As we close in on the 6 month anniversary of the launch of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, I sit here holding this Cloudy White model in hand while wondering if Google got this all right or not. There are certainly indicators suggesting that it is at least somewhat of a success, yet I can’t help but feel the vibe from our readers and others in the Pixel community that frustrations remain.
If we jump back to our reviews of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, there was no question that both Tim and I found enjoyment in using each device. I called the Pixel 6 Pro a “Great Flagship” and Tim wasn’t shy about cheaper Pixel 6 being a “Clear Winner.” The few criticisms we offered focused on size, minor display complaints, and of course, the awful fingerprint reader. Outside of those, we pretty much said that you should buy these phones.
As was sort of expected, because this always happens after Google then launches its new phones to the public, the world received their pre-orders and the tone around both phones quickly changed. Folks ran into a number of issues on the software side, from network connectivity and heat worries to battery drain. Everyone also confirmed that the fingerprint reader was terrible.
December through January surely didn’t help either phone’s reputation, as Google massively whiffed on the first Pixel Feature Drop for their new phones, leaving owners who upgraded initially with serious issues. They didn’t acknowledge the problems for almost a month, pulled the update files far too late, and then took several more weeks to issue a mega-bug fixer. Things haven’t been great since then on an update front either, with March’s Feature Drop also delayed for the Pixel 6 line.
Now we sit here a few days removed from receiving the April update on-time and that 6-month mark nears. The complaints of new bugs seem limited, so that could be a sign that Google is finding somewhat stable ground. Or maybe folks moved on now that Samsung’s new phones are here? Whatever the case, the Pixel 6 world is very quiet at the moment, which I can only take to be a good thing.
My general thoughts on the Pixel 6 Pro after dancing between it and several review devices over the previous couple of months, are that this phone is still very good. At one point, after watching the update delays and seeing the never-ending complaints of bugs, I was worried that our early recommendation was a bad one. I’m not sure I feel that way at all today.
Since late February, I’ve reviewed the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Motorola Edge+ (2022), and OnePlus 10 Pro. I’ve also spent a lot of time with the smallest Galaxy S22. You know what phone I’m back to using? The Pixel 6 Pro.
The Pixel 6 Pro still offers a camera I trust the most, the software experience I prefer over all others, snappy performance and great haptics, and solid battery life. Sure, the phone is still too damn big and the curved display is stupid, but even the fingerprint reader seems to have actually improved after about the 3rd or 4th update of Google suggesting it had done so. And look, the $899 price for this phone still makes this the best value in Android, at least in my opinion.
How are you feeling after 6 months of Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro ownership? Has the experience always been good? Has this phone grown on you or finally stabilized? Are you still dealing with a never-ending list of bugs? Or did you jump ship for something else?