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Vincent Schilling

Indian Country Today

Hello readers, I have been using the Google Pixel phones now for about a month. Specifically, I am talking about the Pixel 6 Pro and the regular Pixel 6. The main difference between the two that I have noticed? The pro is about an inch bigger.

In terms of performance, photos, reactivity, and features, they are nearly identical.

So right off the bat, I figure I am not really going to go that much into the specs, as the Google store already has all of that information here. Google is quick to point out a new and improved processor, an advanced camera, and enhanced security and battery features. So yeah, it’s supposedly a new and improved Google Pixel phone. I have to agree for the most part.

Pixel 6 Pro at the Google store - screen capture


The biggest takeaway for me - the spectacular images with a multi-functional camera

Google is quick to brag about its latest enhanced camera and photosensor that supposedly lets in 150 percent more light. And as a professional photographer and journalist for the past 16 years, I have to say I can hardly argue. My holy halibuts, the camera is probably one of the most exceptional things I have ever seen on a smartphone … period. I mean ever.

My good buddy Mr. Matt Pleas at the Hampton Inn in a quick shot I took with the Pixel 6 Pro. (Photo Vincent Schilling)

The portrait feature, with a blurred background, is so completely amazing, my jaw continues to drop the more images I take. A tiny criticism is that with all of the camera's photo and video choices, it can seem a bit intimidating, but if you stick with it, you can come across as a near pro.

My friends Jamel Asante and Danika Wright at the Hampton Inn during the holiday season. Notice the nice soft blur in the background which occurs when using the portrait setting. (Photo Vincent Schilling)

There is also a super-duper zoom-in feature where a quick reverse pinch can get everyone into the shot if you are a selfie enthusiast.

One amazing feature is accessing photos in Google photos and hitting the edit button in the tools section … get ready to have some serious fun with the Magic Eraser tool.

Notice the missing microphone? I erased it automatically by simply touching it in the Magic Eraser tools.

Vincent's last broadcast

It’s a racially inclusive camera

A nice feature for brown-skinned people, the Pixel 6’s assert a truer skin tone in the photos it takes. Truth be told, I have noticed a bit of a difference between earlier models and my normally darker features aren’t so washed out from previous smartphone images. Nice touch, Google.

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have enhanced skin tone recognigtion


Native Nerd

Well, for me the jury is still out and I have to say I am not impressed or unimpressed, I am just saying I haven’t really noticed any improvements over the Pixel 5 and 4a. I am admittedly leaning toward the 4a as having a little more battery life. But I am not certain. I’m far from unhappy with the battery life, but I am not ready to turn on my flashlight for an hour just yet.

It’s a beautiful well-constructed phone

Out of all the phones by Google so far, the Pixel 6 Pro and 6 are gorgeously designed phones. The colors are on a softly colored and pleasing palette, and the customization is really nice. If you like aesthetics, you are in for a treat.

Google Pixel 6's (


I didn’t expect to have used this so much, but I used Google translate several times to have an actual conversation between different language speakers. I had repairmen who spoke Spanish to me via Google translate. The one guy told me the translation was about 80 percent correct. I also spoke to a Chinese speaker to say hello and have a nice day, but even more cool was speaking Russian to members of the Ukrainian Ballet Company visiting Virginia. It was truly amazing to say encouraging things as well as wish the dancers the best of luck on their performances. If my friend I met sees this article, “Hello Dennis,” or should I say “Привет Деннис!”

My minor complaints

I sorely wish the fingerprint sensor had stayed on the back of the device, as it now sits in the front bottom center. It seems a tiny bit slower, which is a little bit of a bummer, but not a deal-breaker. I thought I would miss the absence of an earphone audio jack, but since I’ve been using Google Pixel Buds, admittedly it was two weeks before I even noticed.

The biggest weirdness (biggest weirdness? Oh well, I’ll keep it) is the fact the face rarely seems to know when I pick up the phone. I shake it, I wiggle it, but it never seems to notice until I push a hard button.

All said these are majorly small complaints. I absolutely love Pixel the 6 pro and 6. I highly recommend them.

I bid you, farewell dear readers

Okay, dear readers, this is my last #NativeNerd article for Indian Country Today as I move onward to different horizons. It’s been a wonderful run.

Check out my goodbye here.