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Google Pixel 6 Smartphone Review

The Google Pixel 6 smartphone is Google's latest affordable flagship smartphone to be introduced and as we've come to expect, it features a line-up of impressive technology but how good is it at taking photos?


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Google Pixel 6
 

Quick Verdict

If you're looking for a smartphone that will capture really great images with true-to-life colour reproduction with not much effort then the Google Pixel 6 could be for you. Plus, when you consider its price, it becomes an even more tempting option. Yes, there's no telephoto lens but if you don't mind moving your feet for better framing then the Google Pixel 6 is an excellent choice for those who regularly capture photos with their smartphones. 

+ Pros

  • Brilliant photos
  • Excellent in low light
  • Price
  • Compact size
  • Easy to use camera
  • Standout design

- Cons

  • No telephoto lens
  • Limited storage
  • Built-in zoom can still be improved 
  • No headphone jack

 

Google Pixel 6 Features

The Google Pixel 6 is the latest smartphone, along with the Google 6 Pro, to be released by tech giants Google and it comes with a new standout design as well as an upgraded camera featuring a new 1/1.3 inch sensor on the back. This primary sensor now captures up to 150% more light (compared to the Google Pixel 5's primary camera). The Google Pixel 6 also has a completely new ultrawide lens with a larger sensor and an 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera. Plenty of camera features are built-in along with Google’s first-ever processor - the Google Tensor.

Other features include a 6.4 inch AMOLED display, IP68 dust/water resistance, 4614mAh battery, fast charging and fast wireless charging. 

Key Features

  • 6.4 inch AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Rear Camera: Wide 50MP, f/1.9, 25mm, Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, OIS and an Ultra-Wide 12MP, f/2.2, 17mm
  • Front Camera: Ultra-wide 8MP. f/2.0, 24mm
  • Camera Features: Motion Mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Panorama, Manual white balancing, Locked Folder, Night Sight, Top Shot, Portrait Mode, Portrait Light, Super Res Zoom, Motion autofocus, Frequent Faces, Dual exposure controls, Live HDR+
  • Video: 4K @ 30/60fps, 1080p @ 30/60/120/240fps with gyro-EIS and OIS
  • Headphone Jack: No
  • Battery: 4614mAh (fast, wireless and reverse charging)
  • RAM/Memory: 128GB/8GB or 256GB/8GB
  • Dimensions: 158.6mm x 74.8mm x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 207g
  • IP68 water/dust resistance
  • Colour options: Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral and Stormy Black

 

Google Pixel 6 Handling

Google Pixel 6
 

The first thing you will notice about the Google Pixel 6 is the complete redesign it's had on the outside. The rear is now two-tone with a black band spanning the width of the smartphone separating the two colours and housing the cameras. It's bold and won't be to everyone's taste but we applaud Google trying something different as smartphone designs tend to be rather generic nowadays. On test, we have 'Kinda Coral' which is pinky/orange and won't be for the person who loves a simple design. 

Google provides a silicon case in the box and to help protect the glass back from scratches, we'd recommend popping it on but it does make the smartphone feel bigger which, on a smartphone that's already pretty generous in size, might put some people off if they prefer more petite smartphones. The camera bump is also rather large and stops the smartphone from sitting flat on surfaces but as the band stretches right across, it doesn't rock when you press it which is something rival smartphones from Apple and Samsung still do with their square camera units. 

Another slight issue the camera strip creates is with the balance of it when held as it does feel much more top-heavy than the Pixel 5 or indeed the latest smartphone range from Samsung (S21) and Apple (iPhone 13). The Google Pixel 6 is also quite wide so those with smaller hands might struggle to operate it one-handed. For those who are right-handed, buttons fall into place nicely with good placement of both the power button and volume rockers. 

As mentioned, there's glass on the rear as well as the front of the Pixel 6 which improves on the design of the Pixel 5 which has an aluminium back and frame. The Google Pixel 6 definitely looks modern, even space-aged some might say with its new design, but the less curved edges/corners don't make it as comfortable to hold as the Pixel 5 and it does feel a bit wider which means we wouldn't recommend you operating it one-handed. 

There's no headphone jack but the Pixel 5 didn't have one either but the Pixel 6 does have an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating should you accidentally get it wet. 

 

Google Pixel 6
 

The display on the Pixel 6 measures 6.4-inch and it's the biggest screen found on a Pixel smartphone to date (excluding the Pixel 6 Pro). It's a decent size display that offers a good balance of colours and brightness is great. 

You can't expand the Google Pixel 6's memory but you do get options of 8GB of RAM with 128GB or 256GB of storage. 

Now, the one thing you can always count on Google for is impressive technology and the Pixel 6 doesn't let us down with higher megapixel sensors and a new Google Tensor chipset which, when combined, help capture better photos at all light levels. We were really impressed with the Google Pixel 6 cameras which is something we'll go into more detail in the performance section coming up. 

As for the line-up of cameras, you get a 50MP main camera supported by a 12MP ultra-wide camera on the rear but no telephoto lens (you have to make do with the built-in 7x 'super-res' zoom). If you do want a telephoto lens on your new Google smartphone, you'll have to opt for the more expensive Google Pixel 6 which features a 4x telephoto lens amongst the other clever camera tech. The Google Pixel 6 Pro also offers a better screen, more storage, extra RAM and a better battery.

 

Google Pixel 6
 

The camera app is very similar to any other camera app available on smartphones with various modes along the bottom, zoom options above the shutter button and a settings menu up at the top. Various modes are built-in, along with a couple of new ones, which are listed below. 

Google Pixel 6 Camera Features: 

  • Rear Camera: Wide 50MP, f/1.9, 25mm, Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, OIS and an Ultra-Wide 12MP, f/2.2, 17mm
  • Front Camera: Ultra-wide 8MP. f/2.0, 24mm
  • Camera Features: Motion Mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Panorama, Manual white balancing, Locked Folder, Night Sight, Top Shot, Portrait Mode, Portrait Light, Super Res Zoom, Motion autofocus, Frequent Faces, Dual exposure controls, Live HDR+
  • Video: 4K @ 30/60fps, 1080p @ 30/60/120/240fps with gyro-EIS and OIS

 

Battery life - The Google Pixel 6 features a 4614mAh battery which isn't anything to write home about but it will last a full day and supports fast wireless charging. 

Geekbench 5 Scores -  The Google Pixel 6 scored 1029 single-core and 2742 multi-core. 


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Google Pixel 6 SEARCH

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