Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro: a leap in image quality to become the king of photography | Technology

Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.
Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.GO

In 2020, Google decided to officially stop selling its mobiles in Spain. Neither the Pixel 4a 5G nor the Pixel 5 made it to this country. But now it has changed its strategy again: the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are available from this Thursday in the Spanish market. Both terminals have a new design and processor —the first developed by the Mountain View company—, but if there is something that Google intends to highlight, it is in the photographic section. Its strong commitment to computational photography makes these phones firm candidates to stand up to the most powerful devices on the market.

EL PAÍS has tested the Pixel 6 Pro for a few days. It is Google’s most powerful mobile, whose price starts at 899 euros. It is quite large, since it measures 16.3 centimeters high, 7.5 wide and 8.9 millimeters thick, and weighs 210 grams. The design of the back is very striking: a large black horizontal strip that groups the cameras stands out noticeably and crosses the terminal at the top.

Although the mobile is comfortable to hold in your hand, it is quite slippery. The device has a sleek finish that barely leaves fingerprints in use. Google claims to have been inspired “by the finishes of luxury jewelry and watchmaking” to manufacture it. On a day-to-day basis, a facial recognition system is missing to unlock the mobile, and, although it has a fingerprint reader on the screen, it is a bit slow.

The screen is 6.7 inches and has slight curves on its sides. Its refresh rate reaches 120 Hz – like that of a large part of the high-end mobiles on the market. This parameter refers to the number of times the screen is updated per second. So the higher it is, the smoother the movements between screens. Although it also consumes more battery. The experience when using the terminal has been fluid in all cases. To compete with the flagships of manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung or Oppo, Google has improved the hardware of its cameras and has made a strong commitment to computational photography. The main sensor, 50 megapixels, has an optical image stabilizer and captures up to 150% more light than its predecessor – the Pixel 5. Google’s most ambitious phone also features a brand new 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom. The front camera is 11.1 megapixels.

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When there is light, all photographs have, in general, a high level of detail, intense colors and a good dynamic range. Normally, mobile cameras tend to suffer more in low light conditions, but for some years one of Google’s priorities has been to enhance cameras in this type of environment. And he has done quite well. At night, the captures with the main sensor maintain a good level of detail and hardly have any noise. As usual, with the wide angle you lose a bit of quality, but the results are still good.

Remove people from photos

One of the most curious tools —and probably dreamed of by many instagramers— the camera of the new Pixel is the magic eraser. With it, it is possible to make any person or object that spoils a photo disappear as if by magic. In general, it works quite well. When using the tool, the mobile recognizes the protagonists of the image and suggests erasing the people who are walking in the distance. The user can also manually choose what to delete.

In the photographic section, the movement mode is also noteworthy, which includes two options to add dynamism to the photos. The first, called action shot, allows you to take photos of a person, animal or vehicle while it is moving and make it stand out against a blurred background. The second, dubbed long exposure, is designed to capture movement. Although this last mode can be interesting for taking artistic shots or photographing waterfalls or the hustle and bustle of a city, it requires some practice on the part of the user to achieve good results.

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Image taken with the movement mode (long exposure) of the Google Pixel 6 Pro in the Madrid Metro.
Image taken with the movement mode (long exposure) of the Google Pixel 6 Pro in the Madrid Metro.GO

The cameras also incorporate a technology called true tone. “For decades, cameras have been designed to photograph fair skin, and this bias has crept into many modern digital visual products and algorithms,” the Mountain View-based company said. In theory, the new Google phones can recreate any skin tone more accurately.

The Pixel 6 Pro debuts a processor: the Tensor Flow, which is the first chip developed by the company. In addition, it has 12 GB of RAM and 128, 256 or 512 GB of storage. On a day-to-day basis, the performance has been as expected from a high-end mobile. There has been no delay or lag when running the applications. The battery is 5,000 mAh and has a fast charge of 30W. With normal use of the mobile, it usually reaches the full day, but with very intensive use, it can fall short.

Google Pixel 6, the little brother at a more affordable price

The Google Pixel 6 Pro does not arrive alone; It is accompanied by its little brother, the Pixel 6, which starts at a price of 649 euros. Both terminals share a processor and design, although the Pixel 6 is somewhat smaller. Its screen is 6.4 inches and has a refresh rate of 90 Hz – compared to 6.7 inches and 120 Hz of the Pixel 6 Pro. In the photographic section, the Pixel 6 is also a little less ambitious. Although it has a 50-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, it lacks a telephoto lens. Its front camera is eight megapixels. The mobile is also compatible with 5G networks and is equipped with the Tensor Flow processor. Additionally, it has 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB of storage, and a 4,614mAh battery.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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