Today is the day! Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are official, they are in the office, and we’re allowed to at least share our initial thoughts on the hardware and general feel of these phones right now. For specific Google features, we are still under embargo, so we can only share certain things at this point. What we can talk about, however, is how great these phones look, feel, and sound.
You likely know the stats already, and we can tell you the leaks are generally true. Alongside the Tensor SoC, we’re looking at 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage for the Pixel 6 and 12GB of RAM and your choice of 128GB, 256GB or 512GB UFS 3.1 storage on the Pro. The Pixel 6 comes in at 6.4-inches with a 1080×2400 90Hz OLED screen. Pixel 6 Pro ups this to 6.7-inches, 1440×3120 resolution and 120Hz LTPO refresh rate that can dynamically adjust to save battery. Both screens support HDR with more than 1,000,000:1 contrast and Gorilla Glass Victus covers.
The Pixel 6 has a 4614mAh battery while the Pixel 6 Pro comes with a 5003mAh version. Both support fast charging (up to 50% charge in 30 minutes via the 30W charger than is not included in the box), Qi-certified wireless charging and battery share for topping up accessories wirelessly.
The truth is, we’ve known these specs for quite some time. A few things weren’t quite right, but overall we’ve had a firm grasp on what was shipping under the hood for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. What we’ve not been able to verify is how these phones actually look in person. How they feel. How well they are built and how big/small each device is next to others. Part of the interest in these new Pixels is the fact that they look premium and the price is lower than the premium competition. But does that premium look fade in person?
In a word, no. In fact, the phones both look and feel even more striking in person. The edges are rounded, there’s a great heft to them that feels substantial without feeling overwrought, and the concern over the back camera bump? Gone the second I picked up both phones. Instead, I absolutely love the look of it and I love it even more because I know for sure no one will mistake this phone for an iPhone. It isn’t trying to be like Apple’s flagship and that just makes me love it that much more.
Though both screens are smooth with solid contrast (they are both OLED after all), there is a difference between the two that is noticeable when held side-by-side. I’d say the screen on the Pixel 6 is good and on it’s own, you’d be quite happy with it. There’s a hint of blue shift when viewed at wider angles, but nothing too off-putting. The Pixel 6 Pro screen is on a whole different level, though. It looks good from all angles, gets a bit brighter (both push close to 1000 nits), and the whites are just overall more white. There’s no question it is the superior screen.
There’s also a small difference in the speakers and haptics as well. The Pixel 6 Pro – likely due to the larger body – has slightly louder and slightly fuller speakers. This isn’t a surprise and honestly, it’s not a big enough difference to get overly worried with. The haptics, on the other hand, are quite different. The Pixel 6, again, is fine in this area. The vibration motor feels on-par with the Pixel 5a that I tested recently and that means it is good. It’s just that the Pixel 6 Pro has a vibration motor that feels so much more premium. Key presses feel great, UI gestures register with a satisfying thock, and it is yet another thing that just makes the Pro feel more premium overall.
The final big hardware difference I’ll mention right now is the screen curve. I’m not a fan of curved displays, but the Pixel 6 Pro does keep it in check. There’s a lot of curve, but the display under the glass isn’t flowing over the edge as much as it would seem. So far, I’ve registered no accidental clicks and the content doesn’t warp terribly on the edges. That being said, the curve is there and though it makes the phone look a bit more premium, I’d still rather have the flat edges of the Pixel 6, even if it means the bezels are a tad bit bigger.
For now, thought, that’s about all we’re ready to share. We just got our review devices in this morning, so there’s a lot to unpack as we ready for the reviews. There are features Google highlighted that we’ll have to test and then there’s just the regular phone stuff that we have to consider as well. These phones are a big deal, and we want to get to the bottom of whether or not you should buy one in the best way we can. From the initial impressions, however, I’d say if you are interested at all, you should consider pre-ordering as soon as possible. I think Google has a hit on its hands and I think there will be a lot of people rushing to get one.