If you bought a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro when it first launched, you have owned one for a full 8 months. During that time, a lot has happened in the world of the Pixel 6 line, including the unveiling of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, the two phones that should replace the Pixel 6 later this year. The timing got me thinking today about where these phones stand in the minds of their owners and how life has been recently, now that we are several major updates into their lives.
The story of the Pixel 6 line is well documented at this point. You should know about the software delays, the never-ending coverage of bugs that Google needed to address through several updates, and that long mix-up in quarterly updates that caused a significant wait over the winter holiday season. But now things are flowing nicely, with no recent delays in monthly patches, including the latest June update that a bunch of us beta tested for months.
I can tell you that Tim and I have danced between the Pixel 6 line off and on since launch. I’ve enjoyed the Pixel 6, somehow found the Pixel 6 Pro’s massive size and curved display to be quite pleasant, and haven’t run into nearly the number of issues as some owners seem to be able to list. For the most part, outside of a modem disconnection here and there, I have had zero complaints about the Pixel 6 line outside of size. I’ll never back down from believing that both phones are too damn big and that Google should have given us a small “Pro” option.
It sure seems like Google is satisfied with the Pixel 6 line too. They just told us at Google I/O that’ve sold more than the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 combined. As far as we can tell, Google believes the Pixel 6 to be a success.
I’d argue that things are extremely quiet in Pixel 6 communities at the moment. I noticed a similar silence at the 6-month mark, but after the big June update, it’s almost like we are finally at the point that people are all good with their Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro.
Or am I reading that wrong? Are people just living with bugs that never seem to go away and are sick of complaining about them? Are they learning to deal with bugs that are unfixable? Did they switch phones and move on to a world without the need to complain on reddit?
It’s time to check-in, Pixel 6 owners. How are things today?
Did You Order a Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Galaxy Z Fold 4?
Pre-orders are taking place for the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, and as we always say, there’s never a better time to order one of these phones than during this period. Seriously, you should do it.
If you have taken advantage of Samsung’s crazy-good trade-in values, store credit and free accessories, the last thing we want to know is which model you ended up going with. In 2022, both are very good options, seen as relatively minor upgrades over last year’s models, but still offering top specs, water resistance, improved hinge designs for more compact designs, and improved software.
I have been using the Z Fold 4 for a week now and have really been enjoying the experience. The battery life has been great, the displays are nice, and the cameras appear to be very good.
Which option are you going with?
How Good is Android 13 on Pixel Phones?
The stable Android 13 update has been out since the beginning of the week and that means a couple of days for you to run it and establish first impressions. I’m curious what those are, as the update is somewhat minor in new features, but huge in terms of bug fixes from Android 12.
To recap, Android 13 dropped on Monday for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6a. The update was available immediately if you felt like playing in adb, plus we’ve seen it rollout over-the-air as well to some phones. Tim, for example, says he can pull it yet I can’t on my Pixel 6 Pro. Rude, Google.
We talked about all of the new features in Android 13 that you’ll want to be on the lookout for and then spent a lengthy amount of time looking through the list of 150 bugs that Google fixed. Google says it was able to improve “performance, stability, and reliability,” fixed bugs related to charging and Gboard and touch screen palm detection and so much more. Google even says it addressed fingerprint reader performance on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a.
After browsing through reddit, I can see that a number of folks have been quick to share that their fingerprint reader is indeed faster (Do people really believe this?) and that overall performance and stuttering has improved, especially on older Pixel phones.
What about you? How has Android 13 been running on your Pixel phone this week? Or are you still waiting for it?
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.
There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.
To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:
- PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
- PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW
Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.
To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.
The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).
Pixel 7 network bands
Pixel 7 Pro network bands
There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.
If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.
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