Google’s Pixel 6 is surprisingly extra thrilling than Apple’s iPhone 13

Forget iPhone 13. Google Pixel 6 sounds like it's going to be even better

Google’s Pixel 6 telephones.


As a lot as I look ahead to Apple’s massive iPhone reveal yearly, I am extra excited this 12 months concerning the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional with Google’s new in-house Tensor chip. I have been a contented iPhone proprietor for years, so this sense comes as a shock.

Partly this comes from Apple’s lackluster iPhone 13 upgrades. Do not get me fallacious: The iPhone 13 is spectacular. Higher screens? Yep. Higher cameras? Yep. Longer battery life? It is there. A “free” iPhone 13 for trade-in? Signal me up proper now. (On second thought, I am not massive on upgrading my cellphone each couple of years and people service offers include numerous caveats.)

However by and huge, it was a sleeper 12 months for the corporate when it comes to the iPhone 13 lineup, no less than. Positive, that smaller notch is swell, and holy smokes, have you ever seen the dramatic movies you’ll be able to take with Cinematic mode? I am keen on these options, and I can not say I did not really feel my pores and skin tingle after I watched them in motion. However aside from the routine enhancements to issues just like the processor and people options I discussed earlier, there was a bevy of options that remained remarkably unchanged, just like the general design and dimensions for starters. CNET’s Patrick Holland stated in his iPhone 13 assessment that the cellphone is not radically completely different from the iPhone 12.

Learn extra: CNET’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional critiques.

Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional, alternatively, look tremendous spectacular and appear to signify an enormous leap ahead for Google when it comes to design, efficiency and options. Now that it has launched, the one factor I can see holding it again for some individuals is 5G. So far as we are able to inform, Pixel 6 wont get mmWave, which is the ultrafast taste of 5G offered by choose carriers — and that is unlucky for a flagship cellphone. However if you happen to’re not fussed about mmWave or if it is not obtainable the place you reside, then this won’t be a problem for you.

Both approach, this is why Google’s Pixel 6 has me wanting previous the iPhone 13, however make certain to verify again for our critiques of the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional.

Learn extra: Pixel Cross bundles the Pixel 6 with Google’s companies beginning at $45 a month


An instance of one of many quite a few memes mocking Apple’s iPhone 13, which flooded the web after the Apple occasion.


Pixel 6 design: Splashy and daring

Check out the Pixel 6 and you will see it is undergone a sweeping design transformation and glow-up. Gone are the squircle digital camera bump and the modest coloration palette of the Pixel 5. That design makes approach for a digital camera bar that runs the total width of the cellphone, with splashy colours and shiny steel highlights. 

As a famend cellular software program developer, Google had beforehand designed its telephones in a way that allow the Android cellular working system take middle stage. Within the person’s eye, the {hardware} was meant to fade into the background, serving as a mere car to Android. However for 2021, Google appears to be eliminating that design philosophy in favor of a bolder, eye-catching look. The {hardware} of Pixel 6 is visually distinctive, and it is clear Google is taking part in to face out within the aggressive discipline of high-end telephones this 12 months. 

Learn extra: Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 5 and Pixel 6 vs. 6 Professional vs. Pixel 5 vs. 5A


Google has sometimes used Qualcomm chips in its telephones, however now it’s going to use its personal custom-made Tensor processor.

Jon Prosser

Pixel 6 processor: Tensor

However there could also be extra to the Pixel 6 than meets the attention. Underneath the hood, Google says, it is geared up the Pixel 6 sequence with a custom-built system on a chip referred to as Tensor, which CEO Sundar Pichai touts as Pixel’s greatest innovation to this point. It was designed in-house by Google engineers, which means it has been tailored for Android — very similar to Apple does with its personal cellular processors. 

Google’s stored mum on efficiency, and whether or not Tensor can sustain with Apple’s chips stays to be seen, however I believe it stands an excellent probability now that it has extra management over the design and growth of its processor. Hopefully, with that management, it may additionally prolong the variety of years of software program assist, permitting you to carry onto a Pixel 6 for extra years with safety updates. Earlier Pixel telephones have been assured three years of assist, which is considerably lower than the six years of assist the iPhone 6S has acquired or the 4 years of assist Samsung is now offering its Galaxy telephones.

Both approach, this represents one other “seismic break from the previous,” as CNET’s Brian Bennet put it. Remember final 12 months’s Pixel 5 ran on the midtier Snapdragon 765G processor, which is a notch under the Snapdragon 865 constructed into flagship telephones comparable to Samsung’s Galaxy S20, to permit Google preserve a lid on the worth. 


Google’s Pixel 5.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Pixel 6 software program: Android 12

One other factor I am enthusiastic about is the software program. The Pixel 6 ships with Android 12, making it one of many first telephones to hold the up to date cellular OS — and there is heaps to be enthusiastic about. You can do cool issues like take scrollable screenshots (lastly!), a minute-by-minute privateness dashboard and the customizability of the OS seems pretty. However aside from that, Google has teased that the Pixel 6 sequence will lean closely into AI, and the Pixel 6 might be essentially the most AI-centric cellphone Google has ever made. That would translate into issues like higher language translation and even higher computational images for Pixel’s already glorious cameras. 

Specs apart, perhaps I am extra excited by Pixel this 12 months as a result of Apple has crossed that threshold the place greatness is predicted, if not assured. Google, in the meantime, nonetheless has lots to show within the smartphone area. The Pixel’s market share is minuscule in comparison with that of Apple’s iPhones. Or perhaps it is the truth that the iPhone and iOS already had an overhaul in 2017 with the iPhone X, whereas Pixel’s transformation is lengthy overdue. However now Google is doing issues many people have been ready years for — and with this new route, I am hopeful that Google’s Pixel has the potential to be a heavyweight lineup.

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