For £599, Pixel 6 could be the phone deal of the year
OPINION: After months of hype, numerous leaks and a whole lot of waiting, Google has finally announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Despite being touted as Google’s return to the flagship space, the Pixel 6 actually starts at the same £599 price as the far more modest Pixel 5. In the US, it’s $100 cheaper at $599. This makes it, on paper, one seriously good deal.
I’ve used the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro briefly, but not long enough to form a final judgement. So, for now, I am purely going off what is inside Google’s new device and I have to say it looks impressive.
£599 makes it cheaper than the iPhone 13 mini and well below the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S21. Instead, it’s closer to the Asus Zenfone 8 and OnePlus 9.
While those are two excellent phones, the Pixel 6 has the potential to beat them in one key area – the camera.
For the first time in years, Google is giving us a new Pixel phone with a completely new camera system. The updated main wide sensor now sits at 50MP, with larger pixels and the ability to bring in around 150% more light. This is then paired with the usual array of computational skills, most of which have been improved thanks to the use of Google’s own Tensor chipset.
New camera software features include a Magic Eraser that can remove unwanted parts from photos, like a pesky photobomber, with all the hard work being done with AI skills of Tensor. There’s also the excellent night mode, another feature that should see huge upgrades from the new main sensor.
That new camera sensor combined with the potential of the Tensor chipset makes for a mouthwatering prospect, especially when you consider what previous Pixel phones have done with far more modest camera hardware.
But it’s not just the camera, as the Pixel 6 has a strong spec list elsewhere too. Features like IP68 water resistance and Qi wireless charging are often missed out at this price but included on the Pixel 6.
There’s still a lot that’s unknown though. I’ll need more time to see how Google’s Tensor chipset performs against Qualcomm’s higher-end chips, many of which are available on phones around this price. Battery life is, of course, vital too and while the 4600mAh battery is big, a lot depends on how well optimised the chipset actually is.
Sitting above the Pixel 6 is the Pixel 6 Pro, a slightly more souped-up version with a classier LTPO 120Hz display. extra zoom camera and more RAM. At its £849/$899 price, this also looks like a good deal when compared to some other of the best phones that cost more than £1000/$1000.
But really, for £599, the Pixel 6 already feels like a very tempting prospect from Google and it could be the first Pixel to really be a mainstream success.