Pixel 6: How Does Google’s New Flagship Phone Stack Up for Gamers?

The broad consensus is that Google has delivered a fantastic smartphone with the launch of the Pixel 6. Many reviewers have given it five stars across the board, suggesting that it is a cheaper, yet worthy, alternative to the iPhone 13. The expected price of the standard Pixel 6 in India, for example, is in the region of Rs 44,500, and the iPhone 13 is around double that. Although, you should note that the Pixel 6 might take a while to arrive in India, with Google citing supply chain issues.

Nevertheless, while Pixel 6 was given broadly good reviews, one group seems to be unconvinced – gamers. It’s not that gaming experts are saying the Pixel 6 is terrible for gaming. In fact, it’s far from it. Many claim Pixel 6 offers a decent gaming experience, something that is enhanced by Google’s new Tensor chip. But there are some issues, notably with overheating and 5G connection.

Gamers report conflicting performance

The gaming performance is probably best summed up as, in the words of one reviewer, “conflicting”. Play a title like Genshin Impact, and you might see the Pixel 6 begin to overheat. That starts to impact the refresh rate, which dropped as low as 30fps in some testing. It’s still playable, but it’s not what most would describe as a premium mobile gaming experience. Of course, one solution is to add a fan to the device, which does seem to help.

Others have talked about the battery life, which lags behind devices like the iPhone 13. In particular, the issue of draining the battery when 5G was connected seemed to bother some of the reviewers. You can certainly disable the 5G connection when playing, but it kind of defeats the purpose of having a 5G gaming experience.

Of course, much of these problems depend on the types of games you play and how often. Genshin Impact is a title that is quite demanding of any phone, but other types of games do not. Minimalist games like ScrabbleGo don’t require much beyond a decent connection, and mobile casino games are highly playable. In fact, the latter is built in such a way that the experience is not diminished on any smartphone. That’s due to the fact casino games developers have chosen to optimize for mobile since the late 2000s.

Still a worthy experience

But even if you are to play high-octane games like Call of Duty Mobile on Pixel 6, the criticisms mentioned above are relatively small ones. The device does deliver a worthy gaming experience for players, even if it does lag (slightly) behind iPhone 13 and specialized gaming phones. The important thing is that Google has delivered a quality smartphone at a relatively more affordable price than some of the other options out there.

Indeed, we take exception with some of the rhetoric from the media, which says that Google has raised the bar on cheap smartphones. The Google Pixel 6 and the Google Pixel 6 Pro are certainly not cheap: at least it won’t seem that way for most of us. But the company has shown that it can deliver a premium experience at 50% of the cost. And despite the few hiccups mentioned, that premium experience will be provided for gamers too. Google is set to triple production of its smartphones this year – it’s easy to understand why given the quality of the Pixel 6.

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