Google’s brand new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones are here. What’s new and different and does it it make a worthy upgrade or purchase if you’re in the market for a new Android phone? I’ll be getting to review Google Pixel 6 Pro soon so watch for updates here. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at what was announced.
What’s new on Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
The most obvious new feature is the looks. With a smart, chic and minimalist refresh, the phone looks lean and clean and pretty.
When it comes to what’s underneath that glass and metal dressing, the camera has a few updates, which we’ll get to. There’s a new more powerful chip (Google Tensor) which should help things run faster and smoother.
The phone also runs Android 12 with what’s dubbed Material You. This system offers more phone personalization so you can customize your homescreen with different widgets and switch up color palettes based on the wallpaper photos you choose.
Both phones also have Live Translate, which lets you interact in a variety of languages, using text, camera and video captioning.
Google has previously called the battery life “all day,”and this iteration they reiterate Pixel 6 has an up to 24 hour battery, and with the extreme battery saving mode (which shuts down all but the most critical apps and functions) it stretches your overall battery life to up to 48 hours. Pixel 6 has 8GB RAM, up to 256GB of storage, it is water resistant, offers wireless and reverse wireless charging and the new Titan M2 security.
Pixel 6 Pro also has up to 24 hour s of battery, with the same extreme battery saving mode up to 48 hours, 12GB RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It’s also water resistant, offers wireless and reverse wireless charging and the new Titan M2 security.
What’s new with Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro camera?
Pixel 6 Pro has an upgraded photo system – with new features called Face Deblur, Magic Eraser, Motion Mode and a more equitable camera that Google says can more accurately represent the wide range of human skin tones.
Pixel 6 Pro also has a telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom for even closer closeups. Let’s dig in…
While these features below are being touted as camera features, in essence they’re post-production features that let you make smart edits much easier and right on your phone.
Are you the type who always gets the faces blurry in your photos? With Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, you can undo the damage. Face deblur can sharpen and refine faces after you’ve taken a photo so pix that might previously have been ruined can now be salvaged.
Google Pixel’s Magic Eraser feature essentially brings easy photo editing (think Photoshop) to remove distractions from the background. Got annoying vacationers in the background of your beachy photos, but you’d rather it looks like you had the place to yourself? A quick tap and you can remove them. Things like power lines and even fingertips can also be wiped clean, making it easier than ever to reclaim bad photos and turn them into new favourites.
Motion Mode is another editing feature that lets you blur landscapes and backgrounds for an artsier finish.
Google says it’s looking to make photography more authentic, so it worked with a diverse set of image experts and photographers to tune the Pixel 6’s Auto White Balance, AE, and stray light algorithms to ensure that Google’s camera and photo products work for every skin tone. Called Real Tone, this isn’t a feature that you can turn on or off, it’s a new back-end algorithm that’s part of the camera. Expect better and more accurate representations and more nuance in different skin tones for all.
4 x optical zoom
If you’re into photography, or have just tried to zoom in on something cool from afar, you likely know there’s a difference between optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical tends to be clearer, since it uses the lens to physically close in on distant objects, while digital zoom essentially expands the pixels. I usually prefer a stronger optical zoom, so having 4x on the Pixel 6 is a treat (Apple’s new iPhone 13s have 2 or 3x optical, for reference).
The Pixel lineup of smartphones have always had outstanding cameras, so that’s a given. With the Android OS, you get all the important features like mail, phone calls, texts and apps galore. The Pixel phones also offer call screening with Google Assistant which can manage unknown or spam callers without you needing to take the call. There’s also astral photography and solid night photography—and my personal fave, the Recorder app which not only records but accurately transcribes calls, meetings and interviews.
Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro review
I’m actively testing the new Pixel 6 phones, so watch for a full review soon, and be sure to post any questions you have or let me know the features you want me to try first.
Pixel 6 Pro is priced starting at $1,179CAD while Pixel 6 starts at $799 CAD. Learn more or preorder Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro here.