Google Pixel 6: Release Date, Price, Specs, Features and Leaks
|Google Pixel 6. Photo: hoanghamobile|
When it comes to smartphone releases Google is not exactly known for its ability to keep a secret. The Pixel 5 is still hot out of the oven but leaks about its successor are already flooding the online space. It seems that Google's mobile hardware roadmap has leaked and now it's circulating around the web, creating hype and fueling the rumor mill. Is the Pixel 6 going to be a real flagship? What about the rumored foldable Pixel phone?
There are three code names mentioned in the leaked document - “raven,” “oriole,” and “passport.” We believe that "raven" and "oriole" could be Pixel 6 models, while "passport" bears the exciting possibility to see a foldable device with the G brand on it. Of course, real or not, а roadmap is something quite uncertain and loose in its nature, so take all the information with a healthy grain of salt.
Nevertheless, we've compiled everything we know about Pixel 6 and Google's plans for 2021. Let's jump right in!
Pixel 6 release date
While Google may have slipped in some ways with the Pixel 5, it did not slip on its typical release date. The Pixel 5 was officially available on October 15, 2020, which is just a week and a year ahead of the October 24, 2019 release of the Pixel 4.
Google consistently hits right around late September to mid-October for the announcement of its new Pixel devices with the release about a week to two weeks later. At present, we have no reason to believe Google will miss that target this year, according to laptopmag.
Google Pixel phones launch history
- Pixel — October 4, 2016
- Pixel 2 — October 4, 2017
- Pixel 3 — October 9, 2018
- Pixel 4 — October 15, 2019
- Pixel 5 — September 30, 2020
Google Pixel 6 Price
The price of the Google Pixel 6 is one of the most interesting things to ponder about. Google went all-out with the Pixel 4 and 4XL slapping a flagship price to these models (the Pixel 4XL 128GB costs $999) but then the company took a step back with the Pixel 5, making it something of an upper mid-range phone with a $699 price tag.
There are obviously two routes ahead regarding the price of the Pixel 6. Google may want to go back to the premium segment and take the fight to the big guys. In this scenario, we should expect a price in the $899-999 range.
On the other hand, if Google plans to release a foldable phone in 2021, the company might just hold its horses on the regular Pixels, and most importantly, their prices. In this case, we’re talking about something in the vicinity of $799 for the base model of the Pixel 6. There’s a third option, too. Google might want to keep the $699 “affordable” price tag with the Pixel 6 - disappointing to some extent, as this will translate into mid-range specs, phonearena wrote.
Google Pixel 6 cameras
The Pixel range has always had a strong reputation for excelling in the camera department. And while we’re certainly impressed with the pictures produced by the Pixel 5, in some ways that model felt like a step back. Google removed the telephoto lens featured on the Pixel 4 and continues to use an IMX363 12.2MP sensor which was pretty dated even on release.
It’s unclear if the telephoto lens will return with the Pixel 6, either as replacement for the ultrawide shooter or as a third lens. (We’d vote for the latter, in case Google is soliciting opinions.) The only persistent Pixel 6 camera rumor we’ve heard is that Google may feature an under-display front camera on its new phone.
A Google patent shows off what an under-display camera might look like, and it’s fueled hopes that the feature will appear in the Pixel 6. ZTE has already beaten Google to the punch with the ZTE Axon 20 5G, which was the first phone with an under-display camera, tomsguide reported.
Google Pixel 6: design
So, its Google prepping a folding version of its upcoming Pixel 6 flagship phone?
A report from South Korea suggests that Samsung is ready to supply its foldable OLED displays to three Android vendors. Given that Google and Samsung worked together on Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Z Flip folding phone, it makes sense that Samsung would return the favour.
The report (via BGR) claims the rumoured foldable Pixel 6 phone will sport a 7.6-inch display. There's no word on whether Google will go the for a clamshell-style 'flip' design, or a true 'folding' design, which would open and close like a book.
Of course, there's no guarantee there will be a folding version of the Pixel 6. And chances are, the line-up will be headed up by a more mainstream design. We'll get into the spec next but it's worth nothing that a Pixel 6 XL looks to be in in the works.
XDA's Mishal Rahman tweets the Android 12 user interface features a mode called "Silky home" which brings the key elements on the screen – buttons, checkboxes, toggle switches, etc – closer to the bottom of the screen. That would certainly make it a lot easier to operate an over-sized phone, and points to the existence of the Pixel 6 XL.
As for materials, the Pixel 5 features an aluminium body covered by a thin skin of bio-resin plastic to enable wireless charging. It won plaudits for its simple but stylish look, so we have no reason to think Google won't stick with a similar design for the Pixel 6 – especially as the leaked Pixel 5a looks very much like the 4a, Whathifi noted.
Google Pixel 6 display
Display refresh rates have been a major focus for smartphone screens as of late, and Google figures to remain part of that trend with the Pixel 6. Google added a faster refresh rate to its flagship phones with the Pixel 4 in 2019, and that’s likely to continue with its new device. The only question is whether Google ups the speed from its current 90Hz to 120Hz for the Pixel 6.
A release Developer Preview of the Android 12 OS, which is due for release this year and the Pixel 6 is almost guaranteed to make use of, has given as a few clue as to what features the display might offer.
The information comes courtesy of Mishall Rahman, editor-in-chief of XDA, who has been found quite a few tantalizing new details after being able to preview the operating system.
Firstly facial authentication looks set to make a return. After being included in the Pixel 4, and then dropped for the Pixel 5, it'll make a welcome inclusion and compete with Apple's Face ID system.
Furthermore. the code also hints that an under-display fingerprint sensor will be featured on the Pixel 6. This would be a big step up from the Pixel 5's rather outdated rear sensor panel. This was backed up by another report citing the Android 12 beta code regarding an under-display fingerprint sensor that should be coming to Pixel phones.
Google Pixel 6: specs
The specs are a little tricky to call at this early stage, mainly because no leaks have revealed specs for the handset yet. But using our industry knowledge we can make some educated guesses.
For starters, Qualcomm recently launched its latest chipset, the Snapdragon 888. If Google wants to trick out the Pixel 6 with the best possible performance, it'll likely opt for Qulcomm's latest. But if it wants to keep it a mid-range device, it might use a less powerful processor, something like the successor to the 765G. This hasn't actually been announced yet, but is widely expected to be called the 775G.
There's also a rumour that Google is partnering with Samsung to develop its own range of chips. So there is a chance that the Pixel 6 could be powered by the first ever Google-made mobile chipset.
Even if Google does go the lower-specced route, we can still expect the handset to be 5G. The technology is becoming more and more common, and if Google hopes to convince people to buy and use its phone for years to come, 5G will be a necessity, even for a (relatively) more affordable handset.
Next up is the screen. High refresh rate displays are becoming all the rage with Android phones – and not just at the high end of the market. Indeed, Samsung is putting the tech into its mid-range phones. So we can probably expect the Pixel 6 to have either a 90Hz or 120Hz panel.
These refresh rates are better for rendering fast-moving content such as sports and games, meaning less blur.
Another tip is that Google is set to bring back facial recognition (last seen on the Pixel 4). The rumours comes via XDA’s Mishaal Rahman, who recently spotted a way to “unlock your phone securely with your face and fingerprint” hidden in the Android 12 OS code.
In terms of screen size, we're currently expecting the Pixel 6 to have same 6-inch screen size as the Pixel 5, with the same resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The rumoured foldable version could go bigger, with a 7.6-inch display.
Battery-wise, we're expecting at least 4000mAh, matching the Pixel 5, and possibly more if Google opts for a bigger screen or more power-hungry processor.
News and leaks
In early Android 12 code, there are two hints of possible Google Pixel 6 features. One of these is the existence of a one-handed mode, which suggests a Pixel 6 XL could be on the way, as a non-XL phone wouldn't necessitate such a feature.
The other is the possibility of an in-screen fingerprint scanner, something Google hasn't used before in its smartphones. A second Android 12 developer beta has turned up more evidence of an in-screen fingerprint scanner, so this is now looking more likely.
Code in the Google camera app meanwhile suggests that the front-facing camera on the Pixel 6 might support 4K video recording, which is higher resolution than most selfie cameras can get.
In terms of specs, the Pixel 6 may well come running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 775 processor – the CPU hasn't been announced yet, but we've heard rumors of its existence, and last year's Pixel 5 had the Snapdragon 675 on board.
One other sign of the Google Pixel 6 is in a Google patent, detailing a possible future phone that doesn't have a visible selfie camera, techradar cited.
While the patent doesn't explain how this is achieved, it looks likely that the camera would be underneath the screen, as we've now seen on the ZTE Axon 20 5G. Of course, just because Google is exploring this idea it doesn't mean we'll get an under-display camera on the Pixel 6, but it's possible.
What new features will appear in the Google Pixel 6?
There’s not much known about the next Pixel flagship, but one rumour that has been reported all across the tech press is that Google has been working closely with Samsung to design a customer processor that will make its debut in the Pixel 6.
This would allow Google to move away from any restraints it currently feels under Qualcomm’s processors and position it closer to Apple, which has been making its own chips for a few years now. Having that kind of control over how the phone works in both the hardware and software realms, could prove a huge breakthrough for the Pixel range.
Google has already dipped its toes in these waters, having designed custom chips for security (the Titan M) and image processing (Pixel Neural Core), so it’s a natural step to see the brain of the Pixel range making the conversion.
The cameras have become one of the main reasons for buying a Pixel in recent generations, but even though the Pixel 5 swapped a telephoto lens for an ultra-wide, it could be time for Google to bring new optics to the 2021 release.
For instance, the ultra-wide maxes out at 107 degrees, which is tighter than the 120 degrees that is now pretty much standard in that category. So, it would make sense for the Pixel 6 to compete head-to-head on this territory with a true ultra-wide.
One rumour, via GSMArena, suggests that Google will move the front camera on the Pixel 6 to a middle-alignment instead of having it in the corner. They also say it will be able to record 4K video.
One other first for the Pixel series might be an in-display fingerprint scanner. The second developer preview of Android 12 revealed a new code class labelled 'UdfpsControllerGoogle' - with 'Udfps' referring to 'Under-display fingerprint scanner'. This might not mean anything, but the code is found in the system path usually used for Pixel phones, suggesting that Google is prepping the software for an upcoming Pixel device, and not simply shoring up Android's general support for the under-display tech.
We’re still many months away from the arrival of the Google Pixel 6, so anything could happen between now and then. If you want to keep an eye on the latest rumours regarding the phone, check back here regularly as we’ll be updating the article as news appear.
In the meantime, check out our review of the Google Pixel 5 and our roundup of the best Pixel 5 deals, techadvisor wrote.
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