Google’s Pixel 6 Pro is going to take over Apple iPhone?

The Pixel 6 Pro is taking on Apple and Samsung with a proprietary CPU, triple camera, and luxury design.

I finally got my hands on Google’s new premium flagship phone, the Pixel 6 Pro, which was announced during the Pixel 6 event after a long wait. And I’m impressed so far. Back in August, Google teased the phone, and I described why I was interested to test out its revolutionary camera configuration, Android 12 OS, and the Google-made Tensor processor at its heart. The thrill hasn’t worn off now that it’s in my hands. I’ve just had a few minutes with the phone, but I’ve already noticed a few major differences from the previous Pixel 5.

However, given its considerably higher asking price, it must then implement those enhancements. The Pixel 6 Pro costs $200 more than the Pixel 5 at $899 (£849, which converts to approximately AU$1,570), so it’s clear that Google is positioning it as a luxury phone to compete with the iPhone 13 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21.

The Pixel 6 Pro replaces the textured back of the Pixel 5 with a two-tone, all-glass glass back with a camera strip at the top, making it seem much more premium. It feels substantial in your hands, and the front glass bends softly at the corners to meet the aluminum frame. One recommendation: choose the kinda sunny orange color choice instead of the gloomy black review model, which is very boring to look at.

The phone’s 6.7-inch display reaches all the way to the corners and, due to its 3,120×1,440-pixel resolution, seems brilliant and razor-sharp. Google also claims to have an adjustable screen refresh rate that varies between 10 and 120Hz based on your activity. If you’re gaming, for example, you’ll need a high refresh rate, but while the phone is merely displaying the home screen, it will adapt to a much lower rate to save battery.

Tensor processor developed by Google

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are powered by Google’s first custom-made microprocessor, the Tensor processor, which the firm claims will offer a number of benefits, including “machine learning,” speech recognition, and AI. It’s a big step for Google to create its own silicon, and it shows that it’s serious about staying in the hardware business. After all, you don’t design your own CPUs as a one-off experiment.

However, many of the advantages will accrue over time as Google discovers new methods to exploit its new technology. You won’t detect any difference between it and any other high-end smartphone CPU in use right now. It appears to be quick and responsive, with no noticeable latency, and you can use it just like any other Android phone. Consider it like installing a new engine in a car: you’ll still drive in the same way, on the same roads, and with the same fuel, but it will likely travel quicker and more efficiently. It could happen, or it could not. Time will tell, and I’ll go into this in further depth in my complete review.

Android version 12

The Pixel 6 Pro comes pre-installed with the most recent version of Android, Android 12. Some of the main features of Android 12 have already been demonstrated, including scrollable screenshots and more comprehensive privacy settings, such as the ability to turn off system-wide access to the microphone and camera from your control panel.

The specialized hardware co-processor, dubbed the Titan M2, could aid with privacy by allowing for greater on-device security. Both Pixel 6 phones will receive five years of security upgrades from Google, ensuring that you can use your smartphone safely for much longer.

The ability to create custom themes for the phone based on whatever image you have as your backdrop is one of the major features that’s (for now) specific to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. When you select a new wallpaper (either one of the numerous built-in wallpapers or one of your own photos stored to your phone), the phone will automatically detect the dominant color and utilize it, along with its complementary colors, to alter the appearance of the interface.

3 cameras in the back

The Pixel 6 Pro has three cameras on the back: a 50-megapixel primary camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom. The main camera has a bigger 1/1.3-inch sensor that, according to Google, collects 2.5 times more light than the Pixel 5, allowing for brighter, clearer photos in low light. I’m interested to see what these enhancements bring to the table, as the Pixel 5 was already capable of taking good low-light photos.

The Pixel series has long been recognized for producing high-quality photos that are on par with, but not quite as good as, the competition. The iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra both have excellent cameras that can capture gorgeous photos in any situation, so the Pixel 6 Pro will have to perform well to entice photographers to part with their cash.

On paper, its triple setup appears appealing, with more zoom than the iPhone 13 Pro (4x vs. 3x), but less than the S21 Ultra’s 10x optical zoom, as well as 4K, stabilized video, improved auto modes for better skin tones for people of color, and a “magic eraser” function, which can apparently erase images automatically.

Premium phones can make or break their reputations based on their camera quality, so I’m excited to put the Pixel 6 Pro through its paces.

Other notable characteristics of the Pixel 6 Pro

Water-resistance rating of IP68
Fingerprint scanner built onto the screen
5G internet access
12 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage
30W rapid charging for a 5,003mAh battery
Front-facing camera with 11 megapixels