Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are stuffed with new tricks and camera features
It seems Google is swinging for the fences with the latest Pixel phones.
It’s not like we didn’t know the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were coming or almost everything about them before the launch. It’s release day though, and Google took to a virtual event to fill in the blanks. That includes the big surprise of the price, only $599 for the Pixel 6 and $899 for the Pixel 6 Pro.
Yes, Google is back to play in the big leagues, after years of mid- and low-priced Pixel devices. Both handsets are built around a common core, with similar design language and the beating heart of Google’s custom Tensor chip. That chip removes Google’s reliance on the whims of Qualcomm, so it’s promising an industry-beating five years of security upgrades starting with Android 12 for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Both phones also have Gorilla Glass Victus on the screen and Gorilla Glass 6 on the back, IP68 weatherproofing, 30-watt wired charging, NFC, Wi-Fi 6E, wireless and reverse wireless charging, and an in-screen fingerprint reader. Both also have sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave 5G.
Then they start to diverge a little. The smaller (but not by much) Pixel 6 is a 6.4-inch OLED screen at 2400 x 1080 pixels, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of base storage, and a 4,614 mAh battery. The larger Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.7-inch LTPO OLED screen that’s 3120 x 1440 pixels, has a 120 Hz, variable refresh rate, 12GB of RAM, 128GB of base storage, and a 5,000 mAh battery.
Both handsets also have a 50 MP main camera and 12 MP ultrawide sensor, with the Pixel 6 Pro adding a 4x optical zoom telephoto that can zoom up to 20x with Super Res Zoom. The Pixel 6 has an 8 MP selfie cam, with the Pixel 6 Pro having an 11.1 MP selfie camera.
Pixel 6 tricks
Google having full control over the hardware and software means some new Pixel-only features. On-device voice processing gets a boost, with more accuracy and 50 percent less power drain. That also means they come with Live Translate, which works on chat apps like WhatsApp or Twitter so you can communicate more easily with non-native speakers. Live Caption can also now translate in podcasts or videos on the fly.
Google Assistant gains some new voice dictation skills, which also lets you edit the text while dictating without confusing the AI. It can also tell you the best times to call over 5,000 of the largest US businesses, and stay on hold for you so you don’t waste time on hold.
The cameras on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro get a new Magic Eraser feature that works to remove things from your images, like how Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill works. Face Unblur does what it says, so your family photos will stay in focus, and you can process 4K HDR on-device while recording video. Oh, and the cameras have Real Tone image processing, which should do a better job with skin tones.
The Pixel 6 starts from $599, and comes in Stormy Black, Cloudy White, and Sorta Seafoam; and the Pixel 6 Pro from $899, and comes in Stormy Black, Cloudy White, and Sorta Sunny. Preorders start today, and official sales start on October 28.
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