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    HomeTechPixel 6 Pro review: Google's flagship is a top iPhone rival in...

    Pixel 6 Pro review: Google’s flagship is a top iPhone rival in 2022

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    Editor’s observe, Nov. 12: The Google Pixel 6 Professional’s strong all-round efficiency and glorious digicam make it an outstanding high-end Android telephone that is nicely price your cash, which is why we have given it a CNET Editors’ Selection award. The unique evaluate follows. 


    Launched towards the tip of 2021, the Pixel 6 Professional isn’t just the perfect telephone Google has ever made, it is the most effective telephones you may nonetheless purchase in 2022. Its robust efficiency, nice software program additions, distinctive design and excellent camera system make it the largest rival to Apple’s iPhone 13 Professional and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra

    That’s, till we see what Samsung’s subsequent flagship, the Galaxy S22, brings when it probably launches in February. With rumors for the S22 pointing to a brand new, quicker processor and upgraded digicam specs. It could be that the Pixel 6 Professional remains to be the nicer of the 2 telephones, however for those who’re in search of the most recent, best in telephone tech then it is a good suggestion to no less than wait a couple of weeks to see what Samsung has to supply earlier than deciding both manner. 

    However the Pixel 6 Professional manages to supply its successful combo of specs and design at a worth that really undercuts its most important rivals. The 6.7-inch base 128GB mannequin prices $899 (£849, AU$1,299), a large chunk lower than the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro’s $999 worth and much more off the $1,099 Apple desires for the bigger 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Professional Max. 

    Like

    • Glorious cameras
    • Stable all-round efficiency
    • Neat Android 12 interface
    • Enticing design

    Do not Like

    • Battery is sweet, however not nice
    • Quick cost is not all that quick
    • No face unlock

    Whereas final yr’s Pixel 5 was greatest seen as a midrange telephone with some higher-end touches, the Pixel 6 Professional is premium all the best way. From its glass and steel design, to its high-resolution show and its very good triple digicam, there’s quite a bit to love right here. Then there’s the Tensor processor — a chip custom-made by Google for the telephone — which gives ample energy for your whole day by day wants, higher safety features, 5G connectivity and a slick Android 12 interface. Battery life is sweet — definitely above common — however not nice, with the iPhone 13 Professional placing in a stronger efficiency.

    Its greatest Android rival proper now could be the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra which does have some neat digicam additions (that 10x zoom, for one factor) nevertheless it prices extra and the Pixel 6 Professional gives a extra user-friendly expertise. The iPhone 13 Professional and Professional Max supply very good all-round use, however come at the next worth and for those who’re already entrenched within the Android ecosystem, it is doubtless not price switching and shopping for all these apps once more. 

    These in search of the perfect all-round Android expertise ought to completely look in the direction of the Pixel 6 Professional. However do bear in mind the Galaxy S22 might launch in February. 

    pixel-6-pro-cnet-review-hoyle-29

    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    Pixel 6 Professional or Pixel 6?

    The stepdown $599 (£599, AU$999) Pixel 6 packs the identical Tensor processor and beautiful Android 12 software program for $300 lower than the Professional, however there are a couple of compromises it makes with a view to come to that cheaper worth.

    It has a smaller and decrease decision 6.4-inch show that lacks the curving finesse of the Professional. Its battery is smaller, it has 8GB moderately than 12GB of RAM and it lacks the 4x telephoto zoom lens discovered on the Professional. 

    pixel-6-pro-cnet-review-hoyle-38

    The Pixel 6 Professional has a 6.7-inch show whereas the Pixel 6’s measures 6.4 inches.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    But it surely’s nonetheless a terrific telephone that is nicely price contemplating. It gives most of the similar perks of the Pixel 6 Professional at a a lot lower cost, particularly for those who do not care concerning the top-end efficiency provided by the flagship. As my colleague Patrick Holland put it in his review of the phone, “For the value, I can not consider a greater telephone to advocate proper now.”

    A contemporary design that stands out 

    I did not love the look of final yr’s Pixel 5. The matte, rubberized again gave the telephone a extra funds really feel than its $699 price ticket instructed. The Pixel 6 Professional is worlds aside. The rear is all glass — toughened Gorilla Glass Victus, in actual fact — that curves on the edges to satisfy the 100% recycled aluminum body. 

    The glass curves on the edges on the entrance, too, as does the show beneath it, making it not solely look extra premium, however really feel like a really flagship system whenever you maintain it in your hand. It is massive although, packing in a 6.7-inch show, which is able to make it extra cumbersome for some than the 6-inch Pixel 5 or 6.4-inch Pixel 6. That tumbler makes it slippery, too, so think about one in all Google’s protecting instances for those who’re nervous about dropping it. 

    pixel-6-pro-cnet-review-hoyle-21

    The Pixel 6 Professional, flanked by the iPhone 13 Professional (left) and Pixel 5.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    It’s IP68-rated for water resistance, that means it might stand up to being in 1 meter (about 3 toes) of water for as much as half-hour. No, that does not imply you may take it swimming, nevertheless it does imply it ought to be capable to shake off having the odd beer spilled over it by your clumsy mates. 

    An attention-grabbing design selection is the big digicam bar that stretches throughout the again. It protrudes from the telephone by about 3mm, so it would not lie completely flat whenever you put it on a desk, however nor does it rock from nook to nook like telephones with digicam bumps simply on one facet (just like the S21 Extremely). I just like the look of the telephone and it definitely stands out. One tip although: Get the Sorta Sunny orangey-peachy shade, if you will discover it in inventory. The black-and-gray possibility, Stormy Black, seems to be moderately boring by comparability. 

    pixel-6-pro-cnet-review-hoyle-33

    The digicam strip protrudes from the telephone by about 3mm. Because of this, it will not lie flat on a desk.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner seen on the Pixel 5 has been eliminated, changed as a substitute with an in-screen scanner, which I discovered labored precisely and shortly more often than not, though Patrick discovered the Pixel 6’s scanner to be way more hit or miss in his evaluate. There is not any face unlock skill, which is a little bit of a disgrace, however with masks nonetheless being a requirement in lots of indoor areas as a consequence of COVID-19, having a fingerprint scanner is arguably extra helpful anyway.

    Three glorious cameras

    That massive bar on the again hides three cameras: a 12-megapixel ultrawide; a 48-megapixel telephoto that gives 4x optical zoom; and a most important digicam that makes use of a bigger 1/1.3-inch sensor, which Google says captures 2.5x extra gentle than the Pixel 5. The cameras on the Pixel telephones have all the time been glorious, and this new era isn’t any totally different. 

    Photos from the principle digicam lens are beautiful. They’re vibrant, they’re filled with element and there is an incredible stability of publicity, with vivid skies saved below management and shadowy areas being simply seen. 

    autumn-pixel-6-pro

    Pixel 6 Professional, most important digicam.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    The golden colours of the leaves have been captured superbly right here, with a wealthy blue sky seen behind. 

    autumn-iphone-13-pro

    iPhone 13 Professional, most important digicam.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    And here is the identical picture taken on the iPhone 13 Professional. There’s little to decide on between them, but when I used to be being hypercritical, I might say that the white stability on the Pixel 6 Professional has resulted in a hotter, extra orange tone on the tree trunk, which I feel seems to be higher. You’ll be able to see how the Pixel 6 Professional’s digicam actually stacks up towards the iPhone 13 Professional’s in my photography shootout.

    castle-pixel-6-pro

    Pixel 6 Professional, most important digicam.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    This scene trying in the direction of the gorgeous Edinburgh fort is a difficult shot, with darkish shadows and a particularly vivid sky past the timber. The Pixel 6 Professional has dealt with it nicely although, sustaining a stunning publicity general.

    leith-pixel-6-pro

    Pixel 6 Professional, most important digicam.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    And it is a lot the identical right here, with vivid blue skies, very good publicity and loads of element. 

    leith-wide-pixel-6-pro

    Pixel 6 Professional, ultrawide digicam.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    Switching to the ultrawide lens, the scene maintains the wealthy colours and publicity. Zoom nearer in and it is clear it has much less general element, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a stunning shot. 

    ship-wide-pixel-6-pro

    Pixel 6 Professional, ultrawide digicam.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    One other from the Pixel 6 Professional’s ultrawide lens. However try the iPhone 13 Professional’s:

    ship-wide-iphone-13-pro

    iPhone 13 Professional, ultrawide lens.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    The iPhone’s gives a a lot wider view that allows you to seize extra within the scene. They’re each glorious broad lenses and each do a terrific job in packing in these lovely colours, however I might wish to have seen the Pixel providing a barely wider scene.

    The 4x zoom lens is superb too, offering tons of element because of its excessive decision sensor. I feel 4x is a good zoom degree for a telephone as nicely; it lets you discover compositions that might be past the attain of lesser zoom ranges, nevertheless it’s not fairly as restrictive because the 10x zoom you will discover on the Galaxy S21. It is a zoom degree I really feel I might use quite a bit on my travels and have already taken a couple of 4x photographs with the telephone that I am actually happy with as inventive photographs.

    man-4x-pixel-6-pro

    Pixel 6 Professional, 4x zoom.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    This zoomed-in picture is so pin-sharp I can really learn the headline on the newspaper. It is a actually spectacular lens that does not pressure you to make any form of compromise on high quality with a view to obtain these zoom ranges. By comparability, the iPhone 13 Professional’s optical zoom maxes out at 3x, so the Pixel 6 Professional is ready to obtain a closer-up picture. Which, frankly, I might take any day over a wider-angle view.

    leaves-4x-pixel-6-pro

    Pixel 6 Professional, 4x zoom.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    It is useful as nicely for focusing your view on a smaller scene like this, capturing intimate little still-life scenes, moderately than grand, sweeping vistas. The advantageous textures on the leaves listed below are extraordinarily sharp. 

    Google has thrown some additional options in too, together with a instrument that mechanically removes folks from the background in a picture, which generally works nicely, and generally leaves a giant splotch the place an individual as soon as stood. Then there’s the lengthy publicity mode, which lets you create ethereal blurred waterscapes and the Nightscape mode, which does a wonderful job of taking photographs at the hours of darkness. 

    pxl-20211024-200153934

    Pixel 6 professional, Nightscape photograph.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    I am severely impressed with the pictures talents of the Pixel 6 Professional and there isn’t any query that it is among the many greatest cameras you may get on a telephone proper now. Video high quality is superb as nicely, with very good dynamic vary, glorious picture stabilization and loads of element because of the 4K decision. 

    Does Google’s Tensor processor make a distinction?

    On the coronary heart of the telephone is Google’s first home-baked processor, named Tensor. It is a vital transfer for Google to provide its personal silicon and it exhibits a powerful dedication to stay within the {hardware} recreation — in any case, you do not go to the trouble of growing your individual processors as a one-off experiment.  

    But it surely’s basically irrelevant when you get the Pixel in your hand, because it features identical to every other telephone. It is nippy to navigate across the Android 12 interface, video games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Name of Responsibility play completely, whereas photograph modifying and video streaming are dealt with precisely in addition to you’d get from every other top-end telephone proper now. 

    Pixel 6 Professional benchmark exams

    Legend:

    Geekbench 5 (single core)

    Geekbench 5 (multi core)

    3DMark Wild Life Excessive

    Be aware:

    Longer bars equal higher efficiency

    On benchmark exams just like the Geekbench 5 processor take a look at and 3DMark’s Wild Life Excessive graphics take a look at, the Pixel 6 Professional would not rating fairly as extremely because the iPhone 13 Professional, nevertheless it’s up there with the Galaxy S21 Extremely (and it edged out the highly effective OnePlus 9 Professional on the graphics take a look at too). Benchmarks are on no account a direct indicator of real-life efficiency, nevertheless it’s good to no less than see that Google’s new silicon is working in the identical ballpark as its rivals. 

    No, the Tensor chip just isn’t setting a brand new customary for lightning-fast efficiency. But it surely would not have to; as we speak’s telephones already pack far more energy than any of us are prone to want every day. Google’s push into chip manufacturing goes past merely making a “benchmark beater” and loads of the true advantages will come over time as the corporate develops extra methods to reap the benefits of its personal {hardware}.

    The Tensor processor is especially designed with machine studying, AI and speech-recognition purposes in thoughts. There are already speech-recognition features constructed into the keyboard (for dictating messages or emails) in addition to real-time translation instruments and improved visible language translations when utilizing Google Lens by way of the digicam. 

    pixel-6-pro-cnet-review-hoyle-39

    Each the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional run the most recent Android 12 software program.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    Android 12 is beautiful to make use of

    The Android 12 interface is extraordinarily neat and simple to make use of. It is my favourite model of Android thus far, providing an uncomplicated expertise that even Android novices will not take lengthy to familiarize yourself with. One of many greater options that is (for now) unique to the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional is the flexibility 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 ones, or any of your individual photographs saved to your telephone), the telephone will mechanically pick the dominant shade and can use that, and its complementary colours, to alter the look of components of the interface, together with a number of the default Google app icons on the house display screen, such because the Play Retailer, Gmail and Pictures. It is a good thought, though it in all probability should not be the principle purpose you determine to half along with your money.

    Safety has been given a selected push each on the software program and {hardware} facet. The Tensor processor has a devoted Titan coprocessor that apparently permits for significantly better on-device safety, whereas Android 12 gives extra granular management of your safety and privateness settings. That features a dashboard that exhibits what apps have used what info not too long ago and useful buttons within the pull-down notification tray that flip off system-wide entry to your digicam and microphone. 

    pixel-6-pro-cnet-review-hoyle-37

    These quick-access privateness buttons may come in useful.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    Google has additionally promised that the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional will obtain safety updates for 5 years, which is able to imply these telephones might be safer to make use of for longer. Many older telephones are nonetheless completely usable from a {hardware} standpoint, but when they do not have the most recent safety patches on board then they’re susceptible to all kinds of hacking nastiness. From each a price and environmental perspective, having the ability to use our telephones safely for longer is barely a great factor.

    Vibrant show, strong battery life and quick charging

    The Pixel 6 Professional’s 6.7-inch show is pin-sharp because of its 3,120×1,440-pixel decision. It is vivid, too, with vibrant colours that do justice to colourful video games like Sweet Crush Soda Saga or video like Netflix’s world-dominating present Squid Game. It has an adaptive refresh fee that may go as much as 120Hz whenever you’re taking part in fast-paced video games, but additionally slows all the way down to solely 10Hz when the telephone is mainly sitting idle. Efficiency whenever you want it; power-saving when you do not. 

    pixel-6-pro-cnet-review-hoyle-19

    The Pixel 6 Professional and maybe its greatest rival, the iPhone 13 Professional.


    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    The telephone runs on a 5,003-mAh battery, which must be good for a full day of blended use. After one hour of streaming a YouTube video at max brightness it had dropped from full to 98%. In contrast, the OnePlus 9 Professional had dropped to 90%, whereas the iPhone 13 Professional dropped to solely 99%. After an extra hour the 6 Professional had dropped to 89%, whereas the iPhone 13 Professional was at 93%. You definitely should not battle to get by means of the day with it, however as with all telephones, you may assist it by maintaining display screen brightness down, avoiding demanding duties like gaming or video streaming till you are close to a plug, and turning off GPS. 

    It has Qi wi-fi charging and it helps quick charging with a 30-watt charger (not equipped), which is able to take the telephone to 50% full in half-hour. That is respectable, however probably not a match for OnePlus’s 65-watt quick charging, which is able to totally cost the system in the identical time. Nonetheless, it is quick sufficient to have the ability to give your telephone a fast enhance earlier than you head out and about, and the Excessive Battery Saver mode pauses all however your important apps to protect the remaining juice.

    Google Pixel 6 specs vs. Google Pixel 6 Professional, Google Pixel 5, Apple iPhone 13

    Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 6 Professional Google Pixel 5 Apple iPhone 13
    Show dimension, decision 6.4-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60Hz or 90Hz 6.7-inch LTPO OLED; 3,120×1,440 pixels; 10-120Hz 6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels
    Pixel density 411 ppi 512 ppi 432 ppi 460 ppi
    Dimensions (inches) 6.2×2.9×0.4 in 6.5×3.0x0.4 in 5.7×2.8×0.3 in 5.78×2.82×0.3 in
    Dimensions (millimeters) 158.6×74.8×8.9mm 163.9×75.9×8.9mm 144.7×70.4x8mm 147x72x7.65mm
    Weight (ounces, grams) 7.3 oz; 207g 7.41 oz; 210g 5.33 oz; 151g 6.14 oz; 174g
    Cellular software program Android 12 Android 12 Android 11 iOS 15
    Digital camera 50-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel ultrawide 50-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 48-megapixel (telephoto) 12.2-megapixel (customary), 16-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
    Entrance-facing digicam 8-megapixel 11-megapixel 8-megapixel 12-megapixel
    Video seize 4K 30, 60fps (rear), 1,080p 30fps (entrance) 4K 30, 60fps (rear), 4K 30fps (entrance) 4K HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60fps
    Processor Google Tensor Google Tensor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Apple A15 Bionic
    Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
    RAM 8GB 12GB 8GB Undisclosed
    Expandable storage No No No No
    Battery 4,614 mAh 5,003 mAh 4,000 mAh Undisclosed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback
    Fingerprint sensor Below show Below show Rear No (Face ID)
    Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C Lightning
    Headphone jack No No No No
    Particular options 5G sub 6 (some service fashions even have 5G mmWave) assist, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W fast-charging, wi-fi charging, Magic Eraser, Movement mode, Actual Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS safety updates, IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (entrance), Gorilla Glass 6 (again), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G sub 6 and mmWave assist, Wi-Fi 6E, ultra-wideband, 30W fast-charging, wi-fi charging, Magic Eraser, Movement mode, Actual Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS safety updates, IP68 ranking for dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (back and front), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G enabled; waterproof (IP68); 90Hz-refresh-rate show; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wi-fi charging; quick charging 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)
    Worth off-contract (USD) $599 (128GB) $899 (128GB) $699 $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB)
    Worth (GBP) £599 (128GB) £849 (128GB) £599 £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB), £1,079 (512GB)
    Worth (AUD) AU$999 (128GB) AU$1,299 (128GB) AU$999 AU$1,349 (128GB), AU$1,519 (256GB), AU$1,869 (512GB)

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