Are Google’s new phones worth it?

Technology

Jon Oleaga

Madrid

Updated:

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After many years of trying, it seems Google has hit the nail on the head with its new Pixel 6. We are no longer facing an experimental terminal, but one that can compete in the high range. Until now, the technology used its ‘smartphones’ as a test bed for new technologies with the intention of promoting research among Android manufacturers. The problem is that the buyer could have the feeling of paying for a technology that is, so to speak, not very useful. This is not the case with the Pixel 6, where Google’s only ‘proof’ is found in its own tensor processor, which we will talk about later.

Is the Pixel 6 the phone you should be buying right now? For the price and features, it could be at least an option.

The differences between the two terminals that make up the family, Pixel 6 and Pro, are in the screen and cameras, the Pro is a little larger, but it is difficult to tell with the naked eye.

Better materials, but they get dirty

In Spain, after practically two years without Google marketing the Pixels, only two models will arrive without any variation in their configuration; and in a single color, black, also in a very limited number. The Pixel 6 looks like a high-end mobile, especially since Google has switched to using glass in the body, leaving plastic behind. The glass finish always gives a more elegant feeling, but it is not without problems, it is dirtier and, above all, more delicate.

The design will not leave anyone indifferent, with a band that does not try to hide the cameras, but on the contrary, highlights them from side to side, protruding considerably from the phone as a whole. With so many phones following in Apple’s footsteps, packing cameras into a sneaky rectangle, the Pixel 6 stands apart. The only thing that has not convinced us is that the on and off buttons are backwards, that is, the power up and the volume down, which makes you constantly confused for the first few days.

The screen is one of the big differences between the Pixel 6 and the Pro. The Pixel 6 equips a 6.4-inch panel, OLED FHD+ 411 PPP and 90 Hz, while the Pro has a 6.7-inch screen, flexible OLED LTPO QHD+ 512 PPP and 120 Hz of refreshment, which translates into rounded edges on the sides like curved screens to extend the vision a little more, being one of the best panels on the market. Both screens are of very good quality, with a faithful reproduction of colors, but the difference between them is noticeable.

good cameras

The cameras are another of the great attractions, the Pro version has a main camera of 50 megapixels, f / 1.85, a stabilized wide angle of 12 megapixels f / 2.2 and, most interestingly, a stabilized optical telephoto lens of 48 megapixels with four increases, and that thanks to its high resolution can do up to 20 digital magnification without losing much quality. The fourth target is the laser autofocus and spectrum and flicker sensors. The Pixel 6 misses out on the telephoto lens, but the rest of the cameras remain unchanged compared to the Pro version.

The result of the images that we obtain with both sets is really good, at the level of a high-end phone. Google also adds its algorithms to improve the images, giving them a great color realism, balanced warmth and, above all, in places where conditions are totally adverse, some results are really good, that practically no phone is capable of matching. In addition, Google cameras offer several types of shots that will delight many, the classic night mode, and a portrait with a very successful blurred background, but also moving images, blurring the background with that striking long exposure effect. . We have tested the Pixel 6 camera where almost all phones fail, in backlit snow images, an environment in which mobile cameras suffer a lot, offering very unrealistic shades of snow, but the Pixel 6 has I was able to pass the test with high marks.

Image captured with the Pixel 6
Image captured with the Pixel 6 – J.O.
J.O.
J.O.

We cannot forget the front camera, in the Pro we find an 11.1-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with a 94-degree field of view, capable of taking selfies with a wide range, while the Pixel 6 has a 8 megapixel camera and a field of view of 84 degrees. The ultra wide angle is appreciated when taking selfies, achieving almost a ‘selfie stick’ effect. The Pixels have always had one of the best portrait modes of high-end phones, and this has not changed in the Pixel 6.

We are facing one of the great cameras on the market. We cannot forget the video, 4k capable of recording at 30 and 60 fps, with a very well achieved HDR thanks to its AI. It is not the most remarkable aspect of the terminal, but the results do not disappoint in the least.

Good chip, but behind the most powerful

Google’s Tensor chip might raise some questions initially as the first of its kind, but in testing, It is a little behind in power of the well-known Snapdragon 888, the most powerful processor on Android. In any case, something that we cannot judge, since the vast majority of analyzes and comparisons do not pick it up, is the Tensor’s artificial intelligence processing capacity, which we understand will probably leave all other terminals behind, since it is the reason that Google has installed its own chip. That way enhances AI functionalities.

The magic eraser in photo editor deserves its own mention as it magically is capable of removing any element from a photo, be it people, an object, just by marking it with your finger. It is true that it is a function of the Pixel 6, but we have tested it on the Pixel 4 and it also works like a charm, slower, of course, but it is perfectly functional.

As for memory capacity, the Pro version has 12 gigabytes of RAM, and the ‘normal’ version 8. The battery capacity also differs between both terminals, the Pro’s battery is 5,000 mAh, and the Pixel’s 6 4,600 mAh, because the Pro has a larger panel with higher consumption, it means that both have a similar autonomy. Something about which there has been some controversy on the network, is about the load capacity, which Google has not talked about, it is fast charging, yes, but it is not one of the fastest on the market. Of course, we have wireless charging, something that is appreciated.

Unlock problems

Let’s go to the aspect that we least liked the unlocking of the phone. There is no facial recognition to unlock the phone, there is no such option. Google has decided to ignore it, we imagine that, for security reasons, so we only have the fingerprint sensor under the screen, which does not work very well or at least those times that you want to unlock the Pixel 6 with one hand with your finger, it usually doesn’t work, and you end up constantly entering the PIN, which can be quite frustrating. Considering that any user unlocks the phone dozens of times a day, it has been a step back from other Pixels with facial recognition and a better fingerprint reader.

Google Pixel 6 will probably be the best Android experience you can have, the design of the operating system layer, the applications and the adaptations for the terminal are unique, and obviously, only Google can offer them. If we add to that that the price of both terminals is really competitive for the high range, 649 euros for the Pixel 6 and 899 for the Pro, we have an interesting combination.

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