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High-End ?

Google Pixel 6 Selfie test: Wide dynamic range but lack of detail

OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

The Google Pixel 6 is the junior partner to the Pixel 6 Pro in the US tech giant’s smartphone line, coming with slightly smaller dimensions and lower level specs in some areas than the flagship device. The Pixel 6 is powered by the same Tensor chipset as the Pro model but comes with a smaller display, less RAM and no dedicated tele camera on the back.

The front camera for selfie shooting is different, too. The Pixel 6 uses an 8 MP sensor behind a f/2.2 lens while the Pro captures 11 MP files through a f/2.2 lens. In addition the Pixel 6 is limited to 1080p front camera video while the Pro is capable of 4K resolution recording.

Let’s see how these specs translate into real life image results and how the Google Pixel 6 does in the DXOMARK Selfie tests.

Key front camera specifications:

About DXOMARK Selfie tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone front camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 1500 test images and more than 2 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Selfie test protocol, click here. 

Test summary


Google Pixel 6
97
selfie
104
Photo
90

Best

99

100

88

97

57

85

72

90

84

87

77

93

65

75


87
Video
76

86

84

87

77

92

48

97

72

83

82

92

Pros

Cons

  • Lack of fine detail
  • Exposure and white balance instabilities across consecutive shots
  • No blur gradient in bokeh shots
  • Very low detail in video
  • Limited focus range results in out-of-focus subjects at close distance
  • Local loss of sharpness and ringing in video

With a DXOMARK 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 shy of its Ultra-Premium cousin Pixel 6 Pro. Overall performance is quite similar to the latter, including the good target exposure, wide dynamic range and nice colors and skin tones.

The Google Pixel 6 front camera usually delivers images with good exposure and a wide dynamic range. boasts excellent target exposure and fairly high detail in outdoor selfies.

Differences are noticeable in texture and noise where the Pixel 6’s smaller sensor captures slightly less detail and produces higher levels of noise. On the plus side, the smaller sensor’s wider depth of field means 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 tint to eyes or anamorphosis – perspective distortion of faces close to 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 texture measurements in the lab. The Pixel 6 records lower levels of detail then the Pixel 6 Pro and Vivo X60 Pro in all light conditions.

Texture comparison: The Google Pixel 6 delivers lower levels of detail than the comparison devices across all light levels.

Bokeh mode does a decent job at simulating the limited depth of field of a DSLR but the lack of a blur gradient means the end result looks a little unnatural.

Google Pixel 6, bokeh simulation
Google Pixel 6, crop, no blur gradient

When switching to video mode the Pixel 6’s 1080p resolution means that detail is much lower than on 4K-capable devices, such as the Pixel 6 Pro or Vivo X60 Pro.

Video texture comparison: like for still images, the Pixel 6 records lower levels of detail in video than the comparison phones.

In other test areas differences are less pronounced. Face exposure is good in all conditions but dynamic range is a little 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 well-controlled overall and even slightly better than on the Pixel 6 Pro.

On the other hand the low levels of detail also impact on the focus score because a limited focus range reduces detail even further if the subjects moves slightly out of the fixed focus lens’ focal plane. This is especially true for close distance shots where faces often look blurry. Video stabilization is efficient in most conditions but a little more residual motion than on the Pixel 6 Pro is visible when walking while recording. Overall video artifacts are similar between the two devices but local loss of sharpness artifacts 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, excellent detail, low noise

Vivo X60 5G (Snapdragon), good exposure, limited dynamic range, inaccurate skin tones, good detail, low noise

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