Pixel 6 Pro review: Google’s flagship is a top iPhone rival in 2022

Editor’s notice, Nov. 12: The Google Pixel 6 Pro’s strong all-round efficiency and wonderful digital camera make it a very good high-end Android cellphone that is properly price your cash, which is why we have given it a CNET Editors’ Choice award. The unique evaluation follows. Launched towards the top of 2021, the Pixel 6 Pro is not simply the very best cellphone Google has ever made, it is probably the greatest telephones you possibly can nonetheless purchase in 2022. Its robust efficiency, nice software program additions, distinctive design and wonderful digital camera system make it the most important rival to Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra. That is, till we see what Samsung’s subsequent flagship, the Galaxy S22, brings when it probably launches in February. With rumors for the S22 pointing to a new, quicker processor and upgraded digital camera specs. It could also be that the Pixel 6 Pro is nonetheless the nicer of the 2 telephones, however should you’re on the lookout for the newest, best in cellphone tech then it is a good concept to at the very least wait a few weeks to see what Samsung has to supply earlier than deciding both method. But the Pixel 6 Pro manages to supply its successful combo of specs and design at a value that truly undercuts its most important rivals. The 6.7-inch base 128GB mannequin prices $899 (£849, AU$1,299), a sizable chunk lower than the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro’s $999 value and much more off the $1,099 Apple needs for the bigger 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

LikeExcellent camerasSolid all-round performanceNeat Android 12 interfaceAttractive design

Don’t LikeBattery is good, however not greatFast cost is not all that quickNo face unlock

While final 12 months’s Pixel 5 was greatest seen as a midrange cellphone with some higher-end touches, the Pixel 6 Pro is premium all the best way. From its glass and metallic design, to its high-resolution show and its very good triple digital camera, there’s a lot to love right here. Then there’s the Tensor processor — a chip custom-made by Google for the cellphone — which offers ample energy for your whole every day wants, higher security measures, 5G connectivity and a slick Android 12 interface. Battery life is good — definitely above common — however not nice, with the iPhone 13 Pro placing in a stronger efficiency.
Google’s Pixel 6 Pro feels each bit as premium because it seems to be

See all photographs

Its greatest Android rival proper now is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra which does have some neat digital camera additions (that 10x zoom, for one factor) but it surely prices extra and the Pixel 6 Pro presents a extra user-friendly expertise. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max supply very good all-round use, however come at a increased value and should you’re already entrenched in the Android ecosystem, it is seemingly not price switching and shopping for all these apps once more.  Those on the lookout for the very best all-round Android expertise ought to completely look in direction of the Pixel 6 Pro. But do bear in mind the Galaxy S22 could launch in February. 
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Pixel 6 Pro or Pixel 6? The stepdown $599 (£599, AU$999) Pixel 6 packs the identical Tensor processor and beautiful Android 12 software program for $300 lower than the Pro, however there are a few compromises it makes in order to return to that cheaper value. It has a smaller and decrease decision 6.4-inch show that lacks the curving finesse of the Pro. Its battery is smaller, it has 8GB relatively than 12GB of RAM and it lacks the 4x telephoto zoom lens discovered on the Pro.  The Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.7-inch show whereas the Pixel 6’s measures 6.4 inches.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
But it is nonetheless a nice cellphone that is properly price contemplating. It offers most of the identical perks of the Pixel 6 Pro at a a lot lower cost, particularly should you do not care concerning the top-end efficiency provided by the flagship. As my colleague Patrick Holland put it in his evaluation of the cellphone, “For the worth, I can not consider a higher cellphone to advocate proper now.” A recent design that stands out  I did not love the look of final 12 months’s Pixel 5. The matte, rubberized again gave the cellphone a extra funds really feel than its $699 price ticket steered. The Pixel 6 Pro is worlds aside. The rear is all glass — toughened Gorilla Glass Victus, in reality — that curves on the edges to satisfy the 100% recycled aluminum body.  The glass curves on the edges on the entrance, too, as does the show beneath it, making it not solely look extra premium, however really feel like a actually flagship machine once you maintain it in your hand. It’s large although, packing in a 6.7-inch show, which can make it extra cumbersome for some than the 6-inch Pixel 5 or 6.4-inch Pixel 6. That glass makes it slippery, too, so contemplate certainly one of Google’s protecting instances should you’re nervous about dropping it.  The Pixel 6 Pro, flanked by the iPhone 13 Pro (left) and Pixel 5.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
It is IP68-rated for water resistance, which means it may possibly stand up to being in 1 meter (about 3 ft) of water for as much as half-hour. No, that does not imply you possibly can take it swimming, but it surely does imply it ought to have the ability to shake off having the odd beer spilled over it by your clumsy mates.  An attention-grabbing design selection is the big digital camera bar that stretches throughout the again. It protrudes from the cellphone by about 3mm, so it does not lie completely flat once you put it on a desk, however nor does it rock from nook to nook like telephones with digital camera bumps simply on one aspect (just like the S21 Ultra). I just like the look of the cellphone and it definitely stands out. One tip although: Get the Sorta Sunny orangey-peachy coloration, if you will discover it in inventory. The black-and-gray possibility, Stormy Black, seems to be relatively boring by comparability.  The digital camera strip protrudes from the cellphone by about 3mm. As a outcome, it will not lie flat on a desk.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner seen on the Pixel 5 has been eliminated, changed as a substitute with an in-screen scanner, which I discovered labored precisely and shortly more often than not, though Patrick discovered the Pixel 6’s scanner to be far more hit or miss in his evaluation. There’s no face unlock means, which is a little bit of a disgrace, however with masks nonetheless being a requirement in many indoor areas attributable to COVID-19, having a fingerprint scanner is arguably extra helpful anyway.

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Three wonderful cameras That large bar on the again hides three cameras: a 12-megapixel ultrawide; a 48-megapixel telephoto that provides 4x optical zoom; and a most important digital camera that makes use of a bigger 1/1.3-inch sensor, which Google says captures 2.5x extra mild than the Pixel 5. The cameras on the Pixel telephones have all the time been wonderful, and this new era is no totally different. 

Images from the principle digital camera lens are gorgeous. They’re vibrant, they’re full of element and there is a tremendous steadiness of publicity, with shiny skies stored beneath management and shadowy areas being simply seen.  Pixel 6 Pro, most important digital camera.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
The golden colours of the leaves have been captured fantastically right here, with a wealthy blue sky seen behind.  iPhone 13 Pro, most important digital camera.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
And this is the identical picture taken on the iPhone 13 Pro. There’s little to decide on between them, but when I used to be being hypercritical, I’d say that the white steadiness on the Pixel 6 Pro has resulted in a hotter, extra orange tone on the tree trunk, which I feel seems to be higher. You can see how the Pixel 6 Pro’s digital camera actually stacks up in opposition to the iPhone 13 Pro’s in my pictures shootout. Pixel 6 Pro, most important digital camera.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
This scene wanting in direction of the gorgeous Edinburgh fortress is a difficult shot, with darkish shadows and an especially shiny sky past the timber. The Pixel 6 Pro has dealt with it properly although, sustaining a pretty publicity total. Pixel 6 Pro, most important digital camera.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
And it is a lot the identical right here, with vivid blue skies, very good publicity and loads of element.  Pixel 6 Pro, ultrawide digital camera.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Switching to the ultrawide lens, the scene maintains the wealthy colours and publicity. Zoom nearer in and it is clear it has much less total element, but it surely’s nonetheless a pretty shot.  Pixel 6 Pro, ultrawide digital camera.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Another from the Pixel 6 Pro’s ultrawide lens. But take a look at the iPhone 13 Pro’s: iPhone 13 Pro, ultrawide lens.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
The iPhone’s presents a a lot wider view that permits you to seize extra in the scene. They’re each wonderful extensive lenses and each do a nice job in packing in these stunning colours, however I’d prefer to have seen the Pixel providing a barely wider scene. The 4x zoom lens is superb too, offering tons of element due to its excessive decision sensor. I feel 4x is a nice zoom degree for a cellphone as properly; it lets you discover compositions that will be past the attain of lesser zoom ranges, but it surely’s not fairly as restrictive because the 10x zoom you will discover on the Galaxy S21. It’s a zoom degree I really feel I’d use a lot on my travels and have already taken a few 4x pictures with the cellphone that I’m actually happy with as inventive pictures. Pixel 6 Pro, 4x zoom.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
This zoomed-in picture is so pin-sharp I can really learn the headline on the newspaper. It’s a actually spectacular lens that does not drive you to make any sort of compromise on high quality in order to attain these zoom ranges. By comparability, the iPhone 13 Pro’s optical zoom maxes out at 3x, so the Pixel 6 Pro is capable of obtain a closer-up picture. Which, frankly, I’d take any day over a wider-angle view. Pixel 6 Pro, 4x zoom.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
It’s helpful as properly for focusing your view on a smaller scene like this, capturing intimate little still-life scenes, relatively than grand, sweeping vistas. The nice textures on the leaves listed here are extraordinarily sharp.  Google has thrown some additional options in too, together with a software that robotically removes folks from the background in a picture, which generally works properly, and generally leaves a large splotch the place a individual as soon as stood. Then there’s the lengthy publicity mode, which lets you create ethereal blurred waterscapes and the Nightscape mode, which does a superb job of taking pictures in the darkish.  Pixel 6 professional, Nightscape picture.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
I’m significantly impressed with the pictures skills of the Pixel 6 Pro and there is not any query that it is among the many greatest cameras you will get on a cellphone proper now. Video high quality is wonderful as properly, with very good dynamic vary, wonderful picture stabilization and loads of element due to the 4K decision.  Does Google’s Tensor processor make a distinction? At the guts of the cellphone is Google’s first home-baked processor, named Tensor. It’s a important transfer for Google to supply its personal silicon and it reveals a robust dedication to stay in the {hardware} recreation — in any case, you do not go to the hassle of creating your personal processors as a one-off experiment.   But it is basically irrelevant when you get the Pixel in your hand, because it features similar to another cellphone. It’s nippy to navigate across the Android 12 interface, video games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Call of Duty play completely, whereas picture enhancing and video streaming are dealt with precisely in addition to you’d get from another top-end cellphone proper now. 

Pixel 6 Pro benchmark exams

Geekbench 5 (single core)
Geekbench 5 (multi core)
3DMark Wild Life Extreme

Longer bars equal higher efficiency

On benchmark exams just like the Geekbench 5 processor check and 3DMark’s Wild Life Extreme graphics check, the Pixel 6 Pro does not rating fairly as extremely because the iPhone 13 Pro, but it surely’s up there with the Galaxy S21 Ultra (and it edged out the highly effective OnePlus 9 Pro on the graphics check too). Benchmarks are in no way a direct indicator of real-life efficiency, but it surely’s good to at the very least see that Google’s new silicon is working in the identical ballpark as its rivals.  No, the Tensor chip is not setting a new commonplace for lightning-fast efficiency. But it does not must; immediately’s telephones already pack far more energy than any of us are prone to want on a every day foundation. Google’s push into chip manufacturing goes past merely creating a “benchmark beater” and a lot of the true advantages will come over time as the corporate develops extra methods to make the most of its personal {hardware}. The Tensor processor is notably designed with machine studying, AI and speech-recognition purposes in thoughts. There are already speech-recognition features constructed into the keyboard (for dictating messages or emails) in addition to real-time translation instruments and improved visible language translations when utilizing Google Lens through the digital camera.  Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro run the newest Android 12 software program.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Android 12 is pretty to make use of The Android 12 interface is extraordinarily neat and simple to make use of. It’s my favourite model of Android thus far, providing an uncomplicated expertise that even Android novices will not take lengthy to become familiar with. One of the larger options that is (for now) unique to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro is the flexibility to create {custom} themes for the cellphone based mostly on no matter picture you will have as your background.  When you select a new wallpaper (both one of many many built-in ones, or any of your personal pictures saved to your cellphone), the cellphone will robotically pick the dominant coloration and can use that, and its complementary colours, to alter the look of elements of the interface, together with a few of the default Google app icons on the house display screen, such because the Play Store, Gmail and Photos. It’s a good concept, though it most likely should not be the principle motive you determine to half along with your money. Security has been given a explicit push each on the software program and {hardware} aspect. The Tensor processor has a devoted Titan coprocessor that apparently permits for a lot better on-device safety, whereas Android 12 presents extra granular management of your safety and privateness settings. That consists of a dashboard that reveals what apps have used what info lately and helpful buttons in the pull-down notification tray that flip off system-wide entry to your digital camera and microphone.  Those quick-access privateness buttons would possibly come in helpful.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Google has additionally promised that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will obtain safety updates for 5 years, which can imply these telephones can be safer to make use of for longer. Many older telephones are nonetheless completely usable from a {hardware} standpoint, but when they do not have the newest safety patches on board then they’re vulnerable to all types of hacking nastiness. From each a price and environmental perspective, having the ability to use our telephones safely for longer is solely a good factor. Vibrant show, strong battery life and quick charging The Pixel 6 Pro’s 6.7-inch show is pin-sharp due to its 3,120×1,440-pixel decision. It’s shiny, too, with vibrant colours that do justice to colourful video games like Candy Crush Soda Saga or video like Netflix’s world-dominating present Squid Game. It has an adaptive refresh price that may go as much as 120Hz once you’re taking part in fast-paced video games, but additionally slows right down to solely 10Hz when the cellphone is mainly sitting idle. Performance once you want it; power-saving when you do not.  The Pixel 6 Pro and maybe its largest rival, the iPhone 13 Pro.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
The cellphone runs on a 5,003-mAh battery, which ought to be good for a full day of blended use. After one hour of streaming a YouTube video at max brightness it had dropped from full to 98%. By distinction, the OnePlus 9 Pro had dropped to 90%, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro dropped to solely 99%. After a additional hour the 6 Pro had dropped to 89%, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro was at 93%. You definitely should not wrestle to get by means of the day with it, however as with all telephones, you possibly can assist it by retaining display screen brightness down, avoiding demanding duties like gaming or video streaming till you are close to a plug, and turning off GPS.  It has Qi wi-fi charging and it helps quick charging with a 30-watt charger (not provided), which can take the cellphone to 50% full in half-hour. That’s respectable, however probably not a match for OnePlus’s 65-watt quick charging, which can totally cost the machine in the identical time. Still, it is quick sufficient to have the ability to give your cellphone a fast increase earlier than you head out and about, and the Extreme Battery Saver mode pauses all however your important apps to protect the remaining juice.

Google Pixel 6 specs vs. Google Pixel 6 Pro, Google Pixel 5, Apple iPhone 13

Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 5

Apple iPhone 13

Display measurement, decision

6.4-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60Hz or 90Hz

6.7-inch LTPO OLED; 3,120×1,440 pixels; 10-120Hz

6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels

6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels

Pixel density

411 ppi

512 ppi

432 ppi

460 ppi

(*6*) (inches)

6.2×2.9×0.4 in

6.5×3.0x0.4 in

5.7×2.8×0.3 in

5.78×2.82×0.3 in

(*6*) (millimeters)





Weight (ounces, grams)

7.3 oz; 207g

7.41 oz; 210g

5.33 oz; 151g

6.14 oz; 174g

Mobile software program

Android 12

Android 12

Android 11

iOS 15


50-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel ultrawide

50-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 48-megapixel (telephoto)

12.2-megapixel (commonplace), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)

12-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)

Front-facing digital camera





Video seize

4K 30, 60fps (rear), 1,080p 30fps (entrance)

4K 30, 60fps (rear), 4K 30fps (entrance)


HDR video recording with Dolby Vision as much as 4K at 60fps


Google Tensor

Google Tensor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

Apple A15 Bionic


128GB, 256GB

128GB, 256GB, 512GB


128GB, 256GB, 512GB






Expandable storage






4,614 mAh

5,003 mAh

4,000 mAh

Undisclosed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback

Fingerprint sensor

Under show

Under show


No (Face ID)






Headphone jack





Special options

5G sub 6 (some provider fashions even have 5G mmWave) help, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W fast-charging, wi-fi charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS safety updates, IP68 score for mud and water resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (entrance), Gorilla Glass 6 (again), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)

5G sub 6 and mmWave help, Wi-Fi 6E, ultra-wideband, 30W fast-charging, wi-fi charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS safety updates, IP68 score for dust- and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (back and front), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)

5G enabled; waterproof (IP68); 90Hz-refresh-rate show; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wi-fi charging; quick charging

5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)

Price off-contract (USD)

$599 (128GB)

$899 (128GB)


$799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB)

Price (GBP)

£599 (128GB)

£849 (128GB)


£779 (128GB), £879 (256GB), £1,079 (512GB)

Price (AUD)

AU$999 (128GB)

AU$1,299 (128GB)


AU$1,349 (128GB), AU$1,519 (256GB), AU$1,869 (512GB)


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