Google’s Pixel phones have been popular since they first launched. Now, with Google Pixel 6 on the horizon, fans are even more eager to see what’s in store. There are so many rumors circulating in the tech community, but which ones are true and which aren’t? Here’s everything we know so far about the Google Pixel 6 and what you can expect from the latest in Google’s line of flagship phones.
Google Pixel 6: Leaks & Rumors
The predecessor of Pixel 6, Pixel 5, took the entire collection of phones on a different trajectory. While it still retained Google’s signature industry-leading camera modules and photography software, it ran on hardware that was not particularly powerful. This was matched by a lower asking price, transforming Pixel into a range of higher-end mid-range phones.
Will the Pixel 6 continue in the direction the Pixel 5 was headed toward? Perhaps it will—or perhaps it won’t. It’s still too early to tell and we’ll only truly know when it comes out. For now, we’ll have to rely on leaks and rumors.
Some of the leaks include a radical new design that steers away from Google’s previous design language. Others include a new in-house chip called Whitechapel, so we might not see regular Qualcomm processors in the Pixel 6. Still, others speculate that it will replace the Pixel 6 XL moniker.
Pixel 6 will launch only later this year. However, the Pixel 6 rumors already started the year prior with numerous leaks relating to Google phones. Placeholder names sprung out everywhere with names like Passport, Raven, and Oriole being thrown about. Rumors say that the Passport could refer to Google’s potential foldable phone model. As for Raven and Oriole, fans have speculated that these might refer to the new Pixel 6 and 6 XL.
What to Expect
Here’s everything we know so far and what you, more or less, can expect from the upcoming Pixel 6.
Design & Aesthetics
Google’s Pixel lineup tends to not fret over consistency or continuity in terms of design language. That’s because past iterations have always experimented with different looks. The Pixel 6 should be no different and is expected to feature a radical new aesthetic.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that it will be 100% different from the Pixel 5. In fact, it’ll likely stick with the Pixel 5’s bio-resin plastic that supports wireless charging. Moreover, the chassis will also probably be made with aluminum just like its predecessor.
However, while the Pixel 5 jumped onto the chunky square camera block trend, the Pixel 6 might not. In fact, it might go in the opposite direction, opting for a more low-key camera array. Based on renders and rumors, it might look a bit more like the Galaxy S10’s horizontal camera bar.
However, unlike the S10, the camera bar goes across the entire Pixel phone’s width. On the back, it also has a two-toned accent color language like previous generations. One tertiary accent color should fall above the camera bar and another complementary color below it. Of course, the Google logo will still fall in the middle of the device that’s color-matched to complete the aesthetic.
On the other hand, the front design is a bit less radical. In fact, it might look like your average smartphone. The Pixel 6 is rumored to have a center-aligned punch-hole selfie camera and a full-screen display. It’ll also likely come with an in-display fingerprint sensor like many other Android devices.
Main Camera System
One of the biggest selling points of Pixel phones is undoubtedly their cameras. Google is famous for producing great smartphone cameras that can handle night photography well. We expect that it will continue to live up to these expectations.
However, the Pixel 5 did slightly lower in camera quality compared to what fans expected last year. That’s because there was no telephoto lens like the previous Pixel devices (although the ultra-wide did make up for it). Moreover, the Pixel 5 housed an IMX363 12.2MP sensor, which was considered outdated for the time.
On the other hand, the Pixel 6 seems to be following the same principle. The rumors show that the new Pixel 6 will come with two main cameras at the back. However, the Pixel 6 Pro might come with three lenses on the back instead of two. According to the leaks, it will come with a main and telephoto lens at the back. The third is speculated to be an ultrawide camera because that’s what flagships usually have.
In addition, rumors suggest that the Pixel 6 Pro will have a significantly more powerful sensor compared to the past. More specifically, its main sensor could go as high as 50 MP. Add an ultrawide sensor and an 8 MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and you’ve got a pretty powerful setup.
There are also speculations that the Pixel 6 will come with an under-display camera. That’s because Google already has a patent for an under-display camera. However, more recent renders display the Pixel 6 to have a centered camera with a punch-hole design instead.
Google has also confirmed that they’ve worked on improving their computational photography for smartphones. These new features and improved photography should come to Pixel phones launching this fall. Hence, these features should be on full display on the Pixel 6.
Google says that these improved features were worked on in partnership with image experts. Specifically, Google says that these cameras should more accurately capture people of color. It should also more accurately portray different types of hair and distinguish hair from a photo’s background.
Size-wise, OnLeaks suggests that the Pixel 6 will feature ample measurements of about 6.4 inches. Like most other smartphones, it’ll have flat edges along the sides.
The larger variant will be slightly bigger at 6.7 inches. Moreover, the larger Pixel 6 will also have curved edges to distinguish itself from the base model. However, one thing that’s consistent across both devices is that they’ll both have an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Like most modern smartphones, both models should have a high refresh rate. However, the tech community still seems to be unsure whether that entails the same 90Hz on past pixel phones. Some speculate that it might jump up to 120Hz, but that’s still a mystery as of the time of writing.
In terms of resolution, we can expect a difference between the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Specifically, the larger phone will have a better QHD+ display compared to the smaller Pixel 6’s 1080p.
Lastly, there have been some rumors based on the upcoming Android 12 OS that Google is set to release. Specifically, the Pixel 6 might employ facial recognition and authentication like the Pixel 4. However, because the Pixel 6 only has one punch-hole cutout, this facial recognition system might be less sophisticated.
Another important part of the leaks is the Pixel 6 specifications. The most significant of these is the rumored in-house Whitechapel chip. Previously, the Pixel 5 settled for a less powerful Snapdragon 765G chip compared to flagship processors. Now, with the introduction of a brand new chip, people are eager to see the Pixel 6’s performance.
According to Weinbach, the new Whitechapel chip should sit somewhere between the Snapdragon 888 and 865. This means that it’ll be about the average power of last year’s and this year’s flagship Android phones. However, the real kicker is Google’s ability to introduce a neural processor unit and image signal processor into Whitechapel. These internal processors enhance the power for AI capabilities including computational photography.
In terms of battery, Google’s Pixel phones have always lagged behind a bit in this area. The Pixel 5 did have a somewhat large 4,000mAh battery. However, the 90Hz refresh rate could significantly drain it without Google’s Adaptive Battery feature.
For the Pixel 6, Google might include a larger battery, especially if they opt for 120Hz. Moreover, because the Pixel 6’s dimensions are larger than the Pixel 5, a larger battery is more than likely. In fact, it could have as large as a 5,000mAh battery to power the display. Of course, that’s more for the larger Pixel 6 Pro model. The smaller base model might have a 4,500mAh battery instead.
Lastly, wireless charging seems to be a thing for the Pixel 6 like previous models. However, this feature might be faster on the Pixel 6 with the rumored Pixel Stand on the way. Unfortunately, the problem lies in whether or not it will come with a charger included. If Google follows Apple’s lead, you might not see a power brick in the box.
The Pixel 6’s release date might not be set in stone. However, we do have an estimate for a potential release date based on previous releases. Why base it on past Pixel launches? That’s because Google has been pretty consistent so far when it comes to releasing their Pixel phones.
Most of the time, Pixel phones release in October—along with many other Techtober releases. On the other hand, the Pixel 5 did catch us by surprise by moving the date up to September 30. However, the real difference is only by one day, so we can more or less expect similar time frames.
As a result, the Pixel 6 will most likely release around October 2021. There was also some confirmation from leaker Max Weinbach who affirmed that they’ll drop in October this year. That goes for both the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro models.
However, there is one potential setback that people need to watch out for, and that is the recent chip shortage. Thanks to that, it’s also possible that the Pixel 6’s release date might be pushed back by a month.
On the other hand, there’s also some talk of a phone launch from Google separate from the Pixel 6. That is we might see the Pixel 5a launch much earlier during the summer. However, there’s still no confirmed date for its launch before the Pixel 6’s release.
One of the biggest surprises the Pixel 5 brought to us was the price change. It’s one of the reasons why the Pixel 5 is a less-than-a-flagship phone, apart from the less powerful chip.
In previous years, the Pixel phones have always been flagship-tier phones. That goes for both the specs and price points. However, with the Pixel 5’s price drop, fans have been speculating whether the Pixel 6 will follow in its footsteps.
Most people suspect that the Pixel 6 will stick to the Pixel 5’s strategy and release at a lower price. Last year’s base model went for $699 so we can expect something similar from the Pixel 6. However, we also assume that Google won’t drop the price any lower than that.
Both of Google’s main competitors—Apple and Samsung—have released models with similar prices. There were the iPhone 12 mini and the Galaxy S21 for both companies that were more budget-friendly for price-conscious consumers.
Compared to the Pixel 5, the Google Pixel 6 should feature a radically new design. However, that doesn’t mean it ditches the Pixel 5’s legacy as it’s likely to have a similar starting price. On the other hand, it does have a lot of changes compared to its predecessor. This includes a new in-house processor, higher refresh rate, and larger battery.
While these rumors are not confirmed, the Pixel 6 is still worth anticipating because of these speculations. Only time will tell if these rumors are grounded and will come to fruition.