As expected, Google unveiled the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the first two smartphones running Android 12. Natural competitors of the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro or the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus, they benefit from a very different design and a new technical platform. We had the opportunity to unpack them and take them in hand. Here are all our impressions.
Today, Google was hosting an online conference to present two new smartphones. Their identity is not mysterious, so many leaks have been about them. These are the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro. On the occasion of this launch, Google sent to the editorial staff of PhonAndroid one copy of each model. A white / green for the Pixel 6 and a black / gray for the Pixel 6 Pro. We obviously took the time to observe them, to detail the visible technical elements and to take them in hand.
Note that this grip is not a test. You will therefore not find here any technical measure or any visual element on the exclusive features of the Pixels, Google has not given us the authorization to do so. Of course, you can find in our columns a test similar to what we usually do in the coming days. In the meantime, here’s what we think of the two Pixels.
Unboxing: what’s in the boxes of Pixel 6 and 6 Pro?
Let’s open the box together. Note first that there is an exclusive overpack for the French market which includes the Pixel 6 packaging, which you can find in all other countries, as well as a pair of wired headphones (USB Type-C compatible). They are relatively classic headphones at first glance, with a plastic shell and a flexible holder to wedge the speaker in the ear. Convenient for running, for example.
By opening the traditional box, you discover the smartphone. And more precisely the back of the smartphone and its special design. We will come back to that in a few moments. Under the smartphone, you discover three elements. First, a USB type-C to USB type-C cable, to connect the phone to a computer or a wall outlet. No charger, like Apple and Samsung phones.
The cable is arranged in a circle. At the center of this circle you have a USB type-C to USB type-A adapter. A rather surprising choice. We would have preferred the opposite: if you have a USB Type-A charger, this adapter is useless. On the other hand, it allows you to connect USB type-A accessories to the Pixel 6, such as an external storage medium for example.
Above, in the small square, you will find a little reading (first start guide) and the tool that allows you to extract the SIM card drawer. Besides the adapter, we are faced with a relatively bare unboxing.
Pixel 6 and 6 Pro: a very special design
Now let’s take a tour of the owner. The Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro are two smartphones that visually appeal to you. Some will like it. Others will hate it. We will not take sides in this grip, since everyone has their tastes. And we respect them. We will therefore only describe and provide some thoughts.
Let’s start with the back. Both Pixels are dressed in mineral glass on the back and front. Of Gorilla Glass 6 on the back and Gorilla Glass Victus on the front More precisely. On the upper part, you find the photo block which bars the back over the entire width. We will come back in more detail below on the technical elements that are included in this photo block. This module is black: it contrasts strongly with the light tones of the mineral glass.
The shell of this block is made of plastic, while the technical elements are protected by glass. Also notice the color difference between the largest part of the back, under the photo block, and the smallest, above the block. The protrusion is quite strong: two to three millimeters. But, since the block bars the entire width of the phone, the latter is very stable when laid flat.
At the front, we find a large screen. That of the Pixel 6 is flat, while that of the Pixel 6 Pro is curved, allowing the latter to offer a larger slab in a footprint that is not much wider (and a few grams of differences on the scale). The outlines on the Pixel 6 aren’t very thick though.
The two smartphones integrate a punch on the exterior part to house the selfie sensor. Above this, the telephone receiver, which also acts as a loudspeaker, is almost invisible. Also note the presence of a fingerprint reader on the lower part of the screen.
Let’s move on to the slices: they are covered with aluminum. They are fully matte on the Pixel 6 and partially shiny on the Pixel 6 Pro. You find the power button and volume control on the right, the speaker and the USB type-C port at the bottom, as well as the SIM drawer on the left. As always with the Pixels, the volume controls and the power button are reversed compared to the competition. Some might be surprised.
Three microphones are distributed on this frame: the main one on the lower edge, the secondary one on the upper edge and a last in the photo module. It is dedicated to video recording. His presence is excellent news. Finally, note that the chassis is waterproof and protected against dust (certification IP68).
A pleasant smartphone in hand
Once the phone was admired from all angles, we obviously handled them. The first thing that surprises when lifting them, it is their weight extremely well distributed in the frame. One would have thought that the rather bulky photo module attracts all the mass towards the back, as is the case with the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, but it is not. The Pixel 6, but especially the Pixel 6 Pro, are a real pleasure to use. The photo module is not at all a handicap, on the contrary, since it even offers an extra grip if you hold it in landscape mode.
The curved screen of the Pixel 6 Pro adds additional pleasure to handling, reinforcing the impression of finesse and giving an aerial profile to the chassis. For the moment we are seduced, but we still have some doubts on certain aspects. We fear for example a terminal subject to fingerprints or very fragile (no shell provided in the box).
Attractive technical sheets
Finally, let’s talk about technique. These Pixel 6 offer some very interesting features. For example, we’re curious about the Pixel 6 Pro’s display, which promises a lot on paper. The first impression is good, in any case, but it will be necessary to analyze with our probe. But the big question is about the processor. Indeed, the Pixel 6 are the first to be equipped with the Tensor, Google’s in-house SoC. The Mountain View company assures us that we have here a powerful processor, adapted to the needs of the photo, but we are all the same curious to know a little more about its real performances, and especially on its management of the heating.
|Pixel 6||Pixel 6 Pro|
|Screen||6,4″ AMOLED 1080p 90hz||6,7 ” AMOLED 1440p 120 Hz|
|Fingerprint sensor||Under the screen||Under the screen|
|SoC||Google Tensor (5 nm)||Google Tensor (5 nm)|
|Internal memory||128 Go||128 Go|
|RAM||8 Go||12 Go|
|Camera||Main: 50 megapixels (ƒ / 1.85), 7X hi-res zoom
Ultra wide angle: 12 megapixels (ƒ / 2.2)
|Main: 50 megapixels (ƒ / 1.85)
Ultra wide angle: 12 megapixels (ƒ / 2.2)
Telephoto: 48 megapixels. 4X optical zoom (ƒ / 3.5), 20X other resolution zoom
|YOU||Android 12||Android 12|
|Drums||4614 mAh||5000 mAh|
|Wireless charging||Yes, 21W||Yes, 23W|
The photo module will also be a big stake for its Pixels. It should also be noted that the two smartphones have the same module, but that the Pro embeds an additional 48 megapixel Telefoto sensor. We will also be vigilant with regard to the battery. Android 12 will also have our full attention. We cannot discuss the exclusive features of these two products for the moment, but we will not miss them in our tests.
Ultimately, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro promise a lot on paper. The design part will be debated, that’s for sure, but we can’t take away from Google’s desire to offer something different. As for smartphones themselves, we will meet very soon to talk about them in more depth.