As the calendar turns to August and we look ahead to the fall season, we have approached the time of year when Google’s flagship phones begin to become a topic of discussion. Such is the case with the 2021 experience and the Pixel 6 and its counterpart, the Pixel 6 Pro.
Google has already officially recognized the upcoming devices in a blog post, but it does stop far short of revealing the full set of details. We formally know it’s coming and that it has some pretty interesting hardware under the hood. Other than that, it’s still a case of speculation and reports.
What follows is a growing, comprehensive look at the Pixel 6 rumors. We’ll update this piece as things progress over the next few months.
When will the Pixel 6 launch?
Google’s flagship phones tend to launch in October with the exception being the Pixel 5 and its September 30 debut last year. The situation looks to stay the same so far for 2021; however, chip shortages may cause Google to delay things a bit.
According to Google, we should look forward to seeing them “this fall” and “later this year”.
What is the design of the Pixel 6?
Having largely maintained the same look for its first few generations of Pixel phones, things changed a bit with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5. For the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro we can expect another departure, but one that calls to mind the early generations of the line.
The front of the phone will be almost entirely all display with a hole-punch cutout for the front-facing camera. Moreover, its suggested that there will be an in-display fingerprint reader.
Around back the Pixel 6 could have a bar across the phone where the camera module resides. If the Pixel 5 was clean and unassuming, its successor may be more bold and eye-catching. As to why it is so pronounced, Google says it’s because the improved sensors and lenses are now too big to fit into a traditional square.
As far as materials go, the Pixel 6 will have a matte aluminum finish while the 6 Pro wears a polished aluminum frame.
Tell us more about the Pixel 6 display
The Pixel 6 is reported to have a 6.4-inch display with flat edges and a 120Hz refresh rate. Resolution is said to be 1080p for the standard model while the Pixel 6 Pro could come in at 6.7-inches and a QHD+ resolution.
The front-facing camera figures to be located in the upper center of the screen and should have facial recognition for unlocking. The in-display fingerprint reader will also aid in security and authentication.
Will there be other versions of the Pixel 6?
As we’ve seen with most of the Google phones to date, the Pixel 6 will come in multiple versions. Unlike past models with an “XL” approach, the 2021 edition could launch with a standard and a “Pro” variant. This has been officially confirmed by Google in a blog post from August 2.
What are some of the Pixel 6 specs?
We’ll have to wait until its launch to learn of the full suite of hardware and software features, but we do have a semi-clear understanding of the general specifications.
Google has left Qualcomm and its chipsets behind for 2021, relying on its own processor for the first time. This “Tensor” chip is specifically built for Pixel phones and further leans into machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
The processor is reported to land somewhere near the top in terms of performance with Google baking its own neural processor unit (NPU) and image signal processor (ISP) into the chip. It may not have the chops to best benchmark tests, but that not be Google’s focus.
Google does a great job of adding security and artificial intelligence (AI) to its phones, particularly in the area of photography. The new phones will certainly build on this and will also offer features not found in other mobile devices.
As far as memory and storage goes, the Pixel 6 is expected to have 8GB RAM and 128GB/256GB capacities while the Pixel 6 Pro may have 12GB RAM with 128GB/256GB/512GB options.
The Pixel 6 may feature a 4,614mAh battery with wireless charging; the Pixel 6 Pro could bump things up to 5,000mAh.
How about the Pixel 6 cameras?
We don’t a great deal about the software features and capabilities in the Pixel 6 line, but we think we have a good idea as to its basic hardware.
The Pixel 6 figures to have a pair of shooters, a 50-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. The Pixel 6 Pro may take things one step further with a 48-megapixel telephoto lens.
What version of Android will the Pixel 6 run?
The Pixel 6, and any variations, should run Android 12 at launch. This version of the software has been slowly working its way from developer preview to multiple beta releases and should be fully ready to go in the coming months.
How much will the Pixel 6 cost?
It’s difficult to say with any certainty what Google will ask for its flagship phone(s) this year. The Pixel 4 commanded a pretty hefty $800 but its successor, the Pixel 5 arrived at $700.
We don’t imagine Google will be able to shave too much off the Pixel 6’s price, if anything. Cost-cutting could occur thanks to the in-house processor, but there’s nothing to suggest Google is looking to drive prices down.
According to The Verge, Google’s own Rick Osterleh says that the Pixel 6 will “certainly be a premium-priced product” which could signal a price north of $1,000.