Google officially previewed the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro earlier in August. At the time, Google just revealed the smartphone's design, naming scheme, and that it will be running Google's custom-built Tensor Soc with Titan M2 security. However, we didn't hear much about the smartphone series from Google up until recently.
Google confirmed Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launch date last week. The flagship is set to be unveiled on October 19. But, between Google's official preview and the company's launch date announcement, almost everything about the Pixel 6 series leaked. Hence, here is a rumor roundup of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro combining all the leaks and rumors we have heard so far.
When will Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launch?
Google sent out invites for the Pixel event earlier this month. The Pixel 6 series is set to launch on October 19. The virtual event for Pixel 6 unveiling will start next Tuesday, i.e., October 19 at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET). Google has already published the Pixel event website where you can see a Pixel 6 running Android 12 with some widgets.
Following the announcement on October 19, Google will reportedly start shipping the devices on October 28. Other accessories for the Pixel 6, like the new Pixel Stand, official cases, and the charging brick are expected to be made available at launch. The series is expected to be available in small quantities initially due to the global chip shortage — which has even forced Apple to cut iPhone 13 production.
Dropping XL for the Pro
Google has historically introduced two devices in its flagship lineup — a vanilla variant and a moniker with an XL tag. The difference between the vanilla Pixel and the XL Pixel didn't use to be that much, apart from the screen size and battery size. However, it doesn't seem like that case now.
Google will now use the ‘Pro’ moniker for the bigger Pixel this time around. It will certainly feature more 'Pro' specs and not just a bigger screen. It is pretty common in the Android smartphone space since several flagships have a Pro variant including the ones from OnePlus, OPPO, and more. It will also be reflected in their price tags, reportedly. According to the rumors, the upcoming Pixel phones are codenamed raven and oriole.
Google has already shown us how the Pixel 6 looks like. And as far as previous generations' Pixels go, Google Pixel 6 is unlike any other Pixel from the past. The design is a lot different in comparison to the previous generation. It'll be made out of glass and metal, as opposed to polycarbonate in the previous gen. The company is going back to a dual-tone finish that was a part of the Pixel series till the Pixel 3 lineup. The two colors are separated by the black bar, with a darker shade of the color above the camera bump. In fact, you can differentiate between the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro by closely watching the space above the camera bar. The phone with more space above the camera bar is the Pixel 6 Pro.
According to leaked images, the color variants of the Pixel 6 will be called Sorta Seafoam,” “Stormy Black,” and “Kinda Coral,” whereas the colors of Pixel 6 Pro will be named as “Stormy Black,” “Sorta Sunny” and “Cloudy White.” The images also showed that the camera bump will protrude quite a lot from the back of the smartphone. Two hands-on videos with the Pixel 6 leaked a while back showing us the phone in real life.
Coming to the front of the device, we can see minimal bezels with a tiny chin at the bottom and squared edges. Further, the selfie shooter could be located in a centered punch-hole cutout. The Pixel 6 is said to measure roughly 158.6mm x 74.8mm x 8.9mm, while the Pro variant could measure roughly 163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm.
While we're on the topic of the front of the device, let's see what has leaked about the Pixel 6's display. The smaller of the two variants, the standard Google Pixel 6, is rumored to come equipped with a 6.4-inch FHD+ flat display with a 90Hz refresh rate. On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro is tipped to feature a 6.67-inch curved LTPO AMOLED display with support for up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Reports suggest that the Google Pixel 6 Pro's display could go as low as 10Hz to preserve battery life. Both of the smartphones will feature an in-display fingerprint scanner and could have support for stereo speakers as well.
The Pixel 6 series is expected to be powered by Google's first-ever custom-built Tensor SoC. A lot about the Pixel 6's Tensor SoC has leaked in the past two months, which we have discussed in detail down below. Other than the Tensor SoC, Pixel 6 is said to come with 8GB of RAM whereas Pixel 6 Pro is said to come with 12GB of RAM. Both of the smartphones will come with 128GB of base internal storage, with 256GB variant being available for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro and the 512GB variant being exclusive to 6 Pro.
On to the battery, the smaller variant is expected to be backed by a 4,614 mAh battery whereas the Pro model is expected to be backed by a hefty 5,000 mAh battery. Coupled with a custom chipset, the Pixel 6 lineup should give a good battery life. It will support fast charging as well. The lineup is expected to support 30W fast wired charging and 23W fast wireless charging, thanks to a new Pixel Stand. They'll reportedly feature the "Battery Share" feature, which is just Google's name for reverse wireless charging. Sadly, the lineup won't ship with a charger in the box.
Google has officially announced that it will be debuting its custom-built Tensor SoC inside the Pixel 6 series. Google is reportedly using the ‘GS101’ model number for its “Whitechapel" named silicon chip in the two phones. At the time of the official preview, Google didn't announce any specifics about the Tensor chipset but said that the chipset will be able to handle all the complex AI and ML models without the internet. The company also announced that it will support Titan M2 security.
Over the course of the past few weeks, a lot of details about the Tensor SoC has surfaced. The chipset is said to be fabricated on the 5nm node structure. Google isn't opting for 4nm fabrication amid the chip shortage. Interestingly, instead of the 1+3+4 CPU (one Prime core, three high-performance cores, and four power-efficiency cores) configuration which the flagship-level chipsets such as Snapdragon 888 opt for, Google is reportedly going for a 2+2+4 CPU configuration for the Pixel 6's Tensor SoC. The rumored CPU configuration of the Tensor chipset is:
- 2x ARM Cortex-X1 clocked at 2.802GHz
- 2x ARM Cortex-A76 clocked at 2.253GHz
- 4x ARM Cortex-A55 clocked at 1.80GHz
According to the reports, Tensor SoC will be one of the most powerful chipsets. It will support Google’s AV1 decoder that is able to decode 4K content at 60FPS, something that no Qualcomm processor is capable of doing. It will also be able to support camera features such as. Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and Magic Eraser. In addition, the Pixel 6 series should also support improved voice dictation powered by Google Assistant thanks to the powerful Tensor chipset. The Tensor chipset should offer "80% faster performance," according to the massive Pixel 6 leak that broke out few days before launch.
Lastly, the Tensor SoC will support the 5G network. It will reportedly have the Exynos Modem 5123, the same one found in the Exynos variants of the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 phones. Thanks to the powerful modem, the Pixel 6 series will also support Wi-Fi 6E.
Google released Android 12 stable source code to AOSP in the starting of October 2021. Weirdly enough, the company didn't release Android 12 for Pixel devices at that time — something it's been doing for the past few years. According to the reports, Google is waiting for the Pixel 6 series launch which will come with Android 12 out of the box.
Android 12 comes with a number of features. These include Material You design language and the wallpaper-based UX theming. Further, there are more privacy features than before, which also include a privacy dashboard to show which apps are using your phone’s camera, microphone, or location. There are a number of other features as well.
Google has found itself leading the Android side of phone cameras with its Pixel lineup over the past few years. The cameras found in the Pixel series of phones are one of the best in the market. We expect the same level of performance from the Pixel 6 lineup.
The Google Pixel 6 could sport a dual rear camera setup. On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro is tipped to pack a triple rear camera setup, including a wide-angle shooter and telephoto camera that will support 4X optical zoom. According to the marketing material that leaked last week, the new cameras will now let in 150% more light. The selfie shooter is said to have support for 4K video recording on both phones. For the unaware, Pixel 5’s front camera only supports 1080p video recording at 30fps.
Further, it is said that the improvements in NPU (Neural Processing Unit) and ISP (Image Signal Processor) will ensure a better video capture output. Google is also tipped to finally ditch the 12MP wide-angle camera that we’ve seen on Pixel phones over the years. There are rumors claiming that the main camera uses a 50MP GN1 sensor from Samsung. The telephoto lens will be a 12MP sensor while the ultra-wide-angle will use a 48MP sensor.
Other than that, Google is marketing camera features such as Night Sight, Portrait Mode, and Magic Eraser. While we've seen Night Sight and Portrait Mode on the older-generation Google Pixels, Magic Eraser seems to be a new feature that will, as per our guess, remove photo bombers and unwanted objects from the image. There's also a new feature called Face Unblur in Google's marketing material, which will, again as per our guess, minimize the blur and noise of a photo.
So far, Google hasn't uttered a word about the pricing of Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro apart from saying that they'll be priced in the "upper" and "expensive" price segment. But, according to multiple leaks, Google Pixel 6 won't cost that much after all. Google Pixel 6 could start at $599 and 6 Pro at $898 in the United States. It could cost around €649 in Europe while the top-end 6 Pro could start at €899.
If this pricing turns out to be true, Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro will become one of the most affordable flagships of this year. For comparison, Apple’s latest iPhone 13 starts at $699 for the mini variant. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 base variant costs $799 whereas the OnePlus 9 starts at $659. Even Google’s own last flagship, the Pixel 5, started at $699.
Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro: What we want to see
- Google Pixel devices have had a bad name for battery life. The Pixel 4, and even the Pixel 5, was hardly a one-day device. With custom Tensor SoC and reportedly big battery capacities, we expect Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to provide better-optimized battery and good battery life.
- Weirdly enough, Google Pixel devices have a bad name for a bad Android experience as well. Despite being the company that develops Android, Google Pixels, like 2 and 3, started having performance issues after a year or so. With Google reportedly supporting the devices for 4 major Android updates, we hope the new Pixel series comes with an optimized version of Android that is smooth after years of usage.
- Google Pixels are known for its camera and photography capabilities. However, they're as bad as any other flagship when it comes to video recording. We really hope Google catches up with Apple in the videography department.
This is all we know about the Google Pixel 6 and the 6 Pro so far. It's just a matter of days before the lineup is officially unveiled. So stay tuned to Pocketnow and make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to get the latest updates about the Pixel launch as it happens.