I’ve been using a Pixel 6 on a daily basis for nine months and I’d find it hard to part with it. Here is my detailed opinion after a lengthy test.
Last October, Google launched its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, phones that marked a real turning point in the brand’s philosophy after several years of more or less successful wanderings and trial and error. It was a real critical and commercial success – all things considered, but in any case a success on Google’s scale. But time has marred this vision with the appearance of many bugs identified by users.
But after 9 months of use and almost no failures, I still love my Pixel 6 so much.
I have always loved Google smartphones
For context, I’ve always liked the Google experience. I’m one of those who swore by the Nexus in LG’s heyday (Nexus 4 and Nexus 5), despite battery problems and poor image quality. I really appreciated the Pixels and I was, in spite of myself, an excellent salesman for the brand when it came to recommending a Pixel 3a or 4a to my relatives, who were always happy with this advice.
I really fell in love with the Pixel 4 XL. It was heavy, full of flaws, but you have to have it to understand how much it offered a fluid and different experience. Soli, his buried next-gen radar sensor, definitely had a lot to do with it, rest in peace little angel. So it’s not particularly surprising that I appreciate the Pixel 6, despite some reluctance at the time.
A specific design
For my taste, three points are important on a smartphone. First, autonomy. Because a phone, no matter how good it is, if it turns off at 4 p.m., it remains a useless brick. Then the overall experience, the fluidity, the interface, the quality of the screen, the grip and finally the quality of the images.
I will return to the autonomy and image quality, but let’s dwell on the overall experience, starting with its design, which made me prefer this Pixel 6 over the Pixel 6 Pro. I can’t stand curved screens and seeing Geoffroy’s feedback on the subject, the Pro is a nightmare at this level. Also, I have problems with phones that weigh more than 200 grams. The Pixel 6 already weighs 207 grams, I didn’t want to go any higher, too bad if it made me lose the telephoto lens.
Apart from this detail, the design of the Pixel 6 did not shock me, unlike others who maligned its horizontal photo module. Its real problem is not so much aesthetic as practical: not only do its angles represent dust nests, but its edges end up turning white from impact and rubbing. At nine months, the entire frame has also tended to stain. I’ll admit I’m resistant to shells and have dropped it a few times from clumsiness, but other phones are much more resilient at this level.
In short, you will have understood, it is not for its design that I like the Pixel 6.
It only needs fast charging
So let’s go back to the essential points, starting with autonomy. At this level, the Pixel 6 is very impressive, even nine months later. Apart from a few days when I experienced a strange battery drain that was probably due to poor app cache management, the Pixel 6’s battery has never let me down. My use is quite important and yet I’ve never been afraid of the blow of the breakdown should an evening drag on. For example, it’s 6:40pm as of this writing, I took my phone out when I woke up this morning and I have 80% battery left. So of course I only really used it for about 2.5 hours a day, but it’s still impressive and it allows me to stay calm in any situation.
In fact, I rarely missed the fast charge. I wouldn’t spit on a load of 60W or more (versus the 30W advertised by Google), but it would only fill a very occasional shortfall. I finally relearned how to charge my phone at night, where today’s smartphones handle this in a way that doesn’t drain the battery.
A pleasant interface
Now about the experience itself and the Pixel interface. I have to admit that some points of Android 12 still frustrate me, starting with the quick setting “Internetwhich still combines cellular data and Wi-Fi, adds a click to really access it. The disappearance of the Power Menu from Android 11 too.
But other than that, the Pixel Experience (Google’s interface) gives me everything I want with great fluidity. Nevertheless, I consider myself lucky that I have absolutely never experienced the many errors that others encounter with their Pixel, it seems to be a real Russian Roulette…
Small details, such as the Preview widget ( At first glance ), instant subtitles, music recognition that happens on the lock screen without having to ask… These are all small elements that make the Pixel experience something unique. That’s not for lack of having used phones from Oppo, Samsung, OnePlus and even Apple over the past year; Google has that little extra thing that works for me.
Call me for your party, wedding, bar mitzvah photos…
But now let’s talk about what I think really makes the difference with the Pixel 6: the picture. In his long-term test of the Pixel 6 Pro, Geoffroy indicates that he is disappointed with the image, mentioning in particular smartphones, which now have larger sensors. Technically, it is definitely an advantage. But in fact, even with a one-inch sensor, with the small lenses that equip the current phones, the algorithms still represent a large part of the quality of the image.
So yes, on a landscape, even at night, the competition has pretty much caught up with Google and the gap is no longer as impressive as it was. However, there is one area where the Pixel’s AI remains unsurpassed: moving targets in low light. If you are used to playing the photographer of your evenings, you know how difficult it is to get a successful shot after a certain hour. Likewise, if you have a pet or a toddler that’s hard to pose for, the Pixel is still up and running.
It’s very simple, I’ve lost count of the number of times in a year someone has been jealous of the photos my phone is capable of taking. An end to the show, an animated family photo, abaptismfast, a hidden expression of joy, a stolen hug, people who are too happy or even a lightning that tears the sky… to succeed with such a picture, you don’t have to think for hours. Point, click, your image is successful. Even the iPhone, which is among the best at freezing a scene anyway, doesn’t come close to the Pixel at this level.
Note that many of the images above were taken in difficult lighting conditions, requiring the use of a long exposure, and with generally fast moving subjects.
So yes ! The Pixel 6 does not have optical zoom, it is not the smartphone with the best sharpness, but without a doubt it is the one that will allow you to photograph your best memories. And when you relate all that to its ultra-competitive price, it’s hard not to recommend this Pixel highly… fingers crossed that you avoid mistakes.
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