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(Pocket-lint) - Google announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones on 19 October, succeeding the Pixel 5 that arrived in October 2020. 

We've compared how the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro compare in a separate feature, but here we are focusing on how the Pixel 6 stacks up against the Pixel 5.

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Prices

  • Pixel 5: £599 / $699 / €630
  • Pixel 6: £599 / $599 / €649
  • Pixel 6 Pro: £849 / $899 / €899

Google appears to be shaking up the Pixel family with aggressive pricing. The Pixel 5 was reletively expensive when it launched - with some versions in the US costing more because of the mmWave antenna they also offered. On the Google Store, the Pixel 5 is no longer sold, but it's still available from retailers.

The Pixel 6 is priced in a similar position to the Pixel 5, making the Pixel 6 look more attractive, while the Pixel 6 Pro is more expensive, it's a bigger phone so the pricing seems competitive.

Design

  • Pixel 5: 144.7 x 70.4 x 8mm, 151g
  • Pixel 6: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm, 207g
  • Pixel 6 Pro: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm, 210g

The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro offer a complete redesign compared to the Pixel 5. Both have a camera housing that stretches across their entire width, compared to the square housing positioned in the top left corner on the Pixel 5.

While the Pixel 5 had a metal unibody design, the Pixel 6 now uses Gorilla Glass Victus front and back with an alloy core, polished around the edges and framing that camera bar. It's a much higher quality look.

There's a punch hole camera at the top of the display in the centre in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, repositioning from the top left corner on the Pixel 5.

The other big change in design is the introduction of an under-display fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 6, rather than the physical sensor on the rear of the Pixel 5. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are also a little more exciting in terms of colours, with blocks of colours on the rear.

In terms of physical measurements, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are both larger than the Pixel 5, as well as thicker. All these models have IP68 water and dust resistance.

Display

  • Pixel 5: 6-inch, Full HD+, 90Hz
  • Pixel 6: 6.4-inch, Full HD+, 90Hz
  • Pixel 6 Pro: 6.7-inch, Quad HD+, 10-120Hz

The Google Pixel 6 comes with a 6.4-inch OLED display and the Pixel 6 Pro with a 6.7-inch LTPO display. Both devices are therefore bigger than the Pixel 5's 6-inch OLED display.

The Pixel 6 comes with a Full HD+ resolution at 2400 x 1080 pixels, which delivers a pixel density of 411ppi. It has a flat screen and a 90Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 6 Pro meanwhile, comes with a slightly curved display, and it offers a Quad HD+ resolution at 3120 x 1440, which delivers a pixel density of 512ppi. It offers an adpative 10Hz to 120Hz refresh rate, thanks to using an LTPO display.

The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch display that has a Full HD+ resolution at 2340 x 1080 for a pixel density of 432ppi. It offers a 90Hz refresh rate and it has HDR support, which the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro both offer too.

Hardware and specs

  • Pixel 5: Qualcomm SD765G, 5G, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4080mAh
  • Pixel 6: Google Tensor chip, 5G, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 4614mAh
  • Pixel 6 Pro: Google Tensor chip, 5G, 12GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 5003mAh

The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro run on an in-house chip called Tensor. It's has 5G capabilities and it offers a focus on security. Google has flat-out claimed that Pixel 6 is 80 per cent faster than the Pixel 5 based on its own benchmarks, so that should give you a guide to performance differences.

The Pixel 6 has 8GB RAM and storage options of 128GB and 256GB, while the Pixel 6 Pro has 12GB RAM and the same storage options. The Pixel 6 has a 4614mAh battery, while the 6 Pro has a 5003mAh battery capacity. Both claim 24 hours of battery life, with support for 30W charging, although there's no charger in the box. The Pixel 6 will support 21W wireless charging and the 6 Pro will support 23W wireless charging using the new Pixel Stand (2nd gen), but only 12W on a standard Qi charger.

The Pixel 5 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. The battery capacity is 4080mAh and the Pixel 5 supports 18W charging and 12W wireless charging. It's a mid-rnage device whereas the Pixel 6 models are designed to be flagship and more powerful.

Camera

  • Pixel 5: Dual camera (12.2MP+16MP)
  • Pixel 6: Dual camera (50MP + 12MP)
  • Pixel 6 Pro: Triple camera (50MP + 12MP + 48MP)

The Pixel 6 has a dual rear camera, comprised of a 50-megapixel main wide camera with f/1.85 aperture and 1.2µm pixels, and a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture 1.25µm pixels.

The Pixel 6 Pro meanwhile, will has a triple rear camera with the same 50-megapixel main sensor and same 12-megapixel ultra wide angle lens as the Pixel 6, but with the addition of an 48-megapixel telephoto sensor too. It offers 4x optical zoom 20x digital zoom and it has a f/3.5 aperture and 0.8µm pixels. 

There are several new camera features on board, including Magic Eraser, Motion Mode and Face Unblur. The Pixel 6 devices also offer features like Portrait mode and Night Sight, which you will find in the Pixel 5 too.

The Pixel 5 has a dual rear camera comprised of a 12.2-megapixel main camera with 1.4µm pixels and a f/1.7 aperture, along with a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens with 1.0µm pixels and an f/2.2 aperture.

The front camera on the Pixel 5 is an 8-megapixel sensor with 1.12µm pixels and an f/2.0 aperture. The Pixel 6 also offers an 8-megapixel front camera with 1.12µm pixels and an f/2.0 aperture, while the Pixel 6 Pro ups this to 11.1-megapixels with a 94-degree ultra wide-angle lens, 1.22µm pixels and an f/2.2 aperture.

The new Pixel 6 models are a big departure from the Pixel 5. While the experience of using the cameras will be similar, as is the UI, the hardware behind them is very different and the main sensor in the PIxel 6 models is much larger.

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Conclusion 

The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro offer a big redesign compared to the Pixel 5, and they also have larger displays, faster refresh rates and upgrades in hardware. 

The camera offering is more advanced on the Pixel 6 and certainly the 6 Pro with the addition of a telephoto lens, which is likely going to be the biggest reason to upgrade.

You can read our first impressions of both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in our separate features.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.