Google will be surprising us with a whole new smartphone this fall. Today we are going to talk about the Pixel 6 and what you should expect from it.
Google Pixel 5 has only been available since last October, but the industry of smartphones progresses quickly. Details regarding the Google Pixel 6 are already advancing into the spotlights. It is doubtful that the new Google flagship will start shipping until the last quarter of 2021, but that won’t stop Pixel 6 rumours and speculations from piling up. A few leaks gave us some hints towards what the device will offer when it is released.
Internal code names for upcoming Google devices were leaked last year – Passport, Oriole, and Raven.
Rumours suggest that Passport refers to a potential foldable Google smartphone, but Oriole and Raven could be two versions of the upcoming Pixel 6, maybe a regular and XL version.
When you analyze the Pixel 5, you can safely say that there is a lot of room for improvement. Pixel 5 is still an excellent device that carries on Google’s tradition of building excellent cameras. However, you may find the Pixel 5 a bit underwhelming when you compare it to the flagships of this year.
Google is predictable when it comes to releasing new devices. Pixel smartphones were almost always released in October. The only exception to that tradition was the Pixel 5, which debuted on September 30 last year.
We expect Google to stick to the early October release window for their upcoming flagship, though no significant rumour or confirmation validated that yet.
The Pixel 6 likely won’t be the only new device Google launches this year. Though we doubt that the rumoured Pixel 5 Pro will be a thing, a pixel 5a may still be introduced at some point this year.
The Pixel 3a was introduced at Google I/O in May 2019, while Covid-19 related problems forced the Pixel 4a launch to be delayed to later in the summer of 2020. We expect its replacement to be issued this spring, but that is yet to be confirmed.
When it comes to pricing, the company is less predictable. The Pixel 4 was pitched as a premium model, costing $799, and the Pixel 5 was launched at only $799.
To decrease that price, Google had to make certain compromises like choosing a less powerful processor than what you may expect from a smartphone of that price.
It’s unlikely that the price of the Pixel 6 will be lower than that of the Pixel 5, so we are left wondering if we are going to see a rise in price that may put the Pixel 6 in the flagship price range.
The Pixel lineup made its right name thanks to excellent camera quality. Though the Pixel 5 returns fantastic pictures, it is a step back in someways. Google ditched the telephoto lens from the Pixel 4 and kept using an IMX363 12.2MP sensor that was dated even when it was released.
We don’t yet know if the telephoto lens will make a return on the Pixel 6, either in the form of a replacement for the ultrawide shooter or as a third lens.
The most popular Pixel 6 rumour we’ve heard lately is that Google would include an under-display front camera on the new device.
A Google patent exemplifies what an under-display camera would look like, and many people hope that it will make its way on the Pixel 6.
ZTE has already surpassed Google to the punch with their Axon 20 5G, the world’s first phone with an under-display camera.
Google will likely surprise us with the design of Pixel 6. The company showed that it isn’t afraid to reinvent itself design-wise in past iterations of the Pixel.
The Pixel 5 was unique thanks to its aluminium chassis combined with bio-resin plastic that permitted wireless charging. It is widely believed that Pixel 6 will also include those design choices.
It looks like Chunky camera arrays have become the norm these days, so, likely, Google will also perpetuate that trend.
Chances are Google may get some inspiration from the Galaxy S21 and make the camera array less prominent for the upcoming device.
Additional leaks are expected to be posted soon, so you should stay tuned to learn more.
Google may finally introduce a 120Hz refresh rate with the novel model. Its current norm is 90Hz with the Pixel 5, and, though it isn’t necessarily a must, many users requested a step up in refresh rate.
The 120Hz refresh rate may be featured on the device’s XL version if that will be a thing.
As for the processor, the current flagship is the Snapdragon 888 that sits at the Galaxy S21 lineup base. You will likely see it introduced on more devices in a matter of months. There is a slim chance that the Pixel 6 will feature a Snapdragon 888 because that would require a considerable step up in price, which Google may not be in favour of.
Qualcomm has just introduced the Snapdragon 870 5G, which is basically a facelift of the 865 Plus. We believe that the 870 5G will cost significantly less than the 888, which is one of the main reasons why Google would opt to feature it on the Pixel 6.
Qualcomm released a list of phone manufacturers who agreed to use the Snapdragon 870, and Google is nowhere to be seen on that list. However, that does not imply that the company can’t join the trend later on and feature the 870 on the Pixel 6.
Some rumours suggest that Google is working on a blow to Qualcommand develop a proprietary microprocessor with some help from Samsung. That rumour has recently surfaced, and the chips resulted from their joint venture may find a way onto Pixel devices starting from 2021.
Pixel models from the past have struggled in the battery autonomy department. The Pixel 5 has a 4,000 mAh battery, and it struggles to run for 9 hours and 29 minutes on the default 90Hz mode, which is below the norm for such a smartphone. The Pixel 5 has an Adaptive Battery feature that manages which app draw power to expand the autonomy.
Google will likely go bigger with the Pixel 6’s battery, especially if they will choose to increase the refresh rate.
Another question that haunts many fans’ minds is – Will there be a charger included with the Pixel 6?
Last fall, Apple made history by becoming the first smartphone producer to stop including chargers with its device, after it shipped all four new iPhones without the accessory in the box.
According to apple, that choice would benefit the environment, and while some rival companies first disagreed with the tech giant’s choice, they quickly joined that trend too.
Samsung also doesn’t feature a charger with the Galaxy S21.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Google would ship the Pixel 6 without a charger. You should start counting your power bricks just in case, as this trend will likely hit more and more devices over time.
Based out of Detroit, Tonia Nissen has been writing for Optic Flux since 2017 and is presently our Managing Editor. An experienced freelance health writer, Tonia obtained an English BA from the University of Detroit, then spent over 7 years working in various markets as a television reporter, producer and news videographer. Tonia is particularly interested in scientific innovation, climate technology, and the marine environment.