With Pixel 6 Professional, Google may lastly stand an opportunity towards Apple and Samsung

Pixel 6 Pro is the premium phone Google needs right now

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

After an extended wait, I’ve received my fingers on Google’s new premium flagship telephone, the Pixel 6 Professional, which Google revealed at its Pixel 6 occasion alongside the Pixel 6. And to this point, I am impressed. Google teased the telephone again in August and I defined on the time why I used to be excited to attempt its new digital camera setup, its Android 12 software program and the Google-made Tensor processor at its core. Now it is truly in my fingers that pleasure hasn’t pale. I’ve solely spent a brief period of time with the telephone to this point however I’ve already seen a couple of key enhancements over the earlier Pixel 5

However then it must make these enhancements, given its considerably greater asking worth. At $899 (£849, converts to about AU$1,570), the Pixel 6 Professional prices a large $200 greater than the Pixel 5, so there is no query that Google is pitching this handset as a premium telephone to be thought-about alongside the iPhone 13 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 (although in some ways, the Pixel 6 is extra thrilling). 

Learn extra: Google Pixel 6 vs. 6 Professional: What are the largest specs variations?

The Pixel 6 Professional feels like a way more premium telephone, changing the textured again of the 5 with a two-tone, all-glass glass again with digital camera strip alongside the highest. It is reassuringly stable to carry, whereas the glass on the entrance curves gently on the edges to satisfy the aluminum body. One tip, although: Purchase the sorta sunny orange shade possibility — my stormy black assessment mannequin is fairly boring to take a look at. 

The 6.7-inch show stretches proper to the perimeters of the telephone and it appears each shiny and pin-sharp because of its 3,120×1,440-pixel decision. Google additionally says it has an adaptive display screen refresh charge that dynamically adjusts between 10 and 120Hz, relying on what you are doing. If you happen to’re gaming, for instance, you will want that top refresh charge, however with a view to save energy, the telephone will regulate to a a lot decrease charge when the telephone is just displaying the house display screen. 

Google’s personal Tensor processor

The Pixel 6 and 6 Professional are powered by the Tensor processor — Google’s first custom-made chip, which the corporate guarantees can have quite a lot of advantages, notably for “machine studying,” speech recognition and AI. It is a vital transfer for Google to supply its personal silicon and it marks a transparent dedication to stay within the {hardware} recreation — in spite of everything, you do not go to the hassle of growing your individual processors as a one-off experiment. 


That digital camera strip undoubtedly units the Pixel 6 telephones aside from the competitors.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

However most of the advantages will come over time as Google develops extra methods to make the most of its new {hardware}. In use proper now, you will not discover any distinction from some other high-end smartphone processor. It appears nippy and freed from any annoying lag and you may function the telephone in precisely the identical manner you’ll some other Android telephone. Consider it like placing a brand new engine in a automobile; you will nonetheless drive it simply the identical, on the identical roads, utilizing the identical gas, nevertheless it may go a bit sooner and could also be extra environment friendly. Or it could not. Time will inform and I will have extra particulars on this in my full assessment.

Learn extra: Pixel Go: Google’s bundling the Pixel 6 with Google One, YouTube Premium and extra

Android 12

The Pixel 6 Professional arrives with the newest launch of Android on board; Android 12. Google has already proven off a number of the key upgrades in Android 12, which incorporates options like scrollable screenshots and extra superior controls over privateness, akin to having the ability to flip off system-wide entry to the microphone and digital camera out of your management panel. 


The Pixel 6 Professional with its Android 12 homescreen (left) and the iPhone 13 Professional with iOS 13 (proper).

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Privateness is helped as properly by the devoted {hardware} co-processor — known as the Titan M2 — which ought to permit for higher on-device safety. Google additionally guarantees 5 years of safety updates for each Pixel 6 telephones, which can imply you’ll be able to preserve utilizing your machine safely for for much longer. 

One of many larger options that is (for now) unique to the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional nonetheless is the power to create {custom} themes for the telephone primarily based on no matter picture you’ve got as your background. While you select a brand new wallpaper (both one of many many built-in wallpapers, or any of your individual photographs saved to your telephone) the telephone will robotically select the dominant shade and can use that, and its complementary colours to vary the look of the interface. 

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First impressions of the new Pixel 6 and 6 Pro


3 rear cameras

The back of the Pixel 6 Pro is home to three cameras; a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens and a 48-megapixel telephoto camera that offers 4x optical zoom. The main camera uses a larger 1/1.3-inch sensor which Google says captures 2.5x more light than the Pixel 5, helping it take brighter, sharper images in low light. The Pixel 5 was already able to take decent low-light images so I’m excited to see what these upgrades bring to the table. 


The strip houses the three rear cameras.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Pixel line has always been known for taking solid images: They’re usually up there with, but not really surpassing the competition. Both the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra pack superb cameras capable of capturing beautiful images in any conditions so the Pixel 6 Pro will need to put in a stellar performance to tempt enthusiastic photographers to part with their cash. 

On paper, its triple setup sounds appealing, offering more zoom than the iPhone 13 Pro (4x versus 3x, although 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 automatically remove people and objects from the background of an image.


How will the Pixel 6 Pro’s camera stack up against the iPhone 13 Pro? I can’t wait to find out.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Premium phones can live or die on the back of their camera quality so I’m keen to take the Pixel 6 Pro for a proper photo tour to see just how well it compares. 

Other Pixel 6 Pro key features

  • IP68 water-resistance
  • In-screen fingerprint scanner
  • 5G connectivity
  • 12GB RAM
  • 128GB base storage
  • 5,003-mAh battery
  • 30W fast charging
  • 11-megapixel front-facing camera

Pixel 6 Pro specs comparison chart

Google Pixel 6 Pro Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 5 Pixel 5A 5G
Display size, resolution 6.7-inch LTPO OLED; 3,120×1,440 pixels; 10-120Hz 6.4-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60 or 90Hz 6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340 x 1,080 pixels 6.34-inch OLED + Full HD Plus (2400 x 1080 pixels)
Pixel density 512 ppi 411 ppi 432ppi 413ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.5×3.0x0.4 in 6.2×2.9×0.4 in 5.7×2.8×0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 163.9×75.9×8.9 mm 158.6×74.8×8.9 mm 144.7×70.4×8.0 mm 156.2×73.2×8.8 depth (mm)
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.41 oz; 210g 7.3 oz; 207g 5.33 oz; 151g 6.45 oz; 183g
Mobile software Android 12 Android 12 Android 11 Android 11
Camera 50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel ultrawide), 48-megapixel (telephoto) 50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel ultrawide 12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide) 16-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (wide)
Front-facing camera 11-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video capture 4K 30, 60fps (rear), 4K 30fps (front) 4K 30, 60fps (rear), 1,080p 30fps (front) 4K 4K
Processor Google Tensor Google Tensor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB 128GB 128GB
Expandable storage No No No
Battery 5,003 mAh 4,614 mAh 4,000 mAh 4,680 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Under display Under display Rear
Headphone jack No No No Yes
Special features 5G sub 6 and mmWave support, Wi-Fi 6E, Ultra-wideband, 30W fast charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS and security updates, IP68 rating for dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (front and back) 5G sub 6 (some carrier models also have 5G mmWave) support, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W fast charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS and security updates, IP68 rating for dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (front), Gorilla Glass 6 (back) 5G enabled; water-resistant (IP68); 90Hz refresh rate display; dual SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wireless charging; fast charging 5G-enabled, Titan M chipset (security chip), dual-pixel main camera, IP67 water rating, dual SIM, stereo speakers; 18W fast charging
Price off-contract (USD) $899 (128GB) $599 (128GB) $699 $449
Price (GBP) £849 £599 £599 NA
Price (AUD) AU$1,570 (converted) AU$800 (converted) AU$999 NA
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