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Google Pixel 6 Pro review: 5 things to know

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is completely re-imagined and bloody brilliant.

Google Pixel 6 Pro review: 5 things to know
Marc Chacksfield
25 October 2021

The Google Pixel 6 Pro has arrived, alongside its Pixel bedfellow, with the Google Pixel 6. After a pretty big build-up, the new devices were announced recently and they are the most striking Pixel phones yet.

Google has decided to change pretty much everything about its handset line-up, creating a Pixel pairing that goes big on imaging specs (as you would hope, given they are Pixel phones) and introduces the company’s very own chip - called Google Tensor.

ShortList has been lucky enough to play with the Google Pixel 6 Pro for a while now and it's fast become one of our favourite Android handsets. Here’s 5 things to know about the Google Pixel 6 Pro…

1. The Pixel 6 Pro is the most striking Pixel phone yetGoogle Pixel 6 Pro review: 5 things to know

Design wise, Google has erred on the premium side of things with the Google Pixel 6 Pro. The first thing that stands out is the massive camera bump on the back. We like it. A lot. It gives the phones a unique sense of identity that is a step away from the normal rectangle brigade - and it looks a bit like the phones are wearing a Zorro mask, too. There’s also a curved display (6.7 inches/120Hz) which adds to the premium feel.

Google has said that its latest phones have been “inspired by jewellery and watch hardware to create a phone that feels premium and unique” and it does feel like they are statement pieces.

2. The camera system has had a big upgradeGoogle Pixel 6 Pro review: 5 things to know

Google has upgraded the cameras on the Google Pixel 6 Pro, offering a setup that is a brand new triple rear camera system - including a pro-level telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom (if you physically look into it, it’s surprisingly deep) a main sensor that’s said to capture 150% more light than the Pixel 5.

The front camera on the Pixel 6 Pro has an impressive 94° field of view, so it’s ultra-wide and it really shows in the shots you take.

In addition to this are some software flourishes, these include: Motion Mode, for those all-important action shots, Face Unblur to help with those portrait shots and our particular favourite, Magic Eraser which lets you act like Thanos and rid your photos of unwanted people objects. It's all utterly impressive and shows Google matching its photo software with hardware, which is something it hasn't done it before.

3. Battery is better and adaptive

Google Pixel 6 Pro review: 5 things to know

The battery on the Pixel 6 series has been upgraded. It's got a 500mAh battery on board. We got well over 24 hours off the Pixel 6 Pro before we had to plug the thing in, which is impressive.

Google has been doing a lot of work with its software to make sure that certain apps don’t unnecessarily drain your battery, while also offering some pretty impressive battery saving functionality. There's also fast charging on board, getting your handset up to 50% in 30 minutes but you will need to purchase a separate charger for this.

4. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is still the best ‘pure’ Android phone

Google Pixel 6 Pro review: 5 things to know

One the Google Pixel 6 Pro, you get Android 12 in all its glory, with no skins or anything - and it’s brilliant. Google has always made sure that it offers the purest Android experience and this is one of the best yet.

Something called Material You allows you to really double down on customising the phone as you want it. This includes switching around icons and the like for your preference.

There are also personalised colour options that flow throughout the phone and are really neat to look at.

5. The screen and performance on the Pixel 6 Pro is just stunning

Google Pixel 6 Pro review: 5 things to know

Having a 120Hz screen is pretty much a must on premium phones right now and the Google Pixel 6 Pro has a brilliant, beautiful screen. It's 6.7 inches and is plenty size for gaming and video watching and we were really impressed with the brightness and the clarity of the thing.

Couple this with a phone that we had no issues with from a software point of view, with switching between apps really smooth and slick, and what you have is a powerful handset.

Google's Tensor chip and the additional 12GB of RAM really go to work on the handset, but also help with the battery life as well, with a lot of optimisation in the background going on.

Google Pixel 6 Pro: Final Verdict

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro: 5 things to know

While the Google Pixel 5 was aiming for the mid-range, the new Google Pixel 6 series feels like a premium step up for Google in terms of both features and looks.

Google is certainly going the right way about trying to turn heads away from Samsung and Apple, offering a set of phones that, for the price, are packed with features that will make many an Android fan very happy.

We had a lot of fun with the Google Pixel 6 Pro - it's a real 'phone of the year' contender.

The Google Pixel 6 Series is available from £849/$899. And if you buy a Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro from participating retailers, before 28 October 2021 you will receive a set of Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones. Given they cost around £300/$300 on their own, that’s a fantastic package.

Now you know about the Pro, here's our Google Pixel 6 review.