Google’s new phones are out. If you’ve been closely following the tech space, you’ve already seen most of the hardware info. Google has been sharing and promoting the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro for months already. But now, we get to see how the Pixel 6 series is using these specs to bring its tech to life.
And we wanted to share the key features of the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro you’ll want to know.
Pricing and the Pixel Pass bundles
Google has priced both devices rather aggressively, especially compared to similar smartphones from its competitors (Apple, Samsung, etc.). The Pixel 6 has a starting price of USD 599 (PHP 29,878), and the Pixel 6 Pro starts at USD 899 (PHP 45,680), with these base models coming with 128GB of storage.
Google will also offer the Pixel 6 series under a subscription-based model called Pixel Pass in the US. Subscribers can pay monthly installments starting at USD 45 (PHP 2,287) for the Pixel 6 and USD 55 (PHP 2,794) for the Pixel 6 Pro. Their subscriptions come with an extended warranty and access to Google’s premium subscription services like Google One cloud storage, YouTube and YouTube Music Premium, and Google Play Pass.
Google makes its own mobile chip
While taking a few subtle jabs at Qualcomm, Google introduced its first custom-designed ARM system-on-chip called Tensor. According to the company, it’s competitive against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, which powers every other premium Android phone out on the market.
The key thing to know about the Tensor is it gets a custom Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) for AI built into it and different main processing pipelines. It has two high-power application cores, two mid-range cores, four low-power cores, a dedicated coprocessor for security, a private compute core, and an image processing core. That is paired with 8GB of RAM with the Pixel 6 and 12GB on the Pixel 6 Pro.
New Pixel look
Pixel 6 brings a new look to the Pixel line. It’s unlike the Pixels launched in the past. There is still that two-tone element, but these are shiny with polished metal frames (6 Pro) and glossy glass backs. There is also that distinctive camera “bar” that spans the entire width of the phone.
Aside from revamping the camera module, Google introduces new camera hardware with a 50-megapixel primary lens that pixel bins to a 12.5-megapixel output, 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and an additional 48-megapixel telephoto lens (binned down to 12-megapixel output) on the Pixel 6 Pro with 4x optical zoom. On the front, the Pixel 6 has an 8-megapixel selfie cam with an 84-degree field of view, while the Pixel 6 Pro has an 11.1-megapixel camera with a 94-degree field of view.
Both phones get large OLED displays, Gorilla Glass Victus protection, and HDR support. The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch 1080p screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, while the 6 Pro gets a 6.7-inch 1440p adaptive display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 6 Pro pushes closer to the edge than the Pixel 6. And as you may have noticed, Google sadly opted out of introducing a smaller Pixel.
As flagship phones, these get the usual specs you’d come to expect. There’s wireless and reverse wireless charging, IP68 resistance rating, stereo speakers, in-screen fingerprint sensor, and fast-charging support. But, of course, Google doesn’t include a power brick in the box.
If you’re wondering about battery, the Pixel 6 gets a 4,614mAh battery, while the Pixel 6 Pro gets a 5,004mAh one.
The Pixel 6 comes in Kinda Coral, Sorta Seafoam, and Stormy Black, while the Pixel 6 Pro is available in Cloudy White, Stormy Black, and Sorta Sunny color variants.
Software innovations we’re excited about
We always appreciate tech companies that focus more on the experience with their devices. And Google spent most of its event talking about the improvements on the software side.
The cameras get many new features. The Portrait Mode gets re-engineered with Real Tone. This feature should render different skin tones of a broader, more diverse group more accurately than before. Google worked with photographers and cinematographers of color to improve the dataset of its camera models.
There’s Face Unblur, which uses multiple images recorded to do as its name suggests; Motion Mode, which can help you capture long exposures and action shots handheld; and Magic Eraser, which can take out distracting objects or photo bombers in photos. We’ve seen variations of Magic Eraser on other devices. But with Google’s camera capabilities, we’re expecting this feature to work well.
And then there’s Google’s surprising partnership with Snapchat. Pixel 6 phones are getting a new Quick Tap to Snap feature on the Pixel’s lock screen. It’s basically the camera-only version of Snapchat. There will also be exclusive Snapchat Lenses coming from Google and live translation into the app. We’ve certainly come a long way from the disappointing Snapchat experience on Android of years past.
There are improvements for on-device language processing and live translation, too. Google is putting its chip to good use with more accurate speech-to-text transcriptions and real-time translating. The company is now bringing Live Translate to text-entry fields.
Google is also improving the experience of making phone calls to customer service lines. The Phone app can let you know the hold time before you even dial and projected wait times. It can transcribe the different options you get from automated messages, so you don’t forget which number you need to push. And Google Duplex’s Hold for Me feature is still available, and it’s rolling out to Australia, Canada, and Japan soon.
There are new security features, too. There’s a Titan M2 security chip, with five years of security updates for these devices, a Security Hub, and a Privacy Dashboard.
We don’t know if these new software features will make their way to older Google Pixel devices or if they’ll just be for the Google Pixel 6 to entice more people to check out the new Google flagships.