Whatever you do to the Pixel 5, the fact remains that it is not a true flagship Android phone, which is what we’ve been expecting from every fall Google hardware launch event since the original Pixel. The departure from the Nexus branding marked a watershed moment in Google’s smartphone manufacturing ambitions, with Google aiming to compete with the world’s iPhones and Galaxy flagships better than ever before. In terms of performance, the Pixel 5 was a notable exception. And, while it was a reasonably priced 5G phone, the kind of device that many buyers would appreciate in such a strange year, it wasn’t the most reasonably priced 5G phone on the market. The pandemic hit in early 2020, well before Google unveiled the Pixel 5, but leaks in early 2020 already suggested the handset would not run on the Snapdragon 865 that powered the Galaxy S20 series.
Google intends to revert to the previous order of things for the Pixel a year later. We’ve already seen a few exciting Pixel 6 rumors and renders, all of which indicate that Google’s 2021 Pixels will be flagship devices. The most recent Pixel 6 leak comes from a well-known insider, who revealed a few specific Pixel 6 spec details, indicating that the phones will be the type of true flagships we expect from Google.
Max Weinbach responded to the recent Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro leaks. Weinbach confirmed some of the previous Pixel 6 rumors. The new phones will be available in October, along with the Pixel Watch. Due to chip shortages, the launch could be pushed back to November.
The Pixel 6’s custom chip Whitechapel was mentioned during the interview. The processor was designed by Google, but it will be manufactured by Samsung. Between the 2020 Snapdragon 865 and the 2021 Snapdragon 888, the chip will provide a significant performance boost. This means that the Pixel 6 phones will not be as fast as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, but the upgrade will still be significant. Weinbach stated that the custom design is all about artificial intelligence for Google, implying that there is a significant focus on the NPU.
Aside from the custom NPU, the Pixel 6 phones, like their predecessors, will have custom ISP chips. Aside from the custom ISP chip, the camera sensors should improve camera photography even further. According to recent renders, the larger Pixel 6 Pro will have a triple-lens camera, including a telephoto camera, for better zoom.
Weinbach also stated that there would be more space on the back between the primary camera and the ultrawide camera, implying that the primary sensor would be larger.
The Pixel 6 will be a flagship device for reasons other than its custom chip. According to the leaker, the handset will have an under-display camera, just as rumors suggested a few months ago. The Pixel 6 Pro has a 120Hz QHD+ OLED screen and a 5,000 mAh battery, whereas the Pixel 6 has a 120Hz FHD+ OLED screen and a slightly smaller 4,500 mAh battery. According to the display specifications, the phone will need to have high-end hardware to support that type of high-end screen experience.
Weinbach stated that Google is “going all out” to make the Pixel 6 Pro a true flagship phone, with prices expected to be around $1,000, which is the current market price for a high-end smartphone.
Things could change by October, as is always the case with leaks. However, Pixel leaks are usually accurate because Google has had a difficult time keeping them under control. The closer we get to the next Made by Google hardware event, the more we’ll learn about the Pixel 6’s final design, specs, and pricing.