I’m not going to lie, I’m actually shocked that not only was I able to successfully order a Pixel 6 Pro, but it arrived within a week of ordering it. Aside from the disaster that was the release of this latest Google Pixel, the Pixel 6 is everything I hoped it would be…and more.
SEE: Google Pixel 6 cheat sheet: everything you need to know (TechRepublic)
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve owned a Google Pixel phone since the very first iteration. I’ve seen these phones evolve (and evolve in one step) into something special. And even with the misstep that was the Pixel 4 (which was only hampered by an underpowered battery), every release seemed to move in the direction of what the Pixel 6 became. And however Google is one of the worst big companies in bringing new devices to marketit was no surprise that the Pixel 6 Pro sold out almost immediately.
The phone is so good.
Sure, those of us who couldn’t get our hands on a pre-release device had to sit back and guess how well the new Pixel phone would perform, but I’m pretty sure every consumer, prosumer, and reviewer is lucky enough to get a To order and receive Google Pixel 6 Pro, was amazed at what it could do.
More on that later. First I want to talk about the hardware.
The Pixel 6 Pro is a big phone
As soon as I took the Pixel 6 Pro out of the box, my first reaction was, “That’s a huge phone!” I’ve always been a fan of smaller devices, but this time I wanted the extra bells and whistles in the Pro (especially the cameras). As you can see (Image A), the Google Pixel 6 Pro shrinks the Pixel 5.
The Google Pixel 6 Pro is also significantly heavier than the 5. It should be, given how much bigger it is. But getting used to a phone this big and heavy takes some time and effort.
It’s worth it. Believe me.
Another thing to note is that the Pixel 6 Pro has a beautiful rounded bezel on the screen, which is very reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy line. It’s smooth and all class. Considering the size of the phone, those rounded edges make it a little easier to hold in smaller hands. In addition, they just look elegant.
My first reactions to the Pixel 6 Pro
My very first reaction (after the incredibly easy onboarding) was how stunning the screen is. If you’ve never experienced a 120MHz refresh rate on a phone, this is something to behold. Everything is crystal clear and smooth. Scrolling through an infinite Twitter feed is effortless and silky. Animations are beautiful and images will absolutely blow you away.
SEE: The iPhone, iPad, and Mac User Guide to Microsoft 365 (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)
The next thing that grabbed me was the fingerprint reader. I had heard so many complains about how slow the Pixel 6 in-screen reader was. While it’s not nearly as fast as the Google Pixel 5 (which is direct), it’s not exactly slow. I had also heard that you had to wake the phone first for the fingerprint scanner to recognize your print. That is not true. I can grab my phone and place my thumb on the screen (as shown) and the device unlocks. It’s as simple and reliable as any fingerprint scanner I’ve used (albeit a fraction of a second slower).
However, after using other devices with under-display fingerprint scanners (like the OnePlus 10 Pro), I’ve now come to realize that the Google Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint scanner is nowhere near what it could be. While it’s accurate and (usually) unlocks on the first try, it’s significantly slower than other similar devices.
The camera on the Pixel 6 Pro is amazing
There is so much that the Google Pixel 6 Pro camera can do. I’ve only scratched the surface of its capabilities. There’s motion (where you can capture a moving image and blur the background), there’s a 4x zoom, there’s the brilliant Night Sight, the usual Panorama, Photo Sphere and Lens options, time-lapse video, slow- motion video, low light usability… the list goes on.
And I’m not going to bore you with a whole bunch of photos I’ve already taken, but I’ll share one I took with the (4x zoom) of the end of my turntable tonearm (Figure B†
I’m almost ashamed of how much dust you can see in the image, but it illustrates how awesome this main camera is. And that without extra light. It’s great in low light.
Google Assistant as it should be on the Pixel 6 Pro
One thing I’ve always found frustrating with Google Assistant is that it could never keep up with me as I spoke. I’d say, “Hey Google…” and what I said next was always hit and miss if the phone could keep up with my voice and translate it effectively. With the Pixel 6 Pro, it’s instant. Google Assistant hasn’t missed a beat yet. This is a big improvement over the Pixel 4 and 5. Honestly, I rarely used Google Assistant on the previous phones because it had enough lag to be frustrating.
With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google Assistant is exactly as it should have been from the start. I will be using this feature exponentially more with the Pixel 6 Pro.
Video and calls on Google Pixel 6 Pro are much improved
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the 120MHz refresh rate, that video on the Google Pixel 6 Pro is awesome. Plus, the sound beats just about any smartphone I’ve ever used. And the sound of phone calls is incredible. Understand that the Pixel 5’s call quality was a bit lower than the Pixel 4, so the Pixel 6 Pro had a pretty low bar to get to.
SEE: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: A Look at the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Tab 8 Lines (TechRepublic)
However, after using other devices with under-display fingerprint scanners (like the OnePlus 10 Pro), I’ve now come to realize that the Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint scanner is nowhere near what it could be. While it’s accurate and (usually) unlocks on the first try, it’s significantly slower than other similar devices.
But that bar was not reached just like that, it was smashed to pieces. Phone calls are crystal clear and no longer have that tinny sound associated with previous iterations. With the 6 Pro, you feel like the person you’re talking to is there. So combine all that and the multimedia/phone call experience is off the charts.
Get in line if you want a new Pixel
Shortly after its release, every unlocked version of the Pixel 6 Pro sold out. The good news is they’re back in stock, so if you’d like to grab one, head over to the Google Play Store and buy an unlocked or carrier-specific version. If you’re on the fence, I highly recommend that you jump off and buy one. This phone is hands down the best mobile device I have ever used. I’m glad I chose to go with the huge Pixel 6 Pro as the screen and cameras are worth getting used to for the weight of the handset.
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