The Google Pixel 6 is the junior partner of the Pixel 6 Pro in the US tech giant’s smartphone line, with slightly smaller dimensions and lower-tier specs in some areas than the flagship device. The Pixel 6 is powered by the same Tensor chipset as the Pro model, but features a smaller display, less RAM, and no dedicated camera on the back.
The front camera for selfie shots is also different. The Pixel 6 uses an 8MP sensor behind an f / 2.2 lens while the Pro captures 11MP files via an f / 2.2 lens. Additionally, the Pixel 6 is limited to 1080p front camera video while the Pro is capable of recording in 4K resolution.
Let’s see how these specs translate into real-world image results and how the Google Pixel 6 performs in SBMARK Selfie tests.
Main specifications of the front camera:
About SBMARK selfie tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone front camera reviews, SBMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 1500 test images and more than 2 hours of video in both controlled laboratory environments and indoor and outdoor natural scenes, using the default camera settings. This article aims to highlight the most important results of our tests. For more information on the SBMARK Selfie Test Protocol, click here.
- Lack of fine details
- Unstable exposure and white balance in consecutive shots
- No blur gradients in bokeh shots
- Very low details in the video
- The limited focus range results in blurred subjects at close range
- Local loss of sharpness and ringing in the video
With a SBMARK Selfie score of 97, the Google Pixel 6 occupies one of the top positions in the high-end segment ranking and is only five points behind its Ultra-Premium cousin Pixel 6 Pro. Overall performance is quite similar to the latter, including the good exposure of the target, the wide dynamic range and beautiful colors and skin tones.
The Google Pixel 6 front camera usually delivers images with good exposure and a wide dynamic range. it boasts excellent target exposure and fairly high details in outdoor selfies.
The differences are noticeable in texture and noise where the Pixel 6’s smaller sensor captures slightly less detail and produces higher noise levels. On the plus side, the smaller sensor’s greater depth of field means that larger portions of the scene are in focus. Despite similar color scores, our testers observed slightly more visible orange casts on the Pixel 6 than on the Pro, as well as more artifacts, such as a slight orange cast to the eyes or anamorphosis – perspective distortion of faces near the edge of the frame.
Google Pixel 6, accurate exposure, good dynamic range and white balance
Google Pixel 6 Pro, similar dynamic range
Vivo X60 Pro 5G (Snapdragon), lack of dynamic range
This graph shows the texture measurements in the lab. The Pixel 6 records lower levels of detail than the Pixel 6 Pro and Vivo X60 Pro in all lighting conditions.
Texture Comparison: The Google Pixel 6 offers lower levels of detail than comparison devices on all light levels.
Bokeh mode does a decent job of simulating a DSLR’s limited depth of field, but the lack of a blur gradient means the end result looks a little unnatural.
Google Pixel 6, bokeh simulation
When you switch to video mode, the Pixel 6’s 1080p resolution means details are much lower than 4K-compatible devices, such as the Pixel 6 Pro or Vivo X60 Pro.
Video Texture Comparison: As with stills, the Pixel 6 records lower levels of detail in the video than the comparison phones.
In other test areas the differences are less pronounced. Facial exposure is good in all conditions, but dynamic range is a bit more limited than on the Pixel 6 Pro. White balance is generally accurate, but skin tones are slightly less natural than on the Pro model. Noise is overall well controlled and even slightly better than on the Pixel 6 Pro.
On the other hand, low levels of detail also affect the focus score because a limited focus range further reduces detail if subjects move slightly off the focal plane of the fixed focus lens. This is especially true for close-up shots where faces often appear blurry. Video stabilization is efficient in most conditions, but a little more residual motion is visible when walking while recording than on the Pixel 6 Pro. Overall video artifacts are similar between the two devices, but the loss artifacts Local sharpness and ringing are more visible than on the Pro.
Google Pixel 6, good exposure, wide dynamic range, fairly neutral white balance, lack of detail, low noise, effective stabilization
Google Pixel 6 Pro, good exposure, wide dynamic range, fairly neutral white balance, great detail, low noise
Vivo X60 5G (Snapdragon), good exposure, limited dynamic range, inaccurate skin tones, good detail, low noise
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