With an Amazing Camera, a Slick Design and Neat Software, Google Pixel 6 Pro Is an All-Around Winner
Updated: Oct 30, 2021
The Pixel 6 Pro is the best phone Google has ever made and one of the best phones you can buy right now. With solid performance, some great software additions, a unique design and an excellent camera system, it's got everything you'd look for in a flagship phone in 2021.
And it offers all that at a price that, sensibly, undercuts its main rivals. The 6.7-inch base 128GB model costs $899 (£849, AU$1,299), a sizable chunk more diminutive than the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro's $999 price and even more off the $1,099 Apple wants for the more prominent 6.7-inch 13 Pro Max.
While last year's Pixel 5 was best seen as a midrange phone with some higher-end touches, the Pixel 6 Pro is premium all the way. From its glass and metal design to its high-resolution display and its superb triple camera, there's a lot to like here. Then there's the Tensor processor -- a chip custom-made by Google for the phone -- which provides ample power for all of your daily needs, better security features, 5G connectivity and a slick Android 12 interface. Battery life is good -- certainly above average -- but not great, with the iPhone 13 Pro putting in a more robust performance.
Its best Android rival is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which has some neat camera additions (that 10x zoom, for one thing), but it costs more, and the Pixel 6 Pro offers a more user-friendly experience. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max offer great all-around use but come at a higher price, and if you're already entrenched in the Android ecosystem, it's likely not worth switching and buying all those apps again.
Those looking for the best all-around Android experience should look towards the Pixel 6 Pro.
Pixel 6 Pro or Pixel 6?
The stepdown is $599 (£599, AU$999). Pixel 6 packs the same Tensor processor and lovely Android 12 software for $300 less than the Pro, but it makes a few compromises to come to that lower price.
It has a smaller and lower resolution 6.4-inch display that lacks the curving finesse of the Pro. Its battery is smaller, it has 8GB rather than 12GB of RAM, and it lacks the 4x telephoto zoom lens found on the Pro.
But it's still a great phone that's well worth considering. It provides many of the same perks as the Pixel 6 Pro at a much lower price, especially if you don't care about the top-end performance offered by the flagship. As my colleague, Patrick Holland put it in his review of the phone, "For the price, I can't think of a better phone to recommend right now."