Google Pixel 6 leaks season is finally here. While we expected Google to announce or tease its rumored in-house Whitechapel chipset at Google I/O 2021 keynote, that didn’t happen. From an in-house Google chipset to radical design leaks, the Pixel 6 series is shaping up to be the company’s biggest flagship release since the Nexus days. In this article, we’ve listed everything we know about the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro ahead of the official announcement.
Google Pixel 6: Everything We Know So Far (Updated May 2021)
Like each year, leaks and rumors so far indicate that Google will launch two Pixel 6 variants – Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Interestingly, Google may be looking to replace its XL moniker with a Pro branding starting with the Pixel 6 series. With that said, let’s get to the details of Google’s flagship Pixel smartphones for 2021.
Google Pixel 6: Release Date
Google has not officially announced the Pixel 6 series release date just yet. However, going by the past history of Pixel launches, we could expect the company to unveil the Pixel 6 series in early October this year.
Unlike some brands that announce products months way ahead of commercial availability (looking at you, Sony), Google usually brings announced smartphones to the market in two weeks. If everything goes according to the plan, the Pixel 6 series should be available for pre-orders right after the launch event. However, there are also rumors that device availability may get pushed to November if the ongoing chip shortage continues in the second half of 2021.
Google Pixel 6: Price
With that said, we could expect the Google Pixel 6 to start at $699 and the Pixel 6 Pro model to cost somewhere around $999 to rival Android flagships from Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi. We will be updating this post if there’s a new price leak from a credible source, so stay tuned for more details.
Google Pixel 6: Specifications
Pixel 6 Design
[Update on June 16] Yet another leak now seems to be re-affirming that the Pixel 6 will indeed have a design reminiscent of the Nexus 6P’s camera module. The case leak, posted by leakster Ice Universe, shows off a case that has some ridiculous looking curves to accommodate the new camera island on the Pixel 6. It truly is a wild design change for the Pixel series it seems. You can check out the case leaks from the tweet embedded below.
Google Pixel 6 pic.twitter.com/kOczGk0PRz
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 15, 2021
As you may have seen in recent leaks, the Google Pixel 6 lineup will bring a massive overhaul when it comes to the overall hardware design aesthetics. Moving away from the standard design Google has been using for years, the company will opt for a modern design that involves curved displays and a chunky camera bar. The camera bar, running along the complete horizontal length of the rear panel, is reminiscent of the Nexus 6P glass camera housing.
Turning our attention to the front, the Pixel 6 series will feature a full-screen bezel-less display with a centered punch-hole selfie camera. The leaked renders also hint at the presence of an under-display fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 6. This will be the first time a Pixel smartphone will ship with an under-display fingerprint sensor, replacing the long-running rear-mounted physical sensor. Android 12 now natively supports under-display fingerprint scanners as well, as revealed by XDA’s Mishaal Rahman.
Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will be the first Pixel smartphones to ship with an under-display fingerprint sensor.
Apart from the color combinations we have seen in the leaked renders, the Pixel 6 may also come in a green variant. You can take a look at the alleged renders of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro above, courtesy of reputable tipster Onleaks.
Pixel 6 Display
Google Pixel 6 is rumored to sport a flat display whereas the Pro variant will likely feature a curved display, as per the alleged renders for the upcoming variants. While you could expect a 6.4-inch display on the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6 Pro is likely to equip a large 6.67-inch display. In addition, as tipster Max Weinbach revealed in a podcast, the Pixel 6 could have a 120Hz Full-HD display and the Pixel 6 Pro might flaunt a 120Hz Quad-HD display. Both of these models will be AMOLED panels, and we have already talked about the under-display camera above.
Pixel 6 Processor: Whitechapel Chip
Last year, with the launch of the Pixel 5, Google took a hiatus from the premium flagship segment. The Pixel 5 launched with the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset – the same as the Pixel 4a 5G and OnePlus Nord. The Mountain View giant, however, seems keen to make a grand comeback to the flagship segment with the Pixel 6 series.
The Pixel 6 lineup could also mark the birth of Google’s in-house Whitechapel chipset
If we go by the rumors, the Pixel 6 series will be powered by Google’s in-house processor codenamed Whitechapel. Yeah, Google will skip Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset in favor of its own custom chipset. We’ve been hearing rumors of this processor since April of 2020. To recall, the chipset will use Samsung’s 5nm LPE process and will feature a custom NPU (neural processing unit to handle AI tasks) and ISP (image signal processor).
According to Android Police’s Max Weinbach, Google’s Whitechapel processor will sit between the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 888 in terms of performance. That means the Snapdragon equivalent for Whitechapel could be the Snapdragon 870. You even get mmWave 5G support here, presumably in select regions. It’s also in the air that the Pixel 6 lineup could support ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity.
Pixel 6 Cameras
The Pixel is already well-recognized as one of the best camera phones on the market. And with the Pixel 6 series, Google might finally be looking to step up the game. The company might put an end to its obsession with the 12.2MP Sony IMX363 sensor that it has been using since the launch of Pixel 3 back in 2018. According to OnLeaks, the Pixel 6 Pro will include three rear cameras and the vanilla Pixel 6 will settle with a dual-camera setup.
The Pixel 6 Pro will likely have a primary wide-angle camera, a periscope-cum-telephoto lens, and a third sensor alongside the LED flash. A sketchy rumor hints that the Pixel 6 Pro may offer a 50MP primary camera (as opposed to the existing 12.2MP sensor) alongside an 8MP periscope lens with 5x optical zoom and an ultra-wide-angle lens. We don’t have any word on the megapixel count of the selfie camera that will reside in the punch-hole cutout on the front.
Yet another rumor suggests that the Pixel 6 will bring a gimbal-like steady mode, as well as a large Samsung sensor. It’s noteworthy that other rumors have hinted towards a Sony sensor on the Pixel 6, so take this information with a pinch of sale.
Google has long been betting on its software advancements to deliver a flagship-grade camera experience. Although this strategy has worked well for the Pixel series so far, we could witness serious improvement on the Pixel 6 series. It holds especially true now that the hardware is likely to get a significant spec bump.
Pixel 6 Software: Android 12 with Material You Design
Needless to say, Google Pixel 6 series will be one of the first smartphones to ship with Android 12 out of the box. Earlier this month, Google unveiled a variety of design changes to Android 12, and we will be witnessing them all in action on Pixel 6. Some of these include a new notification shade, privacy dashboard, one-handed mode, and wallpaper-based theming system. If you missed it, you can check out our coverage on the best Android 12 features to learn more about Google’s vision for Android.
The wallpaper-based theming system, dubbed the Material You design, will be one of the key highlights of the Pixel 6 series when it launches sometime in October later this year. Pulling colors from your wallpaper, Google will slap it across almost every UI element in Android 12. That includes the lockscreen clock, quick settings and home screen icons, supported apps, widgets, and more. You will essentially be able to experience a new theme simply by changing your wallpaper every so often.
Pixel 6 Battery
Google Pixels aren’t counted under the umbrella of phones with good battery life. That could possibly change with the upcoming Pixel 6 series. According to Max Weinbach, the Pixel 6 Pro is likely to equip a huge 5,000mAh battery. While there’s no info on the exact battery capacity of Pixel 6, it might include a smaller 4000mAh/4500mAh unit. Both Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will likely support wireless charging using the same bio-resin trick that Google employed with the Pixel 5. Other features include stereo speakers, an IP rating, and faster wired charging support.
Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro: Specs Comparison
Now that we’ve gone through the key specifications and features of the upcoming Google Pixel 6 lineup, here’s a comparison between the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
|Pixel 6||Pixel 6 Pro|
|Dimensions||158.6mm x 74.8mm x 8.9mm (minus camera bump)||163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm (minus camera bump)|
|Display||6.4-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate||6.67-inch Quad-HD+ AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate|
|Processor||5nm Whitechapel||5nm Whitechapel|
|RAM||up to 8GB||up to 12GB|
|Storage||up to 256GB||up to 256GB|
|Rear Cameras||dual camera setup|
-50MP Sony sensor
-an ultra-wide lens
|triple camera setup
-50MP Sony sensor
-8MP periscope lens, 5x optical zoom
-an ultra-wide lens
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6E, USB Type-C port||Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6E, USB Type-C port|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, under-display||Yes, under-display|
Will Google Pixel 6 Launch in India?
Coming to the most important question – Will Google Pixel 6 come to India? When Google skipped the Pixel 4 launch in India, it was due to the Soli radar chip. On the positive side of things, Google said it “looks forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India” at the time. Google then also didn’t launch the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, presumably due to the lack of 5G connectivity in India and the global chip shortage.
Given the significant changes and the brand value for Pixel in India, one would hope that Google brings the Pixel 6 series to India to rival the likes of OnePlus 9 and Galaxy S21 series in the premium flagship market. It remains to be seen, however, if the executives at Google have another plan. As of now, there’s no official information on Pixel 6’s availability in India.
Google Pixel 6: A Fresh Flagship Endeavor is on the Cards!
So, that sums up everything we know about the Pixel 6 series based on leaks and rumors at the moment. From these leaks, it is evident that Google is all set to be a worthy contender in the smartphone space this year. It will be a compelling choice, especially for those who want fast software updates and a clean UI experience. Are you excited about the upcoming Google Pixel 6 series? Do you think the long-rumored Whitechapel chipset will perform well and offer good battery life? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Also, let us know your expectations from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.