Google’s advanced reveal of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro has answered a lot of questions about the handsets, but it’s also opened a whole lot more. The most pressing of these: can a bulky looking phone with such an unusual camera ‘visor’ feel comfortable in the hand?
Obviously, we won’t know for sure until we have review units to test ourselves, but Chrome Unboxed (opens in new tab) founder Robbie Payne decided he wanted answers ahead of time, so purchased a Google Pixel 6 Pro case to get a feel for the design long before there’s a handset to put inside it.
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Payne had previously tried the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, but found it to be uncomfortably large, but was pleasantly surprised by the feel of the Pixel 6 Pro case. “Instead of this hulking brick I’d imagined, the case showed me that the Pixel 6 Pro won’t really be much different than the phone I carry already in the OnePlus 8T,” he wrote. Indeed, it almost fits:
But more pleasingly, it seems that the intimidating reported 6.7-inch size of the Pixel 6 Pro won’t actually be that much bigger than the 6.3-inch Pixel 4 XL when non-screen space is accounted for.
“As a matter of fact, with the Pixel 4XL’s massive forehead, it actually becomes the same size as most modern full-screen phones,” he wrote. “The OnePlus 8T measures 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4 mm, while the Pixel 4XL comes in at 160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2 mm, making them nearly identical in size.”
Of course, size is only part of the comfort equation, and handsets of similar dimensions can weigh dramatically different amounts. All the same, in terms of height, width and depth, the Pixel 6 Pro seems to be consistent with other larger devices of the last few years.
And while the Pixel 6 handsets’ most distinctive feature — the elongated rear camera bar — could be a design change for the worse, Payne is confident that won’t be the case.
“With this case in my hand, I can tell you that the protrusion is there, it is not subtle, but it’s also not much more extended from the phone’s body than any other camera module out there,” he wrote. “I’ve also noticed that the entire camera bar is seated high enough on the back of the phone that when I pick up the case I never even come close to my hand hitting it or coming into contact with it. My bet? Once I have this phone, I won’t give it a second thought.”
Payne goes on to praise the button placement and the fact that “hand gymnastics” should be kept to a minimum, which is encouraging.
But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and with the brand new Tensor chip, Google is undoubtedly taking a gamble. Fortunately, recent Pixel 6 benchmarks look very promising indeed, and that’s before we get on to the key advantages that Google sees the chip offering: a “transformed experience for the camera, speech recognition and other Pixel 6 features.”
We shouldn’t have to wait too long to see if performance matches the hype, with leaker Jon Prosser expecting the phone to be unveiled on October 19 with the possible Pixel 6 release date on October 28. And, despite Google warning on an expensive handset previously, it looks like the Pixel 6 price may end up being cheaper than the iPhone 13.
Stay tuned for our full Google Pixel 6 Pro review to see if it can land on our best phones list.
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