We are closing in on it being time for our reviews of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but we have one more camera comparison to share with you. I’ve been using both the Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro since getting Google’s newest phone and was able to take several similar-situation shots to help us figure out who is the current king of smartphone cameras.
While not at all scientific in capturing, these shots were almost all taken from the exact spot, flipping between the preset focal lengths on each camera’s auto mode. In some situations, I also tried to match focal length to get a more exact side-by-side. If night mode wanted to kick in, well, we let that happen, although I certainly had to force it off more on the Pixel 6 with the iPhone 13 Pro using it far less often.
For those not familiar, the iPhone 13 Pro I’m using has a triple camera setup made of three 12MP shooters. For aperture, we’re looking at f/2.8 on the telephoto, f/1.5 on the wide, and f/1.8 on the ultra-wide (with 120° field of view). This camera system supports 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, and a 6x optical zoom range with digital zoom up to 15x.
The Pixel 6 Pro, which you probably know, has a triple rear camera with 50MP wide (f/1.85), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 114° field of view), and 48MP telephoto (f/3.5) lenses. For zooming, we have 4x optical on the telephoto with digital Super Res Zoom up to 20x.
Below, you’ll find shots that I’ve resized to help this old website of ours survive all of you browsing it at the same time. What I recommend you do to get the full experience and see the full resolution shots is head over to this Google Photos album. I’ve set that up so that you flip through it and see Pixel 6 Pro shot followed by an iPhone 13 Pro shot.
Pixel 6 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro
(in that order)
What’s the takeaway here? Both are (obviously) excellent cameras that offer flexibility in various shooting situations. I think the Pixel 6 Pro has ridiculous zoom capabilities with processing to match. I also think the iPhone 13 Pro stands out with what appears to be a direct copy of Google’s old Pixel image processing style. Those slightly punchier colors and added contrast remind me of exactly what we loved about older Pixel phones. Now, the Pixel 6 Pro (at least to my eye) is trying to be the more natural of the two, although it does try and really raise the hell out of shadows in night shots.
If you like warmer, more natural looking shots and need the ultimate zoom experience in a smartphone, then I think the Pixel 6 Pro is built for you. If you prefer a cooler, more contrasty and punchy style, then yeah, that’s what the iPhone 13 Pro gives you.