While development for the Pixel 6 is still in its infancy, there is reason to believe that we will get this flagship this year. Here's everything we know so far about Google's Pixel 6, including its potential price, release date, specs, and more.
Pixel 6 Release Date
While Google has slipped to some degree with the Pixel 5, it hasn't slipped on its typical release date. Pixel 5 was officially available on October 15, 2020, just a week and a year before the Pixel 4 was released on October 24, 2019.
From late September to mid-October, Google regularly announces its new Pixel devices. It will be released about a week or two later. So far, we have no reason to believe that Google will not reach this goal this year.
Pixel 6 Price
One of the most interesting questions about the Pixel 6 is its price. To date, no official statements or credible price losses have been made. Last year's Pixel 5 fell to a starting price of $699, compared to the base price of $799 for the Pixel 4.
Google made it clear in 2020 that it wanted to lead the value proposition with the Pixel range. It's possible to tell if the Pixel 5 has pulled it off, but the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G have certainly hit the mark. When asked about the move to a low-end hardware strategy, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, responded: "We are confident that we have shown that the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 are clear value propositions."
While Google is unlikely to offer an offer equal to the price of the Galaxy S21 Ultra or iPhone 12 Pro Max (if the value is a goal), there appears to be a range between $799 and $999 for the upcoming Pixel 6 model.
Pixel 6 Design
While the Pixel 5 certainly had some cool features, the material science used to bring metal back to the phone while offering Qi wireless charging was clever and unique. Overall, the Pixel layout remained pretty boring. While this may seem like an opportune time for a major review, it is difficult to predict until we have more specific news.
One of the fundamental changes that we would expect is the switch to an in-screen fingerprint reader. The Pixel 5 has gone from the Pixel 4's facial recognition to a rear fingerprint sensor, but you can't get rid of it again in 2021; a flagship should have both options. Facial recognition can be restored along with a fully integrated fingerprint reader, depending on the price.
The biggest design question for the Pixel 6 is whether we'll see an XL model. There was evidence that the Pixel 5 XL was in the works at some point, so it is unclear if it was a deliberate move or the result of a problem at some point that it didn’t appear.
Pixel 6 Cameras
Pixel is the simple answer to the best camera on a phone in a few recent years, but they got a bit stuck with the Pixel 5. The Pixel 5's camera isn't worse than the one from Pixel 4, but the competition has improved tremendously. This was due in part to the improvement of PC photography for Apple and Samsung, but also Google's hardware stagnation.
Google's main 12-megapixel wide-angle on the Pixel 5 is nearly identical to that of the Pixel 3, and both Apple and Samsung have made significant improvements. Google has replaced the telephoto lens on the Pixel 4 with an ultra-wide angle lens, but Apple Pro models and all Samsung Galaxy S now offer three lenses.
While Google still has a software advantage over Apple and Samsung, its lack of hardware makes it a point of debate. If Google wants to market the Pixel 6 as a flagship, it will eventually have to update its camera sensors. And some unofficial rumors suggest just that.
Pixel 6 Display
The Pixel 5 offered a 90Hz refresh rate, which is the same as the Pixel 4, but we expect Google to push it to 120Hz for the Pixel 6. Samsung's flagship has now moved up to 120Hz with QHD+ resolution, but Google is getting closer to FHD +, just like Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus have.
Google will certainly stick with AMOLED to enable ever-present display mode, but otherwise, we'll have to wait for more leaks to see if there is more cover.
Pixel 6 to introduce Google's Chipset!
This is perhaps the most interesting update for the Pixel 6. Looking back to April 2020, a report has emerged suggesting that Google is working on its own CPUs. The chipset's codename was identified as “Whitechapel” and is said to have been developed in partnership with Samsung, which is also responsible for the manufacture of Apple's chips.
It would be an ARM-based chipset that would use an 8-core design and machine learning hardware optimization, similar to Apple's A14 Bionic. We don't expect Google to go toe-to-toe with the A14 or A15 Bionic, but it's hard to believe Google would make that significant investment to produce something other than a flagship CPU. While the Snapdragon 765G, found in the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, was perfectly adequate for everyday tasks, it failed to make it to the flagship competition.
While Google does not appear to be in danger of eliminating the Pixel line entirely, there are concerns that Google will not produce another flagship phone. For budget phone enthusiasts this probably fits well, but for those who like the idea of a powerful Android flagship device that gets reliable software updates, the Pixel was one of the few options on the market with another competitor such as OnePlus.
Be that as it may, there will be additional accessories to further improve Pixel 6’s quality, such as the smart case from i-Blades which adds more features, more battery life, and more storage memory. Cheap additions like these can always boost Pixel’s quality a notch.
It's still very early in the development of the Pixel 6, so the rumors and leaks are still small, but the ones we have are very exciting for those who are expecting a high-end phone from Google again.