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I was going to buy a Pixel 6, but one thing stopped me

I had fully set myself up to bag a Google Pixel 6 on launch day. However, when I held it in my hands, I changed my mind.

Published onNovember 7, 2021

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro camera closeups
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

I have some controversial opinions about Google’s line of Pixel phones. Historically, I have been disappointed with Google’s smartphone output. From the first Pixel all the way up until the Pixel 5, there hasn’t been one that I’ve wanted to actually buy. The Google Pixel 6 series, though, is something else. For the first time ever, I not only thought about buying a Pixel for myself but even thought about pre-ordering one on launch day.

Between the two phones, I wanted the vanilla Pixel 6. Why not the Pro, you ask? Well, the thing I liked most about the Pixel 5 (and my current daily driver, the Samsung Galaxy S21, too) is its size and weight. I don’t want my phone to be heavy as a brick and the size of a small tablet, and I thought the Pixel 6 would be smaller and lighter than the Pro model.

Our verdict: Google Pixel 6 reviewGoogle Pixel 6 Pro review

However, I was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the Google Pixel 6 before it launched. As soon as I held the phone in my hand, I realized I would not be placing that pre-order. That’s because Google abandoned its small form-factor ambitions for the Pixel 6 series. Not only are the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro of a similar size and weight, but they both are also enormous phones outright.

So is this yet another year of me not getting on board the Pixel bandwagon? Not necessarily. But before I get into that, let’s talk about just how big these phones are.

Google Pixel 6 series: All huge all the time

Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

In the photo above, you can check out how big the Google Pixel 6 is as compared to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. As you can see, the “smaller” Pixel 6 is only slightly shorter than Samsung’s largest Galaxy S21 phone. If you’re curious, the Pixel 6 Pro is only a hair shorter than the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The weight isn’t much different either. The Pixel 6 weighs 207g while the Pixel 6 Pro weighs 210g. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21 Ultra clocks in at 227g. Obviously, the Samsung phone is definitely heavier, but these are all very heavy slabs.

If you want a light and palm-friendly phone, the Pixel 6 series isn't for you.

It should be noted as well that the Galaxy S21 Ultra, though heavier, distributes its weight more evenly. The Pixel 6 phones carry most of their weight in the giant camera bar, which creates a very top-heavy experience. The Galaxy, by comparison, doesn’t have a distinctly heavy point.

Related: Here’s the Google Pixel 6 Pro’s size compared to other popular phones

For an even more stark comparison, the Pixel 5 weighed only 151g and is over half an inch shorter than the vanilla Pixel 6. That’s one heck of a growth spurt for a non-XL/Pro/Ultra phone.

The gist here is that no matter which Pixel you go with, you’re going to get a huge and heavy device. This makes me sad. I understand that most people aren’t like me and enjoy huge Android phones — sales figures have proven that to be true. But Google had made so much headway with smaller phones, especially with the runaway success of the Google Pixel 4a. It’s disappointing to me to see that trend — that also impacted the larger Pixel 5a — come to a close with the launch of the Pixel 6 family. Sadly, Pixel buyers now have only two options: huge or huger.

History: All Google Pixel phones released so far

So, is buying the Pixel 6 still out of the question?

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro perpendicular
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

During my short time using both the Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, I came away with one solid conclusion: the Pro is the model I would want to get. Considering it is basically the same size and weight as the Pixel 6, there’s not really much to entice me towards the standard model from a design standpoint.

That being said, the Pixel 6 does offer two distinct advantages that can’t be ignored: a flat display and a price that’s nearly 33% lower than the Pro. However, the curved sides of the Pixel 6 Pro are pretty tasteful and I think the extra cost is worth it for the perks like the faster, sharper display, a zoom camera, and upgraded internals, so these factors don’t change my mind. You might feel differently, though.

Keep reading: Can Google keep up with demand for the Pixel 6 series?

I still haven’t ordered the phone. Even if I wanted to, the two devices are in such high demand that I wouldn’t even know when or where I would get one. I might eventually decide to bite the bullet and grab one. I just don’t know if I’m ready to go back to having an enormous phone in my pocket again.

Regardless of what I end up doing, the fact still remains that I want a Pixel phone. That’s something I haven’t been able to say in the five years they’ve been available. I’m pretty excited about this as it’s something I’ve struggled with for a really long time. I just hope that whenever the Pixel 7 arrives, it comes with a slightly smaller model to counterbalance the big boys.

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