People looking for a new pinnacle-end telephone will exist comparison the Google Pixel 6 Pro vs the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra to encounter which is best for them.
The Google Pixel half dozen Pro arrived towards the cease of 2021, providing a ii-tone total stop at the stop of a busy yr for flagship phones, with lots of changes to our listing of the best smartphones.
That year started, of form, with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It was a formidable tone setter that most subsequent rival releases have failed to match.
Does the Google Pixel 6 Pro fare any meliorate? That’s what nosotros’re here to notice out. Now that nosotros’ve had some fourth dimension with Google’s latest premium phone, we’re in the privileged position to call a clear winner.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra toll and availability
The Pixel 6 Pro landed on October 28. Prices start from $899 / £849 / AU$1,299 for the 128GB model. There’southward also a 256GB variant and a 512GB for some color variations.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra arrived way dorsum on Jan 29, 2021. Prices start at $ane,199 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for the 128GB model. The 256GB model costs $200 / £200 / AU$300 more, and the 512GB model represents another such bump.
Fifty-fifty taking into consideration the Galaxy S21 Ultra’southward historic period, and the fact that y'all tin can probably detect a tasty bargain for one right now, it’s clear that the Pixel 6 Pro is the cheaper device of the ii.
Google Pixel six Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: Pattern
At 165.i x 75.6 ten 8.9mm and 228g, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of the heftier handsets on the market. The Pixel 6 Pro pushes it quite close, though, at a very similar 163.9 x 75.ix 10 8.9mm and 210g.
Both phones have their own distinctive look, which we appreciate. The Samsung Milky way S21 Ultra was an early contender for smartphone pattern of the year. That was like shooting fish in a barrel to say when information technology was near the Get-go phone of the twelvemonth, of grade, only its looks accept held up remarkably well.
Its swooping camera module remains a Samsung signature, while the matte Phantom Black finish of our review unit remains a stealthy favorite.
The Pixel 6 Pro, on the other mitt, goes with a striking two-tone approach, splitting the color palette between the top strip and the chief rear console.
Bisecting these is Google’southward take on the oversized camera module, which isn’t as subtle or flowing as Samsung’southward. However, its full-width nature ensures that you lot don’t get whatsoever rocking when you lay the phone down flat, which is a bonus.
Both phones pack an IP68 rating, which you lot’d wait in whatsoever genuine flagship phone these days, and both likewise feature Corning Gorilla Glass Victus to front and back, sandwiching aluminum frames. Both have slightly curved displays, also.
We’d perhaps give the Milky way S21 Ultra the border here in terms of looks. It might be heavier, but its design is less divisive and more than flowing than its in-your-face Pixel half-dozen Pro brother.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: display
This is a close-run thing. Both phones pack large, sharp OLED displays with rapid 120Hz refresh rates.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra screen is slightly larger at half dozen.8-inches. But the divergence is negligible, with the Pixel 6 Pro screen measuring 6.71-inches.
Both OLEDs are capable of running at a 120Hz refresh rate and a Quad HD resolution at the aforementioned fourth dimension. And both utilise LTPO applied science to calibration that refresh rate according to the task, thus saving battery life.
With a claimed summit brightness of one,500 nits, the Galaxy S21 Ultra would appear to exist able to go much brighter than the 800 nits of the Pixel 6 Pro. In most day-to-24-hour interval weather condition, both announced to be plenty vivid enough, but the Samsung volition likely accept the edge in those extreme sunny day scenarios.
Nosotros’d perhaps give Samsung the edge when it comes to its fingerprint sensor implementation, likewise. With a 1.7X increase in size over previous Samsung phones, it’s much easier to hit than before.
By contrast, we constitute the Pixel 6 Pro’due south fingerprint sensor to exist a little tricky to hit consistently.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Milky way S21 Ultra: cameras
Both of these phones go big on the camera hardware. The Samsung’s quad-sensor system is led by a huge ane/1.33" 108MP wide sensor with an f/1.8 aperture.
Google goes with a chunky 1/1.31-inch 50MP broad sensor accompanied by an f/1.85 aperture. This ways that the Pixel 6 Pro technically produces bigger pixels (1.2µm vs 0.8µm), but both cameras employ pixel-binning techniques, so such a comparison isn’t particularly useful.
Both phones go with 12MP f/2.2 ultra-broad sensors, though Samsung’s captures larger 1.4µm pixels (versus one.25µm in the Pixel 6 Pro).
These 2 camera systems diverge further with their telephoto offerings. Google goes with a single 48MP sensor and a 4x optical zoom. Samsung goes with a pair of 10MP sensors, ane with a 3x optical zoom lens, and the other with a 10x zoom.
At that place’southward really no contest when it comes to zoomed-in shots, with Samsung taking the ‘best telephoto’ title. The ultra-wides are nip and tuck, every bit you’d wait, while the principal sensors each have their perks and quirks.
Google has given the Pixel 6 Pro some intriguing new software tricks, powered by the company’s custom Tensor scrap. Magic Eraser is the most striking, at least when it works properly. At its best, you lot tin tap to instantly remove unwanted background elements.
Every bit always with two bully camera phones, much of which you prefer may come down to personal preference with regards to the colour science. Samsung goes with super vibrant, punched up colors, while Google tends to go cooler and more contrasty.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a more pixel-packed 40MP selfie camera compared to the Pixel half-dozen Pro’s 11.1MP equivalent. But both take decent enough cocky shots.
Google Pixel vi Pro vs Samsung Milky way S21 Ultra: specs and performance
Both of these phones run on custom hardware - or at least, the Pixel 6 Pro and the global version of the Milky way S21 Ultra do. In the Us and China, Samsung goes with an off-the-shelf Snapdragon 888.
Otherwise, the Pixel 6 Pro is the first telephone to run on Google’s new Tensor flake, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra packs Samsung’s Exynos 2100 SoC.
In our Geekbench 5 criterion tests, the Pixel six Pro scored an average multi-cadre score of 2760. That’s some way short of the Samsung Milky way S21 Ultra’s 3440.
Practically speaking, nonetheless, we can’t really separate the two. Both phones feel fast in everyday usage, and both run all of the usual apps and games at acme speeds.
Google’due south choice of the Tensor flake isn’t so much related to pure processing grunt, anyway. The flake’s machine learning capabilities enable the elaborate camera tricks we mentioned above.
One matter the Milky way S21 Ultra definitely has more than of is storage options. Disappointingly, the Pixel half dozen Pro only gives you 128GB and 256GB options in the Uk and US. The Galaxy S21 Ultra adds a 512GB option on top of those, and not but in Australia.
The Milky way S21 Ultra also packs support for Samsung’due south signature Due south Pen stylus. Combined with Samsung’s powerful Notes and PENUP apps, it’due south a great tool for taking notes and sketching.
Google Pixel half dozen Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: software
It’s worth mentioning the differing approach to software here. The Pixel 6 Pro comes with pure Android 12, with its bold Cloth You UI adding a splash of color and design sharpness. We particularly like the way it changes the palette of the entire organization to friction match your chosen wallpaper.
Samsung’south I UI, as vastly improved as it may be over earlier versions, merely can’t compete for aesthetic appeal or sheer cohesiveness. In that location’due south that eternal compromise of ii distinct UI visions (and app provisions, and assistants) coexisting in one infinite. The Pixel six Pro feels lighter and more honed as a effect.
The Pixel six Pro is also guaranteed to receive three full software updates, which we highly doubt the Milky way S21 Ultra will. Even if it did, i of those would be taken up in the move from Android 11 to Android 12, so the Pixel is ahead on software.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: battery
Both of these phones cram in big 5000 mAh batteries. That’s adept to see, given their larger 120Hz displays and powerful processors.
We wouldn’t say that either phone has amazing stamina, however. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s battery life fits the description “solid”, able to get through a total 24-hour interval of moderate usage without giving out - at least when set to 1080p/120Hz. Things get hairier with QHD engaged.
Meanwhile, we described the Pixel half dozen Pro’s battery life as “ane of the weaker elements” of the phone. Over again, information technology will terminal you lot a mean solar day of typical usage, only pushing it hard will run into you struggling. It wasn’t uncommon for our reviewer to get to the stop of a day with just 10% left in the tank.
Neither phone particularly impresses when it comes time to recharge, either. The Pixel six Pro has the slight edge with 30W charging support to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 25W. Just rivals such as OnePlus and Xiaomi give you 65W and beyond.
Those rivals also deign to give you a charging brick in the box, whereas neither Google or Samsung practise.
Google technically wins on the wireless charging front, with support for 23W charging, though that’south only with Google’s ain special (and expensive) Pixel Stand. Otherwise, it’s plain old 12W, which actually falls short of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 15W.
In the Pixel 6 Pro, Google has produced its starting time genuinely top tier phone. Its distinctive pattern, pure Android 12 software, and capable photographic camera all mark it out equally a peak contender.
Has it wowed us in the same way that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra did at the turn of the year, though? No, non really. Samsung’s telephone feels a little tighter and more than cohesive, the culmination of years of iterative improvements.
Of course, you might look as much given the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s cost. Fifty-fifty and so far on from its January 2020 release, information technology’s nevertheless selling for quite a fleck more money than the brand spanking new Pixel half-dozen Pro.
For its sheer value, then, every bit well as the elegance of its software, the Pixel 6 Pro might be a more appealing bet for certain users, even if we tin’t in all honesty call information technology the ameliorate phone.
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