Google Pixel 6 release date, news and everything we know so far

The Google Pixel 6 – or at least the Pixel 6 Pro – could be the most exciting Pixel phone in years – and certainly more exciting than the recent Pixel 5a, which is an accomplished but familiar phone. Google has officially revealed these handsets, and they look just like the leaks predicted: sleek devices with a visor-like camera block that splits the back cover in two.

© Provided by TechRadar Rear of the Google Pixel 6 Pro showing the camera bar and lock key

That’s not the only interesting thing about them though, as the Google Pixel 6 range has been confirmed to pack an in-house chipset for the first time – one that we haven’t seen in any other phone. It’s called Google Tensor, and the company has hyped up everything the new phones can do with the new custom silicon.

These phones could appeal to a wide audience too, with the Pixel 6 possibly being mid-range like the Pixel 5, while the Pixel 6 Pro might be a premium device like the Pixel 4. We don’t have much in the way of specs or pricing yet, but we’re eager to find out.

We might not have too much longer to wait for the Google Pixel 6 range either, as while the exact release date is unknown, Google confirmed it will launch in ‘fall 2021’ (meaning September, October or November) in the US, so it’s likely to land in or around October like its predecessor, possibly alongside Android 12.

While Google has officially revealed a bit of information, leakers have gone to town on the Google Pixel 6, and we’re hearing new information about the device all the time. You can scroll on down for all the important information we’ve heard so far, including the first official Pixel 6 images.

Expect to learn more about the Google Pixel 6 as the months go on, and we’ll be keeping this article updated, so check back regularly.

Latest news

The Google Pixel 6 range might have a 50MP main camera and 33W fast charging – but there won’t be a charger in the box.

Google Pixel 6: cut to the chase

  • What is it? Google’s next flagship phone
  • When is it out? Expect it toward the end of 2021
  • How much will it cost? Around $699 / £599 / AU$999, but possibly more

Google Pixel 6 release date and price

The Google Pixel 6 release date has been confirmed to be in ‘fall 2021’ (meaning September – November) in the US (Q3 to Q4 2021 elsewhere). The rumor so far says to expect it in October, but that it could slip to November if there’s a chipset shortage.

That makes sense, as we’d expect the phone to come out towards the end of 2021, based on Google’s flagship trends. October is most likely the best bet, even without this rumor.

With regards to price, that’s a bit harder to guess, because while the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 were more premium offerings, the Pixel 5 is a mid-ranged phone, and we don’t know if Google will stick in that price range or return to the top end.

For reference, the Pixel 5 cost $699 / £599 / AU$999 so maybe we could see a similar price again. That said, given that there’s a Pixel 6 Pro as well, we might see both a mid-range Pixel 6 and a high-end Pro model, with the latter probably costing a lot more than the Pixel 5.

While we still don’t have an official price for either phone, Google hardware executive Rick Osterloh was quoted in Der Spiegel as saying the Pixel 6 ‘belongs in the upper segment’ of phones as a ‘mainstream premium product.’ 

The Pixel 6 Pro, on the other hand, Osterloh said ‘will be expensive.’ Given that he said the last two years of Google phones (including the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4) weren’t competing in the flagship market segment, Osterloh may be suggesting that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will be pricier than we expected.

Design and display

Google officially revealed the Pixel 6 in a series of tweets in early August – and the company essentially confirmed the design leaks that trickled out through 2021.

Without further ado, here’s officially how the Pixel 6 will look:

As you can see there’s a camera block that runs across the width of the back, jutting out, and a three-tone color scheme in a range of options. The image above shows both the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, with the Pro model having more space above the camera block.

That camera block has glossy silver edges on the Pixel 6 Pro and matte black ones on the standard Pixel 6. Flip the phone to the front and you can see an all-screen design with a selfie camera in a central punch-hole. The front is visible in the tweet video below.

Google was light on screen specs, but according to Marques Brownlee (a YouTuber who got hands-on time with the phones) the Pixel 6 Pro has a slightly curved 120Hz screen of around 6.7 inches, while the standard Pixel 6 has a smaller 90Hz flat screen.

Material You will be best on #Pixel6.The colors, the camera, the form, and what’s on the screen all work together in a single, fluid experience. (9/13) pic.twitter.com/K6BRF9ZKEYAugust 2, 2021

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Beyond that we’re in leak territory for additional design and display details, with one source claiming that the Google Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.67-inch curved AMOLED display, and dimensions of 163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm (with an 11.5mm camera bump), along with dual stereo speakers.

Elsewhere we’ve heard that the Pixel 6 Pro might have a QHD resolution, while the Pixel 6 might have a 6.4-inch flat screen. That screen size has been echoed by Jon Prosser (a leaker with a good track record), who also points to both models using OLED, and says that the Pixel 6 Pro’s screen is 6.71 inches (which is in line with Brownlee’s claim of it being around 6.7 inches).

Camera and battery

When Google officially revealed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro via tweet in early August, the company confirmed the former will get two cameras and the latter will get three shooters – with the extra being a 4x optical telephoto.

There wasn’t any other information from Google itself, but Marques Brownlee (who was granted hands-on time with the phones) claims that the other two lenses are main and ultra-wide ones.

He also stated that Google has switched to all new photo sensors, for basically the first time since the Pixel 2, and that the Pixel 6 is likely to offer a significant video upgrade on the Pixel 5, thanks to the new chipset (more on which further down) powering computational photography.

Beyond that, a leak previously suggested that we’d see a 50MP main camera with a larger sensor than on the Pixel 5, plus an 8MP periscope snapper and an ultra-wide camera.

But another leak points to the Pixel 6 having a 50MP main and 12MP ultra-wide camera, while the Pixel 6 Pro apparently has both of those along with a 48MP telephoto one. This source also claims that the Pixel 6 has an 8MP selfie camera while the Pixel 6 Pro has a 12MP one.

Android 12 code also suggests that both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will have a 50MP main camera.

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.

As for the battery, there’s no official news about this but a source claims the Pixel 6 Pro will have a 5,000mAh one, with the Pixel 6 having a smaller one. Elsewhere we’ve heard the same claim, but this leak details the Pixel 6’s battery too, saying that it’s 4,614mAh.

We’ve also heard that – unsurprisingly – the phones will support wireless charging.

They might support faster wireless charging than the 12W offered by the Pixel 5 though, as evidence of a new wireless charger has been found in Android 12 code, and there’s mention of fans – a feature which helps keep the phone and charger cool when pumping out lots of power.

Wired charging might get a speed boost too, with one source pointing to 33W charging, up from 18W on the Pixel 5. However, that charger won’t come in the box – in fact the Pixel 6 won’t have an in-box charger at all.

Specs and features

When Google revealed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in early August, the company also unveiled the Google Tensor – its first custom chipset, which the tech giant suggested will improve the cameras, speech recognition, and other features – especially improving voice commands, translation, captioning and dictation, with more things carried out on device. 

We made a chip!#Pixel6 is powered by our first ever smartphone SoC: meet Google Tensor(5/13) pic.twitter.com/0Kts53TfqmAugust 2, 2021

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According to Brownlee (who got an official look at the phone) the Tensor chipset also allows the Pixel 6 to decode voice and process it on the device (rather than on Google servers), which allows for faster responses from Google Assistant and other vocal interface features.

Neither Google nor Brownlee have said much about the power of this chipset, but rumors around this chip are gaining momentum, and we’ve heard that it could be a 5nm one. However, it sounds like it won’t match the best Android chipsets for performance, with a source claiming it will basically slot between the top-end Snapdragon 888 and the older Snapdragon 865 in terms of power.

Another source has echoed these claims, saying that it rivals the Snapdragon 870 for power – a chipset that’s high-end but not top-end. They added that its GPU performs well under stress.

One report has suggested that the Tensor chipset is in fact the Samsung Exynos 9855, previously rumored but never put inside a phone. If that’s correct, the performance of the Pixel 6 phones would be somewhere in between the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S22 launching next year.

We’ve also heard that the Pixel 6 might have 8GB of RAM and a choice of 128GB or 256GB of storage, with the Pixel 6 Pro upping the RAM to 12GB and offering 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage. Additionally, this source claims that the two phones will get at least five years of software updates, which is far more than other Android devices.

Beyond that, in Android 12 code we’ve seen two hints of possible Google Pixel 6 features. One of these is the existence of a one-handed mode, while 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.

Speaking of Android 12, the Pixel 6 range will of course run that, and we know already that this includes a whole new visual design, along with a real focus on privacy and security. That extends to the hardware too, as Google itself has said that the Pixel 6 is built with the most layers of hardware security in any phone.

And a leak also suggests that the Pixel 6 could get a redesigned version of Google Translate, which should be easier to operate with one hand.

Finally, we’ve heard the Pixel 6 could have UWB, or ultra-wideband technology. This is a short-range communications function that lets devices talk to each other if they’re nearby – it can be useful for location tracking, so maybe the Pixel 6 will have some new feature regarding this?

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