The "1-Minute" Review
VerdictThe Google Pixel 6 is the closest thing Android has to compare to Apple’s ever-popular iPhone series. With a massive boost to its performance via a new chipset and cameras that reviewers are hailing as phenomenally good, the Pixel 6 seems to be making for smartphone supremacy.
- Great performance
- Android 12 (with rapid updates)
- Awesome camera utilities
- New design
- Slow fingerprint reader
- Unimpressive battery life
- No telephoto lens
Google Pixel 6 seems to be offering a lot for an Android phone. But can it compete at the top of the increasingly competitive mobile phone charts? Let’s see if reviewers believe it delivers!
Google has brought us a design that actually stands out in the seat of plastic phones available today. Not only does it feature a two-toned color scheme, but the camera bump extends completely across the phone.
There’s some debate between reviewers about whether this is good or bad but most were very happy that the phone doesn’t rock unevenly when they set it down flat -- a common problem with other phones on the market.
The colors available are Stormy Black, Sorta Seafoam and Kinda Coral.
The Google Pixel 6 has an OLED display and while it doesn’t have the QHD of its bigger sibling, reviewers stated it was nearly impossible to tell until you were staring at the phone unnaturally closely.
It was also said that the Pixel 6 had more saturation and brighter colors than even the new iPhone, making the darks darker and the brights brighter. The always-on screen allows notifications and the time to be shown at all times.
The Google-designed Tensor chipset has set the bar pretty high for phones in this price range, allowing the Google Pixel 6 to run extremely snappy. Reviewers pushed the phone and never complained of stutters or pauses.
Software & Storage
Android 12 is present on the Pixel 6, making it one of the most up-to-date Android handsets available. It will also continue to receive updates nearly instantly after they’ve been released, making this a compelling option for the security-conscious or those who want fast access to the bleeding edge of Android software.
You have two options for storage between 128GB or 256GB, although it’s important to note that only the 128GB has the Kinda Coral color available.
One of the most impressive parts about the cameras on the Google Pixel 6 is the smart features they’ve built in.
Software analysis removes blur from faces and improves how the camera perceives skin tone. There are also quick options for removing a person or object in the background of a photo and tools to add artistic motion blur to photos.
The Google Pixel 6 was rated one of the best smartphone cameras available in 2021.
Battery life will depend on whether or not you’re using 5G.
With 5G enabled, the phone only lasted about 8 hours. However, disabling 5G added 2 hours to battery life with comparable use. The 90Hz display will also impact battery life.
Reviewers were disappointed that while the Pixel 6 allows 30W charging, the box does not include the new higher-speed charger. So plan to spend a little extra to get the best charging experience.
The phone features stereo speakers -- one at the top and one at the bottom of the phone. This placement didn’t muddle the sound when holding the phone and, at louder volumes, reviewers were pleasantly surprised by the amount of bass on offer.
You won’t find a headphone jack though, so adapters or Bluetooth will be required for private listening.
Specs at a Glance
- Aluminum and glass chassis
- 6.4-inch OLED display
- Google Tensor (5 nm) Octa-core 2.8 GHz processor
- 8GB of RAM
- Android 12
- 128 or 256GB of storage
- 50+MP and ultra-wide lens camera
- 4,614mAh battery
The Google Pixel 6 makes a good case for Android phones in 2021. Between its smooth performance, a new chipset, amazing camera, and a beautiful 90Hz display, there are very few things to criticize. It even brings a unique take to phone design -- something rare with phone’s today.
Android Authority says, “The Google Pixel 6 is the most well-rounded smartphone Google has ever produced. The upgraded cameras perform well (and are long overdue), the software experience is unmatched, and performance from the Tensor chipset is solid enough (for now). The Pixel 6 is incredibly easy to recommend to anyone looking for a Galaxy S21 or iPhone 13 alternative.”
Digital Trends states, “The Pixel 6 may be flatter and cheaper than the Pixel 6 Pro, but the software, performance, and even the screen and camera get close enough to still make it tempting.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Shubham Agarwal, Laptop Mag
The Pixel 6 is the phone Google’s premium line has always deserved. It’s got all the trappings you’d expect from such a device, and at $600 (which is usually discounted), it’s the best value on the market, period. Google, at long last, is heading in the right direction by going all-in instead of try...
- Ryan Whitwam, The Wirecutter
The Pixel 6 offers the best version of Android, with guaranteed updates through fall 2026—plus the best Android camera we’ve ever tested, a custom Google processor, and excellent build quality for half as much as Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra.
- Michael Grothaus, Know Your Mobile
Despite its drawbacks – the lack of a telephoto lens, higher storage options, and just average battery life – most reviewers say the Pixel 6 is an excellent phone for those who want a mid-range Android flagship. Because Google designed both the hardware and software, there are few Android phones tha...
- Michael Allison, Digital Trends
There’s a lot to like about the Pixel 6, despite those critical comments. The big and beautiful screen still remains one of the best you’ll use. It’s better than the one on the 60Hz iPhone 13, and it’ll cost less as well. The camera, despite lacking a telephoto lens, is still pretty good. Google is...
- Adam Shepherd, IT Pro
There are few aspects of the Pixel 6 we can call out as particularly impressive. That isn’t the damning indictment it sounds like, though; the reason no one element stands out above the others is that most of its constituent parts have been polished to a mirror shine. The smart background features,...
Prices (Where to Buy)
Google Pixel 6 prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. Google's suggested retail price is $599.00. You can compare Pixel 6 prices from around the web here on The Informr.
Google backs up the Pixel 6 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Pixel 6 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Google support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Google's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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