Three (and a bit) months with the Pixel 6

I’ve been using a OnePlus 5T for the last few years. About a year ago – unbeknownst to me – OnePlus decided to stop supporting it, so updates all dried up. It was getting a bit cranky anyway, so I decided it was time to upgrade. As luck would have it, around the same time I noticed the new Pixel 6 range had been announced, so I had a look at the specs. It all looked good to me, and nothing else in the market was particularly taking my fancy, so I placed a pre-order for the Pixel 6 (not the Pro). I was also in line for the free headphone deal they had going on.

I placed my pre-order with Carphone Warehouse – not wholly sure why but I did. It arrived bang on the release day, so I was pretty pleased. I’ve since redeemed the offer for free headphones, so I now have a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones as well, supposedly worth about 300 quid. Having been using this phone for a while now, I thought I’d put down some thoughts.

Good points

  • It’s fast, there’s no denying that. The performance has generally been great, and it hasn’t stuttered or stumbled. I generally leave a ton of crap running, and it hasn’t affected it.
  • Battery life is certainly an improvement over my 5T. I could do a whole day and have somewhere between 20-50% left on that phone. The Pixel is usually around the 60% mark even with some pretty heavy use.
  • The camera is wonderful. Uterly wonderful. Every photo I took with the 5T was blurry generally, but I’ve taken some beautiful looking pictures, in all conditions. I’ve yet to use the advanced editing tools, but the actual optics seem very good to me. I take better photos with it than with my DSLR.
  • Storage is of no concern as it has ample space.
  • It’s really tough, I’ve dropped it loads of times with no case, and there’s no visible dings or dents (yet).
  • It’s as ‘pure Android’ as one can get. I don’t like Samsung’s crapware bolted on top, and other vendors do similar things. Google are generally the best with supporting their phones I think.

Bad stuff and things I don’t like

  • It’s heavy. Bloody hell is it heavy. Trying to use it one-handed often results in my hand cramping up over time. I often cradle it in my right hand, perched on my right little finger, so my thumb can swipe about and do things. This results in my little finger aching after a while.
  • It has a glassy finish which is inexplicably smooth. Every time I put it down somewhere, it would slide off and crash into the floor! I tended to put my phone on the arm of the sofa, but it would never stay still. I’ve since rectified this with a case, but I don’t know why it’s quite so slick. Weirdly, the glossy finish didn’t show up fingerprints much though.
  • The fingerprint reader is a bit temperamental. I’ve gotten more used to it now, but I do sometimes have to resort to the PIN to unlock it because it just refuses to see my thumb.
  • No charger. That’s fine, because I’ve got looooads of chargers, but it’s very incompatible with my old OnePlus DASH charger where it could take hours to add a few percentage. So I’ve had to swap the charger for one from a Lenovo tablet from which it will happily charge at full speed. If the only chargers you had were low amperage or a bit oddball (like the DASH charger) then you’d be out of luck and having to buy one anyway.


Would I buy another one? Absolutely. I think the bad stuff is outweighed by the good, by quite a significant margin.

What about the headphones?

If you pre-ordered, Google were offering a set of free Bose 700 noise cancelling headphones. You did have to wait a month before redemption, and the process was quite hidden, but I managed to do it. They’re alledgedly worth just shy of £300 at retail – I’d dispute that, or at least, I’d certainly not pay that much. That said, they are quite nice. I’ve never had noice cancelling headphones so that was quite an experience the first time I used them, and it’s possible to cycle through three levels (off, ‘5’ and ’10’ – odd). It does knock out a lot of noise. Battery life is good, and the audio quality isn’t actually too bad. I’ve found them quite comfortable for extended listening, both in terms of the sound and the fit on my head. They are also capable of being attached to at least two devices simultaneously which is very convenient. I’ve been using them recently for video calls as well, and they’ve worked well for that too.

They’re very nice, and I’m pleased to have them. Not bad for free.