Google launches Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, still refuses to sell in New Zealand

Anyone in Aotearoa wanting one will have to parallel import it.
Anyone in Aotearoa wanting one will have to parallel import it. Photo credit: Supplied

Google has unveiled its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones and will start shipping them next week - but New Zealanders are again missing out on being able to officially buy them.

However, Australia is one of the countries the US tech giant sells the devices in, along with Japan, Taiwan, Canada, the UK, Germany and France, as well as the US.

These latest Pixel phones are the first to be powered by Google's much-hyped Tensor chip, which the company has developed and produces itself, following Apple which has also started using its own silicon in its hardware.

Google says the Tensor offers similar levels of performance to the Snapdragon 888 chip which powers many of the higher-end Android phones on the market.

Aussies can place pre-orders from today with the Pixel 6 starting at AU$999 and the 6 Pro at AU$1299. 

Those costs are described by The Verge as being "aggressively priced" compared to "similar iPhones, Samsungs, or even OnePlus phones".

When the phones were first announced in early August, Google had no comment when asked by Newshub whether the latest models would be available in Aotearoa. It also couldn't offer any advice for Kiwis who wanted to parallel import them. 

Following today's announcement, a company spokesperson told Newshub it had "nothing to announce for Pixel in New Zealand at this stage".

Parallel imported phones are unlikely to offer the full features that phones supported by local carriers offer, including 5G connectivity.

The standard Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch, 1080x2340 resolution OLED display, with a refresh rate of up to 90Hz.

The higher specifications on the 6 Pro offers a larger and better 6.7-inch, 1440x3120 OLED display, with up to 120Hz refresh rates for much smoother scrolling and transitions.

Both have always-on displays, something that was rumoured to be coming to Apple's iPhone 13 range but it failed to deliver.

Google Pixel 6
Photo credit: Supplied

One of the unique design features of the new Pixel range is the bar on the back, which sticks out significantly and goes across the full width of the phone.

The bar houses the new camera and sensor for the phones, with both having a 50-megapixel main sensor and a 12MP ultrawide camera.

The Pixel 6 Pro gets an additional 48MP telephoto camera and also has a better front-facing 11.1MP camera compared to an 8MP camera on the Pixel 6.

Both devices are IP68 water and dust resistant and have various storage configurations, starting at 128GB. The Pro also gets a boost in RAM, offering 12GB compared to 8GB in the standard model.

The phones promise an "all-day battery" with an average life during testing of 34 hours. Fast charging, including fast wireless charging, is standard and both models can be used to charge other devices using battery-share functionality.

As well as the new hardware, today also marked the official release of Android 12. It's now available as an over-the-air update to owners of previous generation Pixel devices.

The Verge reports the Android 12 update will be coming later this year to Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, Oppo and Xiaomi devices.

One of the key updates is the new Material You design which allows users to customise the look of the software more than in previous versions, including coordinating colours across icons, menus, widgets and more.