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Question Replace a Galaxy S21 Ultra with a Pixel 6 Pro?

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_JuSteR_

Senior Member
Aug 26, 2008
281
1
Between UK and Italy
Hey everybody!

Quick question: would you replace your Galaxy S21 Ultra with a Pixel 6 Pro?

I'm asking it because I'm a S21 owner but I've never been completely in love with the Samsung design (those squircle icons...) nor all the Samsung apps I don't use and can't remove. I'm into Google apps and services and I'm attracted by the simple and minimal design of the Pixel 6. On the other hand, I like Samsung for the plethora of options and features they add to the Android system, most of which are not in the Pixel.

I've been reading around a lot and it seems that in terms of performance and battery the two phones are basically the same - and the S21 is one year old almost. The S21 could have a slightly better camera, whereas the Pixel can count on the Tensor chip and specific features.

So, what's your thought?
 
Hey everybody!

Quick question: would you replace your Galaxy S21 Ultra with a Pixel 6 Pro?

I'm asking it because I'm a S21 owner but I've never been completely in love with the Samsung design (those squircle icons...) nor all the Samsung apps I don't use and can't remove. I'm into Google apps and services and I'm attracted by the simple and minimal design of the Pixel 6. On the other hand, I like Samsung for the plethora of options and features they add to the Android system, most of which are not in the Pixel.

I've been reading around a lot and it seems that in terms of performance and battery the two phones are basically the same - and the S21 is one year old almost. The S21 could have a slightly better camera, whereas the Pixel can count on the Tensor chip and specific features.

So, what's your thought?

You're probably not going to be happy with a Pixel. The UX is polar opposite of Sammy's and a few cool features aren't probably going to be enough for you to unlike what you liked about Sammys in the first place.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,130
2,656
Icons? There are hundreds of free icon packs, themes and more at the Samsung Galaxy store.
You can use a package disabler to block apps you don't want.
Personally I rejected the S21U because of no SD card slot or spen.

The Pixel is a bare bones UI, just the opposite of Samsung. I've seen the homepage screen shots for the Pixels and they're damn weak.
You can really trick out stock Samsung's... Good
Lock family of apps, etc.
My two N10+'s look and behave like I want them to...

Screenshot_20211127-124015_One UI Home.jpg
 

Fauxnetiks

Member
Jun 29, 2014
17
5
I personally just made the exact switch you're thinking of doing. It doesn't have all of the "custom" additions that the S21U does but I feel like because of that the Pixel feels better.

The biggest reason I switched was for the performance. The S21U felt laggy and slow even compared to my previous phone (OnePlus 8 Pro). The Pixel feels way smoother of an experience.

Camera is subjective but I've always been a fan of the "Google" processing so I've installed a GCam mod on every phone I can, S21 included.

I'm much happier now on the Pixel 6 pro than the S21U so if you're okay with a more minimalistic phone without all of the Samsung goodies, then this might be worth the switch.
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Yes, I would replace any Samsung with the P6P. My wife and I were happy with the first Pixel, which we used until they stopped updating it almost two years ago. I was waiting for Google to come out with a 512 GB model, and since they hadn't yet we got the Samsung Note 10+ 512 GB.

When the P6P 512 GB model was revealed, I knew it was time to buy, and sell our Samsungs, which I did on Swappa without wasting much time. The only thing we slightly miss is the included stylus.

I could go on and reiterate a list of things I didn't like about Samsung's version of Android (the hardware was great). One major thing I couldn't stand about the software was the erratic, unreliable notifications of my GMail, Hangouts, and Google Chat.

I don't have a work phone because I don't want to use iOS, and I count on prompt notifications when I'm busy multitasking on my work PC. Sometimes I wouldn't get notifications for two hours after the email was sent. My work uses Google for everything. Sometimes I would get a notification of an email hours after I had already seen it on the PC and had deleted it.

I tried everything I could to try to fix it with no luck. My brother's family has their very first smartphone in the last several years when they bought the Samsung Galaxy S9+. When I told him about my notification issue, he said he assumed that's just the way Android is (no, it's not).

As I said, I could detail a long list but I've been over it before so it gets tiring. 😁

Good luck, whatever you choose.
 

skimminstones

Senior Member
Feb 7, 2010
1,098
360
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Icons? There are hundreds of free icon packs, themes and more at the Samsung Galaxy store.
You can use a package disabler to block apps you don't want.
Personally I rejected the S21U because of no SD card slot or spen.

The Pixel is a bare bones UI, just the opposite of Samsung. I've seen the homepage screen shots for the Pixels and they're damn weak.
You can really trick out stock Samsung's... Good
Lock family of apps, etc.
My two N10+'s look and behave like I want them to...

View attachment 5469201
you can trick out any android phone. Not hard to put a different launcher and icons on it. The homescreen you attached there looks no better than any of the other homescreens on any other phone.
 

vlubosh

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2007
220
143
Bratislava
Google Pixel 6 Pro
i have both devices, ehm three(s21, s21u, p6pro) and i will say, P6pro is better, same performance, a lot better battery, comparing camera(what i miss so much is better zoom with S21U). p6pro is battery friendly, same usage and you get 10h SOT, with S21U only 5-7(but with profiles - data, bt off, in night Flicght mode...)
 

Guyinlaca

Senior Member
Sep 13, 2010
423
197
Google Pixel 6 Pro
I'd stick with the S21 Ultra. If you want a better UI, download Nova Launcher and a Pixel icon pack. Also #Hex Installer allows you to completely redesign the UI with Pixel style icons and less rounded elements throughout. I'm not sure if it's working with Android 12 yet though. If you hate the bloat, there are ways to disable the majority of it using ADB.

I like the Pixel 6 Pro a lot, but I'm not gonna lie, there are A LOT of things that Samsung phones do better. Samsung has GoodLock for endless customization, Always on Display Customization, the 5G modem works better, and charging seems to be faster and more reliable.
 

_JuSteR_

Senior Member
Aug 26, 2008
281
1
Between UK and Italy
I'm already using Nova and tried so many times with #Hex but I've never achieved a complete and consistent customisation - unfortunately I have a thing for design done well.

What's really holding me is that:
- the P6P modem is actually worse than the S21U
- charging time is the same if not worse than S21U, in contrast to what Google initially promised
- battery life is basically the same
- the P6P display is less brighter (least worst)

And I also consider that the S21U is one year older than the P6P. So I'm wondering if it's worth the hassle. On the other hand I know the P6P is new, so it's expected to receive fixes and updates - but improving the modem or battery sounds like a miracle
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,130
2,656
you can trick out any android phone. Not hard to put a different launcher and icons on it. The homescreen you attached there looks no better than any of the other homescreens on any other phone.
You don't get it. No 3rd party launcher needed as the icons packs, theme etc plug directly in. One UI is fast and uses far less resources and battery than Nova.

My homescreen is purposely devoid of display degrading, lame top bar icons and battery eating crap. I could junk it to the max if so inclined🤣
Smooth completely user controlled pull down notifications, none of the Pixel snap stuff. Animations can be completely disabled (yes they are disabled) without unwanted side effects unlike Pixel.

Pull down notifications... any colors or shade my evil heart desires.

Screenshot_20211127-135750_One UI Home.jpg
 

skimminstones

Senior Member
Feb 7, 2010
1,098
360
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google Pixel 6 Pro
You don't get it. No 3rd party launcher needed as the icons packs, theme etc plug directly in. One UI is fast and uses far less resources and battery than Nova.

My homescreen is purposely devoid of display degrading, lame top bar icons and battery eating crap. I could junk it to the max if so inclined🤣
Smooth completely user controlled pull down notifications, none of the Pixel snap stuff. Animations can be completely disabled (yes they are disabled) without unwanted side effects unlike Pixel.

Pull down notifications... any colors or shade my evil heart desires.

View attachment 5469237
but youre missing the point yourself. Samsung is just another launcher on top of android letting you customise it. No different to buying any phone and choosing which launcher you want to put on.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,130
2,656
but youre missing the point yourself. Samsung is just another launcher on top of android letting you customise it. No different to buying any phone and choosing which launcher you want to put on.
Big difference.
One UI is integrated into the device. It's extremely stable, fast, and efficient. Currently it's using 83mb of ram. Current total ram usage 5.1 of the 12gb with 2 browsers open.

Many of the customizations are built into the base load of the N10+. Keep what you like, disable the rest.

Screenshot_20211127-141400_Device care.jpg
 
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Morgrain

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2015
753
755
Big difference.
One UI is integrated into the device. It's extremely stable, fast, and efficient. Currently it's using 83mb of ram. Current total ram usage 5.1 of the 12gb with 2 browsers open.

Many of the customizations are built into the base load of the N10+. Keep what you like, disable the rest.

View attachment 5469245
For fairness’s sake, every UI has its quirks and bugs. Neither Googles Launcher, nor Samsung are perfect.

Samsung users claimed a heckload of bugs when the One UI versions came, for anecdotal purposes

One UI 2

One UI 3

One UI 4

Et cetera. And we all know Googles bugs, even though it's sometimes hard to differentiate between general Android version bugs and specific Google Launcher bugs.

In the end, it's a question of personal taste.

Most people in a Google Pixel forum will tell you "Go Google Pixel".

Most people in a Samsung Galaxy forum will tell you "Go Samsung Galaxy".

Why? Because people freakin paid money for a product they want to like. Nobody wants to buy sh*t. Nobody wants to get ripped off. Nobody wants to feel like the id*ot that bought a broken product.

It's normal for people to say "my product is awesome, buy it!!!" - it's not always a rational decision, or a good one, but it's a human one.

(You have to mind the trolls though, meaning people that never owned a device, but trying to tell people what to think about it. Or people trying to go on a personal level because they lack arguments, often or not found here at XDA).

In the end, what matters is that manufacturers fix their stuff, and both Google and Samsung tend to do that, so I'd give both a recommendation. The S21 Ultra has the better screen and battery life and a slightly better processor, Google has the better camera, connectivity (in terms of notifications that are not delayed, not modem) and unique software features (now playing, live translate, automatic call screening, whatever - since all Samsung features can be easily ported over to a (rooted) Pixel, but not vice versa - and no, Shazam cannot replace now playing, it's not nearly as convenient and efficient). So it's up to you to decide whats more important.

Even though there were certain Samsung that tended to explode in your pants, you know the whole recall with specialized explosion safe packaging story, that was a bummer of the magnitude 8.

Personally, I can't Samsung. But not because their products are ****. No, Samsung just behaves like an a**. They want to forcefeed you huge mountainsized ADS on your 9000 Dollars expensive television and that's just unacceptable on the magnitude 10. They will not get a single dime from me in the future. That kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated. If I pay thousands of dollars for a product, I have earned the right to never again have to bother with ads - if that company disagrees, f*ck them.
 
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blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,130
2,656
For fairness’s sake, every UI has its quirks and bugs. Neither Googles Launcher, nor Samsung are perfect.

Samsung users claimed a heckload of bugs when the One UI versions came, for anecdotal purposes

One UI 2

One UI 3

One UI 4

Et cetera. And we all know Googles bugs, even though it's sometimes hard to differentiate between general Android version bugs and specific Google Launcher bugs.

In the end, it's a question of personal taste.

Most people in a Google Pixel forum will tell you "Go Google Pixel".

Most people in a Samsung Galaxy forum will tell you "Go Samsung Galaxy".

Why? Because people freakin paid money for a product they want to like. Nobody wants to buy sh*t. Nobody wants to get ripped off. Nobody wants to feel like the id*ot that bought a broken product.

It's normal for people to say "my product is awesome, buy it!!!" - it's not always a rational decision, or a good one, but it's a human one.

(You have to mind the trolls though, meaning people that never owned a device, but trying to tell people what to think about it. Or people trying to go on a personal level because they lack arguments, often or not found here at XDA).

In the end, what matters is that manufacturers fix their stuff, and both Google and Samsung tend to do that, so I'd give both a recommendation. The S21 Ultra has the better screen and battery life and a slightly better processor, Google has the better camera and unique software features (now playing, live translate, automatic call screening, whatever - since all Samsung features can be easily ported over to a (rooted) Pixel, but not vice versa). So it's up to you to decide whats more important.

Even though there were certain Samsung that tended to explode in your pants, you know the whole recall with specialized explosion safe packaging story, that was a bummer of the magnitude 8.
I think both of those devices suck; hardware and firmware. I wouldn't touch either... to be fair.
 

Morgrain

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2015
753
755
I think both of those devices suck; hardware and firmware. I wouldn't touch either... to be fair.
Well, if you want a good camera and don't want a chinese spy phone, there is not much to go around a Pixel. It's the old dilemma. If Apple had made jailbreaking and updating easier, plus had the decency to actually pay for codec licences (the **** do they not support aptx/ldac?! Music from Iphones (if you are used to custom tailored v4a with custom ddcs/convolvers) sound like sh*t - I would have probably made the switch, but iPhone is still a joke in terms of customization.

Besides, I don't think that neither Samsungs or Pixels suck, they both serve specific needs and make some compromises, as does Apple. Sadly, there is no perfect phone. In theory, it should be easy to achieve, but as of now, no manufacturer ever tried hard enough.

For my personal need, the pixel 6 pro comes in as almost perfect. There are a couple minor things (why not all camera modi in 60fps Mode? Improve battery life, improve VRR, fix Android 12, give us modern camera sensors, improve post processing, more efficient panel, more efficient processor...) and some major ones (Modem, heat, I want Faceunlock AND ultrasonic, plus give me back improved Soli and edge sense and make battery replacement easy) that bother me. Once that's fixed/such a kind of device gets released, I'm going to keep that device until it breaks down and probably buy a spare phone to replace my own, since I know that manufacturers will f*ck it up again.
 
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ekerbuddyeker

Senior Member
I have the had the s21 ultra since it came out. Nothing wrong with it but I travel and there's no s21 ultra model that has all the 5G bands in all locations... But the pixel (and iphone!) does. So I gave it a try and it's incredibly similar to the ultra especially in a leather case. In fact, using Nova I mimicked it almost completely!

Pixel charges slower, and I felt battery was slightly worse (but it needs time to settle in) but sound is good. Camera is good on both. Each has its benefits. Screen is slightly dimmer and less saturated and I felt that immediately, sort of like an LG device, felt a year or two behind the Samsung, but not a deal killer. They are about as fast as each other.

The difference is in the software. Whereas Samsung is well rounded, with years of maturity, Pixel is stock. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, just different. The only issue for me is lack of a decent email (and calendar to a lesser extent) on the pixel. I don't like Gmail and I have yet to find a comfortable 3rd party email package that meets my needs. The Samsung on the other hand has fantastic email and calendar software. That's a deal breaker for me.

One thing I would note is that, aside from radio bands, there's no area that I felt the pixel was actually better than the ultra (which is incredible considering that the ultra is nearly a year old). As good as, in most cases, but never a step up. And therefore I didn't think it made sense to switch as the software experience ultimately is more important to me than I originally realized.

Hope that helps.

As a side note, when I compared the pixel 6P on T-Mobile's 5G UC Network to an iPhone 13 pro at the same time, the iPhone 13 pro was nearly twice as fast (400mbs v 230). No idea why that was. I tested it many times in different places and it was almost always slower than the iphone on 5G. Not sure what to make of that!
 
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blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,130
2,656
Well, if you want a good camera and don't want a chinese spy phone, there is not much to go around a Pixel. It's the old dilemma. If Apple had made jailbreaking and updating easier, plus had the decency to actually pay for codec licences (the **** do they not support aptx/ldac?! Music from Iphones (if you are used to custom tailored v4a with custom ddcs/convolvers) sound like sh*t - I would have probably made the switch, but iPhone is still a joke in terms of customization.

Besides, I don't think that neither Samsungs or Pixels suck, they both serve specific needs and make some compromises, as does Apple. Sadly, there is no perfect phone. In theory, it should be easy to achieve, but as of now, no manufacturer ever tried hard enough.

For my personal need, the pixel 6 pro comes in as almost perfect. There are a couple minor things (why not all camera modi in 60fps Mode? Improve battery life, improve VRR, fix Android 12, give us modern camera sensors, improve post processing, more efficient panel, more efficient processor...) and some major ones (Modem, heat, I want Faceunlock AND ultrasonic, plus give me back improved Soli and edge sense and make battery replacement easy) that bother me. Once that's fixed/such a kind of device gets released, I'm going to keep that device until it breaks down and probably buy a spare phone to replace my own, since I know that manufacturers will f*ck it up again.

What I mean is both hardware and firmware wise across the board 2021 has been a bust year for Android. Android 11 and 12 are a mess.
At least 2 years until scope storage is straighten out.
Issues with displays are common and 5G is still not mature. Slight improvements in cams but that technology was fairly mature 2 years ago so no big surprises there.
Any hardware improvements are being offset by cpu hogging scoped storage and forced encryption. Even the heavily modified Samsung UI can't clean up that mess.

You might think that Apple must be bribing Google to belly flop... but no, Google is really is this inept. No end in sight, Android is in a full self induced high G flat spin... maybe full afterburner will help🤣

5vr6rh.jpg
 
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  • 3
    I personally just made the exact switch you're thinking of doing. It doesn't have all of the "custom" additions that the S21U does but I feel like because of that the Pixel feels better.

    The biggest reason I switched was for the performance. The S21U felt laggy and slow even compared to my previous phone (OnePlus 8 Pro). The Pixel feels way smoother of an experience.

    Camera is subjective but I've always been a fan of the "Google" processing so I've installed a GCam mod on every phone I can, S21 included.

    I'm much happier now on the Pixel 6 pro than the S21U so if you're okay with a more minimalistic phone without all of the Samsung goodies, then this might be worth the switch.
    2
    Hey everybody!

    Quick question: would you replace your Galaxy S21 Ultra with a Pixel 6 Pro?

    I'm asking it because I'm a S21 owner but I've never been completely in love with the Samsung design (those squircle icons...) nor all the Samsung apps I don't use and can't remove. I'm into Google apps and services and I'm attracted by the simple and minimal design of the Pixel 6. On the other hand, I like Samsung for the plethora of options and features they add to the Android system, most of which are not in the Pixel.

    I've been reading around a lot and it seems that in terms of performance and battery the two phones are basically the same - and the S21 is one year old almost. The S21 could have a slightly better camera, whereas the Pixel can count on the Tensor chip and specific features.

    So, what's your thought?

    You're probably not going to be happy with a Pixel. The UX is polar opposite of Sammy's and a few cool features aren't probably going to be enough for you to unlike what you liked about Sammys in the first place.
    2
    Yes, I would replace any Samsung with the P6P. My wife and I were happy with the first Pixel, which we used until they stopped updating it almost two years ago. I was waiting for Google to come out with a 512 GB model, and since they hadn't yet we got the Samsung Note 10+ 512 GB.

    When the P6P 512 GB model was revealed, I knew it was time to buy, and sell our Samsungs, which I did on Swappa without wasting much time. The only thing we slightly miss is the included stylus.

    I could go on and reiterate a list of things I didn't like about Samsung's version of Android (the hardware was great). One major thing I couldn't stand about the software was the erratic, unreliable notifications of my GMail, Hangouts, and Google Chat.

    I don't have a work phone because I don't want to use iOS, and I count on prompt notifications when I'm busy multitasking on my work PC. Sometimes I wouldn't get notifications for two hours after the email was sent. My work uses Google for everything. Sometimes I would get a notification of an email hours after I had already seen it on the PC and had deleted it.

    I tried everything I could to try to fix it with no luck. My brother's family has their very first smartphone in the last several years when they bought the Samsung Galaxy S9+. When I told him about my notification issue, he said he assumed that's just the way Android is (no, it's not).

    As I said, I could detail a long list but I've been over it before so it gets tiring. 😁

    Good luck, whatever you choose.
    2
    i have both devices, ehm three(s21, s21u, p6pro) and i will say, P6pro is better, same performance, a lot better battery, comparing camera(what i miss so much is better zoom with S21U). p6pro is battery friendly, same usage and you get 10h SOT, with S21U only 5-7(but with profiles - data, bt off, in night Flicght mode...)
    2
    Same here. I still have my s21u and currently using the p6p. As of now, I'm content with the 6 pro. Battery can be better. This phone is fairly new and there will be lots of updates.