July 12, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Google Pixel 6 Pro Hands On

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the search company’s most serious contender for the flagship smartphone crown yet. Between Google’s first-ever self-made Tensor processor, the massive 6.7-inch display, 120Hz refresh rate, 50MP main camera, 4x telephoto camera, and a remarkably reasonable $899 starting price, the Pixel 6 is throwing down everything to make itself the preeminent phone above the iPhone 13 Pro – not to mention all the Android phones from other companies like Samsung and OnePlus.

From the get-go, the Google Pixel 6 Pro looks unlike any of the other five Pixel phones that preceded it. The gentle curves and modest screen size of the previous devices are all thrown to the wayside to make way for a massive 6.7-inch device with a curved display, sharp corners, a center-positioned hole-punch camera, and a huge camera bar on the backside.

In many ways, these drastic changes make the Pixel 6 Pro a less distinct smartphone among the sea of glass rectangles in the Android phone market. But at the same time, it feels like a huge modernization of Google’s flagship phone.

That camera bar is easily the most distinguishing feature of the Pixel Pro 6 as it gives it an unmistakable rear face. Which is to say, it basically looks like the Geordi La Forge of smartphones. On the plus side, this expansive camera bar eliminates the issue of the device rocking from side to side, as it just sits on an even angle.

Going back to the new 6.7-inch display, it’s an LTPO OLED display with a gorgeously sharp QHD+ (1440 x 3120) resolution and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio made to watch widescreen movies. It also features an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate that makes it a step up from most Android phones and its little Pixel 6 brother. Google hasn’t listed the exact screen brightness and instead only states it has a high brightness mode, but to my eye, it’s as bright as the iPhone 13 Pro that hits 1,000 nits of sustained brightness.

Like I experienced on the iPhone 13 Pro, the new 120Hz screen makes scrolling through apps and news, flicking between screens, and generally navigating around the interface feel incredibly snappy. Unfortunately, just like the iPhone 13 Pro, you won’t be able to experience everything animating at 120Hz.

In my short testing so far, I can see that the Google Now feed and Facebook are operating at 120Hz, but Twitter jerks around at 60Hz. So it’ll be some time before all the apps can make full use of the Pixel 6 Pro’s speedy refresh rate.

Under the hood, the Pixel 6 Pro rocks Google’s first-ever self-made Tensor chip rather than utilizing a Qualcomm chip that’s powered almost every Android device until now. So far, the handset seems just as performant as any top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888-powered smartphone I’ve used this year, but the real power of Google Tensor will come to play with its ability to learn and adapt.

Google promises the Tensor chip can learn which apps you use most and stop wasting power on ones you never use. The new chip also powers all the AI-powered features that Pixel devices are already known for, such as live transcribing and translation and image processing. Having said that, I’ve only had the phone for half a day, so the phone has yet to acclimate to my usage yet.

As for the Pixel 6 Pro’s other specs, it comes equipped with 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM, plus your choice of either 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage space. The battery on this device is also massive at 5,003mAh, and it’s rated for 24 hours of battery life. With Extreme Battery Saver mode, which turns off your non-essential apps, this device can last for a whopping 48 hours. And when you plug in the Pixel 6 Pro with a 30W power brick – sadly sold separately – you can get up to 50% battery back in just 30 minutes.

Cameras are easily the second most revised part of the Pixel 6 Pro. The main wide-angle camera now features a massive 50MP Bayer sensor with a 1/1.31-inch sensor size, dual pixel autofocus, as well as optical and image stabilization. 

The telephoto camera is just as impressive with its new 48MP sensor and 4x optical zoom lens that completely 1UPs the new 3x zoom lens on the iPhone 13 Pro. Even better yet, with Google’s Super Res Zoom, you can shoot up to 20x that should look passable if Google’s optical and image stabilization is decent. This is something I’ll put to the test in my full review.

Unfortunately, the 12MP ultrawide camera has seen the least love, but it now features lens correction. The selfie camera also now uses an 11.1MP sensor and an up to 94-degree ultrawide field of view for group photos.

Alongside the new cameras, Google has introduced a boatload of new camera features. Most prominently, Magic Eraser lets you remove unwanted people and photo bombers from your photos, while Real Tone promises to capture more accurate skin tones better. The Pixel 6 Pro also introduces new Motion Modes to help you capture long exposures and action pans, the latter of which lets you capture motion blur around any moving subject you’re shooting.

The Google Pixel Pro brings a lot to the plate in the world of flagship smartphones and for a reasonable starting price of $899. We’ll have to see if it’s just a promise on paper in our forthcoming full review. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is available for preorder now and will release on October 28th.

Be sure to checking out the newly announced Google Pixel 6 that goes for an even more affordable $599.

Kevin Lee is IGN’s SEO Updates Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

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