The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are both finally here. Google put several weeks of leaks and guesses to an end on October 19, Tuesday, when the tech company held a launch event for their flagship smartphones. Now that they're here, let's just say that Google has more than made up for letting fans feel a bit underwhelmed based on previous Google flagships.
Make sure to read on to find out everything that you can about the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro before you decide if it's a better value for your money than what Samsung and Apple have to offer.
When will the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro be released?
Google has had the eyes and ears of techies all over the world since August 2 after it unveiled the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro's striking design and Google Tensor chipset (made by Samsung, no less). Both are significant improvements over the Pixel 5 and are true flagship phones in terms of specifications and hardware. Meanwhile, Google is also adding exclusive Android 12 features to both devices, including Dynamic colors for the new Material You UI.
Finally, on October 19, Google held the Pixel Fall launch where the company also revealed that the phones are already available for pre-order via the Google Store. It's not known if some retailers will stock the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but it's worth noting that the Pixel 5a is currently exclusive to the Google Store.
Unfortunately, one of the key areas where Google loses to Samsung and Apple is availability. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be available starting on October 28 in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Germany, France, and Ireland. Meanwhile, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro won't be available in Italy, Singapore, and Spain, until early 2022.
How much will the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro cost?
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro retails for $599 and $899, respectively. Contrary to expectations, Google continues to sell the Pixels at reasonable prices. The only difference is that the Pixel 6 feels like a flagship tier smartphone even though it costs less than what the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4 did at their respective launches.
For the more budget-conscious buyers, Google is making the new pair of Pixels available via a Pixel Pass subscription for just $45 a month ($55 a month with the Pixel 6 Pro). The two-year locked-in subscription bundles a new Pixel phone along with YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium, Google One, Google Play Pass, and an optional Google Fi service.
What’s the design of the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro?
Google is releasing the Pixel 6 in three different colorways: Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral, and Stormy Black. Meanwhile, Google is going for a more serious tone with the Pixel 6 Pro: Sorta Sunny, Cloudy White, and Stormy Black. So, yeah, we were just kidding, as if it wasn't obvious enough. Anyway, the colors aside, Google wasn't lying when it said that the Pixel 6 comes with true flagship specifications as the display alone proves this.
For the Pixel 6, Google fitted the more affordable variant with a 6.4-inch OLED display with the Pixel 6 Pro getting a 6.7-inch curved OLED display with thinner edges and a glossier finish. The latter also uses an LTPO display, which makes for smoother scrolling animations.
Surprisingly enough, both weigh relatively the same (the Pixel 6 comes at 210 grams while the Pixel 6 Pro comes at 207 grams), so the Pro and its curved display might be easier to hold with one hand even if it is the larger phone.
Does the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro perform well?
Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are equipped with the same Google Tensor processors with a better main camera sensor, water-resistance, and upgraded charging speeds. However, the Pixel 6 Pro is still the faster and better-performing phone thanks to an extra 4GB RAM, 2K resolution (from 1080p), and 120Hz LTPO OLED display with a larger 5,003mAh battery (from the Pixel 6's OLED and 90Hz display).
In terms of camera performance, Google fitted both Pixels with a 50MP main camera with a 12MP ultrawide sensor. The Pixel 6 Pro also benefits from an extra 48MP telephone lens and a better selfie cam.
If you were to ask Google, it doesn't matter which Pixel phone you pick. The tech company emphasizes that both Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will feature a host of AI improvements to help make the cameras and hardware perform better. Case in point, you can use Magic Eraser to erase objects and people from photos, as well as Face Unblur to improve the quality of moving shots, as well as Real Tone for improved photo quality and facial recognition.
Just how important is the Google Tensor?
Google also launched Android 12 alongside Pixel 6, but what matters the most here is Google Tensor. The new processor is significantly faster compared to the Pixel 5 chipset with up to five years of security updates and four OS updates up to Android 16. It appears that Google intends to take a page out of Apple's proverbial playbook and support the Pixels for longer because it now creates and controls its chips.
Should you buy the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro today?
Technically, it's not like you have plenty of choices. Google has already discontinued the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, which now leaves you with only three Pixels to choose from: the 5a, as well as the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro.
Before Google confirmed the pricing for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 5a was a decent choice. It's inexpensive with decent performance. Unfortunately, now that we know that the Pixel 6 retails for only $150 more, the value proposition of the Pixel 5a plummets. Make no mistake, the Pixel 5a is still a good phone, it's just that the Pixel 6 will give you far more value for your money for a longer time.
If you're already looking at the Pixel 5a as your next phone, you might as well pony up more money for the Pixel 6. Of course, if you can afford it, the Pixel 6 Pro is still the better choice.