The Pixel 6 – other than the camera, what do you know from the commercials?

The Pixel 6 placed a huge advertising layout on how great their camera was for skin tones that historically don’t photograph well. I mean it’s absolutely fantastic for about 13-25% of the US population that has major trouble being photographed due to skin tone, but it really isn’t selling very well even with sales incentives to push it.

TL;DR – Google’s only memorable television advertisements for the Pixel 6 were for one feature called Real Tone. It’s a great one that ultimately might not be exclusive.

This is about the advertising evidently not really working on a wider scale for sales, not about the phone. Real Tone is amazing, but what else you got Google? Even looking at the product page I don’t see why this phone rocks other than image processing I suspect is mostly software.

I asked some friends what they knew about it from the massive tv advertising campaign of the past several months and got 1) camera that brings out realistic skin tones, 2) it’s made by Google, 3) Lizzo is cool.

Lizzo’s Superb Owl ad

That was the extent of what they got from TV advertising. The Pixel name is well known, but what sets it apart from the known brands people like, like OnePlus or Samsung beyond a camera feature they’ve branded Real Tone? (That feature is great as a note)

Is Real Tone a feature physical, like new sensor technology, or is this just some awesome Google software that will be coming down the line to a lot of flagship phones from other brands via the AOSP channels? Nothing Google does ever seems to stay exclusive, it just seems to be there on Pixels a bit sooner. Unfortunately this historically lead Pixel owners to be the guinea pig Avant guard.

The commercials were memorable, they resonated and stuck, but only the one camera feature and name Pixel 6.

The Image sensor used in the Pixel 6, in case you’re wondering, is manufactured by Samsung. I highly suspect the image sensor is not what makes the photos so great, but the image processing after the camera app has it, but that’s just suspicions. If so, Google could port that to open source if they wanted.

Diving into the web page

I had to go to the Pixel 6 product page to find out any of the additional features after browsing the aired commercials on YouTube.

All the below pieces of info I found on that page, or perhaps missed when watching. I am talking the aired on TV ones, not some where they touted features that every Android phone has online.

Did they mention the price point is half what the Samsung flagship currently is?

Nobody I spoke with about the TV advertising knew about Google Tensor chip and what it’s capable of. Instantly translating messages and videos without internet? You mean I could be watching live broadcasts from overseas and getting instant translations… I mean I’d probably have internet if I’m watching videos, but it’s able to do that on the phone? Sounds like something that would be cool to advertise. Oh it’s just live translate? Or is it live transcribe? Are both the same product? That’s it? I already use that on my Samsung S21. With internet it’s… ok.

Would a better and dedicated processor actually help out Live Transcribe/Translate? My S21 is sitting 93%+ idle when watching videos. It has 8 cores and I’m pretty sure 7 are asleep and one is in “I’m doing nothing but pushing a video stream slowly to a GPU” mode. Perhaps more. The tensor chip while it appears to have a lead from the specs I can find, but not that much. Do we need that much processing power for voice?

That Tensor chip, it’s made specifically for machine learning? OK what’s that machine learning? Love your buzzword Google, but how much better is this for machine learning than a snapdragon that you’re selling in the 5a? What is benefitted by it? I can’t even get dedicated Google Products like the Home or the Hub that only send you audio to your machine learning and translation farms to learn that when I ask for white noise I want the same result every time. Years using Google voice to text and having to mention every time I’m blind sending that I’m using voice to text and ignore anything weird and especially if it screws up their they’re there again it is is not my freaking fault.

It’s got a Titan M2 chip on board? OK – says it’s the safest yet… aight… highest rated for security by CNET… noted for their trustworthiness in security ratings? Page 1 on CNET right now has hammocks, Kirby, foldable treadmills, gas grills… I mean I’m not putting CNET down but they’re not on my Android deep dive radar and Google didn’t link to where they got that info.

The Titan M2’s specs look like it does make it king of security, but how much better than Samsung or Apple offerings? Does the average person need that level? Yet another dedicated security processor with programable space? This better than Knox?

On the camera, we’ve got the skintone. Did they ever mention the 50MP camera and zoom ability is as good as their competitors? I watched a couple of commercials and didn’t catch that. Only reviews I saw said the zoom was not particularly great.

Did they mention they’re doing feature upgrades for three years as a guarantee, but listing 5 years for security updates? Fast wireless charging?

Google’s mainly an advertising company when you get down to it, and they went all in on one feature that uses hardware Samsung made. I know when you’re the people who make the base OS that everyone else uses it’s probably going to be hard to distinguish from brands that literally use your creation, but that phone has 5 selling points, and at least 5 commercials dedicated to one selling point.

I’d love to know if Real Tone is hardware exclusive or if they can port some of this out.

The tv ads were effective for one thing, but their web page left me wondering at most of the touted features.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts