Ought to You Improve to the Pixel 6? See How It Compares to three Older Pixel Telephones

The Pixel 6 is Google’s most important smartphone improve in years. However it may nonetheless be tough to know whether or not it is time to commerce in your previous cellphone. Generally, you need to solely contemplate upgrading in case your system is greater than two years previous. There’s lots that is completely different concerning the Pixel 6, however the Pixel 5 continues to be new sufficient to get you thru at the least one other yr. In case you have an older cellphone that is not eligible for Android working system updates anymore — just like the Pixel 3 — it is time to consider upgrading.

Whereas the Pixel 6 was spectacular sufficient to earn a CNET Editors’ Alternative Award, it is also price remembering there are different choices coming quickly for Pixel followers. Google simply introduced the extra reasonably priced Pixel 6A, which launches in July. It prices $449 and runs on the identical Tensor processor because the Pixel 6. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional are additionally coming this fall, bringing a more recent model of Google’s Tensor chip amongst different enhancements. 

You will additionally wish to contemplate what you are sacrificing when upgrading. House owners of sure older Pixel telephones get limitless photograph storage through the Google Images app at “Storage saver” high quality, which preserves most element whereas compressing the file dimension. However this perk is not obtainable on newer telephones just like the Pixel 5A and Pixel 6 household. It is also essential to contemplate that Google repeatedly launches software program updates with new options which can be suitable with older telephones, too, so you do not at all times have to purchase a brand new cellphone to get extra performance.

We have targeted on the principle Pixel sequence on this story as an alternative of its inexpensive Pixel A telephones. Since Google often launches its A-series telephones after its flagship Pixels, these gadgets often have an extended lifespan on the subject of software program assist, that means you may maintain onto them for longer earlier than upgrading.

In case you’re excited about branching out from the Pixel lineup, try our information to the greatest Android telephones. And in case you are upgrading to a brand new system, contemplate recycling your previous cellphone or buying and selling it in

Learn extra: What Google’s Pixel Watch Can Be taught From Its Pixel Telephones

Google Pixel 5

The Pixel 5.

Juan Garzon/CNET

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 5

12 months-over-year upgrades are often minor in at this time’s smartphone panorama, however the Pixel 6 is the uncommon exception to this rule. With the Pixel 6, you are getting Google’s personal Tensor processor for the primary time, an upgraded digicam with further options, a extra elegant design and different refinements that make it really feel vastly completely different from the Pixel 5. However because the Pixel 5 is lower than two years previous, you most likely need not improve simply but.

The most important change within the Pixel 6 is the addition of Google’s Tensor processor. Normal efficiency is easy, however Google’s chip actually shines on the subject of digicam options and different machine learning-oriented duties. The Pixel 6’s digicam is loaded with new instruments you will not get on the Pixel 5, resembling Magic Eraser for deleting undesirable background gadgets; Face Unblur, which retains a topic’s face sharp even after they’re shifting; and Movement Mode for including blurred background or lengthy publicity results to a picture. 

Except for the additional performance, the Pixel 6 additionally has a 50-megapixel important digicam with a wider discipline of view than the Pixel 5’s, though the ultrawide digicam has a decrease decision than final yr’s cellphone (12 megapixels on the Pixel 6 versus 16 megapixels on the Pixel 5).

Google additionally says the Pixel 6 ought to have longer battery life than the Pixel 5, because it claims the brand new cellphone’s battery can final “past 24 hours” whereas referring to the Pixel 5 as having “all-day” battery life. However battery life will at all times fluctuate relying on how you utilize your system. Each telephones have been able to making it by means of a full day throughout CNET’s evaluation testing, however elements like display screen brightness and which apps you are utilizing will at all times play a job.

The Pixel 6 additionally has a brand new glass design with a two-tone shade scheme that appears classier than the Pixel 5’s, though that may not matter a lot for those who plan to make use of it with a case. The extra important replace is the Pixel 6’s bigger 6.4-inch display screen, which represents a large soar from the Pixel 5’s 6-inch show. Each telephones can increase their refresh charges as much as 90Hz for smoother scrolling and have related resolutions, however the Pixel 6’s display screen is roofed in additional sturdy Gorilla Glass Victus.  

Learn extra: Google’s Promise to Simplify Tech Places Its Devices In every single place

The underside line: Although there’s loads that is new with the Pixel 6, you most likely need not improve simply but. The Pixel 6’s further digicam options and different enhancements are appreciated, however probably aren’t price a $600 improve for most individuals. Except for its contemporary look, larger display screen and new digicam, lots of the Pixel 6’s adjustments are principally reasonable upgrades. Google will proceed offering the Pixel 5 with Android working system and safety updates by means of October 2023. So for those who’re completely happy together with your present Pixel 5, you are higher off holding onto it for one more yr to get probably the most out of it earlier than upgrading. 

Google Pixel 4

Google’s Pixel 4.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 4 and 4 XL

In the case of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, the query of whether or not you need to improve is not so simple. In case your cellphone continues to be in good situation, you may most likely afford to carry onto it for a bit of longer. However you may wish to contemplate upgrading within the fall because the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are solely assured to get Android working system and safety updates till October 2022. 

Even for those who’ve determined you are prepared for a brand new cellphone, you need to nonetheless wait till later this yr if potential to see what the Pixel 6A and Pixel 7 have in retailer. Which one you need to watch for relies on your finances and priorities. Google’s A-series telephones are cheaper however compromise on sure options. If Google retains the identical pricing as final yr, the Pixel 7 will begin at $600 similar to the Pixel 6.

However in case you are set on upgrading now, there’s lots that is new with the Pixel 6. Essentially the most visibly apparent change is within the cellphone’s design. The Pixel 6 has a two-tone glass again with an almost borderless display screen and a horizontal digicam bar, whereas the Pixel 4 has a strong coloured again. Because the latest Pixel cellphone does not have any bezels above or beneath the display screen, Google was capable of prolong the show’s dimension with out making the cellphone larger. As such, the Pixel 6 has a roomier 6.4-inch display screen in comparison with the Pixel 4’s 5.7-inch show and the Pixel 4 XL’s 6.3-inch display screen.

The Pixel 6 additionally helps 5G in contrast to the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. That may not really feel like an enormous deal at this time, however it’s essential for a cellphone that you just’re planning to maintain for the following two to 3 years.

Google additionally gave the Pixel 6’s internals a serious improve by utilizing its personal Tensor chip as an alternative of a Qualcomm cellular processor. As soon as once more, you may discover this most within the digicam, because it brings further options like Magic Eraser and Face Unblur. However contemplating the Pixel 4 is now greater than two years previous, you may probably discover a pleasant increase in total pace and responsiveness, too.

The digicam on the Pixel 6 additionally has a noticeably larger 50-megapixel decision with a wider discipline of view than the Pixel 4 and 4XL’s 12.2-megapixel important digicam. The opposite important digicam distinction comes all the way down to the second lens. The Pixel 6 has an ultrawide digicam whereas the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL every have a telephoto digicam. In case you take lots of zoomed-in images in your Pixel 4, you may need to concentrate on that change.

Google additionally did away with its Movement Sense characteristic after the Pixel 4, however that is most likely not an enormous loss. Movement Sense helps you to carry out actions like enjoying or pausing music, skipping songs or snoozing alarms simply by waving your hand with out touching the cellphone. Though Movement Sense was responsive in our testing, CNET’s reviewer Lynn La additionally mentioned it “felt gimmicky at first.” 

You will additionally discover an enchancment in battery life when switching to the Pixel 6. Google’s latest cellphone usually lasts for a full day on a single cost, in accordance with CNET’s evaluation, whereas the Pixel 4 solely lasted for a few workday when CNET examined it in 2019. These are the most important variations, however there are additionally just a few different advantages, resembling extra storage on the base degree (128GB on the Pixel 6 vs. the Pixel 4’s 64GB), further RAM for higher efficiency (8GB as an alternative of 6GB) and an in-screen fingerprint sensor (the Pixel 4 solely has face unlock). The Pixel 6 additionally has Battery Share, which makes it potential to cost different gadgets like earbuds wirelessly. 

Learn extra: Finest Android Telephones in 2022

The underside line: With a sharper important digicam, new images options, an even bigger display screen, longer battery life and Google’s Tensor processor, there is definitely loads to achieve by switching from the Pixel 4 to the Pixel 6. However you additionally do not must improve instantly in case your cellphone is in good situation. 

Nonetheless, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are solely assured to obtain Android model and safety updates till this October. Your cellphone will nonetheless work after that date, however you may probably wish to improve to a more recent system earlier than then. 

Google Pixel 3 next to the Pixel 3 XL

Google’s Pixel 3 (left) and Pixel 3 XL (proper).

Angela Lang/CNET

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 3 and three XL

In case you have a Pixel 3 or earlier, it is time to improve since Google now not ensures Android model and safety updates. The Pixel 3 and three XL are greater than three years previous, that means they’re additionally most likely beginning to really feel a bit sluggish.

Though software program assist might be a very powerful motive to improve, the Pixel 6 brings many different new options and performance. Not like the Pixel 6, the Pixel 3 and three XL do not assist 5G. You won’t care about that very a lot proper now, however you most likely will over the following two years or so. 

The Pixel 6’s display screen is considerably bigger than the Pixel 3’s (6.4 inches versus 5.5 inches) and barely larger than the Pixel 3 XL’s 6.3-inch show. The borders surrounding the Pixel 6’s display screen are additionally noticeably smaller than these on the Pixel 3 and three XL, giving Google’s latest cellphone a sleeker and extra trendy total look. 

Efficiency and battery life may even get a giant increase because of Google’s Tensor chip and the Pixel 6’s bigger battery capability. Although the Pixel 3’s battery fared fairly nicely throughout our preliminary check in 2018, your cellphone’s battery life might be beginning to shorten now that the system is a few years previous. Except for the pace increase you may probably get from Google’s new Tensor processor, the Pixel 6’s 90Hz refresh price must also make scrolling really feel smoother.

However one of many largest areas you may discover an enchancment is within the digicam. Not solely does the Pixel 6 have a sharper 50-megapixel important digicam in comparison with the Pixel 3’s 12.2-megapixel digicam, however it additionally has a further 12-megapixel extremely huge digicam for taking broader photographs. The Pixel 6’s improved digicam sensor and Google Tensor processor additionally imply there are a ton of additional images options on the Pixel 6 that you just will not get on the Pixel 3. These embody Magic Eraser for deleting undesirable background objects, Face Unblur for capturing sharp photographs even when the topic is shifting and portrait gentle results amongst different instruments. 

These are the principle advantages you may get from upgrading to the Pixel 6, however there are a number of different variations, too. The Pixel 6 has an in-screen fingerprint reader as an alternative of the Pixel 3’s rear-mounted sensor and double the reminiscence for higher efficiency. It additionally has reverse wi-fi charging, which permits the again of the system to function a wi-fi charger for suitable equipment.

Learn extra: Google Pixel Watch: All of the Particulars We Do (and Do not) Know

The underside line: Since Google is now not guaranteeing Android model and safety updates for the Pixel 3 and three XL, you may wish to improve quickly. Except for the peace of thoughts that comes with understanding you may proceed to get new options and safety fixes, you may get a slew of different enhancements starting from longer battery life to a extra subtle digicam and bigger display screen.

Google Pixel 6 vs. Pixel 3, 4 and 5

Google Pixel 6 Google Pixel 5 Google Pixel 4 Google Pixel 3
Show dimension, decision 6.4-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60 or 90Hz 6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels; 60 or 90Hz 5.7-inch OLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels 5.5-inch OLED; 2,160×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 411ppi 432ppi 444ppi 443ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.2 x 2.9 x 0.4 in 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 in 2.7 x 5.7 x 0.3 in 5.7×2.7×0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0 mm 68.8 x 147.1 x 8.2 mm 145.6×68.2×7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.3 oz; 207g 5.33 oz; 151g 5.7 oz; 162g 5.2oz; 148g
Cellular software program (at launch) Android 12 Android 11 Android 10 Android 9
Digital camera 50-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel ultrawide 12.2-megapixel (customary), 16-megapixel (ultrawide) 12.2-megapixel (customary), 16-megapixel (telephoto) 12.2-megapixel
Entrance-facing digicam 8-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video seize 4K 60fps (rear), 1080p 30fps (entrance) 4K 60fps (rear), 1080p 30fps (entrance) 4K 30fps (rear); 1080p 30fps (entrance) 4K 30fps (rear), 1080p 30fps (entrance)
Processor Google Tensor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM/Storage 8GB/128GB or 256GB 8GB/128GB 6GB/64GB or 128GB 4GB/64GB or 128GB
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery/Charger 4,614 mAh 4,080 mAh 2,800 mAh 2,915 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Underneath show Rear No Rear
Headphone jack No No No No
Particular options 5G sub 6 (some provider fashions even have 5G mmWave) assist, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W quick charging, Magic Eraser, Movement mode, Actual Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, 5 years OS and safety updates, IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, Gorrila Glass Victus (entrance), Gorilla Glass 6 (again) 5G enabled; water-resistant (IP68); 90Hz refresh price show; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wi-fi charging; quick charging Soli movement sensing and touchless gestures; 90Hz show; water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging IP68 ranking, wi-fi charging assist, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones within the field

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