Devices | Entertainment |

Google’s Pixel 6 Pro – a gamer’s perspective

By IAmFallFromGrace December 17, 2021

Console-quality gaming on a portable device has been something we’ve all dreamed about for decades. Now it finally feels like we’re basically there – and Google’s latest handset, The Google Pixel 6 Pro is a perfect example of a phone that really shines when you just want to drive a McLaren Senna around Mexico or explore the massive Halo Ring on the go.

For the last couple of weeks I have been trialling a new gaming set up – The Pixel 6 Pro mounted to an Xbox gaming controller and streaming via Microsoft’s cloud gaming service Xcloud. I have to say the experience has been genuinely impressive.

I focused mainly on two Xbox Cloud Gaming titles during my time with the Pixel 6 Pro – Forza Horizon 5, and Minecraft Dungeons – both of which I have also played on my high-end PC and Xbox console. The fact that you can play these games, from almost anywhere on the Pixel 6 Pro with little to no compromise is really something special.

The first thing we need to talk about is the screen.

When it comes to playing console-quality games , you want something big, clear and responsive. The Pixel 6 Pro with its 6.7-inch screen and 120Hz variable refresh rate is exactly perfect for this . The screen feels large enough to be immersive, while not too unwieldy to carry around – your gaming sweet spot.

High refresh rates like on the Pixel 6 Pro have been popular in gaming monitors for a while and have been an area that some have found lacking when it comes to gaming on your mobile. It can makes your games all feel smoother and can even give you a slight edge with your reaction speed.

To make the most of high refresh rates, you need some serious processing power under the hood, which the Pixel 6 Pro has in spades – with Google’s first ever mobile chipset called Tensor. The best compliment I give is that I didn’t even notice it – as in, games and apps all ran extremely smooth without any hiccups and just how I hoped they would.

Variable refresh rates are not only good for gaming but are also great for assisting with battery life, offering high speed when you need to tackle some bad guys with the Master Chief and low rates when you need to conserve power. It is definitely noticeable, and I was getting a comfortable full day worth of battery life without much problem.

Gaming on it constantly will of course, drain that faster, but you should still easily be able to play Halo on your daily commute with plenty left over.

The final piece of the gaming pie on a mobile device, especially playing Xbox Cloud Gaming, is having a great network connection.

Xbox Cloud Gaming streams your game to your phone kind of like Netflix does a movie, so a reliable and fast network connection with low latency makes a difference for a successful session on the go. The Pixel 6 Pro is compatible with 5G and so I spent a lot of time gaming on Telstra’s 5G Network.

What I noticed was, the speed at which you can load up Xbox Cloud Gaming, select the title you wish to play, and jump into the gameplay was super smooth. There was no long loading screens, no long waiting times for servers, mere seconds and you’re back into your game from where you left off on your console or PC. Overall I had a great experience.

Finally, my top tip: A bunch of these games are touch-friendly, and a large screen like on the Pixel 6 Pro’s helps, but you’ll get the most out of it with a clip on controller.

Devices | How To | Tech and Innovation |

How to take incredible portrait photos with Google’s Pixel 6 Pro

By Tommy Kuo December 16, 2021

They say that the best camera you have is the one you have on you, and with modern smartphones improving year on year, there are even more photography technologies available in our latest devices.

I took the new Google Pixel 6 Pro out for a spin, shooting some everyday photos of a friend to find out if Google’s latest Pixel lives up to the hype.

The new Pixel 6 Pro

Google have really taken their photography up a notch with their camera. With the some of the best computational photography technology in the game and new pro-level lenses, it means you get the best of both worlds in terms of photography software and hardware on a smartphone.

The back of the device hosts 3 lenses, firstly the 50 MP wide (f/1.85 aperture) for everyday shots, allowing big prints and letting in plenty of light. Secondly, a 48 MP telephoto (f/3.5 aperture) for shots of subjects further away (that’s a lot of megapixels!). And a 12 MP ultrawide (f/2.2 aperture) for those wider lens needs.

All of them are sharp, clean and bright. Everything you expect from a high quality lens. Also, the Pixel 6 Pro makes leaps of improvements from their previous Pixel 5, in fact the Pixel 6 Pro captures 150% more light thanks to its new larger main sensor. This helps with any low light/night photography, which is handy more often than you think.

The Pixel 6 Pro also allows you to capture 4x optical zoom, retaining all of that image information optically, versus digitally. While all those upgrades are awesome to have, you’ll get way more out of the Pixel 6 if you know how to make the most of it with a few photography basics.

4 tips for incredible portrait photos

Tip 1 – Take lots of photos! While you’re framing your shot with your device, it is ideal to take multiple shots of the same ‘framing’. This is because there are small details within the environment or about the subject you might not notice, including the way hair flies, the subject’s facial expression, moving objects in the background, and also slight changes in positioning. By capturing more shots rather than less, you will have more options in your Gallery to select as your perfect shot.

Tip 2 – Shoot motion. Whether it’s a hand adjusting hair, walking on the street, or hair flying in the wind, photos that freeze a frame in motion just seem to feel more natural. I like to give directions to my subject to perform small, repeatable actions or gestures that I can capture to make a shot feel authentic and natural.

Tip 3 – Framing your shot. When I was shooting with the Pixel 6 Pro, I used the guidelines feature in the settings to help frame my shot. Below this is a demo of how I use it. It’s pretty simple. I like to use the guides to help frame my half-body shot starting with the vertical axis, approximately two-thirds of the portrait subject (person) and one-third environment. Then looking horizontally depending on how they are angled, generally, keep the subjects face close to the centre grid space. Below you can see I had my subject’s body on an angle. Since she’s on an angle, I found it optically balanced to keep her face in the top left side of the centre grid.

Tip 4 – Make use of shadows. I love to shoot in places where there’s a mix of sun and shadow in the same spot. Shadows can play a big role in contouring the face, softening the lighting and also providing interesting shapes to work with in your photo. Below is an example of how shadows can be used on the wall to make interesting patterns and shapes with the leaves, and also spotted lighting on her hair and face for more artistic effect! Gotta love shadows.

Making the most of the Pixel 6 Pro

To my surprise, I also really enjoyed using Portrait Mode Blur when editing my photos. The technology has come a long way to make depth of field look very convincing, especially when used subtly and sparingly. This is a great way to bring out your subject in your photo.

Skin tones is another thing that I see a lot of smartphones struggle with. However on the Pixel 6 Pro, skin tone is captured very authentically. Google have really prioritised accurate representation of all skin tones for this device, and that is something that I love to see.

One of the real things that I love about the Pixel 6 Pro though is how advanced their editing technology is for photography. Take the Magic Eraser tool for example, with it I’m able to use AI technology to remove any unwanted objects or photo bombers from my photo.

I loved using the Google Pixel 6 Pro! Not only is it a great smartphone for everyday use, I also found the camera capabilities and technology to be perfect for how I like to capture life day to day.

Google Pixel 6 Pro on a table with travel equipment
Devices |

Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro: hands on review

By Luke Hopewell October 29, 2021

This year we get more Pixel than ever before, and there’s a Pro version to boot! This is the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. We went hands on to see if it does what it says on the tin (spoiler: it does).

A new chip, new camera, new design, new models. The Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro have what you need for your everyday adventures.

Both models are packed with top-shelf gear. Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro both come with 50-megapixel rear-facing cameras that take unreal pics at anytime of the day or night.

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are designed to excel at computational photography for better HDR, Night Sight and everyday pics; AI and machine learning to get you what you need when you need it; speech recognition for live translation1, and more.

The camera pairs with awesome software smarts to take uncompromising pics. So you can adjust the focus of a shot after the picture has been taken, and with Magic Eraser you can literally delete photobombers from your special moments2.

The new design is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus for added protection and scratch resistance, and security is taken care of by a smart little fingerprint reader under the display.

It’s not the first device to have an in-screen fingerprint reader, but I have to say it’s the fastest and most reliable I’ve ever used in a smartphone.

All of this is powered by Google’s new hardware under the hood – Google Tensor.

What is Google Tensor?

At the heart of both Pixels this year is Google’s first ever processor called Tensor.

Tensor is custom-designed for this year’s Pixels, and everything they’re good at.

Google is also taking hardware security very seriously on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Connected to the Tensor SoC is the new Titan M2TM security chip to keep your stuff safe.

Google says the Pixel 6 Pro in particular has the most layers of hardware security in any device on the market at the time of release. And with Android 12 you can take better control of your private data to make sure it’s only being shared where you want it to be3.

Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: what’s the difference?

Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro sitting side by side on a table with travel equipment

The Pixel 6 features a 6.4-inch 1080p OLED screen that refreshes up to 90Hz. That means it’s designed for great Full HD content in rich colour and vibrant blacks. The 90Hz refresh rate means you’re getting a “smoother” screen overall that makes your day-to-day actions look super crisp.

The Pixel 6 Pro is a step up, designed for those who won’t compromise.

The Pixel 6 Pro features a larger 6.7-inch screen with a higher resolution. You get a display resolution that’s 1440×3120 so everything looks sharper, with a higher refresh rate at 120Hz. It kicks everything into top gear.

Other than screens, the Pixel 6 Pro features more storage than the Pixel 6, with a 512GB variant to sit alongside the 128GB and 256GB. Speaking of memory, the Pixel 6 Pro also has more RAM at 12GB compared to the Pixel 6’s 8GB.

The Pixel 6 Pro also comes with a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, with 4x optical zoom so you can get closer to your subject without blur. The front camera is also boosted to 11.1-megapixels on the Pixel 6 Pro compared to 8-megapixels on the Pixel 6.

The 6 Pro is also the first ever phone to support mmWave 5G.

What is mmWave 5G?

mmWave – pronounced as “millimetre wave” – is a short-range, high-frequency network technology that really shows off what 5G can do. It’s the next ‘wave’ of 5G, so to speak.

If you think of a network like a pipe, you can only force so much down that pipe before things become congested. We’re always looking to create newer, wider pipes so more data can be carried across our network for more people at once. That’s where mmWave comes in.

mmWave is a huge pipe. It has a lot more bandwidth on offer. Nearly 10 x regular 5G and can allow tens of thousands of people to connect, stream or upload photographs simultaneously. It’s another step towards delivering on 5G’s potential with super-fast speeds and more capacity.

As mmWave signal only travels a few hundred metres from a cell it is best suited for areas of intensive customer demand such as transport hubs, shopping districts and even sports stadiums or tourism hotspots, which is where we have begun the rollout.

Telstra currently has 65 mmWave sites live across 5 cities and we plan to nearly triple that number before the end of the year.

mmWave support means you can do even more cool stuff with your Pixel 6 Pro in even more places thanks to our massive 5G network that covers 75% of Australians. Duo HD screen sharing – for example – allows you to watch your favourite show or game over a video call so you can be together, even when you’re apart.

When is the Google Pixel 6 coming out?

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are available for purchase on Telstra from 28 October.

Telstra customers will be able to get $150 off the Pixel 6 Pro 512GB from launch until 22 November. That means you get a 512GB device for the same price as a 256GB device, but only for a limited time, or while stocks last.

Things you need to know

Compared to the main rear camera on Pixel 5.

1 Not available in all languages or countries. Not available on all media or apps. See g.co/pixel/livetranslate for more information. Internet connection required during setup only.

2 Magic Eraser may not work on all image elements.

3Based on a count of independent hardware security subsystems and components.

Battery life depends upon many factors and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Actual battery life may be lower.

Compared to Pixel 5. Based on internal CPU benchmark testing on pre-production devices.

Telstra News |

Google Pixel 4a with 5G: more Pixel for your buck

By Luke Hopewell November 9, 2020

What’s better than one Google Pixel? Two Pixels! This year alongside the Pixel 5, Google released the awesome Pixel 4a with 5G.1 We’re excited to be the exclusive mobile carrier offering Pixel 4a with 5G in Australia, to bring you more help from Google for less.

High-speed help for less

Side-by-side, the Pixel 4a with 5G and the Pixel 5 may look very similar. Indeed, when you look at their impressive spec sheets, the two line up pretty well, but the Pixel 4a with 5G comes packed with all the help from Google for only $799.

The Pixel 4a with 5G enjoys a 6.2-inch screen that makes your photos, video calls and everything in-between look great. It packs in the same octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor as the Pixel 5. It even packs in the same camera system inspired by the pros, with an ultrawide lens and features like Cinematic Pan for high quality video stabilisation and Portrait Light for professional looking filters. You can also take awesome shots at night with improved Night Sight and HDR+ for better lighting.

And you also get the best features of the Pixel 4a with 5G on Australia’s best network. Together with Pixel and 5G you can stream in a flash, as soon as you hit play, your favourite TV programmes and movies can be ready for you to watch in ultra-clear HD. 5G is rolling out in selected areas on selected plans, make sure you check out our coverage maps to see where it’s available.

Pixel 4a with 5G also helps keep your data safe with the custom made Titan M security chip, plus with Google Assistant you can stay on top of your to-do list. And with an All-day adaptive battery plus Extreme Battery Saver your Pixel can last up to 48 hours2 so you don’t have to worry about running out of power when you really need it. The Pixel 4a with 5G even has a 3.5mm headphone jack for your favourite pair of headphones.

The Pixel 4a with 5G gives you the opportunity to get a leading Android flagship 5G experience for less.1 And at a time when money matters, that’s important.

Learn more about Pixel 4a with 5G on Telstra

As the exclusive mobile carrier offering the Pixel 4a with 5G, we know that now is a time when getting more for less matters. That’s why for our new customers, we’re offering a welcome credit of $240 on us until 25 November.

We’re also making our XL plan cheaper to give everyone more for less. Consumer customers who take out a $115 XL plan will receive a $50 credit on their bill per month for 12 months. That means customers will receive 180GB of data for $65 per month for 12 months.

You can find out more about our flexible new plans and the new Pixel 4a 5G on Telstra.com.

Things you need to know:

[1] Requires a 5G data plan (sold separately). 5G service and roaming not available on all carrier networks or in all areas. Contact carrier for details about current 5G network performance, compatibility, and availability. Phone connects to 5G networks but, 5G service, speed and performance depend on many factors including, but not limited to, carrier network capabilities, device configuration and capabilities, network traffic, location, signal strength and signal obstruction. Actual results may vary. Some features not available in all areas. Data rates may apply. See g.co/pixel/networkinfo for info.

[2] For ‘All day’: Maximum battery life based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of other features. Testing was conducted on two major US carrier networks using Sub-6 GHz non-standalone 5G (ENDC) connectivity. For ‘Up to 48 hours’: Maximum battery life based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of limited other features that are default in Extreme Battery Saver mode (which disables various features including 5G connectivity). Testing was conducted on two major US carrier networks. For both claims: Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 battery testing was conducted by a third party in California in mid-2020 on pre-production hardware and software using default settings, except that, for the ‘up to 48 hour claim’ only, Extreme Battery Saver mode was enabled. Battery life depends upon many factors, and usage of certain features.

5G | Network |

Australia’s best 5G now in more places

By Nikos Katinakis October 12, 2020

We’re on a mission to bring better connectivity to everyone, especially with our 5G. We’re working to grow our footprint to 75% by June next year, and today we’ve passed an important milestone on that journey with over 2000 sites now live covering more than 41 per cent of Australia’s population.

We’ve made a commitment to roll out our exciting new 5G capabilities to more areas across metro, regional and rural Australia, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

More than 12 million Australians now live, work or pass through our 5G coverage footprint daily, giving them access to our superfast network at a time when connectivity matters more than ever.


There are now over 1400 suburbs across the country with more than 50 per cent 5G coverage, and we recently celebrated our 2000th live site in Airlie Beach in Queensland’s Whitsundays. It now joins more than 60 other cities and towns in the country where the 5G rollout is underway.

Since the middle of 2020, we’ve rolled out 5G to more than a dozen regional areas, including:

  • Nowra, Medowie, Corowa, Cowra, Orange and Malua Bay in NSW;
  • Paynesville, Wangaratta, Bairnsdale and Corryong in Victoria;
  • Sunshine Coast in Queensland;
  • Berri and Pt Elliott in South Australia and;
  • Esperance in Western Australia.

We’ve also rolled out improved in-building 5G coverage to key parts of Westfield Centrepoint, Bondi Junction, Macquarie Shopping Centre, Melbourne Central, Chadstone, Carindale, Chermside, Marion, West Lakes, Carousel Cannington and Booragoon Garden City shopping centres as well as selected areas of the Brisbane, Melbourne and Darling Harbour Convention Centres.

It’s an exciting time for 5G, with a number of new flagship devices on the near horizon. As more and more people get their hands on the devices of the future, it’s important for us to keep working hard to bring Australia’s best 5G to more and more cities and regional areas.

We’re a long way ahead of our competitors. We’ve got the technology leadership and we’re investing more overall to bring 5G to more Australians.

To find out where 5G is going to land near you, check out our new Mobile Coverage Maps that show not only where 5G is now, but where it’s being built in the coming months.