Earlier today, Google unveiled its new Pixel 6 smartphone, alongside the higher-end Pixel 6 Pro, at its online Pixel Fall Launch event.
The Pixel 6 succeeds last year’s Pixel 5, but how does this year’s base Pixel phone stack up against its predecessor? Let’s take a look:
The Pixel 5 has a 6.0″, 90Hz flexible OLED panel, while the Pixel 6 comes with a bigger 6.4″, 90Hz AMOLED display. Both screens have HDR 10+ support.
For protection, the Pixel 5 has Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the front, whereas the Pixel 6’s front-end has been bumped up to the considerably tougher Gorilla Glass Victus.
While both phones support Always-on Display, the Pixel 6 gets some new display features like Now Playing, At a glace, and high brightness mode.
The Pixel 5’s design was more in line with its predecessors, and fit right in as the evolution of Google’s design for its smartphones.
For the Pixel 6, Google went back to the drawing board, and love or hate the linear camera module on the back all you want, the new dual-toned design is fresh and ambitious.
Where the Pixel 5 has a glass front, aluminum back, and aluminum frame, the Pixel 6 switches out the aluminum back for a more premium-feeling glass backside with Gorilla Glass 6 for protection.
Both phones feature IP68 water and dust resistance, but the Pixel 6 adds an additional fingerprint-resistant coating to keep skin oils from smudging its glass body. Both devices have a stereo speaker setup.
The Pixel 5 and the Pixel 6 both support fingerprint authentication, but the latest Pixel phone brings an optical, under-display fingerprint sensor as opposed to the Pixel 5’s rear-mounted solution.
At 207 grams, the Pixel 6 is significantly heavier than the 151 grams of the Pixel 5. The Pixel 5 was launched in Just Black and Sorta Sage, while the Pixel 6 comes in three colour options: Sorta Seafoam, Kinda Coral, and Stormy Black.
The Pixel 5 features Qualcomm’s mid-range octa-core Snapdragon 765G 5G processor built on a 7nm process. For graphics, the Pixel 5 comes with an Adreno 620 GPU.
The Pixel 6, on the other hand, packs Google’s in-house 5nm octa-core Tensor System on a Chip (SoC) under the hood, with a Mali-G78 MP20 GPU. Google hopes the seamless synergy between the Pixel 6’s hardware and software, both of which are of the company’s creation, will allow its Tensor chip to go toe-to-toe with flagship Android processors.
The Pixel 6 also comes with a Titan M2 security coprocessor and a dedicated security core, as opposed to the Pixel 5’s Titan M security module and ‘Pixel Imprint’ for security.
Memory and Storage
The Pixel 5 only comes in one configuration: 8GB RAM/128GB internal storage. The Pixel 6, on the other hand, is available with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
The gap between the two Pixel phones really widens when you get to their camera setups. As good as the cameras on Pixel phones are known to be, Google has really pushed itself with this year’s lineup.
The Pixel 6 boasts a 50 MP Octa PD Quad Bayer main camera with a laser detect auto-focus (LDAF) sensor, Optical Image Stabilization, an 82° field of view, and an ƒ/1.85 aperture. Accompanying the main camera is a 12 MP ultrawide camera with an ƒ/2.2 aperture, a 114° field of view, and lens correction capability.
The camera setup on the Pixel 5 is made up of a 12.2 MP dual-pixel main camera with auto-focus, dual-pixel phase detection hybrid Optical/Electronic Image Stabilization, a 77° field of view, and an ƒ/1.7 aperture, along with a 16 MP ultrawide lens with an ƒ/2.2 aperture, a 117° field of view, and a spectral + flicker sensor.
The front snappers on both devices are pretty similar.
Both phones share some pretty impressive camera features like Night Sight, Top Shot, Super Res Zoom, Portrait mode, Motion auto-focus, Portrait Light, Cinematic Pan, and Live HDR+.
The following camera features, however, are only available on the Pixel 6:
- Magic Eraser
- Motion mode
- Real tone
- Face Unblur
- Manual white balancing
- Locked Folder
For juice, the Pixel 6 packs a 4,614 mAh battery as compared to the Pixel 5’s more modest 4,080 mAh brick. While Google marketed the Pixel 5 as having an “all-day battery”, the company says the Pixel 6’s battery can easily last beyond 24 hours.
The Pixel 5 supports 18W fast charging with USB Power Delivery 2.0, along with 12W wireless charging.
The Pixel 6, on the other hand, manages 30W fast charging with USB Power Delivery 3.0 which gets the phone from 0-50% in 30 minutes, according to Google, as well as 21W fast wireless charging.
Both phones include reverse charging capability, to let you charge other devices.
The Pixel 6 starts at $799 CAD for the 8GB/128GB variant, and will run you $929 CAD for a unit with 256GB of internal storage.
While the Pixel 5, which was only available in an 8GB/128GB configuration, also launched for $799 CAD, it will no longer be available for purchase as Google discontinued the phone after announcing the Pixel 6. You may find some units still available at select retailers still.
Maintaining the same launch price for a next-generation device with better internals is, nevertheless, respectable.