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Spec showdown: Google’s new Pixel 6 vs. Samsung, Apple, and more

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Here’s how Google’s specs stack up against the competition

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

At its fall event on Tuesday, Google announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which feature its custom Tensor processor and the first big camera upgrade for Google’s phones since the Pixel 3. Since the Pixel 6s are available to preorder now, let’s take a look at how Google’s new phones compare on paper to their Android and iPhone competition.

At this point, how Google’s Tensor custom chip will perform is the biggest question mark — Google says it’s comparable to the Snapdragon 888, but that’s not even Qualcomm’s most powerful chip today, and Qualcomm is holding an event in November, potentially to show off even newer chips. Stay tuned to The Verge, though, as we’re working on putting the Tensor through its paces to see how it performs in the real world.

With that in mind, let’s see how the mid-range Pixel 6 compares to some of its competitors:

Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 13 vs OnePlus 9 vs Pixel 5a

Specification Google Pixel 6 Samsung Galaxy S21 iPhone 13 OnePlus 9 Google Pixel 5A
Specification Google Pixel 6 Samsung Galaxy S21 iPhone 13 OnePlus 9 Google Pixel 5A
OS Android 12 Android 11 (One UI) iOS 15 Oxygen OS (Based on Android 11) Android 11
Display 6.4-inches 6.2-inch AMOLED 6.1-inch OLED 6.55-inch OLED 6.34-inch OLED
Resolution 2400 x 1080 2400 x 1080 2532 x 1170 2400 x 1080 2400 x 1080
Max. refresh rate up to 90Hz up to 120Hz 60Hz up to 120Hz 60Hz
Dimensions(mm) 74.8 x 158.6 x 8.9 71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9 71.5 x 146.7 x 7.65 NA / EU: 74.2 x 160 x 8.7 73.2 x 156.2 x 8.8
Weight 207g 171g 174g NA / EU: 192g 183 g
Battery Capacity 4614mAh 4,000mAh 3,227mAh 4,500mAh 4680mAh
Processor Google Tensor processor US: Snapdragon 888 A15 Snapdragon 888 Snapdragon 765G
RAM 8GB 8GB TBA 8GB, 12GB 6GB
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB 128GB
Ports USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 USB-C charging port Lightning port USB-C charging port USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack
Rear camera 50MP (f/1.85, OIS, laser autofocus) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide 12MP (f/1.8, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, 1.8µm) wide angle, 12MP (f/2.2, 1.4µm) ultrawide, 64MP (f/2.0, OIS, 0.8µm) 3X hybrid optic telephoto 12MP (f/1.6, sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide 48MP (f/1.8, all-Pixel AF, 1.12μm) wide angle, 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 2MP monochrome 12.2MP (f/1.7, dual-pixel AF) wide angle, 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawide
Front camera 8MP (f/2) 10MP (f/2.2, autofocus) 12MP (f/2.2) 16MP(f/2.4) 8MP(f/2.0)
Biometrics Fingerprint Fingerprint, face recognition Face ID Fingerprint, face recognition Fingerprint
Water and dust protection IP68 IP68 IP68 No IP67
Wireless charging? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
5G support sub-6GHz, mmWave with special Verizon model mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz sub-6GHz sub-6GHz
Starting price $599 $799 $829 $729 $449
Release Date October 28th, 2021 Janurary 29th, 2021 September 24th, 2021 April 2nd, 2021 August 26th, 2021

Observant readers may have noticed that Samsung’s due to refresh its mainstream Galaxy S lineup in a few months. While that’s perhaps not a concern for someone looking to buy a phone right now, it’s something worth keeping in mind if you’re willing to wait a bit for an upgrade.

Today, though, the Pixel 6 is less expensive than its competitors and would physically tower over most of them. It’s actually bumping up against the iPhone 13 Pro Max in terms of dimensions, which is great news if you like big phones — and not so great if you prefer more compact ones, like the original Pixel or iPhone Mini. While the Pixel 6’s battery is no slouch capacity-wise, it is a bit curious that Google didn’t choose to make it bigger. Though again — the phone starts at $599, so there’s only so much complaining you can do.

Let’s move on from the mid-range phones and take a look at the higher-end offerings from Google, Apple, and Samsung.

Pixel 6 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus / Ultra vs OnePlus Pro 9

Specification Pixel 6 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra OnePlus 9 Pro
Specification Pixel 6 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra OnePlus 9 Pro
OS Android 12 iOS 15 Android 11 (One UI) Android 11 (One UI) Oxygen OS (Based on Android 11)
Display 6.7-inch OLED 6.7-inch OLED 6.7-inch AMOLED 6.8-inch AMOLED 6.7-inch OLED
Resolution 3120 x 1440 2778 x 1284 2400 x 1080 3200 x 1440 3216 x 1400
Max. refresh rate up to 120Hz up to 120Hz up to 120Hz up to 120Hz up to 120Hz
Dimensions(mm) 75.9 x 163.9 x 8.9 78.1 x 160.8 x 7.65 75.6 x 161.5 x 7.8 75.6 x 165.1 x 8.9 73.6 x 163.2 x 8.7
Weight 210g 240g 202g 229g 197g
Battery Capacity Typical: 5,003 mAh 4,352mAh 4,800mAh 5,000mAh 4,500mAh
Processor Google Tensor Processor A15 US: Snapdragon 888 US: Snapdragon 888 Snapdragon 888
RAM 12GB 6GB 8GB 12GB / 16GB 8GB, 12GB
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB / 512GB 128GB, 256GB
Ports USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 Lightning Port USB-C charging port USB-C charging port USB-C charging port
Rear camera 50MP (f/1.85, OIS, laser autofocus) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 48MP (f/3.5, OIS) 4x telephoto 12MP (f/1.5 sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.8 OIS) 3x telephoto, 12MP (f/1.8) ultrawide 12MP (f/1.8, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, 1.8µm) wide angle, 12MP (f/2.2, 1.4µm) ultrawide, 64MP (f/2.0, OIS, 0.8µm) 3X hybrid optic telephoto 108MP (f/1.8, OIS, 0.8µm) wide angle, 12MP (f/2.2, Dual Pixel AF, 1.4µm) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, 1.22µm) 3X optical telephoto, 10MP (f/4.9, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, 1.22µm) 10X optical telephoto 48MP (f/1.8, OIS, all-pixel AF, 1.12 μm) wide angle, 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 8MP (f2.4, OIS) 3.3X telephoto, 2MP monochrome
Front camera 11.1MP (f/2.2) 12MP (f/2.2) 10MP (f/2.2, autofocus) 40MP (f/2.2, autofocus) 16MP(f/2.4)
Biometrics Fingerprint Face ID Fingerprint, face recognition Fingerprint, face recognition Fingerprint, face recognition
Water and dust protection IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68
Wireless charging? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
5G support mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz
Starting price $899 $1,099 $999 $1,199 $969
Release Date October 28th, 2021 September 24th, 2021 Janurary 29th, 2021 Janurary 29th, 2021 April 2nd, 2021

As with the regular Pixel 6, the Pro’s price does it a lot of favors, especially when many of its competitors are playing in the $1,000-and-up range. We’re also seeing Google join the megapixel race that’s been kicked off among Android phone manufacturers, finally ditching the 12MP sensor that’s been featured on Pixels for so long (though we’ll have to test them out to see how the images actually look). The Pixel 6 Pro also has a top-tier amount of RAM for multi-taskers, and its battery is nothing to sneeze at either.

Overall, it’s a phone that checks a lot of the boxes for a flagship Android phone — it has mmWave 5G, a 120Hz 1440p display, and promising camera specs. As always, though, stay tuned for the full review to find out if the Pixel 6 Pro is equal to (or, dare I hope, better than) the sum of its parts.

If you’re trying to decide between the Pixel 6 and the Pro or are currently rocking a lower-end Pixel and are wondering if it’s time for an upgrade, check out our Pixel comparison article here.


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