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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?

4052 votes

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

You're reading Is The Google Pixel 6 Pro Camera Actually Better Than The Pixel 5?

Top 10 Google Pixel 3 Camera Features: Is Pixel Still The Best?

Google has officially unveiled the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones at its hardware event in New York City. The devices come with a plethora of new features and improvements over their predecessors in a number of different areas, but the one aspect that received a lot of emphasis from Google at the presentation was the camera.

Pixel 3 Camera Samples

Google Pixel 3 Camera Features Night Sight Top Shot

The images chosen by Top Shot recommend photos with smiles rather than plain faces, and open eyes over closed ones, and the feature can even detect when subjects are looking at the camera. Once finalized by the user, the shots are saved with increased resolution and HDR.

Improved HDR+ and Portrait Mode

This is the signature Google Pixel camera feature. Pixel 3’s camera comes with HDR+ on by default. The camera will capture up to 8 frames and merge them together to produce high-quality photos irrespective of lighting conditions, with zero shutter lag.

Photobooth Group Selfie


Playground is an AR feature that can make an user’s photos and videos come to life by adding their favorite Marvel superheroes, animated stickers and fun captions into the photo. It’s basically a revamped version of AR Stickers that was originally introduced last year. As part of the process, ‘Playmoji’ characters interact not only with each other, but also with real, living subjects. In fact, they can also react to the user’s facial expressions.

RAW Suppport and New Panorama Mode

​Google has finally added native support for RAW images in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Users will now be able to save their images as RAW files by turning on an optional toggle (under the ‘Advanced’ section of the camera settings) that will allow users to switch between JPEG only and RAW+JPEG. There’s also a revamped Panorama mode that uses better stitching and gets rid of the all the dots that needed to be aligned manually, making the process a lot easier. The panorama shots are now also optimized for VR, says Google.

Motion Auto Focus

Super Res Zoom

Super Res Zoom is basically digital zoom without any of its ill-effects – or at least that’s what Google claims. According to the company, the feature will make sure that the detail in your zoomed-in photo will retail its sharpness and clarity. It will use software to add additional resolution to zoomed shots retroactively. Will it be anything like optical zoom? Wait to check out full review as we put the Pixel 3 through its paces.

Google Lens

Lastly, Google Lens is now also more tightly integrated with Google Camera than ever, and is packed with new functionality. With the new and improved Lens in the Pixel 3, users can now get help in real-time with business cards, contact info, URLs, and QR codes. “Just point your camera — no gestures or mode switching required — and see helpful chips appear in the viewfinder”, says the company in its press release. The processing is done on the device using Pixel Visual Core, so no Internet connection is needed.

Tested: The Pixel 6 Charges Much Slower Than Google Implied

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?

Google Pixel Buds Pro Review: Great Android, Even Better For Pixel

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.

Tap Connect.

Google Pixel 4A Vs Pixel 3A Camera Shootout: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

David Imel / Android Authority

Competition in the budget smartphone market is thriving, and the long-awaited, heavily rumored, and continually delayed Google Pixel 4a is a gem. The device comes with modest specs, but also great value considering its drop-dead $349 MSRP.

Pixel phones are known for their camera performance, and the 4a could very well be the best camera phone in its price range. But is it worth the upgrade if you already own the previous-generation Google Pixel 3a? We decided to pit the two phones against each other in a Pixel 4a vs Pixel 3a camera shootout to determine if the new Google phone is any better than its direct predecessor.

Things look identical in the Pixel 4a vs Pixel 3a camera spec sheet. The only bit of difference is that the Pixel 4 comes with a slightly wider f/1.7 aperture. Regardless, Google’s camera prowess is mostly due to its software enhancements. In theory, this means that differences in camera performance shouldn’t be too noticeable. Let’s find out, though.

The samples

We shot a mix of shots with both smartphones at the same time. The variety of scenarios should help us find quality discrepancies and ultimately come up with a winner. Both devices were on their latest software versions as of writing, and both were set to “photo” and “portrait” modes for the given tests.

These images look very much alike in dynamic range, contrast, and overall quality. They are both crisp and well-focused. We only see a slight difference in white balance. The Pixel 3a photo looks a little bluer, whereas the Pixel 4a image has warmer tones.

Aside from human error in exact framing, these two shots look like they could have been taken with the same phone.

See also: The best budget camera phones you can buy

This is another instance in which the Pixel 4a managed to capture warmer tones in color. You can also see more uniform exposure in the Pixel 4a image, especially if you look at the trees to the left of the shot. Shadows are brighter, and highlights aren’t as blown out in the Pixel 4a image.

Again, there are warmer tones in the Pixel 4a image. Overall detail seems to be nearly identical, though.

More camera comparisons: Google Pixel 4a vs iPhone SE camera shootout

Want to see something interesting? Take a look at the coffee beans in the back. Notice they are blurrier in the Pixel 4a image. You can thank the slightly wider f1.7 aperture for that! Those who like bokeh might want to go for the newer Pixel, as it can achieve it naturally a little bit more easily.

Things are looking very similar in this portrait mode comparison. Both phones miss some spots in the outlining of the hair, but pretty much any phone will. Again, the Pixel 3a has slightly bluer tones.

Pixel 4a vs Pixel 3a camera shootout: Worth the upgrade?

Now we want to hear from you: is the Pixel 4a worth the upgrade, or does the Pixel 3a hold its own? Be sure to check out our full Pixel 4a vs Pixel 3a comparison to see how these devices compare beyond the camera with info on other features, design, price, and more.

Daily Authority: Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro Intrigue, And More

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)

Friday Fun


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.

Roundly yours,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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