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REVIEW: Google Pixel 6 Great, Except For The Black Thing On Its Rear

Google has dropped billions trying to get a place at the smartphone table. Now the big search Company appear to be on the right track with their new 5G Pixel 6 and 6 Pro smartphones, which come with all-new Android 12.

I’ve been using the new Google 6 for a few days now, and the latest Google offering has a lot going for it, despite it being a budget device. The specs are okay, the only problem is  it’s branded Google, who up until now has struggled to be taken seriously in he phone market.

The Google 6 is very responsive and fast due in part to Google incorporating their first proprietary chipset called Google Tensor. It also appears to be processing images and interfacing with the image sensor quicker and faster than several other 5G smartphones we have tested.

Because it is a budget device it only comes with 6.4 inches, 1080 x 2400 pixels (Full HD+), AMOLED display, which is okay but not as good as the more expensive 6.71 inches, 1440 x 3120 pixels (Quad HD+), AMOLED display.

Google used 100% recycled aluminium for the body of the Pixel 6. It looks and feels good, and the sides have a matte finish. It also has IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

One thing I would like to see is the new Android 12 OS, which is running on the Pixel 6, running on a Samsung Galaxy Android device. I believe the new Google OS, is a massive improvement on previous Android operating systems, the combination of a brand-new OS and the Google Tensor processor is a big improvement for Google.

While delivering significant functionality gains, the Pixel 6, UI is cleaner and easier to navigate though you do have to be patient as you work through new ways to access functions and operate apps than previous operating systems.

While the new Google Pixel 6 is a real threat to the Samsung A series and mid to affordable premium smartphones from the likes of Nokia, TCL, Oppo and Motorola, it’s carrying a lot of baggage from the failure of previous Google smartphones that has to be overcome.

Google is throwing hundreds of millions marketing this device, as they have done in the past. The big difference this time round is  they’ve finally got a device that lives up to expectations.

My biggest gripe is a big thick bar across the back of the device.

This ugly design houses cameras and sensor array, it’s odd intrusive and takes a lot of getting used to.

It’s a design feature that grows on you over time, with the top half of the device well and truly raised up off a flat surface and my concern is whether it’s going to be durable for the long haul.

Previous issues, like the Pixel 5’s screen gap, which didn’t become apparent until a few weeks after the device officially launched and started landing in the hands of consumers appear to be a thing of the past.

The Pixel 6 is very comfortable in the hand and weighs just 207 grams.

It comes with an option of 8 GB RAM, 128 GB – 8 GB RAM, 256 GB of storage, which is ample for a device that is selling for around $999.

The device has a a 4,612mAh battery, which performed really well and I suspect the new OS and a new processor combined is adding to the better battery performance. I got one and a half days out of this battery before having to recharge.


Wallabies shot from a distance, image not as sharp I would like.

The Pixel 6 has dual 50 + 12 MP, f/1.9 + f/2.28 MP f/2.0 front camera. This is in comparison to the top-end Google 6 Pro that is selling for $1,299.

Fern tree using Pixel 6

This device if you want to step up has a triple 50 + 48 + 12 MP, f/1.9 + f/3.5 + f/2.2 11.1 MP f/2.2 front camera array.

I tested this camera in overcast conditions, and it performed well, as these pictures show. Even close-up pictures looked good.

Image colours were extremely accurate vs the image being shot but it’s not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S21 camera which is selling for $1,099 at JB Hi-Fi.

The device uses Samsung’s Exynos 5123 modem, which has been tuned to function with Google’s custom Tensor processor.

This is an old modem that was also in the Samsung S20. I compared the Pixel 6 with the S20 and Motorola’s new Edge 20 Pro which is selling for $899 and there was no difference other than it’s an old model modem which happens to be not broken and still delivers 5G, however it could struggle in some environments.

The Galaxy S21 is using Qualcomm’s X60 5G modem and this along with several other pricey components is the reason why you will pay more for this device.

My biggest problem was the Telstra network.

I tested this device in Nelson Bay on the NSW North Coast and the 5G reception was more 3G and at a struggle 4G.

I do want to do a review of the Google 6 Pro, as spec wise as it appears on paper that this device could be a better deal, especially as smartphones have become a key part of daily life, especially in this COVID era, where constant tapping and QR coding is essential via a smartphone.

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