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

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

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An image of Google’x Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones side by side.
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

SpecificationGoogle Pixel 6Samsung Galaxy S21iPhone 13OnePlus 9Google Pixel 5A
OSAndroid 12Android 11 (One UI)iOS 15Oxygen OS (Based on Android 11)Android 11
Display6.4-inches6.2-inch AMOLED6.1-inch OLED6.55-inch OLED6.34-inch OLED
Resolution2400 x 10802400 x 10802532 x 11702400 x 10802400 x 1080
Max. refresh rateup to 90Hzup to 120Hz60Hzup to 120Hz60Hz
Dimensions(mm)74.8 x 158.6 x 8.971.2 x 151.7 x 7.971.5 x 146.7 x 7.65NA / EU: 74.2 x 160 x 8.773.2 x 156.2 x 8.8
Weight207g171g174gNA / EU: 192g183 g
Battery Capacity4614mAh4,000mAh3,227mAh4,500mAh4680mAh
ProcessorGoogle Tensor processorUS: Snapdragon 888A15Snapdragon 888Snapdragon 765G
RAM8GB8GBTBA8GB, 12GB6GB
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB128GB
PortsUSB-C 3.1 Gen 1USB-C charging portLightning portUSB-C charging portUSB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack
Rear camera50MP (f/1.85, OIS, laser autofocus) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide12MP (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 telephoto12MP (f/1.6, sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide48MP (f/1.8, all-Pixel AF, 1.12μm) wide angle, 50MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 2MP monochrome12.2MP (f/1.7, dual-pixel AF) wide angle, 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawide
Front camera8MP (f/2)10MP (f/2.2, autofocus)12MP (f/2.2)16MP(f/2.4)8MP(f/2.0)
BiometricsFingerprintFingerprint, face recognitionFace IDFingerprint, face recognitionFingerprint
Water and dust protectionIP68IP68IP68NoIP67
Wireless charging?YesYesYesYesNo
5G supportsub-6GHz, mmWave with special Verizon modelmmWave and sub-6GHzmmWave and sub-6GHzsub-6GHzsub-6GHz
Starting price$599$799$829$729$449
Release DateOctober 28th, 2021Janurary 29th, 2021September 24th, 2021April 2nd, 2021August 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.

Samsung could bring the heat in a few months

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

SpecificationPixel 6 ProiPhone 13 Pro MaxSamsung Galaxy S21 PlusSamsung Galaxy S21 UltraOnePlus 9 Pro
OSAndroid 12iOS 15Android 11 (One UI)Android 11 (One UI)Oxygen OS (Based on Android 11)
Display6.7-inch OLED6.7-inch OLED6.7-inch AMOLED6.8-inch AMOLED6.7-inch OLED
Resolution3120 x 14402778 x 12842400 x 10803200 x 14403216 x 1400
Max. refresh rateup to 120Hzup to 120Hzup to 120Hzup to 120Hzup to 120Hz
Dimensions(mm)75.9 x 163.9 x 8.978.1 x 160.8 x 7.6575.6 x 161.5 x 7.875.6 x 165.1 x 8.973.6 x 163.2 x 8.7
Weight210g240g202g229g197g
Battery CapacityTypical: 5,003 mAh4,352mAh4,800mAh5,000mAh4,500mAh
ProcessorGoogle Tensor ProcessorA15US: Snapdragon 888US: Snapdragon 888Snapdragon 888
RAM12GB6GB8GB12GB / 16GB8GB, 12GB
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB / 512GB128GB, 256GB
PortsUSB-C 3.1 Gen 1Lightning PortUSB-C charging portUSB-C charging portUSB-C charging port
Rear camera50MP (f/1.85, OIS, laser autofocus) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 48MP (f/3.5, OIS) 4x telephoto12MP (f/1.5 sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.8 OIS) 3x telephoto, 12MP (f/1.8) ultrawide12MP (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 telephoto108MP (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 telephoto48MP (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 camera11.1MP (f/2.2)12MP (f/2.2)10MP (f/2.2, autofocus)40MP (f/2.2, autofocus)16MP(f/2.4)
BiometricsFingerprintFace ID Fingerprint, face recognitionFingerprint, face recognitionFingerprint, face recognition
Water and dust protectionIP68IP68IP68IP68IP68
Wireless charging?YesYesYesYesYes
5G supportmmWave and sub-6GHzmmWave and sub-6GHzmmWave and sub-6GHzmmWave and sub-6GHzmmWave and sub-6GHz
Starting price$899$1,099$999$1,199$969
Release DateOctober 28th, 2021September 24th, 2021Janurary 29th, 2021Janurary 29th, 2021April 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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