Notification Center

This is our new notification center. Inside, you will find updates on the most important things happening right now.

Notifications

Hmm, push notifications seem to be disabled in your browser. You can enable them from the 'Settings' icon in the URL bar of your browser.

www.phonearena.com

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the nutshell

6
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the nutshell
Google's unprecedentedly early Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro announcement indicated a certain hubris on part of Google which is now certain that the Pixel 6 Pro, in particular, can be a great alternative to flagships phones like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, warranting a direct comparison from us now that the Pixel 6 phones are official.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Buy at Amazon

Google Pixel 6 Pro

256GB, trade-in offer, $500 off if you switch

$299 99
$999 99
Buy at Verizon

Google Pixel 6 Pro

128GB, trade-in

$239 99
$939 99
Buy at AT&T

Google Pixel 6 Pro

256GB, free Pixel Buds A w/ purchase

$899 99
$999
Buy at BestBuy


Also read:

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra display size and design colors


  • 6.7" Pixel 6 Pro comes in Cloudy White, Sorta Sunny, and Stormy Black two-tone body colors.
  • 6.8" Galaxy S21 Ultra is in Black, Silver, Navy, Brown, and Titanium colors.

Also read:

The smaller, 6.7" diagonal of the otherwise equally resolute QHD+ display of the Pixel 6 Pro doesn't mean a much smaller than the Galaxy S21 Ultra phone, despite that the latter comes with a 6.8-incher. 

Google Pixel 6 Pro
Dimensions

6.45 x 2.99 x 0.35 inches

163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm

Weight

7.41 oz (210 g)

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Dimensions

6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 inches

165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

8.04 oz (229 g)

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Dimensions

6.33 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm

Weight

8.47 oz (240 g)

Google Pixel 6
Dimensions

6.24 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm

Weight

7.30 oz (207 g)

Google Pixel 6 Pro
Dimensions

6.45 x 2.99 x 0.35 inches

163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm

Weight

7.41 oz (210 g)

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Dimensions

6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 inches

165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

8.04 oz (229 g)

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Dimensions

6.33 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm

Weight

8.47 oz (240 g)

Google Pixel 6
Dimensions

6.24 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm

Weight

7.30 oz (207 g)

Compare these and other phones using our Size Comparison tool.

The Ultra is one unwieldy giant slab even though confirmation bias would have a lot of its owners disagree, yet the Pixel 6 Pro is no less of a shovel - thick as the S21 Ultra, slightly shorter, yet a bit wider - indicating Google has a lot more to learn about shaving bezels off from all sides.


The S21 Ultra one-ups the Pixel by offering a display digitizer to doodle with your S Pen stylus on, the Pixel 6 Pro has an unique design advantage. Aesthetics aside, the camera island in the top left corner is so ubiquitous, that people have gotten used to its bad ergonomics, always keeping their finger placement on the back of their minds when taking a shot, so as not to inadvertently snap a protruding phalange or two. That's not to mention the framing perspective gymnastics one has to do with cameras tucked there, especially the ultrawide shots, or the wobbling when the phone is lying on a table.

Well, the official Pixel 6 Pro shots say that Google is attempting something signature in its turn, a design that will be immediately recognizable and carry the brand with it like an iPhone notch. We kid, as the notch is another haphazard design abomination from the ranks of a giant top-left camera island, but Google is attempting something totally different.



All of the Pixel 6 cameras and accompanying paraphernalia are in a strip across the back that asymmetrically splits the two-tone body. We can't say that we have welcomed a phone design more in recent memory.

First, it is not just different for the sake of it. The neatly arranged sensor and lens combos can't easily snap photos of your fingers or butcher the ultrawide perspective as a corner camera island would. Plus, there will be ample strip space for our index finger to press against while we use the phone with one hand.

Second, the "belt" is unique to look at and blends with the back without sticking out like a sore, erm, thumb, even though it IS elevated. Third, it's a design playground, as there can be numerous two- and three-color combos of the Pixel 6 now to keep its looks fresh and us entertained, as you can see from the press renders above. Kudos to Google and the designers it poached when it bought HTC.


Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra camera



For the first time, Google will be listing a modern camera set in the Pixel 6 Pro specs sheet. We'll get a primary 50MP sensor, most likely a custom Sony IMX700-series one like on the P50 Pro, as well as a 12MP ultra-wide-angle unit, and a sweet 48MP sensor with 4x periscope zoom lens on top, or, should we say, sideways. That's the first time Google is using such a zoom camera and such a large main sensor on a Pixel, so we are salivating. 


While on paper these Pixel 6 Pro camera specs are no match for the 108MP main and 10x optical zoom cameras of the S21 Ultra, we've little doubt that the Pixel 6 Pro photography will be a sight to behold. After all, Google already does unsurpassed photos from an off-the-shelf 12MP camera and processor by sprucing them up with just its unsurpassed computational photography algorithms. 

There is something more about the upcoming Pixel 6 Pro camera set, though, and it is the homebrew Tensor processor, which Google's Rick Osterloh said was years in the making precisely to elevate computational photography to another level with the modern sensor and lens set on the new Pixels:


To make a good example of the new Pixel 6 Pro camera features possible with the Tensor chipset, Google introduced something called Magic Eraser that can take away photobombing objects like, well, magic.


Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra processor specs and interface performance


The Pixel 6 Pro's Tensor chipset is a 5nm affair based on Samsung's superior EUV production method that Qualcomm uses for its flagship Snapdragon 888 processor that is found in the S21 Ultra.

While Tensor is yet to be benchmarked for real, its performance is likely to be on par with the Snapdragon 888, with a lot more artificial intelligence and image co-processing tacked on for a good measure. Exclusive Pixel 6 Pro features include Speech Recognition and Live Translate, for instance. all possible like never before thanks to the Tensor processor.


Google didn't equip the Pixel 6 Pro with the Galaxy S21 Ultra's 16GB RAM pack, as the stock Android 12 with flat Material You interface needs much less operating memory to run then the feature-rich Samsung One UI. It did, however, introduce a 512GB Pixel 6 Pro storage option, albeir paired with "just" 12GB RAM.


Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra battery life and charging speeds


Both phones come with giant 5000mAh batteries, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra already proved to be the longest lasting flagship phone in its top-shelf specs segment. Google is famous for optimizing the stock Android software on its Pixel line, though, plus the phone is powered by an in-house processor for the first time. 

Thus, the team from Mountain View finally has all the pieces of the iPhone puzzle when it comes to a perfect possibility for a software/hardware synchronicity that may deliver battery life wonders to put even the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max to shame.

Browsing test 120Hz (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 14h 43 min
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max 18h 52 min

Samsung takes just a bit over an hour to top up the 5000mAh with the included 25W charger, however, so Google toоk note and supplied a more powerful 30W charger for the Pixel 6 Pro, тоо, though not in the box. 

Hopefully it also gave it the respective durable circuitry to pump the Pixel 6 Pro battery full of electrons at least as fast as Samsung does. Google cites 34 hours of average Pixel 6 Pro battery life, which is pretty respectable but, as usual, your mileage may vary.

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Galaxy S21 Ultra price


  • S21 Ultra MSRPs: $1,200 for 128GB model, $1,250 for 256GB, $1,380 for 512GB
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro starting price: $899 for 128GB, $999 for 256GB, $1099 for 512GB

Google's Senior VP Osterloh also mentioned that they will try and pierce the flagship phone segment with the "expensive" Pixel 6 Pro, while the Pixel 6 will also be priced in the "upper segment."



None of that happened, and the Google Pixel 6 Pro price is just $899. Thus, given that the Galaxy S21 Ultra starts from $1199, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max commands $1099 without a periscope zoom camera, and for the 128GB version while Google gives you 512GB for that price, we can reasonably expect that the Pixel 6 Pro one-ups them both in the value-for-money ratio in the eyes of the average user.

After all, the most expensive Pixel so far have been the Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 3 XL, and those puppies did cost $999 without packing much to stand against the best Android flagships in their respective years of release. Not any more, as Google scored a very sweet price point with the Pixel 6 Pro, given that those periscope cameras are one of the most expensive components you can currently put in a phone, yet Google has to squeeze at least some margin out of its "first flagship phone."

Google Pixel 6 Pro or Galaxy S21 Ultra, which one to buy?


Which one should you pick in that case, you ask? The new guy, of course, for the lack of corner camera island wobble. We kid, yet the Pixel 6 Pro is shaping up to be a direct match even for the storied Galaxy S21 Ultra, and, given that now Google will hold both the hardware Tensor and software Android power, Samsung should be rather worried about Google's next flagship.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Buy at Amazon

Google Pixel 6 Pro

256GB, trade-in offer, $500 off if you switch

$299 99
$999 99
Buy at Verizon

Google Pixel 6 Pro

128GB, trade-in

$239 99
$939 99
Buy at AT&T

Google Pixel 6 Pro

256GB, free Pixel Buds A w/ purchase

$899 99
$999
Buy at BestBuy

New reasons to get excited every week

Get the most important news, reviews and deals in mobile tech delivered straight to your inbox

FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless