The most important thing to note is that the Pixel 6 is the very first handset to be powered by Google’s in-house Tensor chipset. Ditching Qualcomm and avoiding Exynos and Kirin, Tensor promises a handful of performance and efficiency improvements over last year’s mid-range Snapdragon 765G, and it represents a bold new future for Google. The company is again focusing its efforts on strengthening the Pixel’s camera capabilities. The rear camera is now a 50MP affair (up from 12.2MP), complemented by a 12MP ultrawide unit and a 12MP selfie snapper on the front. The camera’s new “Magic Eraser” tool now allows you to remove objects and people from the image just by circling them in the edit, too.
There isn’t much about the Google Pixel 6 that hasn’t already been leaked, but here’s confirmation of one critical feature. The Pixel 6 somehow undercuts all of this year’s high-end flagship launches so far, making it an incredible steal with very few sacrifices. The ordinary Pixel 6 appears alongside the more costly Pixel 6 Pro as Google’s “premium tier” Pixel for 2021. Strangely, it also claims to be a phone with “exactly the perfect amount of everything,” but it doesn’t do the Pixel 6 justice. That’s because, despite its low price, the Pixel 6 doesn’t skimp on essential features. The Pixel 6 is the flag-bearer for the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 12.
But you should put your wallet back in your pocket for just a second. There’s also the Pixel 6 Pro to consider, which adds a slightly larger (6.71in), 120Hz display into the mix, with a boosted resolution (3,120 x 1,440) alongside a third 48MP 4x optical zoom camera and a bigger battery. You get all this extra stuff for £250 more (£849). At the other end of the price scale, there’s the Pixel 4a, which at just £299 is half the price of the Pixel 6. It’s an older phone and it doesn’t share the Pixel 6’s high-end features (it lacks 5G, for a start), but the Pixel 4a is a strong contender if money is tight.
Elsewhere, the Pixel 6’s 6.4in AMOLED display is slightly larger this year, supporting a maximum 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ playback. It comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage as standard, and while there’s also supposed to be a 256GB option, this doesn’t seem to be available to buy in the UK at the time of writing. There’s no doubt that the Pixel 6’s killer feature is its cut-throat price. Starting at just £599 for the 128GB version (I don’t yet have prices for the elusive 256GB model), the Pixel 6 is remarkably cheap. Put it next to the iPhone 13 (£779) and Samsung Galaxy S21 (£769) and I’m sure you’ve already made your mind up.
Best phone battery life 2022: The longest-lasting smartphones ranked. The Pixel 6 looks up to snuff and isn’t all that different in size compared with the Pixel 6 Pro, with a screen that’s a mere 0.3in smaller. Of course, this means that it’s still a gigantic slab of a handset – measuring 159 x 75 x 8.9mm (WHD) – and it’s not the lightest of phones, either, tipping the scales at 207g. I’m not sure everyone will get on with the whacking great “camera bar” that stretches across the full width of the phone and adds a considerable amount of thickness, but everything else about the Pixel 6 feels suitably high end.