While Google might not have a strong presence in the local smartphone market as compared to other phone makers such as Apple and Samsung, but it’s undeniable that the Mountain View-based company had launched some of the best upper mid-range models from it’s Pixel line including last year’s Pixel 5 which had garnered plenty of positive reviews from the overseas press. Sadly, the phone wasn’t available for purchase in Singapore due to local market trends and product features.
Nonetheless, after more than a year of hiatus in the local smartphone scene, Google is now finally back with the launch of it’s brand new Pixel 6 series smartphones in Singapore this month, making the country the first in the South-East Asian region to bring in these hotly-anticipated devices. This officially marks the company’s return to the high-end segment of the smartphone market to pick up where it left off with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.
No doubt, the launch was perfectly timed to provide consumers with more options over some of the recent flagship models such as the Huawei P50 Pro (Review) as well as the newly minted Samsung Galaxy S22 series smartphones. Thanks to Google Singapore, I was able to thoroughly test out the new Pixel 6 Pro over the past two weeks to check out what the new device has in store for us.
As a first-time user of a Pixel smartphone, I have to say that I was truly impressed by the fresh ”Pixel experience” that came along with the Pixel 6 Pro. However, does it actually has what it takes to compete against other top dogs in the market? Let’s find out in our Google Pixel 6 Pro review!
A Design That Stands Out
In the sea of similar-looking smartphones, the Google Pixel 6 Pro is one of the few models that really stands out of the crowd courtesy of it’s refreshing design which starts off with a gorgeous two-tone color scheme that works well in complementing the overall design of phone.
The review unit sent to us comes in a Stormy Black color option which features a black-colored, horizontal camera bar with two varying shades of grey above and below the camera module.
Compared to the Sorta Seafoam colorway that’s also available in the local market, this variant offers a more subtle outlook with some form of understated elegance which is sure to impress. Despite it’s glossy finish, the rear panel actually does a remarkable job when it comes to fingerprints and smudges.
Besides it’s good looks, the Google Pixel 6 Pro also provides a superb handling experience with the adoption of a Gorilla Glass Victus-equipped rear panel which not only feels premium on hand, but also helps to improve the overall durability of the phone.
Speaking of durability, it’s worth highlighting that the Google Pixel 6 Pro is also IP68-certified for dust and water resistance. That means you wouldn’t need to worry whenever the phone is exposed to light drizzle or drops into the bathtub (touch wood!).
Coming back to it’s design, it’s obvious that the Pixel 6 Pro isn’t the slimmest phone in the market especially with a thickness of 8.9mm. However, the phone is surprisingly pleasant to hold due to it’s ergonomic, dual-curve design which allows the phone to fit comfortably on the palm.
Brilliant Display, Fantastic Viewing Experience!
On the front side of the phone, we’ll be greeted by a large 6.71” display which offers a generous amount of screen estate for entertainment and productivity. To help with selfie and video calls, there’s also a front-facing camera housed within a miniscule, centered hole-punch cutout.
Let’s talk about the display itself. It’s a top-grade LTPO OLED panel which looks crisp and vibrant with a super sharp QHD+ screen resolution that offers plenty of details on screen. This time round, Google also upped it’s refresh rate to 120Hz which makes animation and scrolling felt much smoother than before.
Similarly, color reproduction is also excellent on the front display which never fails to deliver true-to-life rendering of photos and videos owing to it’s advance display features such as a deep contrast ratio as well as support for full 24-bit color depth (16.7 million color values).
Despite it’s curved display, I also hardly encounter any issue pertaining to color distortion around the edges, or any false touches during my testing. Most importantly, the display is also baked with sufficient brightness to keep it visible even in a bright environment. This is definitely an important feature for those who love to do outdoor mobile photography.
Just like it’s rear panel, Google also reinforced the front display with a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus to protect the screen against any accidental drops or scratches. That’s something people like me with butterfingers would probably appreciate more than others.
Superb Performance For Gaming & Productivity
As some of you might have already knew, the Pixel 6 series smartphones are the pioneer batch of phones from the company to be powered by an in-house Tensor chipset that’s fully designed by the company.
Although the Tensor SoC was the first mobile silicon solution developed by Google, but it certainly has the calibre to go toe-to-toe with other high-end chips such as Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform as well as Samsung’s brand new Exynos 2200 SoC that was used in some of the Galaxy S22 series models.
However, what really makes the Tensor SoC significant for the new Pixel smartphones is the superior machine learning capability which the phones can leverage to support certain exclusive features such as real-time language translation as well as many other camera-related software wizardry like Magic Eraser and Face Unblur.
In terms of day-to-day usage, performance on the Google Pixel 6 Pro is nothing short of amazing. Whether I was doing a lengthy video editing or multi-tasking across several apps, the phone showed absolutely no sign of choppiness, making it a perfect device for productivity.
Even when I tried to push beyond it’s limit with more graphics demanding game titles like Asphalt 9 Legend, the phone didn’t flinch at all as it maintains a respectable and consistent frame rate on the screen.
Memory-wise, the Google Pixel 6 Pro features 12GB worth of blazing-fast LPDDR5 RAM that allows seamless transition between dozens of background apps or browser tabs. Likewise, there’s also 128GB storage which is probably more than sufficient for majority of the users.
A Reliable Triple Camera System
For photography, the Google Pixel 6 Pro is equipped with a versatile triple-camera system that’s capable of handling any type of camera shots. These cameras consist of a 50 megapixels (f/1.85 aperture) main camera, 48 megapixels (f/3.5 aperture) telephoto camera, as well as a 12 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide camera.
Photos shot by it’s main unit were fantastic across all lighting conditions with good exposure and accurate white balance, resulting in photos that look flattering but yet natural – just like what we saw with our own eyes. Similarly, the adoption of a high-quality imaging sensor also allows the camera to capture plenty of details within a scene which remain sharp and visible even with pixel peeping. That’s how incredible the standard lens on the Google Pixel 6 Pro actually is!
Those aside, I believe most would also appreciate how speedy and reliable the auto-focus system is on the Pixel 6 Pro. This is often an overlooked feature which in my opinion, is one of the most important aspect of a camera system which makes it much easier to capture a sharp and well-focused photo within the shortest period of time, so that you won’t miss any precious moment.
As for night photography, there’s also a dedicated night mode feature known as Night Sight which automatically kicks in whenever the camera detects a low-light scene. With this feature on, you’ll see an obvious improvement in overall exposure and shadow details that are otherwise non-visible in the photos.
Moving on to it’s ultra-wide camera, this is another highly-usable camera which actually delivers nearly identical result as the main unit. That’s impressive considering that ultra-wide camera is normally inferior when compared to the main camera due to the difference in imaging sensors.
Therefore, we’ll still be able to get photos with the same wide dynamic range and excellent color reproduction. Most importantly, the ultra-wide camera also did a great job in handling fisheye distortion which allows photo to look more natural instead of something we got from a GoPro.
To help with capturing faraway subjects, the Google Pixel 6 Pro has a really remarkable zoom system consisting of a 48MP periscope telephoto camera with 4x optical zoom . While the phone wouldn’t zoom as far as what we saw on the Huawei P50 Pro, but it’s certainly able to deliver the same impressive result when comparing photos taken with a similar zoom factor.
Touching on it’s telephoto unit, it’s able to snap photos with ample details and surprisingly low-level of image noise in both daylight and low-light environment. Also, it’s accurate auto-focus system makes it really easy to capture photos of small insects without any manual work.
All-day Battery Life
To keep it’s lights on, the Google Pixel 6 Pro is backed by a respectable 5,003mAh battery that gives me around 1.5 days’ worth of battery life when using the phone moderately. Even with heavier usage, it can still manage to net me a day’s usage without breaking a sweat.
Also, the battery supports a decent 30W wired charging which is able to recharge a completely flat battery from 0 to 50% in merely 30 minutes and up to 80% in approximately an hour.
Those who ain’t a fan of wired charging would be glad to know that the Google Pixel 6 Pro does support 23W wireless charging via the new Pixel Stand. Otherwise, it also supports 12W charging using a Qi-certified EPP chargers.
At $1,299, the Google Pixel 6 Pro is probably the best smartphone you can get within it’s price range. Despite costing considerably lesser than most other high-end models, the phone offers perhaps the smoothest smartphone experience so far among Android smartphones. Likewise, it also features a class-leading camera system which easily outperforms most of the pricier models in the market.
With that in mind, it’s extremely easy to recommend the Google Pixel 6 Pro to anyone who isn’t intending to spend a bomb for a flagship-level experience with good imaging capability.
Pricing & Availability
In Singapore, the Google Pixel 6 Pro will be offered in both Stormy Black and Cloudy White color options. Those who’re interested can purchase the Google Pixel 6 Pro (12GB+128GB) at just $1,299 via Google Store.