Google Pixel 6 Pro release date, rumours, features and specs

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(Pocket-lint) - Google has confirmed it is working on a number of smartphones, including the Google Pixel 5a 5G, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

You can read all the rumours surrounding the Pixel 5a 5G in our separate feature and we also have a feature for the Pixel 6, but here we are focusing on the confirmed details and the speculation surrounding the Pixel 6 Pro.

Release date and price

  • October 2021
  • Likely flagship price

Google typically reveals its Pixel device in the latter half of the year, normally in October. The company has confirmed the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will arrive in the "fall" but it hasn't gone as far as to announce a release date as yet.  

In terms of price, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL and the Pixel 4 and 4 XL all sat in the same price bracket as flagship smartphones. The Pixel 5 meanwhile, was targeted at the mid-range in terms of price.

It's not currently clear what Google will do in terms of price this year, though it wouldn't be surprising to see the Pixel 6 around the same price as the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 6 Pro more expensive.

Design

  • Prominent horizontal camera housing
  • Triple camera
  • Punch hole front camera
  • Bold colour options

Google released some official images of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro from the rear, with the design confirming several leaked renders and showing quite a big departure from previous Pixel devices. The 6 Pro will follow a similar design to the Pixel 6 but feature three lenses on the rear compared to two.

There is a large, narrow protruding camera housing that spans the width of the phone, separating two colours and Google has said the 6 Pro will have a "light polished aluminium finish". It's shown in the images in three colour options, comprising a yellow and light orange, white and grey and black and dark grey.

Official images only reveal the rear of the device, but leaked renders show a punch hole front camera centralised at the top of the display. The screen is said to be slightly curved at the edges - which you can see in the official side images released by Google. It is also said to feature an under display fingerprint sensor, which makes sense given the physical sensor is no longer present on the rear.

Some rumours also suggested an under-display front camera, but we don't think that will happen for this year's model. 

Display 

  • 6.67-inch/6.71-inch display
  • Curved screen
  • Quad HD+, 120Hz?
  • Under-display fingerprint sensor

According to rumours, the Google Pixel 6 Pro will have either a 6.67-inch display or 6.71-inch display, making it slightly larger than the Pixel 5's screen. It's also larger than the Pixel 4 XL, which had a 6.3-inch display.

We'd expect to see a Quad HD+ resolution on the Pixel 6 Pro, as well as a 120Hz refresh rate, enabling it to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21+, and the OnePlus 9 Pro, though nothing is confirmed as yet.

As mentioned above, an under-display fingerprint sensor is claimed for the Pixel 6 Pro and the display will be slightly curved at the edges.  

Hardware and specs

  • Google own Tensor chip
  • UWB technology
  • 5G connectivity

The Google Pixel 6 Pro will have the company's own system-on-chip, known as Tensor - read more about it here. The chip has a new security core module and Titan M2, plus it's been designed to ensure that all the artificial intelligence and machine learning applications could run on it - from computational photography to real time translation.

Other hardware rumours suggest the Pro will have 12GB of RAM, as well as storage options of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. It's also said to have a 5000mAh battery.

It's expected that the Pixel 6 Pro will be a 5G device and feature ultra-wideband technology.

Cameras

  • Triple camera
  • 4K front camera?
  • Night Sight

The Pixel 6 Pro will have a triple rear camera with a 4x optical telephoto lens. There have been no more official details revealed and the rumours have been varied on the make up so it's not yet known exactly what we will see in terms of composition.

One rumour suggests there will be a 50-megapixel main camera, coupled with an ultra wide-angle camera and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. Another rumour claimed there would be a 50-megapixel main camera, 48-megapixel telephoto camera and 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens. It's said the 50-megapixel sensor could be a the ISOCELL GN1 camera sensor unveiled by Samsung last year.

The front camera is said to be 12-megapixels.

Other rumours have suggested the front camera could off 4K video recording and it's likely we will continue to see features like Night Sight. It's also been claimed there will be a gimbal-like steady camera mode and big improvements to video recording.

Google Pixel 6 Pro rumours: What's happened so far?

Here's everything we have heard about the Pixel 6 Pro so far. 

13 August 2021: Google Pixel 6 hint reveals that camera system could feature a 50MP sensor made by Samsung

A teardown of the Google Camera app has hinted that the Pixel 6 will feature a 50-megapixel sensor developed by Samsung.

2 August 2021: Google confirms Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, powered by Google Tensor

Google officially revealed the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro in a blog post, along with some images and details on the Tensor chip that will run the devices. 

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16 July 2021: Google Pixel 6 Pro could offer 5x zoom from "ultra tele" camera

XDA Developers reported finding evidence in the APK of the latest version of the Google Camera app from the third Android 12 beta that suggests the Pixel 6 Pro could have a 5x zoom from an "ultra tele" camera.

13 July 2021: Google Pixel 6 and 6 XL names appear in developer form

Following the start of this year's Google for Games Developer Summit, where new tools for Android game developers were revealed, the Pixel 6 and, interestingly, the Pixel 6 XL both appeared on a form for a new game mode API, spotted by XDA Developers.

9 July 2021: Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro specs revealed in new leak

Jon Prosser from FrontPageTech shared some of the missing specifications for the Google Pixel 6 Pro, including RAM and camera details.

28 May 2021: More Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro camera details leak out

Leaker FrontTron claimed on Twitter that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro would feature a larger Samsung camera sensor, a gimbal-like steady cam mode and big video recording improvements.

Pixel 6 stuff

Gimbal like steady cam mode
Bigger Samsung sensor, Google custom NPU and ISP -> better than pixel 5
Big improvements in video

— Tron (@FrontTron) May 26, 2021

25 May 2021: More Google Pixel 6, 6 Pro and 5a 5G details revealed in leak

Max Weinbach discussed the performance of Google's Whitechapel chip on a podcast, along with revealing some other details.

21 May 2021: Google Pixel 6 Pro's radical design rendered once again

Serial leaker OnLeaks shared some Pixel 6 Pro renders, following on the renders published by Jon Prosser. They show a similar design but offer some more details, including rhe 6 Pro's screens size and a few more angles.

19 May 2021: Pixel 6 model numbers discovered in Android 12 Beta

Details about unreleased devices have been uncovered in the Android 12 Beta.

18 May 2021: Google announced Android 12 at Google I/O

Google announced Android 12 during its I/O developer conference, revealing a huge redesign. The company also referenced "fall" for the Pixels launch, as well as hinting that we'd see UWB in a future Pixel handset.

14 May 2021: Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro renders show radical change in design

Jon Prosser published some renders of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, in collaboration with with @RendersbyIan. According to Prosser, the renders have been created based on actual photographs of the real product, not from schematics.

6 May 2021: Pixel 6 to feature custom 'Whitechapel' chip?

Further evidence suggests Google is working on custom Whitechapel chip that will go into the Pixel 6.

4 May 2021: Pixel 6 might rival iPhone 12 by offering UWB connectivity

XDA's Mishaal Rahman shared on Twitter that Google is experimenting with UWB support on an upcoming device codenamed Raven, which could be the Pixel 6. 

30 April 2021: Google is working on UWB connectivity, possibly for Pixel 6 family

9to5Google reported that Google was experimenting with putting UWB technology into its Android hardware, speculating this would be found in the Pixel 6 phones.

5 April 2021: Pixel 6 might be powered by a Google-designed 'GS101' processor

9to5Google claimed Google is developing two phones with an Arm-based "GS101" processor, codenamed "Whitechapel".

2 April 2021: Pixel 6 may use Google-made chip instead of Qualcomm processor

XDA Developers reported Google is working on new GS101 silicon for its 2021 Pixel phones. It said: "The SoC will feature a 3 cluster setup with a TPU (Tensor Processing Unit). Google also refers to its next Pixel devices as "dauntless-equipped phones", which we believe refers to them having an integrated Titan M security chip (code-named Citadel)."

17 March 2021: Android 12 DP2 hints at a future Pixel device with an under-display fingerprint scanner

XDA Developers reported spotting evidence in Android 12 code that suggests the Pixel 6 could come with an under-display fingerprint scanner. 

9 March 2021: Google Pixel 6 likely to adopt centered hole punch camera, 4K selfie video

9to5Google dug into an update to the Google Pixel camera app that suggests the Pixel 6 could adopt centralised punch hole camera and support 4K video recording.

18 February 2021: Android 12 code might give away some Pixel 6 features

XDA Developer's Mishaal Rahman tweeted some features he found in the Android 12 developer code suggesting UI changes make it more one-handed friendly and there was some talk of under-display fingerprint scanner support alongside facial recognition too.

Now that the embargo has lifted, here's my running thread of changes I've found in Android 12 Developer Preview 1.

— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 18, 2021

1 December 2020: Patent suggests under-display front camera on future Pixel phone

A patent for a future Pixel phone was spotted by Patently Apple showing no visible front camera.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 24 May 2021.

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