While the Pixel 5 generation only featured one model – critics will still highlight the intermediate SoC– the 2021 update of Google’s flagship family features two truly top-of-the-line devices. But instead of separating them just by screen size and battery, the Pixel 6 models bring important differences, some with an impact on day-to-day life.
|Google 2021 lineup|
1,080 x 2,400 pixels (411 ppi) at 90 hertz
|6.7-inch LTPO OLED
1,440 x 3,120 pixels (512 ppi) at 120 hertz
2x ARM Cortex-X1 @ 2.80 GHz
2x ARM Cortex-A76 @ 2.25 GHz
4x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.80 GHz
20x ARM Mali-G78 (GPU)
(varies by region)
|8 GB LPDDR5-6400
128 GB or 256 GB UFS 3.1
|12 GB LPDDR5-6400
128GB, 256GB or 512GB UFS 3.1
|Main camera||50 MP | f1.85 | 25 mm | 1.2 µm | 82° FoV | OIS
(Samsung GN1 sensor: 1/1.31”)
|Ultra Wide-angle||12 MP | f/2.2 | 16.3 mm | 114° FoV|
|Telephoto||n/a||48 MP | f/3.5 | 104 mm | 0.8 µm | 23.4° FoV | 4x optical zoom | OIS
(Sony IMX586 sensor: 1/2”)
|Video||4K at 60 fps (rear)
1080p at 30 fps (front)
|4K at 60 fps (rear)
4K at 30 fps (front)
|Selfies||8 MP | f/2.0 | 1.12 µm | 84° FoV||11 MP | f/2.2 | 1.22 µm | 94° FOV|
|Battery||4,614 mAh||5,003 mAh|
|Wired charging||Max. 30 watts|
|Wireless charging (Qi)||Max. 21 watts||Max. 23 watts|
|Pricing (worldwide)||From $599||From $899|
We’ll go into more detail about the differences below. If more differences appear during testing with the models, we will update the text.
Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 6 Pro: models and prices
The 2021 generation of Google flagships is divided into two models, similar to what Samsung and Xiaomi do with their high-end models and the Ultra option.
|Model||Pixel 6||Pixel 6 Pro|
|128 GB||$ 599||$ 899|
|256 GB||$ 699||$ 999|
|512 GB||n/a||$ 1.099|
The storage options vary depending on the market where Google sells the device and, it seems, Europe will not have the options with more capacity of each of the models. Brazil, again, is left out of the launch of Pixel 6 and should not receive the phone.
It is also worth noting that the Pro model is available in more sober color options – white, black and beige -, while the traditional Pixel 6 has more colorful versions – orange and green, in addition to the option in black.
Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 6 Pro: screen is the biggest difference
At first glance, the two models can already be identified by the screen. But while the XL versions of previous Pixel generations – except the 5th, which did not have an option with larger screen – were differentiated basically by the size of the diagonal, the Pixel 6 line brings important distinctions.
Starting with the resolution, which is FullHD+ in the conventional model (1,080 x 2,400) and QuadHD+ in Pixel 6 Pro (1,440 x 3,120). Considering the screen sizes – 6.4 and 6.7 inches, respectively – the result is a higher pixel point density on the Pixel 6 Pro: 411 ppi versus 512 ppi.
In addition, another important difference is in the operation of the OLED panel. While the Pixel 6 maintains the 90 Hz refresh rate of the previous generation, the Pixel 6 Pro has LTPO technology that allows you to change the refresh rate of the screen from 10 to 120 Hz, optimizing power consumption.
The screen finish also changes between the devices, the conventional model is equipped with a flat screen, while the Pixel 6 Pro uses a slightly curved display on the sides. In practice, the more expensive model has smaller edges. Both models feature Gorilla Glass Victus protection over the display to reduce the chance of scratches and shattering.
Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 6 Pro: new cameras
On the back, although both models follow a similar design, the horizontal strip that houses the camera array holds another difference between the Pixel 6 phones. While both models feature the same main and ultra-wide-angle sensors, the Pro option stands out for its telephoto camera.
The 48-megapixel sensor lens available only on the Pixel 6 Pro is of the periscopic type, and offers 4x magnification, with a 23.4° field of view, without giving up optical image stabilization.
The selfie camera also changes between the models, with an 8-megapixel sensor on the Pixel 6 and 11.1 MP on the Pro. Also, the field of view is different – 84° and 94°, respectively – and only the Pixel 6 Pro is capable of recording vdeos with the front camera in 4K resolution; the conventional model makes recordings up to 1080p, with 30 fps on both phones.
Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 6 Pro: battery and charging
As expected, the Pixel 6 Pro takes advantage of the larger dimensions to use a battery with more charge capacity – 5,003 mAh, versus 4,614 mAh of the smaller model. But according to Google, the autonomy between the models should be equivalent, of about 24 hours in normal use, or up to 48 hours with the power saving mode.
In the recharging part is another difference between the models, more specifically in wireless charging. Both are compatible with the Qi standard, but while the Pixel 6’s maximum wireless charging power is 21W, the Pixel 6 Pro is compatible with up to 23W.
Wired, both are compatible with USB-C PD 3.0 chargers, at a maximum power of 30 W. But, it’s worth noting that the plug adapter is not included in the packaging of either of the Pixel 6 models.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones bring important differences, reminiscent of the distinction between the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Max. Not only is the screen bigger, but features like resolution, refresh rate and camera set, change between the models.
The Pixel 6 Pro’s more sophisticated set is reflected in the price, about 50% higher than the standard Pixel 6. The values alone already help direct the choice for one or another model, even so, photography fans should take into account the telephoto camera, which offers more creative options, added to the larger field of view of the front camera.
The screen is another point to consider, with the difference between flat and curved finishes, in addition to the points mentioned size, resolution and refresh rate.
In my opinion, the Pixel 6 Pro does not justify the higher price, although I understand the importance of the telephoto lens and the 120 Hz display. For those who value both points, though, either device looks like the most interesting Android phones of the year – along with the Fold 3.