Google Pixel 6 release date, rumours, features, specs and news
Google is working on a couple of smartphones that will be revealed in full later this year. The company has officially teased the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, offering some detail as to what we can expect.
We've covered off the Pixel 6 Pro in a separate feature but here we are focusing on everything we have heard and know so far about the Pixel 6.
Release date and price
- Confirmed: 19 October 2021 launch event
- From £599/$699
Google has confirmed the Pixel 6 will be announced at an event on 19 October. It's being called the Pixel Fall Launch with an image of the phone and #Pixel6Launch, so there's no doubt at all about what's on the agenda for the event.
In terms of price, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 sat in the flagship end of the smartphone market, while the Pixel 5's price put it in the mid-range category.
It's not currently clear if the Pixel 6 will see a price hike back up to flagship territory, or if Google will stick with the slightly lower pricing. If it sticks to the same ballpark as the Pixel 5, we could see pricing start from around £599/$699.
A leaked ad for German retailer Saturn shows the phone will cost €649 in Europe, which is around £555 in the UK and around $770 in the US. What's more, there's mention of a free gift for those who pre-order. Just like the Pixel 5, it appears early buyers will get a free pair of Bose headphones. This time it's the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
For reference, we'd expect the Pixel 6 Pro to be flagship so that's likely to be more expensive.
#Pixel6, the new Google Phone.
Tune in October 19th at 10 am PT: https://t.co/zmp5byVq1y#Pixel6Launch pic.twitter.com/v3wwySE5gs
— Made By Google (@madebygoogle) October 5, 2021
- Massive camera unit on the rear of the phone
- Dual tone colouring
- Regular and Pro models
- Water resistance?
Google itself revealed official images of the upcoming Pixel 6 from the rear and the design matches previous leaked renders. There is a dramatic redesign from previous Pixels, with a large camera housing on the rear spreading across the width of the phone. Google said this is because the camera has been redesigned and no longer fits into the square camera housing we saw on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5.
Official Google Pixel 6 images
As for the front of the phone, leaked renders from various sources show a centralised punch hole camera, very slim bezels and a flat display for the Pixel 6. This design has now been confirmed by Google who has started advertising the phone and showing it off in official imagery - so we all know exactly what it looks like.
The images suggest an under-display fingerprint sensor. The physical rear fingerprint sensor found on previous Pixels is not present in the official images of the Pixel 6 from Google, so it would seem this move to an under-display option is happening.
Google has said the Pixel 6 will have a matte finish and the official images released show it off in an orange/red, light blue/green and black/grey colour options. A late leak also showed official renders with water droplets all over the back of the phone, which as much as confirms the phone will have waterproofing of some kind.
OnLeaks Pixel 6 leak
- Pixel 6: 6.4-inch, Full HD+
- Under-display fingerprint scanner
- 120Hz refresh rate
The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch display but rumours have suggested the Pixel 6 will be slightly larger at 6.4-inches. It's said to be a flat display, rather than curved like the Pixel 6 Pro is said to be coming with.
Rumours have also claimed it will have a Full HD+ resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate. HDR support is also expected.
We've mentioned that there will be punch hole to the centre top of this display.
Hardware and specs
- Google Tensor chip
- 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage
- UWB technology
- 5G connectivity
Google has developed its own system-on-chip called Tensor. The company has said it has been working on the chip for 4 years and security is said to be at the heart of it, with a new Titan M2 security core. Google said the Pixel 6 will have "the most layers of security in any phone."
Previous rumours have said the chip could offer a similar performance to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 700 series. There's also claims it will have raw performance equivalent to between the Snapdragon 865 and 888 though and it's claimed to have a Neural Processing Unit and Image Signal Processor inside.
So far there have a couple of benchmarks leak, but these show increasing performance, suggesting that they're not on final optimised hardware, so it's hard to know exactly where they will sit in terms of power.
In terms of other specs, there is said to be 8GB RAM and a choice of 128GB or 256GB storage for the Pixel 6.
Google confirmed that its upcoming Digital Car Key feature would use ultra-wideband technology, currently not offered in any Pixel device - a hint that a future release will include it.
Battery capacity has been rumoured as 4614mAh and there could potentially be support for 23W wireless charging.
- 4K video recording from front
- Pixel 6: Dual rear (50MP+12MP)
- 8MP front
Google Pixel phones are praised for their excellent cameras so we fully expect the Pixel 6 to continue on this path. Or we at least hope it does.
Google's official images of the Pixel 6 confirm a dual camera on the rear, while the Pixel 6 Pro will have a triple rear camera. It's been said there could be a 50-megapixel main camera - which could be the ISOCELL GN1 sensor revealed by Samsung in 2020 - and a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera on the Pixel 6, though that's not confirmed as yet. All we know officially is that there is an improved camera system.
Other rumours relating to cameras have said the suggested 8-megapixel front camera could support 4K video recording and video recording overall will be improved compared to the Pixel 5. There's also talk of a larger Samsung sensor on board and a gimbal-like camera mode.
There have also been some leaks regrarding camera features, including something called "magic eraser", Face Deblur, "Motion Blur" and "Baby Mode". Google's Night Sight is also expected on the Pixel 6.
Google Pixel 6 rumours: What's happened so far?
Here's everything we have heard about the Pixel 6 so far.
07 September 2021: More images leaks and evidence of water resistance
Evleaks - the ever prolific leaker - has published a whole set of images, including some that show water proofing.
06 September 2021: European pricing and Bose headphones pre-order gift
A leaked ad (via reddit) printed for Saturn - a German mega retailer - shows the Pixel 6 will cost €649 and come with a free pair of Bose 700 noise cancelling headphones if you pre-order.
05 September 2021: Google confirms Pixel 6 launch event on 19 October
Google has officially confirmed that it will be announcing the Pixel 6 on 19 October.
29 September 2021: Google Pixel 6 prices and release date leak
According to YouTuber Brandon Lee (@thisistechtoday), the Google Pixel 6 is said to be priced at €649, which is around £555 in the UK and around $770 in the US.
The Google Pixel 6 Pro meanwhile, is said to cost around €899, which is around £770 in the UK and around $1065 in the US.
24 September 2021: Google Pixel 6 camera features detailed in leak
A report on XDA Developers offers some information based on an internal, unreleased version of the Google Camera app, along with information and insights from an unnamed source. The report details a number of camera features expected to come on the Pixel 6.
9 September 2021: Google drops Pixel 6 teaser to remind you that iPhone 13 isn't your only choice
Google dropped a teaser for the Pixel 6 and while it didn't detail anything new, it carried the message that the Pixel 6 isn't just a smartphone, it's a phone that learns and adapts to you.
2 September 2021: Google Pixel Stand leak suggests that Pixel 6 will support 23W wireless charging
A leak from a US retailer has seemingly confirmed the Google Pixel 6 will support 23W wireless charging after an image taken of the retailer's inventory log makes reference to a "Google Pixel 23W WL Stand".
31 August 2021: 19 October date suggested for Made by Google event
A reliable leaker has suggested that the Pixel 6 will be available from 28 October, suggesting a launch event on 19 October.
31 August 2021: 23W Pixel Stand leaks
A retailer listing has revealed a 23W Pixel Stand, suggesting that the Pixel 6 might support this faster charging rate.
13 August 2021: Google Pixel 6 hint reveals that camera system could feature a 50MP sensor made by Samsung
A teardown of the Google Camera app has hinted that the Pixel 6 will feature a 50-megapixel sensor developed by Samsung.
2 August 2021: Google confirms Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, powered by Google Tensor
Google confirmed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in a blog post, detailing the design and the new hardware the devices will run on when they launch in the fall.
13 July 2021: Google Pixel 6 and 6 XL names appear in developer form
Following the start of this year's Google for Games Developer Summit, where new tools for Android game developers were revealed, the Pixel 6 and, interestingly, the Pixel 6 XL both appeared on a form for a new game mode API, spotted by XDA Developers.
9 July 2021: Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro specs revealed in new leak
Jon Prosser published a number of missing specs for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, including RAM, storage and battery details.
28 May 2021: More Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro camera details leak out
Leaker FrontTron claimed on Twitter that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro would have a gimbal-like steady cam mode, bigger Samsung sensor and big video recording improvements.
Pixel 6 stuff
Gimbal like steady cam mode
Bigger Samsung sensor, Google custom NPU and ISP -> better than pixel 5
Big improvements in video
— Tron (@FrontTron) May 26, 2021
25 May 2021: More Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro and 5a 5G details revealed in leak
Max Weinbach claimed on a podcast that the Whitechapel SoC will offer raw performance in between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and 888 and it will have a Neural Processing Unit and Image Signal Processor inside.
He also said the orange model would be more peach than pink and a green, black and silver model was being worked on too.
24 May 2021: Google Pixel 6 takes its turn in a stunning design leak
Leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer followed up his Pixel 6 Pro renders with some renders of the Pixel 6, coupled with some extra information.
OnLeaks Pixel 6 leak
21 May 2021: Google Pixel 6 Pro's radical design rendered once again
Serial leaker OnLeaks shared some Pixel 6 Pro renders, following on the renders published by Jon Prosser. They show a similar design but offer some more details, including rhe 6 Pro's screens size and a few more angles.
OnLeaks Pixel 6 Pro render leak
19 May 2021: Pixel 6 model numbers discovered in Android 12 Beta
Details about unreleased devices have been uncovered in the Android 12 Beta.
18 May 2021: Google announced Android 12 at Google I/O
Google announced Android 12 during its I/O developer conference, revealing a huge redesign. The company also referenced "fall" for the Pixels launch, as well as hinting that we'd see UWB in a future Pixel handset.
14 May 2021: Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro renders show radical change in design
Jon Prosser published some renders of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, in collaboration with with @RendersbyIan. According to Prosser, the renders have been created based on actual photographs of the real product, not from schematics.
6 May 2021: Pixel 6 to feature custom 'Whitechapel' chip?
Further evidence suggests Google is working on custom Whitechapel chip that will go into the Pixel 6.
4 May 2021: Pixel 6 might rival iPhone 12 by offering UWB connectivity
XDA's Mishaal Rahman shared on Twitter that Google is experimenting with UWB support on an upcoming device codenamed Raven, which could be the Pixel 6.
30 April 2021: Google is working on UWB connectivity, possibly for Pixel 6 family
9to5Google reported that Google was experimenting with putting UWB technology into its Android hardware, speculating this would be found in the Pixel 6 phones.
5 April 2021: Pixel 6 might be powered by a Google-designed 'GS101' processor
9to5Google claimed Google is developing two phones with an Arm-based "GS101" processor, codenamed "Whitechapel".
2 April 2021: Pixel 6 may use Google-made chip instead of Qualcomm processor
XDA Developers reported Google is working on new GS101 silicon for its 2021 Pixel phones. It said: "The SoC will feature a 3 cluster setup with a TPU (Tensor Processing Unit). Google also refers to its next Pixel devices as "dauntless-equipped phones", which we believe refers to them having an integrated Titan M security chip (code-named Citadel)."
17 March 2021: Android 12 DP2 hints at a future Pixel device with an under-display fingerprint scanner
XDA Developers reported spotting evidence in Android 12 code that suggests the Pixel 6 could come with an under-display fingerprint scanner.
9 March 2021: Google Pixel 6 likely to adopt centered hole punch camera, 4K selfie video
9to5Google dug into an update to the Google Pixel camera app that suggests the Pixel 6 could adopt centralised punch hole camera and support 4K video recording.
18 February 2021: Android 12 code might give away some Pixel 6 features
XDA Developer's Mishaal Rahman tweeted some features he found in the Android 12 developer code suggesting UI changes make it more one-handed friendly and there was some talk of under-display fingerprint scanner support alongside facial recognition too.
Now that the embargo has lifted, here's my running thread of changes I've found in Android 12 Developer Preview 1.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 18, 2021
1 December 2020: Patent suggests under-display front camera on future Pixel phone
A patent for a future Pixel phone was spotted by Patently Apple showing no visible front camera.Continue Reading