It’s been a while since I had a mobile in to review, so I’m glad to have the Google Pixel 6 in my hands, ready to unbox and explore what Google’s latest generation of phones offer. The Pixel 6 is smaller and less ‘flagship-y’ compared to the Pixel 6 Pro, but it doesn’t miss out on too many features most people can live without.
I’m curious to see if the smaller sized and newer Google Tensor chipset will help improve the camera intelligence, and also see how it’s leveraged throughout Android 12. I’ll delve into what’s new in Android 12 and whether the Pixel 6 offers value for money after more thorough testing down the line. For now, check out my unboxing video of the Google Pixel 6, and some early thoughts on the device.
TECH SPECS GOOGLE PIXEL 6 RELEASE DATE OCTOBER, 2021 DIMENSIONS 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm WEIGHT 207 GRAMS SCREEN 6.4″ AMOLED HDR10+DISPLAY RESOLUTION HD+ 1080 x 2400, 20:9 ratio REFRESH RATE 90hz RAM / STORAGE 8GB, 128/256GB OS ANDROID 12 CPU GOOGLE TENSOR 5NM CHIP, OCTA CORE GPU MALI-G78 MP20 FRONT CAMERA 8MP f/2.0 24MM REAR CAMERA 50MP f/1.9 24MM, 12MP f/2.2 17MM CHARGE 30W 50% in 30 MINS, 21W WIRELESS BATTERY 4614mAh PROTECTION IP68 DUST/WATER RESISTANT
Inside the Box
The box is fairly compact and similar to predecessors, the only difference is the fewer accessories included inside the box from most brands. Google has followed suit with the latest Pixel launches so it’s not surprising a lack of a power charger inside the box. In my video, I overlooked the fact it doesn’t come with a wired headset either, simply as they aren’t always great and I got used to them not being included… but if it’s something you do look forward to, it’s also sadly amiss.
There’s a USB-C to USB-C cable which is roughly half a metre, but what’s also surprising is a USB-A adaptor to transform the USB-C port on the Pixel 6 to take any peripheral that still uses it. Unusual to be included as it’s well built and has a soft-touch finish. A mini manual and that’s pretty much it inside the box, so we can move onto the Pixel 6 itself.
Meet the Google Pixel 6
First things first, the Pixel 6 feels good in the hand – rounded corners and edges with a 9mm thickness make the smaller of the two Pixel siblings really easy to palm and hold. An aluminium frame sandwiches the front and black glass, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the back – the most advanced glass that should withstand accidental drops and nicks better than Corning’s older generations. The camera module sits a few millimetres above the back, which means it’ll raise a little when rested on the surface, but doesn’t suffer from tilting one corner or side.
I hold the Stormy Black in my hands, one of two additional colours made available at launch: Sorta Sunny, Cloudy White and Kinda Coral. Stormy Black plays on the monochrome gradients of grey, with a darker grey for the ‘G’ logo in the middle and the pure black which houses the camera modules. The LED flash is the only part to stick out. The glass attracts fingerprints which are normal, though you’ll need to regularly wipe it down or put a case on. On the other hand, the Google Pixel 6 doesn’t feel as slippery as other phones helped by the thicker build.
solid start Android 12
Android 12 Material U is the latest OS shipped from Google and with the Pixel 6, it’s a pure Android experience as it’s intended to be. Little details like the larger brightness control, colour palette matching to wallpaper, easier widget display, stretchy animation bounce and indications when phone features are being used in an app add more polish and transparency to permissions.
The startup process is lean and straightforward, allowing you to optionally add a fingerprint, PIN, sync a Google account at a later date, while the ability to pick and choose which Google apps you want to install lighten the preinstall app library.
I’ll have to spend more time before commenting more on features such as the camera setup and the Google Tensor AI features, Android 12 and sound, but for now the startup experience left a pleasant impression on the Google Pixel 6. I did experience a glitch with the camera app still showing behind the lock screen when it shouldn’t be which I’ll need to test further, but no hiccups have happened otherwise. I’ll report back in a few weeks with some deeper thoughts on the Pixel 6!
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