The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are on their way, and have been certified by the FCC. Quite a bit of information surfaced regarding both of these phones, and in this article, we’ll focus on the Pixel 6. We’ll round up all relevant information that surfaced thus far, giving you a preview of the Google Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 is the smaller of the two phones that will arrive, but as you’ll find out in the article, the device won’t exactly be small per se.
The Pixel 6 series in general will differ from what Google delivered last year quite a bit. It will differ not only in regards to the design, but when it comes to internals as well. It seems like Google is changing focus yet again, and plans to offer premium Pixel devices to the masses. As most of you probably know, the Pixel 5 that launched last year was a mid-range smartphone. This change probably means that the Pixel 6 series will also carry a higher price tag, though. At this point, Google even revealed a ton of official information on both smartphones, which we’ll mention below. Either way, let’s take a look at what the base Pixel 6 is expected to offer, shall we.
This article will be regularly updated with new information on the Google Pixel 6 (this is a preview article) — both official teasers and credible leaks, rumors, and insider claims — as it becomes available in the run-up to the release of the upcoming Android smartphone. The last update was made on September 21.
The Google Pixel 6 will usher in new design language for Pixel flagships
The Pixel 6 surfaced in CAD-based renders already, and those renders were essentially confirmed by official images Google shared. The Google Pixel 6 will be made out of metal and glass. The device will offer a bolder design than its predecessor, though not as minimalistic. It will combine several colors, and an odd-looking camera island that will protrude on the back. This camera strip will be horizontal, and will stretch from the left edge to the right edge. It will be curved towards the sides, though.
The Pixel 6 will feature a flat display, and seemingly more bezel around the display than we’d like. At least it looks that way in these renders, as Google didn’t show the front side of the phone yet. Do note that the bezels are not thick per se, but they do seem thicker than expected. The phone will offer a boxy design, with sharp edges. All the physical keys will still be present on the right-hand side, with a power / lock key above the volume rocker buttons. A display camera hole will also be included, and it will be centered.
The Pixel 6 will feature three cameras on the back
The Pixel 6, unlike its sibling, will offer three cameras on the back, and one on the front. We’ll talk more about that in the camera section of this preview. The tipster said that the phone will measure roughly 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm (11.8mm with the camera bump), though we don’t know how much will it weigh, not yet. You can check out Google’s official renders in the gallery below. The company actually released quite a few images, so the design of both phones has essentially been confirmed at this point. A video teaser has also been released, showing even the front side of the ‘Pro’ model. The company even shared an official ad for the Pixel 6 series, in case you’d like to check that out (embedded below).
The device is already on display in New York City
The Google Pixel 6, and its sibling, the Pixel 6 Pro, can already be checked out in Google’s NYC store. Do note that you still can’t touch them, but you can look at them through glass. Michael Fisher aka MrMobile actually shot some nice images of the device in NYC, and those are displayed in one of the galleries below.
The Pixel 6 series is on display on billboards in the US
Both the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are being marketed by Google already. They’re on billboards in the US. Those billboards are focusing heavily on the design of the two devices. You can check out some of them in one of the galleries below.
Official Google images:
Real-life NYC store images:
Google Pixel 6 series billboards:
Additional renders by Google:
A 6.4-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate & larger body than expected
We’ve already said that the Pixel 6 will be larger than expected. Its specifications did surface in a leak, while Google also confirmed some information. The phone will feature a 6.4-inch flat display with a 90Hz refresh rate, confirmed Google, and it will likely be a fullHD+ AMOLED panel. Thanks to that display size, the display aspect ratio, and its bezels, the Pixel 6 will be almost as wide as the Pixel 6 Pro. It won’t be much shorter either. Based on the information that surfaced, it will be 158.6mm tall, and 74.8mm wide. That means it will be considerably larger than the Pixel 5, let alone the Pixel 4a. In other words, Google doesn’t intend on offering us a compact Pixel 6 flagship.
Google will include its very first processor
The Pixel 6 will feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, that is also something that Google also confirmed. That will make the Pixel 6 and its sibling the first Pixel devices to offer an under-display fingerprint scanner. The phone will be fueled by Google’s very own silicon, the company’s very first SoC. This processor is called ‘Google Tensor‘, as the company confirmed. That chip will be manufactured by Samsung. It was codenamed ‘Whitechapel’, but that won’t be its name, obviously. That chip is allegedly co-developed with Samsung.
Based on the leaked information, that processor will be less powerful than the Snapdragon 888, and more powerful than the Snapdragon 865. Do note that we’re talking sheer power here. Google is expected to include its own NPU and ISP on the inside, and adapt its phones to it, so the performance shouldn’t be an issue, at all. Rumors are also saying that the GPU inside the Pixel 6 will be provided by ARM. Google did hype up the Tensor chip, but did not provide much information about it.
The Google Pixel 6 is also said to offer UWB (ultra-wideband) connectivity. That feature will boost location-related features on the device. The Google Pixel 6 is rumored to include a 4,614mAh, while we’re not sure about charging just yet. It will offer fast charging, for sure, but we’re not sure how fast will it be. We also don’t know if wireless charging will be supported on the base model. The device will arrive with 8GB of RAM and 128GB / 256GB of storage. Android 12 will be pre-installed. It is also worth noting that Google is ditching an under-display speaker it used on the Pixel 5.
A charger won’t be included, unfortunately
It seems like Google doesn’t plan to include a charger with the Pixel 6. A charging cable will be provided, but not a charging brick. The device is rumored to offer 33W fast wired charging, but you’ll have to buy a charger separately. Wireless charging is also expected, and it will be 23W charging, it seems. Now, in regards to the battery capacity, the Pixel 6 is said to offer a 4,614mAh battery.
Google will utilize Samsung’s 5G modem
Google did confirm that the Pixel 6 phones will support mmWave 5G tech. Well, it seems like Google is collaborating with Samsung, as Samsung will provide a modem for that technology to become a reality in the two phones.
UWB support expected
Both the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are expected to offer UWB (Ultra-Wideband) support. This information was more or less confirmed by Google, as it was noted in AOSP. UWB should be supported by more devices, and it’s nice to see that the new Pixels will support it, as it will boost communication between devices.
New camera sensors are coming
Google’s Pixel smartphones are well-known for their great camera performance. Google has been using the same (main) camera sensor since the Pixel 2, so it has been doing so for quite some time now. Well, with the Pixel 6, the company will finally deliver a new camera sensor, well, sensors. All the camera sensors will be different, but the main focus is on the main one, of course.
Google managed to keep the camera performance on a high level with a really old camera sensor, so it will be interesting to see what will Google deliver this time around. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are expected to offer the same main and ultrawide cameras on the back. Google didn’t confirm it, but it did hype up the cameras, promising new and larger sensors are coming.
Samsung’s camera sensor may be included
The Pixel 6 may feature a camera sensor from Samsung, for its main camera. Some indications for the ISOCELL sensor were found in the Google Camera app, on several ocassions, but that doesn’t really confirm anything. If that ends up being the case, the 50-megapixel ISOCELL GN2 camera sensor could be a good candidate for the camera. This is a 1/1.12-inch camera sensor with a 1.4um pixel size. The Pixel 6 will support 4K selfie video as well, if the leaked info is to be believed. We still don’t have any information about the front-facing camera, though.
A “gimbal-like steady cam mode” has been mentioned in one of the rumors. That very same source also said that we can expect “big improvements in video”. It remains to be seen if that will pan out or not.
Now, as per one of the latest leaks, the Pixel 6 may ship with a 50-megapixel main camera, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide unit. An 8-megapixel camera will allegedly sit on its front side. A selfie flash may also be included. The ISOCELL GN2 is a sensor from Samsung, but we still don’t know if it will include it or not.
Another interesting tidbit that Google shared is the influence of the Google Tensor chip on the cameras. It will be very powerful in that regard, and affect the camera performance far more than any of the previous chips did. It will actually be able to apply frame-by-frame HDR to videos as well. In fact, the Pixel 6 camera will even try to fix facial blur in images, that is also something Google said.
New accessories are also coming
We don’t know much about the Pixel 6 accessories at this point, but some information did surface. It is said that Google is preparing to introduce a new wireless charger alongside the Pixel 6 series. It will have different fan speeds, three of them, according to the report. It’s also expected to offer faster wireless charging than its predecessor, but we still don’t have the details on it.
Some generic, third-party cases for the device also surfaced, as you can see down below. These are not Google’s official offerings, not even close. They do show two different ways of protecting that odd camera bump on the back, though. It remains to be seen what will Google do about it.
The Pixel 6 lineup could launch on October 19
The Google Pixel 6 series could arrive on October 19. September 30 was mentioned in a previous report, but it seems that’s not as likely, though nothing has been confirmed. While talking about Android 12, during Google I/O, September 30 popped up in some promo materials. That is what made us think it’s coming, but the newest wave of promo materials suggest otherwise. In its new Android 12 promo materials, Google notes October 19, though it doesn’t mention it in context of Pixel 6 launch. Well, Android 12 is expected to land on October 4, so October 19 could be when the two phones launch. They could become available for purchase on October 28, according to Jon Prosser.
We still don’t know how much will the Pixel 6 cost, but Rick Osterloh, Google’s hardware chief, said that both phones will be “premium-priced products”. They will likely cost around $1,000. With the Pixel 6 series, Google is basically going back to the premium segment. The Google Pixel 6 series will have a huge marketing budget, and Google basically said that it wants to grab market share this time around. In fact, that marketing budget will be so huge, that it will rival the budget of Samsung’s Galaxy S series devices, based on rumors. That’s saying a lot, as it seems like Google is finally ready to market its smartphones as it should have done a long time ago. We’ll be seeing plenty of ads in Pixel 6 launch markets.
Now, in case you’re wondering where will the Pixel 6 launch, we have an answer to that question as well… at least when it comes to initial launch countries. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will launch in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and the UK.