Pixel 6 Pro is the flagship smartphone Google has always wanted to make

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,617   +139
Staff member
The big picture: Google has officially introduced its new Pixel 6 series of smartphones, led by the flagship Pixel 6 Pro. From $899, it's a good bit cheaper than comparable flagships from companies like Apple and Samsung, and could put Google in a very favorable position heading into the 2021 holiday season and beyond.

Google’s top-tier handset packs a 6.7-inch QHD+ LTPO OLED display operating at a resolution of 1,440 x 3,120 (512 PPI, 19.5:9 aspect ratio) with a variable refresh rate that automatically adjusts from 10Hz to 120Hz based on the content currently being shown on screen to preserve battery life. The display is coated in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, the company’s most advanced cover glass to date.

Lending its services for the first time is Google’s own Tensor processor alongside its Titan M2 security coprocessor and 12GB of LPDDR5 memory. Local storage options include 128GB, 256GB or 512GB, and are priced accordingly.

Google described Tensor as the biggest mobile hardware innovation in the history of the company. In its presentation, Google said mobile chips simply haven’t been able to keep pace with Google research and rather than waiting for them to catch up, they decided to build one themselves.

The project started years ago and the result is Google Tensor, a chip that was designed specifically to run its machine learning models. The CPU side consists of two high-performance cores, two mid-range cores and four high-efficiency cores alongside a 20-core GPU. According to Google, users can expect an 80 percent boost in CPU performance and a 370 percent gain in GPU performance on the Pixel 6 compared to the Pixel 5.

The Pixel 6 Pro ships with a triple rear camera array consisting of a 50-megapixel Octa PD Quad Bayer wide-angle shooter with f/1.85 aperture and an 82-degree field of view. There’s also a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera (114-degree field of view) with f/2.2 aperture and a 48-megapixel telephoto camera with a 23.5-degree field of view, f/3.5 aperture and 4x optical zoom with laser detect auto focus. Optical image stabilization is present on the wide and telephoto cameras only.

Up front, you'll find an 11.1-megapixel ultrawide camera with f/2.2 aperture that's capable of recording 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. Google has traditionally had a lot of success with the camera systems on its Pixel smartphones, and this doesn't look to be any exception.

Google’s latest flagship carries an IP68 rating against dust and liquid and features the latest in wireless connectivity including 5G, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5. Battery life is rated at up to 24 hours, and with fast charging, you can get up to a 50 percent charge in about 30 minutes. The phone is also Qi-certified for wireless charging and features Battery Share, allowing you to share your phone's juice with other devices.

Other noteworthy features include an in-screen optical fingerprint sensor, dual stereo speakers and three microphones. Naturally, the handset ships with Android 12 out of the box, with Google promising to deliver at least five years of security updates post launch.

The Pixel 6 Pro starts at $899 for the 128GB model and is available to pre-order from today in your choice of black, white or yellow. ahead of an October 28 launch. Pricing scales up to $999 for 256GB of storage and tops out at $1,099 for 512GB of local space.

Image credit David Urbanke

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Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +870
$900 is still very steep for an Android based device. Although tbf you will actually get some meaningful update support as it’s made by Google and Not Samsung/LG/Sony/Xiaomi/Huawei etc who are all happy to abandon their customers about a year or so after they have their money.

I’d like to know more about their custom silicon, how does it compare with Qualcomm and Apples chips? Or even X86.
 

umbala

Posts: 457   +745
$900 is still very steep for an Android based device. Although tbf you will actually get some meaningful update support as it’s made by Google and Not Samsung/LG/Sony/Xiaomi/Huawei etc who are all happy to abandon their customers about a year or so after they have their money.

I’d like to know more about their custom silicon, how does it compare with Qualcomm and Apples chips? Or even X86.
I love how you phrased that. The price of $900 is very steep for an Android based device... you know, because if it's Apple's hardware then $900 is peanuts, but for Android, yeah that's too much!
 

gusticles41

Posts: 505   +604
No expandable storage or headphone jack is disappointing.

You won't be finding either of those features in Google or Apple flagship devices ever again, if I had to bet.

I thought losing those features was going to make me hate my life, but now I couldn't care less.
 
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Arbie

Posts: 299   +541
"Dual stereo speakers" are no doubt a great advance over "single" stereo speakers. But... no headphone jack; no sale.
 

sickb0y

Posts: 14   +17
"Dual stereo speakers" are no doubt a great advance over "single" stereo speakers. But... no headphone jack; no sale.

this, I'm still holding off on my LG V60 just because of the headphone jack and the awesome DAC
 

defaultluser

Posts: 280   +243
Any chance we'll be seeing a normal-sized model in the near future? I cant fit either of these monstrosities min the pocket that currently holds my Pixel 2!
 

NumberSix

Posts: 78   +139
Expensive. I bought Pixel 5 for 700 dollars last year.
And you can get a Pixel 6 with a pair of £350 Bose headphones chucked in for £599.

Thanks to the Pixel 5a and the Pixel 6 my Pixel 5 looks like the most overpriced under specced phone I have ever bought.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,059   +3,921
TechSpot Elite
I dont get to love for a headphone jack, being free of a dangling cord is the best thing that ever happened to music on the move.
Because people want to use their high end wired headphones to listen to music, not just the wireless ones.

Imagine having something like the Sennheiser HD 660S headphones or something much more expensive and not being able to use them with your flagship phone to listen to music.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
Because people want to use their high end wired headphones to listen to music, not just the wireless ones.

Imagine having something like the Sennheiser HD 660S headphones or something much more expensive and not being able to use them with your flagship phone to listen to music.

I would never go back to Wired. Thats for sure. Not in a million years.
I use my headphones for working out, many times per week, and I remember the days with wired headphones .. Just horrible. Always in the way and cable clutter every time you needed them. No thanks.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
I love how you phrased that. The price of $900 is very steep for an Android based device... you know, because if it's Apple's hardware then $900 is peanuts, but for Android, yeah that's too much!
Samsung flagships had Apple prices for years at this point.

90% of Android user base uses cheap trash phones. >$250 phones and this is why Android marketshare is high. Most don't care or can't afford better.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,059   +3,921
TechSpot Elite
I would never go back to Wired. Thats for sure. Not in a million years.
I use my headphones for working out, many times per week, and I remember the days with wired headphones .. Just horrible. Always in the way and cable clutter every time you needed them. No thanks.
And I use my good headphones to relax in my house. I obviously have another smaller and wireless set for workouts, but the audio quality difference is like night and day.

Good wireless headphones that offer acceptable audio quality are generally 2x more expensive, and still don't come close to true audiophile headphones that sit at similar price ranges.

Why are you so quick to accept the removal of a perfectly useful feature?
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
And I use my good headphones to relax in my house. I obviously have another smaller and wireless set for workouts, but the audio quality difference is like night and day.

Good wireless headphones that offer acceptable audio quality are generally 2x more expensive, and still don't come close to true audiophile headphones that sit at similar price ranges.

Why are you so quick to accept the removal of a perfectly useful feature?
Because I don't need it and is limits the IPX ratings and collects dust and pocket wool.

I use wired headphones for my gaming PC, nothing else. No need. I prefer the freedom of wireless for anything else.

If you rely on a minijack on a phone in 2021, do you have much choice lol? Pretty much everyone removed it by now.
 

Xex360

Posts: 163   +238
Nothing special, they had the opportunity to make a better product than the junk we have now, just add a headphone jack and not include dead pixels, an SD card reader and it'd be perfect.
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +202
Nothing special, they had the opportunity to make a better product than the junk we have now, just add a headphone jack and not include dead pixels, an SD card reader and it'd be perfect.
SD card reader, is this 2010. I want fast internal storage only.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,059   +3,921
TechSpot Elite
Because I don't need it and is limits the IPX ratings and collects dust and pocket wool.

I use wired headphones for my gaming PC, nothing else. No need. I prefer the freedom of wireless for anything else.

If you rely on a minijack on a phone in 2021, do you have much choice lol? Pretty much everyone removed it by now.
Phones have been getting waterproof ratings just fine with the headphone jack in them. Samsung used to have the highest IP68 on the Galaxy phones before they also removed the headphone jack (they used to actively mock Apple about it). The cheap Redmi Note 10 has IP53 and the Pixel 5A has IP67.

Don't believe the crappy excuse Apple used to remove it. It's just another cost saving change and it also allows manufacturers to sell more peripherals like expensive earbuds.

Many wireless headphones come with an extra cable you can use when the battery dies, which is great when you travel.

Samsung removed these ads, but the internet does not forget:
 
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Puiu

Posts: 5,059   +3,921
TechSpot Elite
SD card reader, is this 2010. I want fast internal storage only.
SD cards are now plenty fast. You can easily find 30$ 256GB cards from well known brands that run at well above 100MBps. Perfect for storing movies and pictures, especially when you consider the fact that buying the version of a phone that has more internal storage can cost you hundreds of dollars more. For example, going from 256GB to 512GB on the IPhone 13 costs an extra 200$.
 
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Geralt

Posts: 814   +1,230
Because people want to use their high end wired headphones to listen to music, not just the wireless ones.

Imagine having something like the Sennheiser HD 660S headphones or something much more expensive and not being able to use them with your flagship phone to listen to music.
My case!