In a slightly unusual move from Google, they have teased the two new Pixel 6 phones which likely won’t be officially announced until late September or early October.
It seems Google want to get out ahead of the many leaks and rumours that inevitably flood social media in the weeks prior to launch. However, much of what they have revealed has already been leaked.
While the news is quite exciting (for phone geeks at least), Google hasn’t really revealed much about the phones.
Google Tensor vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 vs Samsung Exynos 2100
The stand out feature of the new phones will use a brand new chipset designed by Google called the Google Tensor.
They haven’t revealed any technical details about the new chipset, but it has been previously rumoured that Google will use the Samsung LSI for the development of semi-custom chipsets.
How custom that is remains to be seen, but Google will be integrating their own AI chip within the SoC, and this is one of the features Google regard as the highlight of the chipset. It will be used to transform the experience for the camera, speech recognition and many other Pixel 6 features.
The big question is, will it be specced like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Samsung Exynos 2100? Both chipsets use the Arm Cortex X1 CPU paired with the A78 in a 1x3x4 configuration.
The Arm Cortex X1 seems to be at least partly responsible for the poor battery life seen on flagship phones this year. So, I would actually quite like to see an all Arm Cortex A78 design used, much like MediaTek.
The design has been previously leaked, the new Google announcement confirmed it. The colours have changed, we now get some subtle two-tone designs in a mixture of greys and pastels. The large camera bar/notch is obviously the talking point of the design. I like it.
Nothing massive to reveal here. The Pixel 6 will have a 6.4” 90Hz AMOLED display the Pro will have a 6.7” 120Hz AMOLED display, which will likely be FHD+ and QHD+ resolution, respectively.
While many people regard the Pixel phones as the best camera phones on the market, the actual physical spec often looks underwhelming. This year, things get changed up. You now have three cameras, a primary sensor, ultra-wide and telephoto with 4x zoom.
The spec of these cameras is unknown, but it has been previously leaked that Google will use new sensors over the 12MP primary sensor they have used the past few times.
The Pixel 6 has the same main and ultra-wide but no zoom.
Pricing & Availability
The only thing Google has announced is that the phones will arrive this autumn. Looking at the Pixel 5, which was announced on the 30th of September with availability from the 15th of October. So, I would guess this will follow a similar launch.
There is also no word on price. This one is a little more tricky, the Pixel 5 launched at £599, but it used quite an old upper-mid range chipset and featured dual cameras.
The previous Pixel 4 had the flagship Snapdragon 888 and sold this for £669.
While it is unknown how Google will position their new Tensor SoC, they are likely to price the phone at flagship pricing levels. Hopefully, on the low to mid-end of the spectrum, so around £899.
I am quite excited about the new phones. The stand out feature is obviously the new Google Tensor SoC which has the potential to be amazing, but could go one way or the other. I hope the custom chipset can offer more power efficiency than the competing flagship chipset, even if this sacrifices performance a little.
It is interesting to see how divisive the Google Pixel phones can be. Many tech reviewers/YouTubers think they are the best devices on the market, but looking at a lot of comments posted on social media and news websites shows a more mixed reaction.
For me, this looks like it could be the best Pixel launch in years, but time will tell.