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Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: These are the biggest differences

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A Google Pixel 6 vs. Google Pixel 6 Pro comparison will help you decide which of Google's new flagship phones could be right for you.

The Pixel 6 series as a whole is a huge step up from what came before, with Google's new Tensor chipset under the hood, a fresh new design, better cameras plus lots of other little but welcome hardware and software touches. The Pixel 6 Pro, as its name suggests, offers even more, including a larger display, a bigger battery and a telephoto camera.

If you need a hand comparing the two flavors of Pixel 6, we've broken down the features, prices and specs below to show you where the two phones differ, and where they're the same. And we've also got a Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5 comparison if you want to see what's new since the last generation.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Specs

Google Pixel 6Google Pixel 6 Pro
Price:$599$899
Colors:Stormy Black, Kinda Coral, Sorta SeafoamStormy Black, Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny
Display: size (resolution):6.4-inch (1080x2400 pixels, 411ppi)6.7-inch (1440 x 3120, 512ppi)
Refresh rate:Up to 90HzUp to 120Hz
Processor:Google Tensor with Titan M2Google Tensor with Titan M2
RAM:8GB12GB
Storage:128GB | 256GB128GB | 256GB | 512GB
Rear cameras:50MP wide-angle (ƒ/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2)50MP wide-angle (ƒ/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2), 48MP telephoto (ƒ/3.5)
Zoom:7x Super Res digital4x optical and 20x Super Res digital
Front camera:8MP (ƒ/2.0), 84-degree field of view11.1MP (ƒ/2.2), 94-degree field of view
Video:Rear: 4K and 1080p (both up to 60fps), Front: 1080p at 30fpsRear: 4K and 1080p (both up to 60fps), Front: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at up to 60fps
Authentication:Fingerprint Unlock with under-display fingerprint sensorFingerprint Unlock with under-display fingerprint sensor
Battery:Rated for 24 hours (48 with Extreme Battery Saver), at least 4524 mAhRated for 24 hours (48 with Extreme Battery Saver), at least 4905 mAh
Dimensions:6.2 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches6.5 x 3 x 0.4 inches
Weight:7.3 ounces7.4 ounces

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Price and release date

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are arguably a bargain compared to phones like the iPhone 13 or the Samsung Galaxy S21, but there's still a $300 price gap between the two Pixel phones.

The base 128GB Google Pixel 6 starts at $599, with the option to pay more for 256GB of storage. The Pixel 6 Pro costs $899, with the option to pay for extra storage; only the Pixel 6 Pro goes up to 512GB. 

Pre-orders for the Pixel 6 are now live if you've already made up your mind about the phone. The release date is October 28. See our Pixel 6 deals page for the biggest savings. 

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Design and display

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro

The Pixel 6 Pro (left) and Pixel 6. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The two Pixel 6 models look fairly similar with Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back and a prominent camera bar on the back that separates two color blocks.

You have different color options for the two phones. The Pixel 6 comes in Stormy Black, Sorta Seafoam and Kinda Coral, while the Pro model has Stormy Black, Cloudy White and Sorta Sunny.

The two models diverge in a couple of areas. The most obvious would be size, with the Pixel 6 sporting a 6.4-inch OLED display and the Pixel 6 Pro offering a 6.7-inch panel. The other big difference is the camera total — the Pixel 6 has two cameras on the back, while the Pixel 6 Pro gets three.

Aside from the sizes, the displays on both phones also differ. The Pixel 6 sports a 90Hz refresh rate, while the Pixel 6 Pro goes to 120Hz. You get an FHD+ resolution panel on the base Pixel 6, whereas you get a shaper QHD screen on the Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Cameras

pixel 6 pro in hand on a beach

The Pixel 6 Pro. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The basic Pixel 6 features two cameras on its back: a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera. The Pixel 6 Pro adds a third camera to this: a 48MP telephoto with 4x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom. The standard Pixel 6 has up 7x digital zoom.

Both phones use single 12MP cameras on the front, but with different fields-of-view. The Pixel 6's camera has an 84-degree FOV, while the Pixel 6 Pro gets a 94-degree FOV to fit more in frame.

Google Pixel 6 android

(Image credit: Google)

There are new software abilities for these new cameras, too. Google has introduced a new Magic Eraser to help eliminate unwanted parts of photos, a Motion mode for long exposures and action shots, and Face Unblur to help bring definition to people's faces that the camera didn't quite capture.

There's lots to dig into with the Pixel 6 range's cameras, so check out our in-depth guide to all of the Google Pixel 6 camera upgrades.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Performance

Google has equipped the Pixel 6 with a new chip called Tensor, a reference to the company's machine learning hardware in its data centers. At the heart of Tensor is the Tensor Processor Unit (TPU), which will handle any and all AI tasks that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro perform. That means that other resources could be freed for other tasks, potentially leading to better performance and battery life.

The two Pixel models are differentiated in terms of their memory capacities. The Pixel 6 has 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Pixel 6 Pro instead uses 12GB RAM, and either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB storage. 

Google launches its phones with the latest version of Android each year. Therefore we see the Pixel 6 series come with Android 12 out of the box. Both will benefit from Google Assistant's latest tricks too, such as Live Translation for messages, media and voice, Quick Phrases for easier voice controls, and enhanced calling assistance.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Battery and charging

The Google Pixel 6 packs a 4,614 mAh battery, and the Pixel 6 Pro has a larger 5,003 mAh battery. Google rates both phones for "beyond 24-hour battery life" and up to 4 8 hours with Extreme Battery Saver mode turned on. But we'll be testing both phones ourselves with our Tom's Guide Battery Test.

Neither the Pixel 6 nor Pixel 6 Pro come with a charger, but both phones support faster charging for 50% capacity in 30 minutes when you use a 30W USB-C charger. Both phones also support fast wireless charging, with the Pixel 6 rated for 21W and Pixel 6 Pro 23W with Google's optional Pixel Stand (2nd gen).

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Outlook

Google Pixel 6

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Pixel 6 Pro earns its name compared to the basic Pixel 6. With an extra rear camera, a larger display, a bigger battery and more memory, it's got plenty of hardware that will allow it to go toe-to-toe with Samsung's and Apple's latest phones.

Whether the Pro model will be worth it compared to the regular Pixel 6 remains to be seen, as we've not had much time with either phone yet. You get the same powerful Tensor processor, helpful software and image processing ability with. It will likely all come down to how much you're willing to pay for a larger 120Hz display, telephoto zoom and bigger battery.

Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.