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The Google Pixel 6 Pro looks like it’ll have dimensions of 163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm, with a curved 6.67-inch OLED display, and selfie camera holepunch.
The rear camera module looks to have three lenses, including a periscope lens for optical zoom, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
All those cameras mean a big ol’ 11.5mm thick camera bump.
What it means:
This is the biggest design change in the Pixel series line. It’s a big step away from its roots, which included some almost stubborn elements, like the fingerprint sensor on the back, the same camera sensor hardware, and so on.
The camera bump tells us a story: the bigger the bump, the more camera hardware packed in. It may be that Google is making improvements, but isn’t going all-out, and not as aggressive as we see from Samsung and Huawei. That would fit where Google sits in the smartphone game.
The design confirmations we see here have some split opinions. While the camera bump running horizontally across the back is somewhat unique, it could very well be mistaken for a second-rate OEM design*. Aside from the two-tone color scheme, it doesn’t offer the usual Googley playfulness. Then again, that wasn’t exactly present in the Pixel 3a and 4a, while the Pixel 5 wasn’t overly whimsical either.
That’s about where we are with the generic glass slab situation though.
The Android 12 design ethos around Material You may or may not pervade to the phone. Google is suggesting Material You is all about customization, so in theory, a Pixel 6 will have a wider range of color options.
Still, it is a welcome change from Pixel 3, 4, and 5.
*A reminder, though: the happy circumstance is that almost always, phones look better in real life than in CAD-renders (except maybe those official and sometimes misleading marketing renders)
Pixel 6 renders also dropped:
Most of the same thoughts apply, though the Pixel 6 doesn’t seem like it will be anything as cut-down as the “A” editions (eg, the Pixel 4a) compared to the flagship.
The smaller non-Pro Google Pixel 6 features one less camera and goes for a 6.4-inch flat display with the same in-display fingerprint sensor.
It likely won’t include the periscope camera to give the Pro a clear edge.
Also: Google Pixel 6 may vibe with your ringtones thanks to Android 12 API (wait, who uses a ringtone?)
💸 The best-selling Android phone was crushed by the iPhone 12, an all-too familiar foe, in Q1 2023 (Android Authority).
⚡ Google’s first-ever permanent retail store will open this summer in NYC (Android Authority).
⌚ OnePlus Watch with Cyberpunk 2077 styling is coming this month (Android Authority).
😎 Snap debuts Spectacles 4.0: true AR glasses that show the potential (and limitations) of AR. 30 min battery life, and not on sale… (Ars Technica).
📺 Roku and YouTube are battling for your precious TV data, because it is worth a fortune (Wired).
⚖️ Epic v. Apple: “Apple accuses Microsoft of using Epic in legal attack” (Bloomberg).
🔫 Overwatch 2 will pit five-person teams against each other, as the current 6v6 setup in Overwatch moves away from two tanks (Engadget).
🦠 Let’s all keep calm, but this is uniquely newsworthy at this point: “New coronavirus detected in patients at Malaysian hospital, source may be dogs” (NPR).
💉 Dating apps are encouraging users to get vaccinated with the promise of more matches (The Verge).
🤔 “What is something that sounds futuristic but is happening now?” (r/askreddit). Some cool stuff happening when you think about it: 3D printed organs, that little helicopter flying autonomously on Mars, levitating hotdogs (see below)
Gaze upon this levitating hot dog cooking gadget, writes Mashable, which managed to find YouTuber NightHawkInLight inventing, well, whatever this is.
This hotdog hoverings via a stream of compressed air, thanks to the Coandă effect, something that comes up all over the place at unexpected times, including in Formula 1. (The Monaco Grand Prix is this week, by the way!)
The crucial element here is that the hotdog is round.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.
Daily Authority: What we didn’t see at Google I/O, and more
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You're reading Daily Authority: Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro Intrigue, And More
Just when we thought Google finally managed to launch a new Pixel phone without any major issues, the internet has proven us wrong. The device started shipping on October 28, and just within a few weeks of time, Reddit and Google’s support forum is flooded with users reporting Pixel 6 issues. Whether you are still on the fence about buying the Pixel 6 yourself or facing these issues on your device, we have compiled a long list of the common Pixel 6 and 6 Pro problems along with their solutions.Fix Common Pixel 6 Series Problems (November 2023)
We have listed all the common Pixel 6 and 6 Pro problems along with their potential fixes. Feel free to use the table below to browse through all the problems or jump to a specific issue you are facing with your Pixel 6. We will regularly update this article to keep you informed about any new issues or fixes shared by Google.Slow Fingerprint Scanner
If you feel your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro’s fingerprint scanner is slow and inconsistent, you are not alone. Google officially says it is due to enhanced security algorithms that are at play during the unlocking process. It is a common Pixel 6 series problem, and there are a few nifty methods to fix it. In case you encounter a laggy unlocking experience on your Pixel 6, the methods below should hopefully improve the situation.
Increase Touch Sensitivity to Speed Up Pixel 6 Fingerprint Scanner
Increasing touch sensitivity is believed to improve the reliability of Pixel 6’s fingerprint reader. Here’s how to do it:
2. Scroll down until you find the “Increase touch sensitivity” toggle under “Other display controls”. Enable this toggle to fix your Pixel 6’s slow fingerprint scanner.
Register Fingerprints in Different Pressure Levels and Lighting Conditions
For instance, if you applied light pressure when you first set up the fingerprint scanner, do a firm press to register the same finger the next time. Once you’ve done that, wait for the fingerprint scanner to malfunction and enroll a new fingerprint that works well in that condition. The idea here is to train the fingerprint reader in light and dark lighting conditions to improve efficiency. Meanwhile, Google recommends firmly pressing and holding the fingerprint scanner when unlocking the device in bright outdoor sunlight.
Use Certified Screen Protectors
A cheap screen protector may also impact the fingerprint scanner’s performance. Google recommends using screen protectors from ‘Made for Google’ certified brands, namely Zagg, Otterbox, and Panzerglass. You could also take a look at our roundups of the best Pixel 6 screen protectors and Pixel 6 Pro screen protectors to find one that works well with your device’s fingerprint scanner.Dead Fingerprint Scanner
If you are facing this issue, perform a factory reset to immediately fix your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro. Given the severity of the issue, we could expect Google to release a fix in a future update.Rapid Battery Drain Issue
Battery drain is a widely reported problem in the Pixel 6 series. While some users are getting decent battery life, others aren’t. This is likely due to the fact that adaptive battery needs some time to learn your usage patterns. In fact, several users have noticed an improvement in battery life after using the device for a few days. While you give your new Pixel 6 time to adjust to your daily usage, you could try these nifty hacks to get the most use out of your handset on a single charge.
Turn off 5G To Reduce Battery Drain on Pixel 6 From Settings
Although Pixel 6 is a capable 5G phone, you are better off without 5G if you are in an area with weak 5G connectivity. In the process, you would also save some precious battery life. Check out the steps below to turn off 5G connectivity on the Pixel 6 series:
1. Open the Settings app and tap “Network & internet“. On the next page, tap on SIMs.
Use USSD Code to Turn off 5G
If you are not seeing the option to change the preferred network type in the Network & internet settings, follow the method below to turn off 5G using USSD code to fix the battery drain problem on your Pixel 6.
1. Open your phone’s dialer app and type the following USSD code.*#*#4636#*#*
2. You will now see a “Testing” screen. Here, tap on “Phone information”.
2. On the Phone Info screen, you will see key details about your device, including your IMEI number, phone number, and more. Tap on the ‘Set Preferred Network Type’ dropdown list option and choose a network type that doesn’t have “NR” in it. Although it won’t look scrollable, you can scroll down the list to find network types without “NR”.
Disable “Mobile data always active” Toggle to Improve Battery Life
Having said that, this option is not for everyone. You might run into issues related to calls and MMS, especially if you use Wi-Fi calling. If you face MMS-related issues after disabling the toggle, make sure you re-enable it.Pixel 6 Ghost Dialing
If you have been keeping up with the latest Pixel 6 news, you would know that Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are automatically calling random contacts. This is happening due to Google Assistant, and Google is already working on a fix. Meanwhile, you can disable Google Assistant on the lock screen to stop the device from pocket dialing your contacts. To fix this Pixel 6 problem, follow the steps below:
2. Here, tap on ‘Lock screen’ and then disable the “Assistant responses on lock screen” toggle on the next page. Google Assistant will no longer automatically call people on your Pixel 6 moving forward.Nova Launcher Crash Issues
Are you facing crashes while using Nova launcher or other best Android launchers on your Pixel 6? As it turns out, there’s an easy fix for this issue.
As the Nova Launcher developers have pointed out on their official Twitter handle, all you have to do is remove all widgets from the home screen in Pixel and Nova launchers to fix the crashing problem. After removing these Android 12 widgets, reboot the phone, and you should no longer face launcher crashes. If that doesn’t fix the issue, you could try installing Nova launcher after removing all the widgets from Pixel Launcher’s home screen.Inconsistent Adaptive Brightness
Adaptive brightness automatically adjusts the brightness based on ambient light conditions. However, the Pixel 6 series seems to be a hit or miss when it comes to the accuracy of adaptive brightness, as users complain about the display getting too dim at times. If you would like to manually control the brightness instead, turning off adaptive brightness from Settings will fix this common Pixel 6 problem.Pixel 6 Overheating/ Throttling Issue
There’s no hiding the fact that users are facing overheating issues with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Users report that the device gets noticeably warm even with regular browsing and using social media apps. Moreover, in our testing, we have discovered that the Pixel 6 is throttling performance at temperatures over 40-degrees. It is difficult to enjoy a simple game like Genshin Impact, PUBG Mobile, or other popular and best Android games.
The worst part is that there is no tangible fix for the Pixel 6 overheating problem. You could try simple fixes like switching off 5G whenever it is not in use, keeping the device away from direct sunlight, and killing resource-intensive apps when you are not using them.Poor Video Call Quality
According to multiple user reports, the output shown in the front camera viewfinder is grainy, resulting in an underwhelming video calling experience. It seems to be happening even on Google’s own video calling app Duo. That said, user reports on the Pixel Support page suggest that Google plans to fix this in a future software update. If you are facing this issue, you hopefully won’t have to wait too long for a fix.Slow Charging Speeds
If you have noticed slow charging issues on your Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, it is, unfortunately, a feature and not a bug. Although Google is urging customers to get a 30W charging brick, independent tests have found that the Pixel 6’s charging speed maxes out at 22W. This is a weird Pixel 6 problem with essentially no solution readily available at the moment.
As a workaround, Google recommends not cycling the power button and pressing and holding it instead to switch on the device. Google has promised to fix the display residual light issue with the December software update.Turn off Game Dashboard
Game Dashboard is an excellent Android 12 feature that offers a variety of useful tools to improve your gaming experience. However, you might not find it useful if you are an occasional gamer. If you are annoyed by the Game Dashboard icon pop-up whenever you open one of the best casual Android games, you can choose to disable Game Dashboard.Fix Assistant Voice Typing
Gboard’s Assistant voice typing is one of the highlights of Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The feature offers a hands-free experience and lets you type, edit, and send messages with your voice. However, some users report that the feature is greyed out by default, and it is due to secondary language selection. You can fix this Pixel 6 problem using the steps below:
1. Open the Google app and tap your profile picture at the top-right corner. When the pop-up menu appears, tap on “Settings” and select “Google Assistant” on the next screen to browse Assistant settings.
2. From the Google Assistant settings page, tap on “Languages” to manage Assistant languages.Media Auto Pause Bug Bonus: Check your Pixel 6 Order
Google seems to be facing a logistics problem while shipping the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro to customers. There are multiple reports on Reddit and Twitter from users suggesting that they got the wrong model and storage size. While some got lucky by receiving an upgraded model at no additional cost, others had to deal with customer support for replacements.
Hence, if you are planning to gift a Google Pixel 6 or 6 Pro to your loved ones during the holiday season, make sure to check what you have received from Google to avoid potentially awkward moments.Find Solutions to Common Pixel 6 Problems
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
With the arrival of the Pixel 6 Pro, and to a lesser extent the regular Pixel 6, Google has (finally) revamped its smartphone camera package. But does the new flagship actually take better-looking pictures than 2023’s Google Pixel 5?
The highly anticipated change between the Pixel 5 and 6 is the introduction of a much larger main image sensor. The long-serving 12.2MP 1/2.55-inch Sony IMX363 featured on multiple generations of Pixel phones makes way for a much larger 1/1.31-inch main sensor that we suspect is the Samsung Iscocell GN1. The Pixel 6 Pro also includes a 4x telephoto camera, giving the phone much greater long-range prowess than its predecessor.
Read more: Everything you need to know about the Pixel 6’s camera upgrades
In addition, the custom Google Tensor SoC houses new machine learning smarts that are closely integrated with the Pixel 6’s imaging pipeline. While Google’s impressive HDR, Night Mode, and ASTROphotography algorithms already run on the Pixel 5’s more mid-range hardware, Google has bigged up the enhanced ML capabilities of its new chip. So it will be interesting to see what differences the new processor makes to image quality. Let’s find out what they are in this Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Pixel 5 camera shootout.
If you want to follow along with our analysis even more, be sure to check out this Google Drive folder filled with full-res snaps.
If you’re hard-pressed to tell the difference between the pictures below, you’re not alone. A surprising number of shots we’ve taken are virtually indistinguishable from each other, at least at a quick glance.
These two main cameras offer very realistic colors, excellent exposure, and solid white balance. Given the similarities, you really wouldn’t think the Pixel 5’s camera hardware has basically been left unchanged since 2023’s Pixel 2. It just goes to show that Google’s software processing is the overriding factor in the look of Google’s image, more so than any underlying hardware.
There are a few regular differences between the two, however, when it comes to general presentation. Besides the slightly wider field of view from the Pixel 6 Pro, there are also very subtle but consistent differences in color saturation, exposure, and white balance. The Pixel 6 Pro is often a fraction brighter when it comes to exposure, which you can see in the cityscape and pumpkin pictures above.
Don’t forget: All the photography terms you should know about
With a new 50MP main image sensor, you might believe that the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are capable of capturing much sharper images than the Pixel 5. However, the new handsets pixel bin their images down to 12.5MP and there isn’t an option to shoot at a higher resolution in Google’s default camera app.
Even so, perhaps the larger sensor helps the Pixel 6 capture more light and resolve more detail than the Pixel 5? Let’s take a look at some 100% crops.
That doesn’t appear to be the case in the brightly lit environments above. Although the Pixel 6 Pro appears a tad sharper in terms of post-processing, there’s no additional resolvable detail in the 100% crops above. The Pixel 5 certainly holds up, although small sensors often perform well with plenty of bright outdoor light.
Turning to indoor conditions, the Pixel 5 is a little softer when looking at the fine details on the bar. There’s a small level of noise in the shadows also. The Pixel 6 Pro is definitely the sharper image here, but you really have to pixel peep to notice.
This overcast outdoor picture is more mixed. Again the Pixel 6 Pro looks sharper and has less noise in general, particularly when focusing on the subject tree in the center. However, the newer phone suffers from extra smudging in some of the trees, which you don’t see on the Pixel 5 — see the bushes and trees on the left of the crop. The Pixel 6 Pro is certainly not always better when it comes to capturing detail.Night mode and HDR improvements
Moving to some more extreme HDR shots, we’re looking for three key things: highlight clipping, shadow detail, and color saturation. Once again, there’s nothing to tell between the phones at a casual glance. Both offer extreme dynamic range free from clipping. Even peering more closely, both are virtually indistinguishable from each other in the shadows, with decent levels of detail resolved, given the circumstances.
The one distinction between the two in HDR environments is that the Google Pixel 6 Pro offers fractionally more vivid colors and a slightly more realistic, less warm white balance. But the difference is marginal at best — the two phones offer the same excellent HDR capabilities despite the different image sensor and processing hardware. Clearly, Google’s best algorithms run just fine on older mid-range hardware.
The extra light has implications for shooting with Night Sight too. The Pixel 6 Pro captures a much more realistic white balance and colors in the shot above. Although Night Sight greatly improves the detail capture on the Pixel 5, you’ll still notice smudging and noise around the edge of the frame, such as on the shelves. The 100% outdoor example below highlights this noise issue perfectly — the Pixel 6 Pro is mostly clean while the Pixel 5 is a bit of a mess on closer inspection.
Google has revamped its ultra-wide snapper for the Pixel 6 series, opting for a lower resolution sensor but with larger pixels and a slightly wider field of view. Just like with the main camera, you’ll find almost identical colors, detail, and white balance from both handsets. However, the move to larger sensor pixels in Google’s latest phone pays dividends for exposure and dynamic range, with the Pixel 6 often handing in brighter pics in trickier lighting conditions.
Unfortunately, the Google Pixel 5’s ultra-wide lens suffered from chromatic aberration (purple halos and fringing) and this issue remains present with the Pixel 6. If anything, the additional exposure and saturation make this effect more noticeable on the newer handset. It’s an unfortunate blemish on an otherwise solid camera setup.
The Pixel 6 Pro has superior long-range hardware but the ultra-wide remains a point of weakness.
When it comes to long-range zoom, we’re obviously expecting the Google Pixel 6 Pro to hand in the best pictures, owing to its 4x optical zoom lens. The phone is capable of zooming out to 20x thanks to Google’s Super Res Zoom upscaling, while the Pixel 6 and Pixel 5 cap at 7x using the same tech and lack dedicated telephoto shooters. But just how big is the difference, and does the Pixel 5 hold up at closer zoom levels?
Read more: Camera zoom explained — how optical, digital, and hybrid zoom work
At 3x in our first shot, there’s better exposure and a fraction more detail on the Pixel 6 Pro’s shot, likely owing to the phone’s larger main sensor that’s used here. Even so, it’s quite close and there’s a fair bit of noise in both pictures that betrays the fact they rely on the same upscaling tech here. There’s no competition at 5x in our first sample set — the Pixel 6 Pro’s optical zoom kicks in to provide better colors and vastly greater levels of detail. At 5x, the Pixel 5’s Super Res Zoom is clearly stretched to disguise the sensor’s noise, and the problem looks even worse at 7x, although given the quite flat textures in this scene, the Pixel 5 remains somewhat passable.
The Pixel 5 struggles even more for fine details at longer distances, but results below 5x are passable compared with the Pixel 6 Pro.
This second set of samples overlooking a valley features much more complex tree and grass textures. As a result, the Pixel 5 struggles even more for fine details at longer distances, although it does a good job at balancing the scene’s high dynamic range.
Looking first at our 3x picture, the results are again surprisingly close. Both handsets apply a high level of sharpening to fix up their digital zoom, and while the Pixel 5 is the noise picture, this actually results in a softer image. The Pixel 6 Pro looks a little more smudged until the optical zoom kicks in, which provides vastly more detail, although color-wise, the Pixel 5 holds up very well even in these less ideal lighting conditions. 7x is definitely pushing the Pixel 5 past its limits, however, while the Pixel 6 Pro holds up well out at 10x, albeit with some signs of heavier processing as the camera combats the low lighting.Selfies and portraits
We’ll round out our comparison with a look at the phone’s portrait mode using both the rear and selfie camera.
Once again, a quick glance at the photos shows very little difference between the two, with colors, exposure, and white balance a virtual match between these handsets.
We can notice some subtle differences in the picture above when cropping in, however. Face textures are a fraction sharper with the Pixel 6 Pro, while the Pixel 5 is a little softer owing to some extra noise. The Pixel 6 Pro’s skin tone is also a little less artificially warm and slightly more accurate for the scene. Google’s improvements are subtle but they are there.
Related: The best selfie camera phones you can buy
Turning to the selfie camera, there’s a similar theme. The general appearance is virtually the same but the Pixel 6 Pro appears marginally sharper and avoids an overly warm facial tone. This difference is even more pronounced in low light, where the Pixel 5’s selfie camera looks a fair bit softer and noisier than the updated sensor in the Pixel 6 Pro.
One final piece of the puzzle is bokeh blur accuracy. Both are generally pretty good but can be tripped up by the odd stray hair and complex background. But we do see a bigger difference in our outdoor selfie, with the Pixel 5 appearing to use straight lines, producing a more “cut out” appearance. The Pixel 6 Pro isn’t dissimilar but seems more capable of picking out the fine edges of the hair, resulting in marginally more accurate object detection. But you have to look closely to notice.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Pixel 5 camera shootout: The verdict
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
After a thorough workout, Google’s high-end Pixel 6 Pro comes out ahead as a more flexible shooter than last year’s Pixel 5, particularly when it comes to long-range and low-light photography. However, daylight, ultra-wide, and even portrait pictures are often very hard to tell apart. Despite some quite meaningful hardware differences on paper, the Pixel 5 still provides competitive details, HDR, and portrait pictures.Does the Google Pixel 6 Pro offer a big enough camera upgrade over the Pixel 5?
This leaves the regular Pixel 6 in a bit of an awkward position. Without the Pro’s 4x optical zoom and the same selfie specs as the Pixel 5, we’re left with a marginally improved ultra-wide field of view and the new main camera as the only upgrades on the table. While the bigger sensor certainly helps take better Night Sight shots, neither is exactly a game-changer over last year’s model.
The Google Pixel 6 Pro certainly offers better low light and long-range flexibility, but that’s it for the obvious differences.
This is, obviously, a testament to how well Google’s photo-enhancing algorithms run on aging hardware, but it’s also a shame for those who had been expecting a bigger jump with the move to new, more competitive camera hardware. Overall, the Pixel 6 Pro certainly offers a worthwhile upgrade for those who love to snap zoom shots and take their camera out at night. But we can’t quite say the same about the regular Pixel 6.
More camera shootouts: Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max
Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are two of the most impressive phones that we’ve seen from the company. These arrived late in 2023 following a rather head-scratching release cycle in 2023 that saw Google move away from flagship devices. But just like some of the best Android phones, you might run into some issues from time to time, when you’ll need to restart Pixel 6.How To Restart Pixel 6
There are two methods if you find yourself needing to restart Pixel 6. The first method is the one that we use most of the time and is just software-based. Here’s how you can restart the Pixel 6 without needing to use any hardware buttons:
Unlock your Pixel 6.
Swipe down with two fingers to reveal the Quick Settings menu.
Tap the Power icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
From the pop-up menu, tap Restart or Power off.
As a note, if you power off the Pixel 6, press and hold the Power button until the Google logo appears. From there, you’ll need to enter your password or PIN code in order to unlock the phone again. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t make it possible for you to use the fingerprint scanner after the device has been restarted or turned off.Use Google Assistant To Restart Pixel 6
Google Assistant is arguably the best voice assistant available on smartphones today. It’s available on pretty much every phone, including the Pixel 6 and even the iPhone. But did you know that you can ask Google Assistant to restart Pixel 6?
Unlock your Pixel 6.
Activate Google Assistant.
Once prompted, say “Turn off phone”.
Tap the Restart button when it appears.
The Pixel 6 will then restart, just like it would using any other methods on this list. It just goes to show you that Google Assistant is much more useful than just being used to check the weather or turn off your smart lights.How to Hard Restart Pixel 6
Chances are, the software method for restarting the Pixel 6 will work for you most of the time. However, considering that there are quite a few bugs that are causing issues with Google’s latest devices, you might need to hard restart Pixel 6. If you fall into this camp, then you’re in luck.
Locate the Power button on the right side of the phone.
Press and hold the Power button until the Google logo appears.
After the Google logo appears, you’ll again need to enter your password or PIN code. As an added security measure, Google does not make it possible for you to use the in-screen fingerprint scanner after the phone has been restarted.Conclusion
As you would expect, these three methods to restart Pixel 6 are also applicable to the Pixel 6 Pro. Outside of a few design differences (i.e. larger screens and an extra rear camera), the hardware between these two phones is identical.
In the event that you’re still running into issues with your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro and it won’t restart, there’s one more thing you can try. Plug the phone into a compatible charger, and wait between 15 to 30 minutes. This ensures that your phone has enough juice to power back on, and then press the Power button to turn the phone back on.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro had finally boarded the fast charging express. Google’s adoption of the USB Power Delivery PPS charging protocol and recommendation that you use its latest 30W USB-C adapter to obtain peak speeds certainly suggests as much. But one should never jump to assumptions and it turns out Google’s latest phones are still right down the pecking order for charging times.
Anyone who has used the phone will no doubt grimace at the “two hours to full” message received upon plugging in. Despite Google’s boasts of a 50% charge in 30 minutes, a full-cycle takes an inexplicable amount of time. Looking more closely at the literature, Google doesn’t actually state the peak wired charging speed for the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro. Here’s what the official Google Pixel 6 support page says:
Up to 50% charge in 30 minutes with Google 30W USB-C. Charger with USB-PD 3.0 (PPS) sold separately.
Fast wired charging rates are based upon use of the Google 30W USB-C Charger plugged into a wall outlet. Compatible with USB PD 3.0 PPS adapters. Actual results may be slower. Adapters sold separately.
Confused? Fortunately, Android Authority has been in the lab to take a closer look at what’s causing these long charge times. The verdict? The assumed 30W charging isn’t 30W at all.
The latest Pixel 7 devices exhibit the same charging behavior as described in this article. We’ve published our findings in a dedicated Pixel 7 charging test.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra fast charging test
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
To get a taste of whether the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s behavior is unusual, we also tested the previous generation Google Pixel 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra using the same official 30W Google charger.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also uses the USB Power Delivery PPS protocol to negotiate up to 25W of power and houses a 5,000mAh battery, making it an excellent reference for the Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 5 also gives us some useful data, as it shows how Google charged its previous phones using the USB Power Delivery 2.0 specification.
Immediately we see the Galaxy S21 Ultra pulling more power than the Pixel 6 Pro from Google’s own adapter. It draws 25W from the same plug and even hits peaks of 28W before reducing its charging power at the 50% mark. Even after this mark, the power draw falls to a still speedy 20W before tailing off down towards 6W for the last 15% of the phone’s charge. The phone also uses the USB PD PPS standard for the entire charge cycle. The net result is a much faster 62 minutes to full charge, 49 minutes faster than the Pixel 6 Pro for the same battery capacity.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra pulls more power than the Pixel 6 Pro from Google’s own adapter, charging ~49 minutes faster than the Pixel 6 Pro, despite the same battery capacity.
There is a minor trade-off here though. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s battery temperature hovers around 35°C for the fast-charge portion and above 30°C for the remaining charge cycle. Still, this is reasonably cool compared to the 60W+ fast-charging standards we see on the market.
Comparing the Google Pixel 6 Pro to the Pixel 5 shows that the company is using a virtually identical charging algorithm for both phones, just with fractionally more power used by the newer model. The handsets follow an almost identical step-down approach to lowering power as the phone’s battery fills up. While stepping off the gas is necessary as a battery fills up, Google’s approach is clearly far more conservative than Samsung’s Super Fast Charging or USB PD PPS.
Do you need to buy Google’s 30W PPS charger?
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
The benefit of USB PD PPS over the regular USB PD standard is that it allows for more fine-grain control of current and voltage delivery when combined with improved device-to-charger communication. In other words, Google should be able to charge the phone faster and more efficiently with the move to PPS, optimizing the power delivered based on battery condition, temperature, and more.
While Google has leveraged the standard for marginally higher power, there’s no sign of PPS being used to better optimize the Pixel 6 Pro’s charging speed any more dynamically than previous Pixels. I can’t understand why Google would move over to an entirely new charging standard, thereby breaking accessory compatibility, just to supply 4W more power to the Pixel 6.
Google’s new 30W charger saves you just 10 minutes over the old 18W model. Hardly worth the money.
As a final test, I charged the Google Pixel 6 Pro using Google’s old 18W USB Power Delivery plug the company shipped with previous generation Pixels. Just to see if there’s any tangible benefit. The results are somewhat galling.
Google’s latest flagships offer only marginal improvements to charging speeds.
The bottom line — Google hasn’t leapfrogged Apple and Samsung as it seemingly tried to imply. In fact, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro charge slower than their two biggest competitors. Considering those two already lag behind the slew of brands offering much speedier, market-leading fast charging technologies, Google finds itself in a less-than-stellar position in the pantheon of fast charging phones. With the latest Pixel devices providing exclusive features and hardware upgrades over previous Pixels, it’s a shame its charging hasn’t caught up.
A few weeks after we originally published our findings, Google clarified the charging capabilities of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The community blog post confirmed our findings that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro draw 21W and 23W at their peaks respectively, before reducing power as the battery capacity fills. That’s within a 1W margin of error from our testing, which is likely down to variables such as the cable used, ambient temperature, their use of pre-production software, and whether the measurement was taken at the phone or the plug.
Further reading: How long does it really take to fully charge your phone?
About this Google Pixel Buds Pro review: I tested the Google Pixel Buds Pro for two weeks. The earbuds ran firmware version 4.30. I used a Pixel 6 and OnePlus 11 running Android 13, and an iPhone 12 mini running iOS 16.2. Google provided the unit for this review.
Update, July 2023: Added details about a pending update that will support Clear Calling and Super Wide Band speech.
Google Pixel Buds Pro: $199 / €219 / £179
What I like about the Pixel Buds Pro
Lily Katz / Android Authority
Google’s earbuds feature a lightweight, sturdy build that looks playful and professional. An embossed G logo adorns each bud’s touch panel, which is a pleasure to use. Unlike some competitors’ earbuds, the Pixel Buds Pro never registered any false commands when I was tapping and swiping through commands. Adjusting volume levels from the buds proved convenient whether I was on a walk or making a mess in the kitchen.
The case and buds have an IPX2 and IPX4 rating, respectively. This means everything is at least a little bit water-resistant. Both came in handy when I was wearing the Pixel Buds Pro while out on a walk and some pesky spring showers rolled in. I pulled out the case to protect the buds and didn’t have to be wary of droplets landing on it. Due to their IPX4 rating, the Pixel Buds Pro make for great workout buddies that can weather sweaty ears.
Aside from an attractive design and rugged build, Google has some great ANC tech under the hood. Walking underneath a rail line as a train passes is a literal pain to my ears. Yet, the sound became bearable when doing so with the Pixel Buds Pro’s ANC on. The ANC didn’t mute the train — it’s too loud — but it did make it sound more like background noise, not something pummeling my senses. In this situation, the Pixel Buds Pro noise cancelation sounded almost as good as the AirPods Pro (2nd generation). Suffice it to say, listeners will definitely hear a difference toggling ANC on or off.
Google Pixel Buds Pro microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Google Pixel Buds Pro review: Q&A
Regarding technical capabilities, yes, the Pixel Buds Pro are better than the A Series. With the Buds Pro, you get noise canceling, spatial audio with head tracking, and a custom EQ — all of these things are missing from the Pixel Buds A Series. That said, when you enable Bass Boost, the A Series actually sounds a bit better than the default Pixel Buds Pro sound profile.
Further, athletes may prefer how the Pixel Buds A Series fit since they feature permanent wing tips that resemble the Beats Fit Pro. If you don’t need any of these features, the Pixel Buds A Series are great Android earbuds for a more affordable price.
The Pixel Buds Pro feature an IPX4 rating, which means they can endure water sprays from any direction. Do not submerge the earbuds in water or shower with them. The case has an IPX2 rating, which makes it less durable than the buds, but it can survive some water droplets.
The Pixel Buds Pro earbuds last seven hours with ANC on. Keeping ANC off entirely will net you 11 hours of standalone playtime. The USB-C charging case provides an extra 13 hours with ANC on, and 20 hours with ANC off.
Since the Pixel Buds Pro support Google Fast Pair, pairing the buds to an Android phone is a breeze. To pair the Google Pixel Buds Pro to an Android phone for the first time, follow these steps:
Put the Pixel Buds in the case.
Place the case near your phone.
Close the case and wait a few seconds. Open the case and keep the buds inside.
A pop-up will appear and display your Pixel Buds.
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