Google Pixel 6 release date, rumours, features, specs and news
Google is rumoured to be working on a couple of smartphones, including the Pixel 5a 5G, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Two codenames have surfaced for Pixel 6 models - Oriole and Raven - with model numbers GR1YH and GF5KQ respectively.
There are plenty of rumours surrounding the Pixel 5a 5G, which we have covered in a separate feature, and we've also covered off the Pixel 6 Pro in a separate feature too but here we are focusing on everything we have heard so far about the Pixel 6.
Release date and price
- October 2021
- From $699
The Google Pixel 6 isn't expected until the latter half of 2021. At the moment, there's no suggestion of the release date, but previous Google release patterns would suggest October 2021 would be a good month to pencil in for now. Google said "fall" during its I/O developer conference plenty of times, but it didn't offer any more details.
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.
For reference, we'd expect the Pixel 6 Pro to be flagship so that's likely to be more expensive.
- Under-display front camera?
- Change to rear design
- Pro model
Renders of the Google Pixel 6 have appeared online, claimed to have been designed from images of the real model. They show a dramatic redesign from previous Pixels, with a large camera housing on the rear spreading across the width of the phone, while the front of the device has a centralised punch hole camera, very slim bezels and a flat display. These renders were supported by further renders of the standard from another reliable leaker.
The renders suggest an under-display fingerprint sensor - something that is definitely plausible as under-display fingerprint scanners have been around for a while now and are on many of the Pixel's competitors. It would be a change from the rear physical fingerprint sensor on previous Pixels, but if the camera does span the back, it would be an obvious move.
There has been some talk of an under-display front camera, following a filed patent from Google, though we'd be surprised to see that this year and the renders suggest that won't be something that is happening this time round.
The renders show bright and bold colour options for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, with bright orange and pale orange so it looks like Google is going for a total refresh if the renders are accurate. Bolder colour asthetics also seem to be a part of Android 12, so both hardware and software might be pulling in the same direction.
- 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.
Hardware and specs
- Google-own chip
- UWB technology
- 5G connectivity
Rumours suggest Google is working on its own system-on-chip, internally called Whitechapel. It's said the company could be working with Samsung on the processor and it's claimed it 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.
Of course, if this isn't the case then Google is likely to offer a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset under the hood of the Pixel 6. The succeeding chip to the Pixel 5's 765G processor is the Snapdragon 780G, but at the moment, nothing is clear. Previous to the Pixel 5, Pixel devices had the flagship Qualcomm Snadragon processor, which is currently the 888.
So far, there is no word on RAM or storage options for the Pixel 6, though 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 5000mAh, which is a good step up from the Pixel 5.
- 4K video recording from front
- Pixel 6: Dual rear
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.
Based on the leaked renders, the Pixel 6 will have a dual camera on the back, while the Pixel 6 Pro will have a triple rear camera, with the Pro model possibly adding a periscope telephoto lens. It's been said there could be a 50-megapixel main camera and an ultra wide-angle camera.
Other rumours relating to cameras have said the 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.
Otherwise, it's not been detailed in leaks what the rear cameras of the two phones could offer, but features like Night Sight are expected on the Pixel 6.