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|
|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|
|Processor||Google Tensor processor||US: Snapdragon 888||A15||Snapdragon 888||Snapdragon 765G|
|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|
|5G support||sub-6GHz, mmWave with special Verizon model||mmWave and sub-6GHz||mmWave and sub-6GHz||sub-6GHz||sub-6GHz|
|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.
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
|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|
|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|
|5G support||mmWave and sub-6GHz||mmWave and sub-6GHz||mmWave and sub-6GHz||mmWave and sub-6GHz||mmWave and sub-6GHz|
|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.