I use LineageOS on a OnePlus 7 Pro as my main phone. I’m in the market for a new Android device. I got the opportunity to try the Google Pixel 6 Pro when I found an open box deal on Best Buy for $680, closing in on ebay’s used price.

I flashed this Pixel 6 Pro with the GrapheneOS. While LineageOS’ goal is hardware compatibility and longevity, GrapheneOS only works on Google Pixels and is 100% laser-focused on security.

This comparison will be from a perspective of Lineage/Graphene OS usage, meaning I don’t count hyper-Googled features like call screening or other heavily systemized features.

Pixel 6: Pros

Some benefits of Graphene’s security approach:

  1. Nearly instant security and OS updates. Android 13 went into the stable branch in the middle of my testing.
  2. Unique privacy features like Sandboxed Google Play.

The new phone running GOS is better in many ways. Here are the most substantial improvements I found while using the Pixel:

Camera Comparisons

I use Google Camera on both phones. On the Pixel 6 Pro this is just the Camera from the Play Store, while on the OnePlus I’m using a GCam port with the latest config by Six Armed Priest (SAP / Arnova).

I took a couple comparison shots of this backyard with both phones. The results don’t look very different for being 3 generations apart. Although it was neat to see evidence of how computational photography is pushing camera quality forward. Porting that computation to older phones brings them really close to new $800 USD flagships.

Pixel - Photo 1

Google Pixel 6 Pro - Photo Image 1

OnePlus - Photo 1

OnePlus 7 Pro - Photo Image 1

Pixel - Photo 2

Google Pixel 6 Pro - Photo Image 2

OnePlus - Photo 2

OnePlus 7 Pro - Photo Image 2

Pixel - Photo 3 (Telephoto lens)

Google Pixel 6 Pro - Photo Image 3 Telephoto

OnePlus - Photo 3 (Telephoto lens)

OnePlus 7 Pro - Photo Image 3 Telephoto

Pixel - Photo 4 (Ultrawide lens)

Google Pixel 6 Pro - Photo Image 4 Ultrawide

OnePlus - Photo 4 (Ultrawide lens)

OnePlus 7 Pro - Photo Image 4 Ultrawide

Pixel - Photo 4 (Ultrawide lens - Photo closer look)

Google Pixel 6 Pro - Photo Image 4 Ultrawide closer look

OnePlus - Photo 4 (Ultrawide lens - Photo closer look)

OnePlus 7 Pro - Photo Image 4 Ultrawide closer look

With the photos side by side, the Pixel is the winner:

  1. captures more detail
  2. the colors are “true to life”
  3. shadows are more accurate
  4. less noisy telephoto and ultrawide shots

I could give or take the saturation of the OnePlus, it depends on the environment or tone of the photo.

Overall the Pixel is a measured but not overwhelming improvement.

Pixel 6: Cons


LineageOS still has better customization and little features not on GrapheneOS. I miss:


This is my biggest gripe. The new Google Tensor SoC gets HOT when you push it. I normally wouldn’t care that much, but under warmer ambient conditions (like in a car while charging or doing anything outside in California), the chip throttles down and performance suffers tremendously.

The screen will start to refresh at under 60hz, the software will encounter slowdowns like 2-3 second delay in app switching or bringing up the keyboard. Mobile data/wifi will cut out and never get restored until you toggle them off and on again respectively. I use my phone outside frequently and I think this might be a show-stopper.

Granted, the chip is fine under normal air-conditioned conditions.


Overall, GrapheneOS on the pixel 6 pro is a much better experience than LineageOS on the OnePlus 7 pro. I don’t know what to thank for the improvement: is it the newer hardware, the substantial effort/funding of GrapheneOS, or just the famed “Pixel experience” for developers?

Perhaps a combination of all three. The result is an enjoyable, security hardened device that I will ultimately return to BestBuy. The processor so readily clocking down when it’s warmer than a Mountain View morning feels like a major compromise for almost $700.