Google has surprisingly announced the Pixel 6 smartphone, which will arrive later this year with a new Google-made Tensor processor. Here’s everything we know about the Pixel 6 so far.
The Pixel 5 came packing an excellent camera, improved battery life and a compact design – all for a great price. However, it lacked the XL option of its predecessors.
This year, Google has confirmed (albeit somewhat early) it will launch two phones for its Pixel 6 line: the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro. This guide will focus on the base model, the Pixel 6.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Pixel 6, including when it will launch, what it will look like, its specs and details about its camera.
Pricing and release date
So far Google has yet to confirm exactly when the Pixel 6 will go on sale, but has narrowed the release date down to “the fall” or autumn to us Brits.
The Pixel 5 was announced on September 30 and launched on October 15 2020 and previous Pixel’s have arrived in October, so it seems likely the Pixel 6 will launch in September/October 2021.
In terms of pricing, the Pixel 5 cost £599/$699 at launch. This was cheaper than previous Pixel models, so the new model could cost more or less. However, confirmation of the Pixel 6 Pro could be an indicator that we’ll see the base model retain an affordable price. Right now, Google isn’t telling anyway.
We also expect the rumoured Pixel Watch to arrive alongside the new smartphone.
Screen and design
While it has announced the Pixel 6, Google hasn’t published the full spec sheet yet. However, some of the earlier rumours have now been confirmed.
In terms of the industrial design, the rumours of a three-tone design proved accurate, with a large black camera bar spanning the width of the phone’s rear casing. It’s a big departure from some of the truly bland Pixel designs down the years.
The peach, red and black design showcased above (not official colour names) is particularly attractive. There’s also a more traditional black on charcoal design along with what’s best described as black/sky blue/lime green offering. Google is also excited about the matte aluminium finish offered by the Pixel 6.
As for the front of the phone, Google has significantly slimmed down the bezels (casting aside another ancient Pixel hallmark) for a much greater screen to body radio. The front-facing selfie cam is now a tiny punch hole in the centre of the display. You can see it in the video below.
There’s no news yet of a screen size or resolution. We also don’t know what kind of panel Google is using yet. This Pixel 5 had a 6.0-inch display with a 1080 x 2340 resolution. The panel was OLED.
According to a more recent report by John Prosser, the Pixel 6 will feature a 6.4-inch AMOLED display.
Specs and features
One of the biggest updates rumoured to be coming to the Pixel line this year was a new homemade processor. That has now been confirmed by Google. The SoC is called Google Tensor and is designed to make the most of Google’s AI and machine learning advances.
In a blog post announcing Tensor, Google says: “The team that designed our silicon wanted to make Pixel even more capable. For example, with Tensor we thought about every piece of the chip and customized it to run Google’s computational photography models. For users, this means entirely new features, plus improvements to existing ones.
“Tensor enables us to make the Google phones we’ve always envisioned — phones that keep getting better, while tapping the most powerful parts of Google, all in a highly personalised experience. And with Tensor’s new security core and Titan M2, Pixel 6 will have the most layers of hardware security in any phone.”
Google says evidence of the new chip’s prowess will be showcased in the “completely revamped” camera system as well as speech recognition when using the Assistant.”
There’s no more confirmation of other specs yet – that will come this autumn when the phone is officially announced. Reports from John Prosser have indicated Pixel 6 specs like a 4,614mAh battery, 8GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB of storage on the standard Pixel 6. The phone will run on the Android 12 OS, which has now been confirmed by Google.
The smartphone will also reportedly feature Wi-Fi 6E, support for 5G, and will take advantage of five years of software updates.
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Google hasn’t confirmed camera specs at the time of writing. However, we now know for sure there’s a single lens selfie camera (rumoured to be 8-megapixels).
The new camera bump has two lenses which reports have claimed will comprise of a 50-megapixel wide camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. We’ll have to wait for Google’s confirmation on those.
Google does say the main camera allows in 150% more light than the Pixel 5 snapper, which should mean the series’ heralded low-light photography mode is about to get even better.