Technology

Why did I replace my iPhone with the Pixel 6

When you use the same hardware and software long enough, you forget about faults because you constantly overlook them, without thinking about them.

Avoiding this kind of glitch is one of the reasons I regularly switch from Android to iOS. In early 2021, I realized that I had been using an iPhone for almost two years (with a fairly recent update to iPhone 12) and it was time to update to the latest version of Android.

Google’s unveiling of two new Pixel phones in mid-October was the perfect excuse to get back to Android. I pre-ordered my Pixel 6, in Stormy Black (it looks gray to me to be honest) with 256GB of storage. After some minor delivery issues (Google was apparently overwhelmed with demand), I received it on October 30 and have been using it as my primary mobile device ever since.

Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 – Best Prices:

  • Fnac Market

    649.00

  • Rakuten

    649.00

  • Darty

    649.00

  • Fnac

    649.00

  • Boulanger

    649.00

  • Amazon Marketplace

    750.89

This is not my first Pixel. With one of my first Pixel models, I struggled with Google support. I ended up getting a full refund for this device after they failed to fix a particularly monstrous network error.

Considering this background and my lackluster experiences with these older devices, I was skeptical. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Pixel 6 is well built and has run smoothly from day one.

In fact, it’s such a pleasure to use that I decided it would be my primary mobile device for at least a year.

Frankly, I didn’t expect Google to come up with a hardware and software combination that’s arguably better than Apple’s smartphones. Consider these six examples to get an idea.

L’USB Type-C

It’s almost a quarter of the 21st century, and yet Apple still sticks to its proprietary Lightning connector technology.

Wait, I take back what I said. Apple is determined to keep this aging connector on the iPhone, even though it has adopted the latest and most delightfully interoperable USB Type-C connector in every other product in its range. iPad? USB-C. Macbook Pro? USB-C. Even MagSafe chargers for Apple Watch and AirPods are USB-C.

But not the iPhone.

Either way, I love that the Pixel 6 powers up and connects to external devices via a standard USB Type-C connection. This means that when I leave the house I can grab a single charger and cable to charge my Pixel 6, iPad Pro, laptop, and pair of headphones, without having to remember that extra Lightning cable that works with one device.

Excellent camera and photo editing tools

I chose the Pixel 6 over the Pixel 6 Pro because the Pro is too big. So I didn’t get the telephoto lens of the larger, more expensive model. But the Pixel 6 takes absolutely luscious photos with minimal fuss, even in harsh environments like a concert hall, and it’s especially good in low-light settings.

The real main feature, however, is in the Pixel Photos editing software, where Magic Eraser does a remarkable job of removing distracting people or objects from a photo and softening the background. It also helps to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Android customizable user experience

Apple finally has widget support, making the iPhone user experience a little less claustrophobic than it used to be. But using Android 12 on the Pixel 6, I can do some things that Apple just doesn’t allow. One of the most useful tips is the ability to pin shortcuts to the home page. I use this feature all the time to quickly access OneNote pages and activate scenes for Philips Hue lighting with just one touch.

And then there is the option to completely replace the launcher. I think Google did a good job with Pixel Launcher, but after testing this app I switched to Microsoft Launcher. It’s better organized and I prefer the widget-based feed (the page that appears when you drag the slider to the right) over the Google news feed.

Sleep mode

One of my favorite features from the last few days of Windows Phone was the Glance display, which had a night mode that displayed the current time in a faint reddish font. In this configuration, I kept the phone next to my bed and always knew at a glance what time it was if I woke up in the middle of the night.

Bedtime mode, once a pixel-only feature but now available on all Android devices, does something similar. I set it to turn off when the phone is charging during my normal sleep hours. Turn on Do Not Disturb and change the screen to grayscale while leaving the clock visible. I like it that way.

Updates for five years

One of the great advantages of Apple over the years has been its absolute control over iOS updates. By contrast, Android phones have suffered from the fact that updates are often at the mercy of carriers losing interest in keeping phones up-to-date for more than a year or two.

With the Pixel 6, Google has guaranteed that Android version updates will be available until at least October 2024 (three years after the hardware release), with security updates available for at least five years, until October 2026. This is a major improvement over previous devices, which only promised security updates for a total of three years.

The right price

The Pixel 6 is a smartphone whose price is not exorbitant. My phone, with 256GB of storage, costs $ 699. It’s $ 200 less than the iPhone 13 with a similar setup, and Google gave me a couple of Pixel Buds (Series A).

Google Pixel 6 – Best Prices:

  • Fnac Market

    649.00

  • Rakuten

    649.00

  • Darty

    649.00

  • Fnac

    649.00

  • Boulanger

    649.00

  • Amazon Marketplace

    750.89

Source: “.com”

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