The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro both surfaced in CAD-based renders recently. Those renders came from a very reliable source, @OnLeaks, and they’re probably spot on. Along with them, the source shared rough dimensions of the two devices, along with display sizes. Based on that information, Google has no intention of offering us a compact Pixel 6 flagship, and I do believe that’s a mistake. Both of those phones will be fairly large, and truth be said, there’s not much logic in that. Do note that that is an opinion article, before anything else. You’re free to disagree, of course.
The Google Pixel 6 won’t be a compact flagship we’ve been expecting
According to the provided information, the Google Pixel 6 will feature a 6.4-inch display, while the Pixel 6 Pro will arrive with a 6.67-inch panel. Based on those display sizes, you may think the Pixel 6 is compact, right? Well, the phone won’t exactly have the thinnest bezels, and if you add a flat display to the equation, no, it’s not small. The Pixel 6 is said to measure 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm (11.8mm with the camera bump). The Pixel 6 Pro, on the other hand, is expected to measure 163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm (11.5mm with the camera bump). So, as you can see, these two will be approximately the same size.
Google Pixel 6:
Google Pixel 6 Pro:
To give you an example of how thick the Pixel 6’s bezels will be. The OnePlus 9 comes with a 6.55-inch display, which is larger than the unit on the Pixel 6. The OnePlus 9 is 160mm tall, and 73.9 or 74.2mm wide (depending on the model). So, it’s narrower than the Pixel 6 will be, and it’s barely taller than Google’s handset. The Pixel 6 will offer a display aspect ratio of 19.5:9 or 20:9, depending on whether it ends up being the same as the display aspect ratio on the current-gen phones.
Last year, Google announced three smartphones, two of which were quite compact
Last year, Google announced three smartphones, and all three of them were more compact than the Pixel 6 will be. The Pixel 4a was by far the most compact with a 5.8-inch display, followed by the Pixel 5 with a 6-inch panel, and the Pixel 4a 5G with a 6.2-inch display. The tallest amongst those phones was the Pixel 4a 5G at 153.9mm, while the Pixel 5 and 4a were 144.7 and 144mm tall, respectively. The widest of them all was the Pixel 4a 5G as well, as it was 74mm wide, while the Pixel 4a and 5 were 69.4 and 70.4mm wide, respectively.
Many people were upset that Google didn’t release a larger phone, and now Google is planning to do the complete opposite. The company is struggling to find a balance, it seems. In previous years (not including 2020), Google managed to hit both targets. It did mess up in other areas, but at least it managed to get the sizes right. It tended to release one smaller flagship, and one larger one.
Its display will be fairly large, and the bezels won’t exactly be razor thin
With the Pixel 6, the company will probably fix most of its mistakes from recent years, and make a miscalculation in the size department. Some of you may argue that a phone with a 6.4-inch display is not large, and perhaps that argument would be valid if the bezels are non-existent or something of the sort, but this way… that sure is a large phone. The Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and 5 will look small compared to the Pixel 6.
Now, the sheer fact is that more people prefer larger phones, and a large chunk of consumers don’t really care. Still, those of us who want to get a more compact, one-handed Pixel, will be left out this year. Well, truth be said, the Pixel 5a 5G will be released, but only in the US and Japan. Plus that device will be almost the same as the Pixel 4a 5G based on what we’ve seen thus far. It won’t exactly be compact. It won’t be large, per se, but still, it will nowhere near the size of the Pixel 4a or the Pixel 5.
The design will be different, no longer understated
I, personally, was really hoping that Google will hit the home run this year. I’m not a fan of the design that leaked out, to be quite honest, but I seem to be in a minority. It’s not that I hate it, but it’s just not my cup of tea, I prefer bland, understated designs. Still, that’s not something that would bother me all that much if the size of the phone is right, but it won’t be, it seems. Going from the Pixel 4a that I’ve been using as a daily driver for a while now, to the Pixel 6 would be a huge change. If you take into account that case will have to go on the phone, due to its slippery nature, then the difference will be even larger.
It’s worth noting that all this is based on the notion @OnLeaks’ information is accurate. Considering his track record, it is. There’s a high chance the two phones you can see in this article will be landing in either September or October. I, personally, am still hoping that a third phone will appear out of somewhere. Or, at least that the dimensions are wrong here… but that’s probably just not the case.
There are other compact Android flagships that you can get
Google was one of the very few Android companies that released smaller flagships. Samsung has been doing it year-in, year-out, and so was Google. Well, it seems like Google won’t be doing it this year. For those of you who are looking for a compact 2021 flagship, you may find some solace in the ASUS ZenFone 8, or the Xperia 5 III. The ZenFone 8 is already available in some markets, and ASUS really did pick up its game this year. The ZenFone 8 not only packs top-of-the-line hardware, but its software is close to stock Android. On top of everything, the phone is quite compact. It is 68.5mm wide, and 148mm tall, while it isn’t particularly heavy either at 169 grams.
The Xperia 5 III is another option, though that handset still isn’t available. The phone is expected to go on sale mid-year, probably next month, at least in some markets. That handset will have a slightly larger display than the ZenFone 8, at 6.1 inches. It will be slightly narrower due to a taller display aspect ratio, but it will be considerably taller at 157mm. In addition to those, there’s always the Galaxy S21 from Samsung. That device has a 6.2-inch display, while it’s 151.7mm tall, and 71.2mm wide.
All the devices mentioned in the previous paragraph are considerably more compact than the Pixel 6. Though, truth be told, different people have different definitions of the word “compact”. Some people don’t even consider the Pixel 5 to be a compact phone. In the general scheme of things, though, it certainly is. Having said that, it’s nice to see that there are options out there, at least a couple of them.