Google Pixel 6 review: Great smartphone with small weaknesses
The first four generations of Pixel smartphones all belonged to the high-end class, which by no means had to hide from Samsung, Apple and Co. The cameras in particular have always been among the best on the market, despite the same sensors. The year before last, Google went with the Pixel 5 however, a slightly different way and assigned it to the upper class both in terms of hardware and price (629 euros). Last year they said goodbye to that, bringing both the Google Pixel 6 and 6th Gen Pro on the market, which differ slightly in some respects.
The biggest difference certainly concerns the price, because while the Provariant costs a whopping 899 euros, the regular Pixel 6 is significantly cheaper with a recommended retail price of 649 euros. For this price difference, slight compromises have to be made, especially with the zoom and the display. Otherwise, you also get a new 50 megapixel main camera, the in-house Google Tensor SoC, stereo speakers and 30 watt fast charging. We have tested the Google Pixel 6 extensively over the past few days and you can find out in the following lines whether it is worth buying.
Jump to section
- 1 Haptics, design & processing
- 2 Display - solid
- 3 Software - Material You
- 4 Performance - fast and fluid
- 5 Battery – decent runtimes, but…
- 6 Camera - excellent main sensor
- 7 Other - excellent vibration motor, average fingerprint sensor and more
- 8 Summary
- 9 Buy the Google Pixel 6
Haptics, design & processing
With the exception of the XL devices, the Pixel smartphones were always among the handiest on the market that could still be operated with one hand, which was a huge advantage compared to the competition. Unfortunately, Google is now taking a different approach with the new Pixel 6 by installing a fairly large display in a large case, which is illustrated very well by the dimensions of 158,6 millimeters in height and 74,8 millimeters in width. In addition, there is a thickness of 8,9 millimeters and a significantly increased weight of 207 grams compared to the predecessor, which at 151 grams is one of the lightest smartphones and is only 144,7 millimeters high and 70,4 millimeters wide. Because the Pixel 6 Pro comes with extremely similar dimensions, I don't understand why the normal cheap Pixel 6 has to be so big as well. A Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 13 Pro Max are even larger, but even the Pixel 6 can no longer be operated with one hand in many situations.
The frame is made of aluminum with a matt surface, which means that fingerprints are hardly noticeable. In addition, it leaves a very chic and high-quality impression, but especially in cold weather it does not offer particularly good grip and is therefore very slippery. The back is made of glass, which is why it feels very high-quality, but due to the high-gloss finish, fingerprints are almost magically attracted, which is particularly noticeable on the black model. The green and pink/orange versions should be much more grateful to fingerprints. I really liked the slightly rounded edges, which leads to pleasant handling.
In addition to the Google logo placed in the middle, the new camera design also catches the eye, which I have never seen on any other smartphone in this way. A long black stripe is placed in the upper third, which is slightly rounded towards the frame on both sides. There is space for two cameras, a few sensors, a microphone and an LED flash. Although the camera bump protrudes quite a bit from the case, the smartphone hardly wobbles at all when it is operated lying on the table. A disadvantage that results from this is that dust accumulates very heavily above and below the camera bar and is not easy to get rid of, which the following pictures also show very well.
If we take a look at the front, we unfortunately see a visible step backwards compared to the predecessor. While the Pixel 5 was almost the only Android smartphone with symmetrically thin edges around the display when it was released at the time, the Pixel 6 unfortunately comes with an asymmetrical front again. The bottom edge of the screen is visibly thicker than the top, as well as the side edges, which are also anything but thin. For 649 euros that's still okay in my opinion, but a Realme gt, Huawei nova 9 and Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G look visibly more modern and I don't understand why Google has taken a step backwards compared to its predecessor. The front camera sits in a central recess in the display, which is never disturbing during use.
processing and buttons
Overall, the processing of the Pixel 6 is extremely good. The case never creaks, the back doesn't dent, the keys sit firmly in the case and have an exceptionally good (and loud) pressure point, but the keys are placed incorrectly for my taste. Google should have done like all other manufacturers by placing the on/off button under the volume up/down button. The only thing I don't like about the workmanship is the visible gap on my test device on the right side between the display and the frame, but that could just be an isolated case for me.
Display - solid
With a diagonal of 6,4 inches, the OLED panel has a resolution of 20 x 9 pixels in the elongated 2.400:1.080 aspect ratio, which gives us 411 pixels pro inches and brings about a pleasantly sharp display of the content. Individual pixels can never be seen in everyday use. Furthermore, the screen supports a smooth refresh rate of 90 Hertz, which means that 90 frames pro second can be played back. Thus, all animations and scrolling appear nice and smooth, but the difference to 120 Hertz is still easy to determine and, to be honest, for 649 euros I expect 120 Hertz, because most of the competitors are a step ahead in this respect. For comparison, the Real GT Master Edition, which is always available for 250 euros, comes with a 120 Hertz OLED display. Nevertheless, you can of course get along well with the 90 Hertz of the Pixel 6.
Colors are reproduced naturally and the white value is decent, although there is still room for improvement here. The black value should also be a little better with an OLED display, but it's by no means bad. When viewed from the side, white colors in particular only change color at extreme viewing angles, which is the case with a Realm GT Neo 2 It's not better either, but for 649 euros you can certainly address this point critically. The maximum brightness is really satisfactory, so that you can't even get it in direct sunlight Proproblems with readability.
Software - Material You
The new Material You based on Android 12 is used as the software. I wasn't a big fan of it at first, but after a few hours of use I got used to it and actually think it's pretty good now. The biggest change compared to stock Android 11 is certainly the new notification bar. The buttons for the controls (e.g. bluetooth, internet or flashlight) are now much larger and can be colored to match the background image used, which I'm a big fan of. Furthermore, you can finally freely configure the app grid, which I have always criticized before. The settings have also been changed slightly and Google has decorated the gesture control and the entire system with even nicer animations.
Unfortunately, there are also a few points about Material You that I think are completely illogical. If you disable dark mode, the control panel area (above the notification panel) remains black. Also, the brightness slider is way too high up so I have to constantly reach for it, and the Internet panel includes both Wi-Fi and cellular, which I find a bit awkward. As with all other smartphones, I would have liked to see two separate control fields for this.
Performance - fast and fluid
The in-house Google Tensor SoC, which is supported by 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, is at work for the first time under the hood. Unfortunately, the memory cannot be expanded via a MicroSD card and there is no version with 256 or even 512 GB available. Google should have offered either a memory expansion or a larger version, because 128 GB might not be enough for some.
While the Tensor chip can't quite keep up with the Snapdragon 888, 8 Gen 1, or even the Apple A15 Bionic on paper, that doesn't change the fact that the Pixel 6's day-to-day performance is really good. Apps start and close extremely quickly and stutters or delays only occurred very rarely during my test period. Only the camera app could run a little faster and smoother, but it's still perfectly fine. Anyone who likes to gamble with their smartphone will be very happy with the Pixel 6, but I wouldn't necessarily choose it just because of the Probuy zessors, because other smartphones, such as this OnePlus North 2, Realme GT Neo 2 or Xiaomi 11t are also with very strong Processors equipped.
When it comes to heat development, the Tensor SoC does a good job. During normal everyday use, it never got noticeably warm on me and when it is heavily used, you don't notice a big difference compared to the competition. Smartphones with the Snapdragon 888 get noticeably warmer.
Battery – decent runtimes, but…
The built-in battery with a capacity of 4.600 mAh ensures quite satisfactory runtimes. At the end of the day, with a screen-on time of 5-6 hours, I still had between 10-35 Procent battery left, which is completely sufficient for the normal user to get through the day relaxed. For heavy users, however, it could be tight and I think that's a shame, because for 4.600 mAh with an in-house Proprocessor and only 90 Hertz I would have expected a little more.
While the battery life is anything but bad, the Pixel 6 gets a lot of criticism when it comes to charging, because it only supports wired charging with a maximum of 30 watts and the appropriate power supply unit is unfortunately not included. Almost all of the competition is a clear step ahead here. For comparison, the 250 Euros expensive Real GT Master Edition is with the included 65 watt power supply in good 30 Minutes fully charged. At least wireless charging is supported, which is commendable for the price on offer.
Camera - excellent main sensor
The Google Pixel 6 is one of the very few new smartphones that only comes with a dual camera. A huge 50 megapixel sensor is used as the main camera, which is supported by a 12 megapixel ultra wide-angle camera. An 8 megapixel front camera is responsible for selfies and does a decent job.
My only real criticism of the main camera is the white balance, which is often off the mark, especially indoors. As a result, food no longer looks really tasty and is unfortunately presented in a rather unrealistic way. However, as soon as you take pictures outdoors in good lighting conditions, the white balance does not cause any major problems Protrouble. Colors are then reproduced beautifully and naturally and the dynamic range has (fortunately) been greatly improved compared to the predecessor. The sharpness is also at an extremely high level and beats that Galaxy s21 ultra clear. With a Huawei P50 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro can easily keep up. Great job Google!
As soon as it gets darker, the night mode is automatically activated, which exposes the picture for a few seconds. The resulting images are really sharp and convince with mostly accurate color reproduction. From time to time, however, the white balance is not really correct even in low light, but fortunately this can be done Profix the problem directly in the camera app. So to conclude, the main camera on the $6 Pixel 649 is above average and actually rivals smartphones priced at over $1.000, which is pretty impressive.
I would describe the ultra wide-angle camera as decent. In good lighting conditions, it takes sufficiently sharp pictures with a great dynamic range and realistic colors. Of course, as soon as it gets darker, the quality visibly decreases, but every now and then you can still take decent pictures with the night mode and compared to a Xiaomi 11T Pro, Huawei nova 9 or Realme GT Neo 2, the ultra wide-angle camera performs visibly better. However, it is not too wide-angled, which was strangely different from the predecessor.
Let's take a look at a few test photos. As always, the following images are absolutely unprocessed, but compressed without loss in order to keep loading times and memory consumption of the website low.
Comparison with the Huawei P50 Pro
Finally, we want to compare the cameras in different situations with those of the Huawei P50 Pro to compare. I am of course aware that the P50 Pro is almost twice as expensive as the Pixel in this country, but since the normal 6 series has the same main and ultra wide-angle sensors as the more expensive Pixel 6 Pro stuck and these cameras play at the top, a comparison is very suitable in my opinion.
All results are under the respective pictures.
Other - excellent vibration motor, average fingerprint sensor and more
So far, all Pixel smartphones of the last few years have been equipped with an excellent vibration motor, which played at the top and this is of course also the case with the Pixel 6. The vibrations are subtle, but still convey an extremely high-quality feeling in the hand. The vibration motor is extremely good, especially for 649 euros.
The smartphone can be unlocked via the fingerprint sensor integrated into the display, which, unlike Huawei or Realme, is excellently placed. Unfortunately, the speed is not quite at the top level, whereas the reliability is completely satisfactory. Overall, you can definitely get by with the sensor, but with many competitors, unlocking is definitely more fun.
Google installs stereo speakers that are okay. They get loud enough, but sound a bit thin for my taste.
Last but not least, I would like to mention that the Google Pixel 6 is protected against the ingress of water and dust according to IP68, which is anything but a matter of course in this price range.
The Google Pixel 6 is an extremely successful smartphone that has no major weaknesses for 649 euros. Of course, a few competitors are even better when it comes to the display, fingerprint sensor and charging, but the Pixel 6 offers an outstanding main camera, wireless charging, very smooth and refreshing software, a high-quality housing made of glass and aluminum and official water protection. which is unfortunately not the case with many competitors. The performance, the battery life, the speakers and the vibration motor are completely appropriate for the price and not really inferior to other comparable smartphones.
Anyone who values the camera, finds the new software stylish and practical, uses wireless charging and is looking for an all-round successful smartphone will probably be very happy with the Google Pixel 6. However, if these points are not so important to you, you should definitely do so OnePlus 9 See which one comes out on top in ultra-wide camera, charging and display. Otherwise, it is also worth taking a look at the Realme GT Neo 2, OnePlus Nord 2 and Poco F3, all of which cannot keep up in terms of features and camera, but for around 300 euros less in terms of display, performance, battery life and fingerprint sensor are even slightly better than the Pixel 6.