couldve made much more of an effort to include a biometrics system that isnt hot garbage, and the networking issues that have impacted some users are very irritating.
Between the long battery life, versatile cameras, and solid performance, the Google Pixel 6 is one of the most well-rounded smartphones out there.
Battery life is great. The screen, performance, audio experience, and cameras are all solid. The overall package Google delivered with the Pixel 6 is astoundingly good and is absolutely worth buying in 2022. Throw in that cheap price tag, and you have yourself one of the easiest-to-recommend smartphones ever made.
What Is Google Tensor
On the specs table above, youll note that the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have a processor known as Tensor. Unlike most Android smartphones, this is not a chipset from Qualcomm, Mediatek, or Samsung. This is a processor designed by Google and represents the first Google-made mobile chipset ever.
We have a full breakdown of . We also have to give you an idea of its power. In a nutshell, the processor shares some similarities to Samsungs Exynos 2100 chipset found in the Galaxy S21 series. This makes sense since Google worked with Samsung to build the chip. However, Google has made many tweaks to the inner workings, including a different 2+2+4 CPU layout and its own Tensor processor to increase the machine learning and AI capabilities of the chip.
However, the SoC isnt quite on the cutting edge of CPU and GPU hardware, and you should not expect Tensor to surpass the performance capabilities of the , let alone the newer or . Instead, you should expect the chip to perform at a flagship level and have a few AI-powered tricks up its sleeve that competitor chipsets lack.
Check out some data below:
Remember, this was Googles first attempt at making something like this. As such, we cant say much about the long-term when it comes to Tensor. With other companies, we know how well chipsets hold up over time, but Tensor is new territory. Keep this in mind if you plan to purchase a Pixel 6.
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Google Photos Storage Plans Explained
With no free storage offered, Pixel 6 owners need to abide by Google’s storage plans for Google Photos. All users get the first 15GB for free. If that’s not enough space, the cheapest available plan costs $19.99/year for an additional 100GB of storage. The next tier up costs $29.99/year for 200GB in addition to 3 percent cashback on Google Store purchases as an additional perk. Need even more space? Google also sells a $99.99/year plan that includes 2TB of storage, 10 percent Google Store cashback, and a free VPN for Android phones. Additional plans include 5TB for $249.99/year, 10TB for $49.99/month, 20TB for $99.99/month, and 30TB for $149.99/month.
Is it unfortunate that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro don’t have free Google Photos storage? Of course. It used to be one of the best reasons to buy a Pixel. However, it’s something Google’s committed to stop offering from this point forward. Even without that perk, though, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are outstanding smartphones that take incredible pictures, have unmatched software, and striking designs.
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Performance: Tensor Holds Up
Google has made its very own SoC, and the Google Pixel 6 is the first smartphone to run it. That means performance on the Pixel 6 series is more important than ever.
Now, Google didnt create its own chipset just to rival the likes of the or the Apple A15 Bionic. Raw power is important, of course, but the Google Tensor chipset focuses more on image processing and on-device machine learning than performing well in speed tests. You can read more about the exact make-up of the Tensor chipset in our comparison with the Snapdragon 888.
Everyday performance with the Google Tensor on the Pixel 6 was just fine during my testing. I noticed zero hiccups in performance while scrolling through social media, snapping photos, switching apps, or gaming. Apps opened quickly, and I have yet to hit a point where Ive overloaded the device to where performance would start becoming an issue. I also played Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty: Mobile and noticed little to no stuttering throughout each gaming session.
The Google Pixel 6 is backed by 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. For my usage, this amount of RAM has more than sufficed for multitasking. However, if youre truly after the most powerful Pixel 6 device, youll want to opt for the Pixel 6 Pro with its 12GB of RAM. I think 12GB across the board would have future-proofed the Pixel 6 line a bit more, especially because were not sure how well the Google Tensor chipset will hold up over time.
Need more speed?
Google Pixel 6 Top Questions And Answers
Yes, we think Pixel 6 is worth buying because it offers a great design, excellent cameras, and an incredibly affordable price tag.
No, the Pixel 6 does not have a microSD card slot, which means you have to think carefully about which storage variant to get you can choose between 128GB and 256GB.
Yes, the Pixel 6 is , meaning it will survive in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes.
Yes, the Pixel 6 supports 21W wireless charging when using the . The maximum power drops to 12W when using any other charger, though.
The Pixel 6 Pro has a larger screen than the Pixel 6 with a higher resolution, an extra camera on the back, and a larger battery. It also has more RAM and is available with 512GB of storage see a detailed specification comparison here.
You can choose between three Pixel 6 colors: Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, and Sorta Seafoam.
Unfortunately, you dont get a charger included with your Pixel 6 purchase.
Yes and no. Only the Verizon and AT& T versions of the Pixel 6 support mmWave technology , while all other variants support just sub-6GHz.
In early October, Google launched the newest generation of its flagship phones: the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. The 7 includes a lot of improvements, but its not necessarily a giant leap forward. Check out our comparison of the Pixel 7 series with older Pixels to learn more.
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Pixel 6 Pro Vs Pixel : Whats New
Technically, the Google Pixel 5 was the 2020 top-tier phone from Google. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the 2021 top-tier phone from the company. As such, the Pixel 6 Pro could be viewed as the follow-up to the Pixel 5.
However, this feels silly to even think about. The Pixel 6 Pro is leaps ahead of the Pixel 5 in nearly every respect. It even looks drastically different. Really, the Pixel 5 was kind of the end of one era of Pixel phones, and the Pixel 6 series is the start of another.
Regardless, here are the main differences between the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 5:
Are The Pixel 6 And Pixel 6 Pro Cameras Good
For the past six years, Googles phones have been market leaders when it comes to photography. Its been able to do that while barely updating the hardware that appears in its phones. In true Google fashion, it has relied on its top-tier computational photography software to do all the heavy lifting.
In 2021, though, the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro finally upped the hardware ante. The two phones featured newer and better camera sensors than we had ever seen in a Pixel before. This leap forward in hardware quality combined with Googles usual market-leading software made the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro .
Heres what each phone is packing as far as hardware:
Google Pixel 6
While weve seen more advanced camera systems on other phones, the specs above are solid.
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Google Pixel 6a: Whats Different
On May 11, 2022, Google launched a cheaper version of the Pixel 6 to be known as the . This phone has a lower entry price of $449. It hit general sale on July 28, 2022.
Basically, the Pixel 6a follows the formula set by previous a-series phones from Google. It offers the core experience of the Pixel 6 series while cutting out various features to lower the price. Here are the major differences between the vanilla Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6a:
Display: Dont Go Chasing Waterfalls
- 20:9 aspect ratio, 90Hz refresh rate
Displays are a key area where the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro differ. The Google Pixel 6 has a flat 6.4-inch OLED display with a Full HD+ resolution. Its not as pixel-dense as the Pixel 6 Pros, but most people would be hard-pressed to notice a difference. Plus, Googles decision to opt for a 1080p display allows the phone to save precious battery life. More on that later.
The Pixel 6s display is flat, and there are noticeable bezels around all edges of the screen. I wouldnt call them big bezels by any means, but theyre there. However, I much prefer a little bezel and a flat display to the unwieldiness of a waterfall display, as found on the Pixel 6 Pro. Some people will prefer as little bezel as possible, however.
The Pixel 6’s display gets plenty bright for use outdoors even in direct sunlight.
Regardless, the Pixel 6s display gets plenty bright. It offers 500 nits with normal max brightness or up to 800 nits of max brightness for HDR content when the phone switches to high brightness mode. It gets bright enough for outdoor use in direct sunlight and very dim at the lowest brightness setting. Theres even an accessibility feature that lets you dim the screen even further if your eyes require a dimmer display. Google also includes natural, boosted, and adaptive profiles so you can adjust the color temperature and saturation to your liking.
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What Is The Best Storage For Pixel 6
Although some storage sizes are more popular than others, there isntreally a best Pixel 6 storage capacity.In reality, the best Pixel 6 storage sizereally depends on what you do with your phone.If you dont take a lot of photos or videos and you dont tend to installa lot of games and apps, youre probably better off saving money andgetting a smaller size.However, if you take a lot of photos and videos, and you like to downloada lot of games and apps, opt for additional storage.
Google Pixel 6 Alternatives
- The most obvious alternative to the Pixel 6 is the newer Pixel 7. It has the same camera hardware, a better processor, different color options, and will get security updates longer than the Pixel 6. The only real downside is the battery of the Pixel 7 is slightly smaller, but it shouldnt make that much of a difference.
- Unfortunately, Google has discontinued the Pixel 5, so that is no longer an option. If you like the idea of being in the Pixel ecosystem but dont want to shell out for the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6a might be worth a look.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 The Galaxy S22 will have some advantages over the Pixel 6. One of the biggest is that it has a telephoto lens on the rear, which the Pixel 6 lacks. The Galaxy S22 also has a longer update promise with a commitment of four versions of Android from Samsung. Ultimately, the Galaxy S22 is probably a better phone than the Pixel 6, but the Pixel 6 has the advantage of being $200 cheaper and offering a very similar package.
- If you dont want to stick with Android, the iPhone 14 is a very comparable device to the Pixel 6. It has the same number of cameras and other similar hardware. The Pixel 6, though, will have a higher display refresh rate than the iPhone 13s typical 60Hz.
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Google Pixel 6 Software And Updates
Google has always wanted the Pixel line to be the iPhone of the Android world. However, iPhones get up to six years of iOS version upgrades, and Pixel phones have never been able to match that.
That changed with these models. For the first time ever, Google promised five years of support for the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Now, five years of Android support is not the same as five years of iOS support for iPhones. Those five years will cover security patches and other updates, not new Android versions.
There will be three Android upgrades and five years of security patches for the Pixel 6 series.
Instead, Google will offer up to three Android version upgrades for the Pixel 6 line. The Pixel 6 series already has and will get Android 14 and Android 15, and then hang on to Android 15 from then on. Once you receive Android 15, you should see two more years of security support before the phone would officially reach its end-of-life.
The big reason Google is able to offer this is due to Tensor, the Pixel 6 chipset. Since Google wont need to rely on Qualcomm for Android support, it can finally offer an extended schedule.
Regardless, Pixels will still be some of the very first phones in the world to get the latest Android versions. The bottom line here is that if Android updates and upgrades are important to you, the Pixel 6 series would be a good investment.
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