Last modified: December 8th, 2022 at 12:42 pm
You could consider Apple a difficult act to follow… or possibly the best support act around. But either way, 24 hours after Apple had unveiled a brand new, enormously expensive MacBook Pro, it was Google’s turn to take to the stage. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are now, finally, official.
Bluntly, there isn’t that much more to say than had already been unveiled by clumsy British retailers, but the remaining gaps point to a pair of very capable smartphones with a look that’s generously described as an “acquired taste”.
First, the shared specs. Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are powered by Google’s brand new Tensor chip, which will mix things up in a world where processors are largely divided between Apple and Qualcomm branding.
Both handsets offer 24 hours of battery life with fast charging and support for Qi wireless chargers. Both come with five years of security updates guaranteed, and come in 128- or 256GB configurations (with no space for microSD card expansion).
They also share two cameras on the back of the phones: a 50MP, f/1.85 main lens, supported by a 12MP ultrawide camera. That’s a big upgrade on previous Pixels, and exciting given Google’s previous strong image processing pedigree — especially when combined with features like Magic Eraser (which automatically removes photo bombers) and Face Unblur (which… unblurs faces).
So, why go Pro? Well, for one thing you get an extra lens on the back: a 48MP, f/3.5 telephoto camera with a 4x optical zoom, which is appealing for those who don’t want their zoomed photographs to be a blurry mess. The front camera is also better: 11.1MP rather than the 8MP number on the vanilla Pixel 6.
But the Pro improvements don’t end there. You get 12GB RAM rather than 8GB on the regular model, and it includes ultra-wide band (UWB) connectivity too.
But bigger changes are afoot in terms of display technology. Both are OLED, but the Pixel 6 Pro’s panel is both higher resolution (1,440x 3,120 vs 1,080 x 2,400) and with a higher refresh rate. The Pro uses LTPO technology, capable of adaptively changing the refresh rate up to 120Hz, while the regular Pixel 6 offers ‘just’ the 90Hz.
Both Pixel 6 phones will go on sale on October 28, priced at US$599, or US$899for the Pro version. In a straight currency conversion, that comes to NZ$836 and NZ$1,255 respectively.