Now that Google has given everyone a big preview of Android 12, everyone is wondering about the next batch of Google devices slated to run the company’s mobile OS. And based on a number of recent leaks, the Pixel 6 is shaping up to be Google’s most enticing phone in years.
Just yesterday, new code in the Android 12 beta revealed that, unlike last year, Google will make two versions of the Pixel 6. And instead of going with its traditional default and XL designations, Google is going to release the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in 2021—at least according to leaker Jon Prosser.
But what’s even more interesting is design of the new Pixel 6, which has recently been depicted in a number of renders based on actual hands-on photos. Prosser claims the renders were created to help protect the source who obtained those pics.
Now normally, Prosser’s somewhat spotty record of leaks might cast some doubt on the latest Pixel 6 info, but leaker Max Weinbach independently confirmed the general design seen in these renders, so there seems to be some real substance to these leaks.
Sporting a tri-tone design, the back of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro features a bright strip of color across the top, followed by a large raised “camera bridge” below where the Pixel 6's cameras live, and then a large blank section (possibly glass) on bottom. This design is quite intriguing for a number of reasons, because not only does it harken back to the two-toned design of the Pixel 2 (with a fresh twist for 2021), it also avoids the huge camera modules a lot of phones makers have been cramming into the corners of competing devices, which have become quite clunky and cumbersome as of late.
As for the standard Pixel 6 (which can also been seen in a separate series of renders from 91 Mobiles), specs are rumored to include a 6-inch FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, an under-screen fingerprint sensor, and potentially a new processor co-designed by Google and Samsung. Around back, the Pixel 6 is expected to feature just two cameras, which likely means Google will skip a telephoto camera in favor of an ultra-wide lens alongside the phone’s primary one.
Meanwhile, the Pixel 6 Pro—which is seen in its own series of renders courtesy of @Onleaks and Digit India—is said to feature a larger 120HZ 6.67-inch display (possibly with a QHD resolution), and three rear cameras thanks to the addition of a periscope lens with a 5x optical zoom.
On Twitter, a new leaker named Yogesh claims the Pixel 6 Pro will feature a 50-MP main camera sensor from Sony, an 8-MP periscope zoom cam, an ultra-wide cam, and a dedicated color correction sensor. That said, there seems to be some disagreement over over the exact camera sensors Google will use, as other leakers have report that Google could go with Samsung image sensors instead.
Additionally both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are expected to support 5G, wireless charging, and UWB tech, with the latter seemingly designed to support Google’s recently announced digital car keys feature for Android.
Google typically announces new flagship Pixel phones in the fall, so it’ll be awhile before we know for sure. But between its design and specs, the Pixel 6 is shaping up to be a very impressive device, and one that could address one of the major shortcomings shared by basically every Pixel: lackluster hardware.
While it was a good phone, the Pixel 3 released in 2018 suffered from mediocre battery life and only had one rear camera in a time when most of the Pixel’s rivals already had two or three rear cams. Meanwhile, the Pixel 4 never really delivered on the promise of its Soli-powered Motion Sense feature, while once again missing out on an ultra-wide camera. And when it comes to the Pixel 5, Google delivered great value for the money, but with the phone firmly positioned as a mid-range device, it never had the performance or guts to really compete with Apple or Samsung’s best.
But with the Pixel 6, it really seems like Google has a renewed focus on hardware. When you combine that with some of the best software in the business, it’s starting to paint a very pretty picture for what the Pixel 6 could be.