Credit: Google

Update, August 2, 2021 (04:00 PM ET): As a big surprise, Google just confirmed a whole slew of aspects related to the Google Pixel 6 series. Read on below for all the latest — there’s a lot!

Original article: The Google Pixel 5 marked a return to form for Google’s flagships. It sought to put the polarizing Pixel 4 series behind it and deliver a well-rounded and affordable flagship phone. With the Pixel 5’s first year winding down, all eyes now are on the follow-up, officially known as the Google Pixel 6.

See also: Everything you need to know about Google hardware

Below, you’ll find every confirmation and credible rumor we’ve heard so far about the next entry in the Pixel line. Be sure to bookmark this page, as we will update it with Google Pixel 6 information as soon as it lands!

Name and release date

Google Pixel logos

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Since the first Pixel launch in 2016, Google hasn’t altered its naming strategy. Even when it introduced the first “a” series device with the Pixel 3a, it kept to the numbered naming system it’s had since day one. As such, we were pretty confident the Google Pixel 6 would be the name of the next entry in the line.

On August 2, 2021, the company confirmed just that. Not only did it confirm the Pixel 6 name, but it also confirmed that there will be a “Pro” model launched alongside the vanilla variant.

Google has already confirmed the name of the next Pixel flagship.

As far as a release date goes, Google has launched every single Pixel phone in the Fall, usually in early October. The only anomaly in this trend is last year’s Pixel 5, which launched at the very end of September. Regardless, a launch date around the end of September or early October is what we’re betting on for now.

Google Pixel 6 design

google pixel 6 pro range

Credit: Google

Along with the name of the phone, Google has already confirmed what the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will look like. Above, you can see official imagery of the Pixel 6 Pro in an assortment of colorways.

This confirmed design looks a lot like the leaked renders we saw from reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer back in May of this year.

With just a glance, you can tell that Google is doing a lot of new things with the Pixel line. The whole look of the phone has been completely revamped, with the body-length camera bump being the standout change.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Credit: Google

In the official image above, you can see the camera bump is quite thick. Google also confirmed that the Pixel 6 Pro will have a polished aluminum frame, which heavily suggests the back of that phone will be made of glass. Meanwhile, the vanilla Pixel 6 will have a matte aluminum finish, which is likely similar to what we saw on the Pixel 5.

Google also confirmed the phones will have a centered selfie camera cutout. The Verge, which has actually seen a Pixel 6 in-the-flesh, confirmed that the Pro model’s display has curved edges while the Pixel 6’s display is flat on all sides.

As far as colorways go, here’s what you can expect in some regions:

Pixel 6

  • Orange back with a peach-colored top
  • Blue back with a lime green top
  • Gray back with a silver top

Pixel 6 Pro

  • Yellow back with an orange top
  • White back with a gray top
  • Gray back with a silver top

What is Google Tensor?

google tensor processor

Credit: Google

Up until August 2, the biggest rumor surrounding the Pixel 6 line was the inclusion of a new, custom chipset, codenamed “Whitechapel.” The rumor was that this was an SoC that would be unique to the Pixel 6, co-created by Google and Samsung (and even feature a Mali GPU). On August 2, Google confirmed the existence of this SoC and announced its market name: Tensor.

Unfortunately, Google did not divulge much hard info about Tensor. It touted Tensor’s impressive abilities when it comes to machine learning and AI smarts. It boasted that it will help deliver the best photo and video results of any Pixel phone. It said the performance of the chipset will be “market-leading.”

Related: What you should really expect from Google’s custom Pixel 6 processor

However, it didn’t really show any proof of any of these claims. For now, we’ll just need to take Google’s word on it.

Since this is Google’s first-ever attempt to make smartphone silicon, it is unreasonable to assume the company would come out of the gate with something better than the industry-leading Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Apple A14 Bionic. Instead, we expect to see something better than a general mid-range chip but beneath crazy-fast flagship chips.

Hopefully, Google will deliver more info on Tensor as we get closer to the launch of the Pixel 6 series.

Google Pixel 6: Other specs

Raw specs have never been a focus for Pixel phones. However, things might be changing with the Pixel 6 series. The Pixel 6 Pro, in particular, seems like it could be quite formidable in the specs department.

Below, you’ll find some confirmed specs of the phones. These specs come from Google itself and The Verge, which, once again, has tested out a real Pixel 6:

Google Pixel 6 (Confirmed)

  • Screen size: 6.4 inches
  • Resolution: FHD+ (1080p)
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • Rear cams: Main + Ultra-wide
  • Biometrics: In-display fingerprint
  • OS: Android 12
  • SoC: Google Tensor

Google Pixel 6 Pro (Confirmed)

  • Screen size: 6.7 inches
  • Resolution: QHD+ (1440p)
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Rear cams: Main + Ultra-wide + Telephoto (4x optical)
  • Biometrics: In-display fingerprint
  • OS: Android 12
  • SoC: Google Tensor

Once again, those specs above are confirmed. We also have some shaky spec rumors from Front Page Tech. Here’s what they say could be onboard:

Google Pixel 6 (Rumored)

  • Front cam: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,614mAh
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB

Google Pixel 6 Pro (Rumored)

  • Front cam: 12MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB

We also have evidence to suggest the new Pixels could support ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. However, we don’t have any idea what that could mean yet. We also have evidence surrounding the haptic features of Android 12 and how they could apply to a Pixel 6.

Interestingly, Front Page Tech also claims that Google plans to offer five years of software updates to the Pixel 6 series. Considering the inclusion of Tensor, this seems like it could be possible. This would cause the Pixel series to match the update schedule offered by Apple for iPhones, too.

Google Pixel 6 cameras

Google Pixel 6 Pro Hemmerstoffer Renders 3

Credit: / Steve Hemmerstoffer

We know for certain the Google Pixel 6 will have two rear lenses while the Pixel 6 Pro will have three. We also know both phones will feature a solitary selfie camera housed within a centered display cutout.

We also know that the Pixel 6 Pro will have a main lens, an ultra-wide, and a telephoto. The Pixel 6 will have the same setup but without the telephoto. The telephoto lens will use what The Verge calls a “folded” system. This likely means it will use familiar periscope technology that will allow it to see 4x optical zoom. In other words, you’ll be able to zoom in 4x without any loss of image quality.

Related: It’s time Google updated Pixel camera hardware to match its stellar software

What remains to be seen is how many stops you’ll have on the way to 4x. Sony, for example, used a “jump” system that only allowed for optical zoom in a few stops. Could Google offer something similar, or would you be able to go from 1x to 2x to 3x and to 4x?

There are rumors that the main sensor could be a 50MP shooter. This would heavily suggest that Google would finally be upgrading its sensor for the first time since the Pixel 3 series. However, this rumor doesn’t have very strong legs at the moment.

Regardless, it’s clear Google intends to update its hardware significantly with the Pixel 6 series. When you combine this with its unrivaled software, the Pixel 6 series could be some of the best phones of the year when it comes to photos.

Price and availability

Google Pixel 5 Pixel 4 Pixel 3 cameras

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

One of the aspects of the most recent Pixel phones that’s made them so successful is pricing. Even though the Pixel 5 wasn’t “cheap,” it certainly undercuts most competitors.

Google has gone on the record and said the Pixel 6 Pro, in particular, “will certainly be a premium-priced product.” To us, that suggests the Pro-level model will meet or even exceed the $1,000 mark. The vanilla Pixel 6, though, could be cheaper thanks to its weaker specs and simpler design.

As far as availability goes, Google already has a Google Store page up for the phones. By visiting that page from different areas of the world, you can see which areas support it. So far, these are the countries we are relatively certain will see the Pixel 6 lineup:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Do not get upset if you don’t see your own country on that list. It’s possible Google hasn’t launched store listings for all countries yet. It’s also possible the Pixel 6 will land in certain countries first and then make its way to others later. Remember there is still an ongoing global chip shortage that could make the Pixel 6 rollout quite staggered.

We’ll certainly have more information on this as we get closer to the Fall!

That’s everything we’ve got so far on the Google Pixel 6! Be sure to check back soon as we will update this with more rumors as they land.

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