Pixel 6 Pro evaluation: flagship battle, “pro son” is finally no longer behind

The Pixel 6 Pro, which has been greatly changed in appearance and replaced with a self-developed chip, has naturally become the new machine I am looking forward to this year.

There is no other reason. Now it is almost difficult to see a new machine like the Pixel 6 series that is completely new from the inside to the outside. Even if the full-screen, rectangular camera module and other designs are no matter how durable they are, they cannot withstand the repetition year after year.

When a set of solutions is recognized by the market, it is a radical decision for both manufacturers and consumers to overthrow it and seek improvement. Unlike most manufacturers who are conservative, Google wants to use the Pixel 6 series to prove that it is determined to be this disruptor.

The first step is to subvert yourself.

Design that makes people "willing to touch"

▲ Picture from: CNET

Putting Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 5 together, apart from the conspicuous G Logo, it is difficult to find the two generations of models with more design heritage.

The unique bar-shaped camera module on the Pixel 6 Pro, the beautiful two-tone glass back cover, and the exquisite metal middle frame all seem to accuse the Pixel 5 of how "simplistic" the design is.

To be honest, I don't hate the plastic Unibody design of Pixel 4 and Pixel 5. Even in the mobile phone circle where glass and metal designs are flooded, the light grip of Pixel 5 can be said to be a rare clear stream.

But if the two generations of models are placed in the window at the same time, my attention will still drift to the Pixel 6 Pro. In the choice between external beauty and internal beauty, my eyes still convinced my hand.

The iconic color-blocking design of the Pixel series has returned on the Pixel 6 Pro. Pixel 6 Pro has three color combinations: storm black with gray and black, cloud white with silver and white, and dawn yellow with orange and yellow. This time, I experienced the brightest color of dawn yellow.

In an interview, Google’s CMF team mentioned that the color selection of the Pixel 6 series is the focus of the entire design. They found inspiration from many jewelry and other accessories, and designed the color scheme that they think can convey the most emotion-not only It should be good-looking, high-end, and make people "willing to touch."

The combination of low-saturation pink orange and light yellow, supplemented by a peach-gold metal frame, the Pixel 6 Pro in the morning yellow color is not as ostentatious as it seems, but more like a Morandi painting. Soft and comfortable.

The design and material of Pixel 6 Pro do bring a refreshing feeling, but some compromises have been made in the grip: the weight of 210g is slightly lower than the hand, and the too smooth back cover is easier to slip off when gripped.

The long strip camera module running through the back cover is the logo design of the Pixel 6 series. When I first saw Google's promotional photos, I particularly liked this recognizable and fresh design.

But after getting started, I found that the actual experience is still quite different from what I imagined-the camera module bulge is very obvious (about 3 mm), the bulging part and the back cover are not as smooth as the iPhone 13 and other mobile phones. The transition, when the fingers are put on naturally, it will feel particularly awkward.

Not only that, Pixel 6 Pro also has some strange designs that are difficult to understand, destroying its overall sense of refinement. For example, the millimeter wave antenna on the top is a very obtrusive plastic block, which destroys the continuity of the metal frame.

The lock screen button was placed "ingeniously" on top of the volume button. During the period of using Pixel 6 Pro, I pressed the volume-button by mistake as the lock screen button more than once, because its position is closer to my thumb .

If I were to choose the areas that I think need improvement most, then I would definitely vote for this "anti-humanity" lock screen button.

In addition, I have no more complaints about Pixel 6 Pro. After all, this time its design finally keeps up with the overall pace of the flagship ranks. Even if it is not perfect, it is exquisite and unique enough to make people feel at a glance. Recognize that you are a big fan of the native system.

Everything is in line with mainstream flagships

I believe that the Snapdragon 765G on the Pixel 5 is a pity in the hearts of many Pixel fans. When compared with other flagship models, the Pixel 5 with a mid-range positioning SoC always seems very embarrassing.

A year later, the hardware configuration of Pixel 6 Pro finally kept up with the flagship standard level, and the screen, processor and camera have all been greatly improved.

Pixel 6 Pro uses a 6.7-inch, 2K resolution, 120Hz LTPO OLED screen panel, and the glass uses Corning Gorilla Victus glass (including back cover glass), which is favored by more and more flagship phones.

The front camera chose the design of the center hole this time. The slightly curved screens on both sides have the effect of narrowing the frame visually. On the whole, the look and feel and color of this screen of Pixel 6 Pro have reached the flagship level. This is also the best screen since the Pixel series.

At the same time, the linear motor of Pixel 6 Pro is also the best motor in the Pixel series. It is not inferior to the benchmark iPhone. The strength and crisp vibration make me love it.

In terms of core configuration, Google chose the first self-developed SoC Tensor + UFS3.1 + LPDDR5 combination. Prior to this, the Pixel series have always used Qualcomm processors. Many people are concerned about this processor using Samsung's 5mm process. Curious about performance.

Before this, Ai Faner had introduced Tensor's performance architecture and development story in detail. Simply put, Tensor's CPU performance is between Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 888, while GPU performance is slightly stronger than Snapdragon 888.

Of course, as Google’s first self-developed chip, TPU (Machine Learning Engine) is Tensor’s strengths. In some calculation model runs, Tensor’s TPU surpasses mainstream SoCs such as Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100.

It doesn't make sense to talk about running points away from the actual experience. After actually using it for a period of time, I found that the shortcoming of Tensor is not in computing power, but in power consumption control.

Pixel 6 Pro is one of the smoothest phones I have ever used. If I am allowed to be selfish, I even hope to remove the rigorous "one".

This is because the native Android 12 system animation is too smooth. With the 120Hz high refresh rate screen, every time the screen is turned on, the desktop is returned, and the notification bar is swiped, it is very smooth. This is similar to the powerful Tensor of TPU. Inseparable from relationship.

But blindly pursuing a smooth experience also requires battery life as a price.

In terms of paper data, Pixel 6 Pro is equipped with a large 5003 mAh battery. It is reasonable to say that there should not be too much battery life anxiety, but after the actual experience, the experience of Pixel 6 Pro can only be said to be unsatisfactory: a normal day of office use, average With the screen on for 2 hours and music playing in the background, only 42% remains after 8 hours of use.

If you take a photo for a long time, because Tensor will call the CPU, GPU, ISP, and TPU for calculations at the same time, it consumes almost 40% of the battery after taking a photo for 2 hours, and the heat generated by the phone is not small at this time.

In addition to power consumption control needs to be improved, the charging power of the Pixel 6 Pro has also made me accustomed to 65W and 120W fast charging to see the world's unevenness-the Pixel 6 Pro that supports 30W PD fast charging takes half an hour to charge from 0-50%. However, it takes nearly 2 hours to fill.

This has to make me stay in power saving mode for a long time, insisting on charging until I go home.

A big victory for computational photography? Don't be overly mythical

It is worth cheering from Pixel fans that the Pixel 6 Pro has finally updated its camera module this time!

Why do you say "finally"? Because before that, the main camera of Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 has been using the IMX 363 sensor of Pixel 3, the real "sewing and mending for another three years."

Including the front camera, this time the camera module of Pixel 6 Pro has come to a comprehensive upgrade. The camera module information is as follows.

  • Wide-angle main camera: 50 million pixels, f/1.9 supports optical image stabilization and laser focus
  • Telephoto lens: 48 million pixels, f/3.5 supports 4x optical zoom and optical image stabilization
  • Ultra-wide-angle lens: 12 million pixels, f/2.2 shooting angle of 114˚ (0.7 times)
  • Front ultra-wide-angle camera: 11.1 million pixels, f/2.2

Pixel 6 Pro has only one extra telephoto lens compared to Pixel 6, which is positioned as the second flagship. The parameters of other lenses are the same, but after my experience, I found that telephoto is the biggest highlight of Pixel 6 Pro.

In mobile phones equipped with telephoto lenses, the zoom distance of mainstream telephoto lenses is concentrated between 2-3 times, while the optical zoom distance of some mobile phones with ultra-telephoto lenses is often more than 10 times, so it seems that Pixel 6 Pro 4 times The focal length of optical zoom is not common.

I don't intend to discuss which telephoto lens can take good photos. After all, lenses with different focal lengths are just imaging tools, and more importantly, how the people behind the lens can use them.

What really touched me about this telephoto lens is that it almost matches the imaging quality, color performance and computational photography functions of the main camera-including night mode, sports mode, portrait mode and other functions, you can almost use the telephoto camera as Use as another main camera.

Thanks to the powerful computing power of Tensor, you can use the main camera of Pixel 6 Pro to shoot a pretty good depth of field effect, which is very useful when shooting portraits or close-ups of objects.

But with regard to computational photography, what I am most concerned about is the "Magic Eraser" and "Sports Camera" functions mentioned by Google at the press conference. This makes me basically not "take good pictures" when testing the main camera.

Let’s talk about the “Magic Eraser” function. Simply put, it uses algorithms to automatically identify “excess” objects in the picture, such as tourists who strayed into the mirror when shooting landscape photos, redundant telephone poles, etc., Pixel will help you automatically They P drop

Under the actual experience, the accuracy of object recognition of "Magic Eraser" is still quite high. Both characters and buildings can be accurately identified and stroked. In some cases where the volume is small and the number is small, the "Magic Eraser" The quality of the P picture is still quite high, unless you zoom in and look at it carefully, it will be difficult to detect traces.

However, once the size of the "redundant" is slightly larger or there are a lot of them, this kind of AI retouching is still difficult to completely repair, and there is still room for improvement in the repair algorithm.

"Sports Camera" is another computational photography function that I use a lot. Friends who like photography should understand that when shooting people, vehicles and other objects in motion by appropriately adjusting the shutter speed, a moderately blurred picture will bring a dynamic effect to the flat picture.

Pixel 6 Pro’s "sports camera" function allows users who do not know how to adjust shutter parameters to easily take similar dynamic photos. The principle is to use algorithms to identify the moving parts of the picture and do moderate blurring to simulate high speeds. The effect of exercise.

The ideal is full, but the effect taken by the Pixel 6 Pro is a bit "skinny." In some scenes where the picture is not so complicated, the motion effect of Pixel 6 Pro is actually acceptable. It can more accurately identify the moving subject and then blur the background dynamically.

But when encountering some complicated backgrounds, such as the bushes next to the driveway, the dense foliage is smeared into watercolors, which looks unsatisfactory.

As mentioned earlier, these functions are not only suitable for the main camera, but also telephoto, ultra-wide-angle and even the front camera can also be used, which is also the computing power advantage of Tensor.

The combination of multiple lenses and multiple computational photography functions can give birth to many interesting imaging effects. Although the functions of these algorithms that are not yet fully mature can not completely replace the photography experience and allow the novice users to become a master photographer, they can indeed provide a lot of unprecedented creative inspiration and push me to continuously try new perspectives to observe the world.

Pixel is good, but the one that suits you is the best

From the perspective of hardware and software, Pixel 6 Pro is a mobile phone that we have seen each other, which is incompatible with the domestic market of popular "bucket machines".

Pixel 6 Pro has excellent camera performance, but the battery life and charging power are worrying; the native system has unparalleled smoothness and rich playability, but the lack of various localization functions always makes people miss the customization of domestic manufacturers system.

During the period of using Pixel 6 Pro, my feelings about it are complicated. On the one hand, I like the beautiful and unified UI design of native Android 12, and on the other hand, because of its lack of quick payment, NFC bus card, etc. Dissatisfied with the function.

This is not a problem with Pixel 6 Pro. After each generation of Pixel is released, greedy domestic users will always face the difficult choice between "purity" and "convenience".

Interestingly, when I was shooting the proofs, I met a Pixel fan passing by. He recognized the Pixel 6 Pro in my hand at a glance, and took the initiative to talk to me.

After some enthusiastic exchanges, I learned that he has liked Pixel for a long time. He owns Pixel 3 and Pixel 5. After the release of the Pixel 6 series, he also quickly started the Storm Black Pixel 6 Pro and is waiting for the new phone. The arrival.

Seeing the desire in his eyes, I handed him the Pixel 6 Pro in my hand to let him get started in advance. While he was playing with him, his smile never disappeared from his face, and he murmured: "I didn't buy it wrong, I didn't buy it wrong."

I was curious about what made him so obsessed with Pixel phones. He thought about it for a while, and seriously said it was because of "smooth", an adjective that is almost abused in the mobile phone circle, and what he likes is the native system. Almost unreasonably smooth.

Indeed, there are many reasons to hate Pixel. The high price, lack of localized services and other shortcomings will persuade many consumers, but if you like it, sometimes one reason is enough.

Stop talking nonsense.

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