New phone

I upgraded my phone at the end of last week. I went from a Pixel 5 to a Pixel 6 Pro. I was super curious about the camera improvements, and I was feeling a bit restless, so I made the trade.

The Pixel 6 Pro is big. It says that on the site, but I was not prepared. This happens every time I switch phones – I never really grok the size difference (and have been extra surprised when the new phone is smaller than the old phone). Anyway, blame aside, the phone is nearly exactly the length of my hand, and about as wide. My hands are average (I guess) for my height, which is also average. I feel like a bit of a butterfingers with the 6 Pro, because it’s longer, but it’s well balanced – the camera end isn’t noticeably heavier. I haven’t gotten the hang of holding it yet (and I haven’t put a pop socket on it yet, which I did have on the 5). The screen is gorgeous, and all that real estate is nice to have.

It’s a heavy lift. My wrists and hands are tired after using it for awhile, even if I’m just reading, so I definitely feel like a weakling (though, again, my hands are, like, normal) (I recognize that people with normal hands do not usually mention it so often, but nevertheless, they are, indeed, particularly normal). It’s not a brick, but you could not in good conscience describe it as light, either. If it were a book, you’d describe it as a slim volume, rather than a dictionary. It has a lot going on inside, so it’s probably not a surprise that it’s got some heft to it. I wonder how heavy the Corning Gorilla glass is, which covers the front and the back, versus just the front on the 5.

Google makes a big deal out of the new Google Tensor chip (Snapdragon in the 5), and … I don’t see any change in speed. I haven’t run any complex apps or games so far, so right now my processing speed is more defined by my internet speed than anything else (what a time to be alive!).

The pictures are far, far superior to the 5. The camera upgrades are worth it. I use my phone camera to document my kids, so the better (and faster) the camera, the better the video, the happier I am. In the below gallery, the left photo (Pixel 5) is fine, but it’s a bit grainy, and it looks flat – pics sometimes comes out with a blueish tone if there’s a lot of back light or low light. On the right, the colors are way better defined and truer. The whole image is much sharper.

The front-facing camera (selfie cam) is better too, from 8mp on the left (in low light, at night) to 11.1mp on the right (in brighter light, at night). You can see the color-flattening thing that the 5 does on the left here, too. It looks like portrait mode is more graceful about hair, too, in the 6 Pro, but I don’t have many examples yet.

The camera is a band across the top of the phone. It’s fairly unnoticeable with a case. I haven’t had a problem sliding the phone into my purse or pockets due to the band.

The phone sync process was faster than I expected, but partly because the phone puts you through prompts and education interstitials while it’s performing most of the work, so you are occupied (and a fair amount of it doesn’t require your interaction to continue, so you’re not stuck to your phone). It took about … 30 minutes, though the actual hardware-to-hardware connection part was about 10 of that. The rest was the new phone installing apps. About 2/3rds of my apps transferred. I don’t know why the ones that didn’t, didn’t. I had to install Slack manually, for example, but not WordPress. I also had to install Telegram again, so maybe there’s something about those instant messaging apps it doesn’t like. I had to reinstall Tumblr, but not Pocket Casts. I just didn’t reinstall a bunch of stuff, because I didn’t need it and it was as good a time as any to clean house.

Long story short, I like it so far! I love new devices, but I don’t treat myself often to them (lots of this is satisfied by our work recommendation to upgrade our computers every 12-18 months, though I’m often a little slow to do that too). To me, this was a good upgrade.

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