Google Pixel 6 Pro Rf Antenna TopSource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

What you need to know

  • PCMag compared the Pixel 6 Pro modem to Qualcomm's using the Galaxy S21.
  • The test compared the connection and speeds on Verizon and T-Mobile, two of the largest U.S. carriers.
  • The comparison shows that the Pixel 6 Pro modem falls short of Qualcomm in most circumstances.

Google touts its impressive AI chops with its new Tensor chip, but one area that the company won't be able to boast about is the Pixel 6 Pro connectivity.

PCMag ran a comparison between the Pixel 6 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S21 to see just how the modem paired with Google's new chip holds up against the competition. The tests were conducted on Verizon and T-Mobile's networks to see how the phones paired on two of the best carriers in the U.S.

Interestingly, PCMag found that the Pixel 6 Pro was doing something weird with how it reported signal strength, particularly with T-Mobile 5G and LTE. That said, the tests indicate that the Galaxy S21 reported better signal strength than the Pixel 6 Pro in most cases.

Similarly, the Galaxy S21 displayed better speed results when on T-Mobile's Ultra-Capacity 5G and Verizon's 5G mmWave. On the latter network, the S21 would hit or top 2Gbps when the Pixel 6 Pro would just reach above 1Gbps.

Google Pixel 6 Pro Samsung Galaxy S21 Data Speed ComparisonSource: PCMag

Our Jerry Hildebrand also noticed that the signal and speeds on his Pixel 6 Pro seemed a lot worse when compared to the Galaxy S21 on T-Mobile's network.

PCMag notes that the Pixel 6 Pro uses a Samsung modem while U.S. variants of the Galaxy S21 use the X60 modem, similar to the iPhone 13. They also note that the modem is just one piece of the puzzle; there are other things to factor in, such as software and antenna placement. Interestingly, the Pixel 6 Pro has been found to have a curious mmWave antenna placement on the top edge under a bit of plastic, while the Galaxy S21 has two on either side.

No doubt, the Pixel 6 Pro will still provide good speeds depending on your area and the network. However, PCMag's test suggests that you're likely to find better speeds from some of the best Android phones using Qualcomm's latest chips and modem, and the gap may widen with the launch of next year's flagships.

Speed demon

Samsung Galaxy S21 Render Phantom Violet Front Official

Samsung Galaxy S21

Pretty and powerful

The Galaxy S21 is one of the best phones you can buy, thanks to its impressive display, cameras, and support for the best 5G networks. And with the S21, you'll be among the first to try the new One UI 4 based on Android 12.

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