At today's big Pixel event, Google officially announced its long-awaited flagship smartphones and the successors to last year's Pixel 5. This year, there are two new Pixel smartphones to choose from: the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. And, as anticipated, both feature a radical redesign and promise to deliver an unparalleled Android experience, in large parts thanks to a new custom processor called Tensor that's been specifically designed for Pixel smartphones. They also have some pretty spectacular camera capabilities.
Here's what you need to know.
Google Pixel 6
The Pixel 6 is the entry-level phone, and the smaller of the two. It has a 6.1-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate. There's a new-look dual rear-camera system (which Google is calling a "camera bar") that consists of a 12-megapixel wide (main) and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lenses. This camera system is powered by a significantly larger 50-megapixel sensor than previous Pixels, helping each camera gather much more light and take way more detailed photos (especially in Night Mode). The Pixel 6 can shoot 4K video at up to 60fps (same as the Pixel 6 Pro). The 8-megapixel front-camera on the Pixel 6 isn't up quite to the same level of the Pro's, however.
Rounding out the specs, the Pixel 6 supports 5G, fast wireless charging and has a IP68 water- and dust-resistance rating — all of which are the same as the Pro mode;. It does come with less RAM (8GB) than the Pro, however, and has a slightly smaller battery at 4,614 mAh. It's rated for 24 hours of use.
The Pixel 6 starts at $599 and is available for preorder today. It'll be on shelves October 28. It comes in three colors: Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, and Sorta Seafoam.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
The Pixel 6 Pro is the more advanced (and slightly larger) of the two new smartphones. It has a 6.7-inch display with an even higher 120Hz refresh rate, and a triple rear-camera system that populates its camera bar. The wide and ultra-wide cameras are the exact same as on the Pixel 6, which are powered by the same 50-megapixel sensor. The big difference is that there's an additional 48-megapixel telephoto lens on the Pro, which is capable of 4x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom. The Pro also has the same video shooting abilities (4K video at up to 60 fps) as the Pixel 6.
There are a few other differences with the Pro. It has a better front-camera (11.1-megapixel) with a wider field of view, allowing you to take better, wider selfies. It starts with more RAM (12GB) and has a slightly larger battery (5,000 mAh) than the Pixel 6; that said, it's still rated for 24 hours of use, because the larger display balances out the larger battery. Otherwise, the Pixel 6 Pro has the same 5G support, fast wireless charging capabilities and IP68 water- and dust-resistance rating as the Pixel 6.
The Pixel 6 Pro starts at $899 and is available for preorder today. It'll be on shelves October 28. It comes in three colors: Stormy Black, Cloudy White, and
Always Sorta Sunny.
Google Tensor is the company's new custom chipset that's been designed specifically for the new Pixel smartphones. The new chipset allows the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to have significantly better battery life than previous generation Pixels, improved artificial intelligence (such as better real-time language translations and more accurate voice transcriptions) and a host of really impressive computational photography skills.
As for these new computational photography skills, there are a couple standouts. The new Magic Eraser feature that allows you to remove certain objects from a photo after its taken; for example, if there's a person spoiling a photo, you can cut them out. The new Motion Mode allows you to take long-exposures and action shots that have a wonderful blurred effect. And there's a new Face Deblur feature that, as its name suggests, auto-corrects faces that are blurred out in photos.