The Google Pixel 6 takes over from a Pixel 5 which has raised a lot of debate. What awaits us with this new smartphone? Here’s everything we know about it.
Google’s strategy for its latest smartphones surprised us a few months ago. The Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G were released almost at the same time, with fairly similar specs. And the Mountain View firm had chosen to equip its flagship, the Pixel 5, with a mid-range Snapdragon 765G SoC rather than a high-end chip. A reorientation aimed at reducing costs and therefore the price of the final product. Another strangeness, the Pixel 5 was not accompanied by an XL model equipped with a larger screen, as was the case for previous generations. We are therefore very curious to know what Google has in store for us this year with its Pixel 6. And there should still be surprises with this upcoming model.
How much will the Google Pixel 6 cost?
Of course, it is far too early to have any official information or even a reliable leak on this subject. But it is still possible to get an idea of the price at which the Pixel 6 will be displayed. In France, the Pixel 5 was displayed at the price of 629 euros when it is launched. A much more affordable price than 769 euros requested for the Pixel 4 a year ago.
Will Google continue to lower the bill in order to attract consumers? Probably not, the Mountain View firm can not really afford to further reduce the presence of its smartphones, or reduce its margins given its sales volumes. We should therefore stay on a similar or slightly higher price to the Pixel 5 for the Pixel 6, Google will probably not go back to a premium positioning to the Pixel 4 while Samsung and Apple have recently made the gateway to the Galaxy S21 and More affordable iPhone 12.
When is the Google Pixel 6 released?
The Pixel 6’s release date is not a big mystery, with Google remaining very regular on its calendar. The main series Pixels still launch in early October, except for the latest Pixel 5 which officially premiered on September 30. It is very likely that the Pixel 6 will make its official appearance in the last days of September or at the beginning of the following month.
Google could also resume its old habits of releasing an XL model of the smartphone for lovers of large screen diagonal. We learned from a leak of internal documents that two future products, codenames Raven and Oriole, are closely related. It could be the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL.
Before that, the Pixel 5a is expected to hit the market sometime this spring. Rumors of a Pixel 5 have circulated, but today they seem to be extinct.
For a long time, Pixels have been outdated smartphones from a design point of view: thickness of the borders, late transition to the notch or punch system, materials used … But Google has revised its copy with the latest iterations of the range and its smartphones are no longer outdated by one or two generations compared to the competition from this point of view. We feel that the takeover of part of HTC’s design division, and the acquisition of engineers and designers from the iconic manufacturer has paid off.
We hope that the Pixel 6 will be able to continue this good momentum and get even closer to what other brands offer in this price range. The Pixel 5 has a frame and back made of aluminum, with the presence of a plastic resin allowing compatibility with wireless charging. Google could make the same choice on the Pixel 6 in order to control its costs. Another option, more premium but also more expensive, would be the return of the glass back as we had on the Pixel 4.
The front camera should be integrated within a punch. It could on the other hand tilt from the upper left corner of the panel to the center of it, as on Samsung smartphones. Several reports have told us that Google is working on a camera under the screen allowing to do without punch, notch or pop-up mechanism and leave the entire front surface to the slab. But It is unlikely that the Pixel range will benefit from such a feature this year, the Mountain View firm likes to take its time in terms of design.
On the other hand, it seems more and more likely that the Pixel 6 will finally be entitled to an under-screen fingerprint sensor. In any case, this is what emerges from the source code of Android 12. The latest Pixel models include a back fingerprint reader, a system that has been outdated for a few years already. Almost all mid-range Android smartphones and some entry-level models are equipped with a handy under-screen fingerprint reader, it is time for Google to do it too.
At this point, we can only speculate about the Pixel 6’s display. Google has made a habit of not participating in the wide-diagonal race that its competitors are engaged in. The Pixel 5 offered a compact size of 6 inches, which made it a good solution for users who prefer the slabs with measured dimensions, which are increasingly rare nowadays. Expect the Pixel 6’s screen to be not that big, at most 6.2 inches like the Pixel 4a 5G. It will also depend on the presence or not of an XL model to offer more choices to consumers.
The image definition is beyond doubt: we will stay on Full HD + 1080p, more than enough for the expected diagonal of the Pixel 6 and which has the merit of not drawing too much on battery life. For the refresh rate, Google has switched to 90 Hz since the Pixel 4. Two years later, it would not be surprising that we are moving towards the 120 Hz, especially since it is rumored that the next iPhone, or at least the Pro models, offer such an option, with variable frequency to preserve energy consumption. Sounds like good timing for the Pixels to get going, too, but we don’t have any solid confirmation yet.
Performance and memory
We could have a big surprise on this side. It has been known for some time now that Google is working on its own chip to equip its devices. Sundar Pichai himself has confessed that the American group is in the process of putting on a hard hat in terms of hardware. A project that could materialize with the Pixel 6.
According to information from 9to5Google, Google has partnered with Samsung, a semiconductor giant with experience in designing chips for smartphones that has gained expertise over the years with its Exynos chips. the latter have equipped many models of the brand’s mobile phones, and in particular its top-of-the-range Galaxy S and Note in Europe. Google’s SoC should be based on the same burning processes. As a reminder, Samsung has moved to a 5nm engraving fineness this year with the Exynos 2100, but it is not known if this Google chip, code name GS101, will be more oriented high or mid-range. The SoC would also be used to power Chromebooks in addition to smartphones.
On this generation, Samsung has caught up to the performance level of Qualcomm chips (without reaching it, however), with better performance and energy efficiency than on older Exynos SoCs. What to consider a Google chip of a good ilk. Either way, the Pixel 6 is bound to be 5G compatible.
When it comes to memory, Google has gone from 6 GB to 8 GB of RAM from the Pixel to the Pixel 5 and should stay at those. 8 GB of RAM for the Pixel 6. Storage should start at 128 GB, with possibly a 256 GB configuration variant. Multiplying storage options works quite well for Apple and Samsung.
Autonomy, battery and recharging
The Pixel 5 was equipped with a 4000mAh battery, which can be considered the minimum today for a smartphone in this segment. This was already a tremendous leap forward compared to the Pixel 4 which had a battery bordering on the ridiculous and which has also done him a lot of damage in terms of autonomy. Google seems to have understood that users are not ready to compromise on this matter, whether it supports wireless charging or not.
But the battery capacity will not be the only one to determine the autonomy of the Pixel 6. If Google goes from a 90 Hz screen to 120 Hz, consumption should increase, unless an adaptive system of automatic variation of the refresh rate is set up like we expect one on the iPhone 13 Pro. The chip is also a key element that directs the energy consumption of the mobile, just like software optimizations.
For both wired and wireless charging, do not expect a disproportionate power surge, Google is very careful in this regard.
The photo part is undoubtedly the one that has made the reputation of Pixel smartphones the most. They are known to be very good photophones, even if Google is stingy in terms of hardware or number of sensors, thanks to the excellent software processing of the Mountain View firm.
If the Pixel 6 will necessarily be good in photos thanks to the software, we hope that Google will move up in hardware level, where the shoe pinches. The manufacturer has been recycling a dated photo module for three generations. Sony IMX363 12 MP. Yes, you read that correctly: the Pixel 5 has exactly the same sensor as the Pixel 3 released two years before it. With a better sensor, the photo quality should improve further.
The Pixel 5 got an ultra-wide-angle sensor, which should make a comeback on the Pixel 6. This feature has become almost essential these days. However, we have no information on a possible third camera to complete the camera configuration. The Pixel 4 was equipped with a telephoto lens allowing a 2x optical zoom, disappeared on the Pixel 5 in order to reduce the price. Google could offer it again in the event of a strategy to (re) move upmarket its smartphones.
Limited to 1080p so far, the front camera could record in 4K quality on the Pixel 6. This is in any case what the source code of the APK of the Google Camera 8.2 application suggests.
The Pixel 6 will release directly on Android 12, the next major mobile operating system update expected in late August or early September. This version brings many interface and design changes, it could be the most important evolution in the field in years. Settings, notification bar, always-on screen, lock screen, home screen: everything will happen with the Material NEXT UI. A theme system that adapts to the chosen wallpaper is also in the works.
A one-hand mode to more easily use the largest smartphones should also make its appearance. An addition that may make one think that the screen diagonal of the Pixel 6 will grow, or that a Pixel 6 XL is planned, but this is only a guess. An intelligent gaming mode will be there, as on many Android overlays already.
On the program, we should also find the following features: