Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung

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Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung
© Created by Bridget Clegg using images from Google The Google 6 Pro android smartphone is finally here, with features like an all-new Tensor chip developed by Google, a big OLED display, a new camera setup, and Android 12. Here’s how it stacks up to competitors.

The Pixel 6 Pro is the most important Google phone in years. It’s the first Pixel to rock a “Pro” moniker, and you can clearly see why, thanks to its updated hardware and user experience. Some of the major highlights on the new phone include an all-new Tensor chip developed by Google, a big OLED display, a new camera setup with a host of avant-garde features, and Android 12 — the platform’s latest operating system release.

With an $899 starting price, the Pixel 6 Pro is the newest high-end phone from Google since 2019. (The last Pixel to cost this much was 2019’s range-topping Pixel 4 XL.) This year, Google launched the Pro alongside a more compact Pixel 6, which has a lower $599 sticker.

Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung
© amazon.com Google Pixel 6 Pro

$899.00

KEY SPECS

• Google Tensor chip

• 6.7-inch QHD+ OLED display with 120 Hz maximum refresh rate and HDR compatibility

• Triple camera with 50MP main, 48MP telephoto with 4-times optical zoom, 12MP ultra wide, Laser autofocus, 11MP selfie camera

• 12GB of RAM, 128/256/512GB of storage

• 5G, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity

• 5,000 mAh, fast wired and wireless charging, reverse wireless charging

• Stereo speakers, IP 68 waterproof

I spent the past week with the Pixel 6 Pro as my go-to smartphone, and it was very impressive. The big-screen Google phone has made a leap from being a cool-but-niche offering to a rock-solid contender for the best product in its class. Here’s why its design, hardware, and everyday performance make it a formidable rival — as well as an exciting alternative — to Samsung’s ubiquitous Galaxy smartphones.

DESIGN

The Pixel 6 Pro has a new look with a distinctive camera bump that runs across its back.

Dubbed the “camera bar” by Google, this feature sets it apart from its high-end Android rivals — the corner camera bumps in many of them look more generic in comparison. It’s all but guaranteed to make the latest Pixel instantly recognizable among tech aficionados.

Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung
© Stefan Vazharov hand holding google pixel 6 pro in front of painting

Also, by ditching the back fingerprint sensor and the rounded corners of the Pixel 5 for an under-display one and sharper lines, Google made its latest flagship phone look cooler and more high-tech.

When it comes to workmanship and in-hand feel, the Pixel 6 Pro has no weak points. The phone has a metal frame and super tough Corning Gorilla Glass Victus panels that won’t scratch easily. It’s fully waterproof and nice to interact with, though I still suggest that you use it with a case to protect it and improve its grip.

There are three Pixel 6 Pro colors to choose from: stormy black, cloudy white, and sorta sunny. The camera bar sides of every color option have slightly different color finishes, and this subtle quirk adds a ton of visual character to the gadget.

DISPLAY

The 6.7-inch OLED display of the Pixel 6 Pro is the biggest we’ve seen in a Google phone yet, and fantastic overall. It’s bright and crisp, since it’s powered by millions of individually backlit pixels. This makes it ideal for viewing HDR-enhanced content. To top things off, the screen has a high brightness mode, which helps for when you take it outdoors.

Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung
© Stefan Vazharov google pixel 6 pro next to plant in teacup

Google also increased their maximum refresh rate to 120 Hz, which is the highest on a Pixel phone. (For comparison, the smaller Pixel 6 has a 90 Hz panel, while older phones have 60 Hz ones.) The functionality has been a must-have for top-tier Android smartphones for a while, making onscreen interactions like scrolling through pages, documents, and social media feeds fast, fluid, and more enjoyable.

I found the screen of the Pixel 6 Pro to be excellent overall while I tested it. It’s great for juggling among open apps, cranking out messages, endlessly scrolling Instagram and Twitter, watching a video, and even gaming.

The stereo speakers that flank the screen are also excellent. They produced a powerful and detail-rich sound during gaming and YouTube viewing sessions.

CAMERA

The multisensor camera setup of the Pixel 6 Pro has taken a massive leap forward, offering more versatility and megapixels than ever. The telephoto snapper with 4-times optical zoom and 20-times Super Res digital magnification is particularly exciting, since you will be able to capture faraway objects — and even wildlife — with a lot more detail.

Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung
© Stefan Vazharov The Google Pixel 6 Pro camera’s 4-times optical zoom captures buildings on the edge of Central Park.

The image and video quality of the Pixel 6 Pro is exceptional: The device captured fantastic photos and 4K video while I tested it. This phone’s camera prowess makes it a strong competitor to the iPhone 13 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, both of which offer great camera technology.

Google’s easy-to-use camera interface and new, powerful tools for editing photos are as impressive as its image and video quality. Magic Eraser and Motion Mode are a duo of new features that make advanced photo alterations surprisingly effortless. The former, as its name suggests, can remove distracting objects from your snaps. Motion Mode, on the other hand, can bring life to your photos by adding action pan and long exposure effects.

Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung
© Stefan Vazharov Magic Eraser in action.

PERFORMANCE

The Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro are both powered by an all-new Tensor chip developed by Google. Combined with an ample 12GB of RAM, this new hardware component means a ton of speed and the increased ability to multitask.

During my week of testing, the phone lived up to my expectations: I could easily power through a heavy workload of 10-plus open apps, even while constantly switching among them. I could easily unlock the device using the fingerprint sensor, and opened the camera app by double-pressing the power button.

The Pixel Pro, like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, boasts a 5,000 mAh battery, which is among the industry’s largest, and you’ll easily get a full day of use from the Pixel with power to spare. If you want even more time between charges, disabling the 120 Hz refresh rate of its display will significantly extend its battery life.

USER EXPERIENCE

Having access to the best Android experience is one of the biggest reasons to consider upgrading to the Pixel 6 Pro. Since the phone houses the platform’s latest operating system, you can expect a beautiful, intuitive, and infinitely customizable user interface.

Google's Pixel 6 Pro Finally Rivals Samsung
© Google translation tool on google pixel 6 pro

Designed for next-level machine learning, the Google Tensor chip also adds a host of clever tricks to the Pixel 6 Pro experience: Think powerful Google Assistant controls, enhanced security and privacy protection, and the ability to help you avoid spending time on hold with customer service, to name just a few.

Live Translate is also a new favorite feature, since it will magically change your text input in real-time to any language of your choice. You can also translate foreign language signs by simply pointing the device’s camera at them.

WRAP-UP

The Pixel 6 Pro is a clear winner for people looking for a high-end Android phone. Unless you really need the camera setup with bigger zoom, more megapixels, and 8K video recording, as well as the optional stylus support that the pricier Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra offers, Google’s latest phone is the one to get. Its standout design, top-tier performance, and years’ worth of guaranteed timely updates — all at a lower price point — make it a phone worth upgrading to.

Dropping $899 will get you a Pixel 6 Pro with 128GB of non-expandable storage, which you can double for $100 more. A top-spec Pro with 512GB of memory costs $1,099.

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