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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: Jon Prosser x Rendersbyian)

The Google Pixel 6 vs Google Pixel 6 Pro comparison looks very interesting based on the rumors and what Google has told us thus far. The Pixel 6 itself should be quite different from anything Google's made before, especially the design and the new Tensor chip, while the Pixel 6 Pro includes several upgrades (some of which remain rumors at this point) to differentiate the two flagships.

It's impossible to say which phone may offer better value given that some of these specs aren't confirmed, and nobody seems to know the price yet — Google has just said that the Pixel 6 will come at a premium price. But the increased display size, camera count, and the rumored larger battery and extra memory are all good signs that the Pixel 6 Pro will offer plenty of incentive to spend more over the regular Pixel 6.

Below we break down the different rumored features of the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, to see how they compare.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Specs (rumored)

Google Pixel 6Google Pixel 6 Pro
OSAndroid 12Android 12
Display6.4 inches AMOLED6.71 inches AMOLED
Refresh rate90Hz120Hz
RAM8GB12GB
Storage 128GB/256GB128GB/256GB/512GB
Rear camera50MP (Wide) + 12MP (Ultra wide)50MP (Wide) + 48MP (Tele) + 12MP (Ultra wide)
Front camera8MP12MP
Battery4,614 mAh5,000 mAh

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Price

It seems a fair assumption that there will be a at least a $100 price difference between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Looking to Google's rivals for reference, there's a $200 gap between the basic iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, and also between the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus, or the S21 Plus and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The current Google Pixel 5 costs $700, but as we'll see later on, the Pixel 6 is rumored to be using much better hardware than its predecessor. Therefore, it seems possible that the Pixel 6 will cost around the $800 mark, with the Pixel 6 Pro likely to be Google's first $1,000 phone (or more).

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Design and display

Google Pixel 6

(Image credit: OnLeaks/91mobiles)

The Pixel 6 looks like a completely unrelated phone to the Pixel 5, but the two Pixel 6 models should look fairly similar with this apparent three-color design.

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 will have two cameras on the back, while the Pixel 6 Pro gets three.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

(Image credit: Jon Prosser x Rendersbyian)

Aside from the sizes, the displays on both phones are thought to use the same tech. Google has said that the Pixel 6 will sport a 90Hz refresh rate just like the Pixel 5, while the Pixel 6 Pro will have 120Hz like other top-tier Android phones.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Cameras

The basic Pixel 6 is claimed to feature two cameras on its back: a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera. The Pixel 6 Pro adds a third camera to this: supposedly a 48MP telephoto with a confirmed 4x optical zoom.

Google Pixel 6 cameras

(Image credit: Jon Prosser x Rendersbyian)

It's also believed that both phones use single cameras on the front, but with different resolutions. The Pixel 6's camera is tipped for an 8MP selfie sensor, while the Pixel 6 Pro could be a 12MP sensor.

Google has not yet confirmed the megapixel count on either phone, just the total cameras and their lens types.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Performance

We now know that the new chip from Google is called Tensor, a reference to the company's machine learning hardware in its data centers. The system-on-chip will supposedly unlock the true AI and machine learning capabilities on a smartphone. It's been built from the ground up to provide a seamless experience. 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.

This would make the Pixel line more like the iPhone, in that Apple designs both the hardware and software for its phones from the ground up. Combined with Google's control over Android, the performance and responsiveness of the Pixel 6 could be quite impressive.

The two Pixel models look to be differentiated in terms of their memory capacities. The Pixel 6 is rumored to have 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Pixel 6 Pro would instead use 12GB RAM, and either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB storage. This would be the most RAM and storage ever available in a Pixel, and would be a departure from Google's historic focus on software over hardware when it comes to its phones.

Google launches its phones with the latest version of Android each year. Therefore we should see the Pixel 6 come with Android 12 out of the box.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Battery and charging

While both Pixel 6 models are rumored to have far larger batteries than the Pixel 5, there's still a notable gap between their alleged capacities. The Pixel 6 is tipped to feature a 4,614 mAh battery, while the Pixel 6 Pro could get a sizable 5,000 mAh cell.

There's no word on the charging speed of either Pixel 6 yet. We should expect at least identical wired charging to previous Pixel models at 18W, but there are worries that Google will follow Apple and Samsung's example and not include a charger in the Pixel 6's box.

A new Pixel Stand wireless charger has been rumored to be in development at Google, which features a new built-in fan and therefore a likely higher charging speed than the current fan-less Pixel Stand's 10W.

Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Outlook

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

Whether the Pro model will be worth it compared to the regular Pixel 6 remains to be seen. You'll get the same powerful Tensor processor and overall image quality with either phone. So it will likely all come down to how much you're willing to pay, and whether you want 120Hz and a telephoto camera in the case of the Pro model.

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.