After months of teasers, leaks and official titbits, we finally have all details of Google’s next-generation flagship smartphone – the Pixel 6. To be offered in two sizes as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, this smartphone is expected to be a turning point for Google in the phone business, as it employs a developed-in-house chip, something Google believes was the missing piece of the puzzle so far.
The Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch FHD+ display with 1080p resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate, while the larger Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.7-inch QHD+ display with a resolution of 1440p and a 120 Hz refresh rate. Displays of both phones sport Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection, with it extending to the back of the Pixel 6 Pro, and both phones are IP68-rated dust- and water-resistant. Android 12 OS comes standard on both devices, as does an in-display fingerprint sensor.
At the heart of the Pixel 6 and Pixel, 6 Pro is the custom-built ‘Tensor’ chip, which comprises two high-power application cores, two midrange cores, four low-power cores, a dedicated coprocessor for security, a private compute core and an image processing core. Google says Tensor was designed to work with its machine learning and artificial intelligence platforms – unlike chips used for older Pixel phones, deemed as the one factor holding back the potential of the phone – and enables Motion Mode, Face Unblur, Speech enhancement mode for videos and applying HDRnet to videos – more on these in a bit.
Google says the Pixel 6 is the most secure Pixel to date. It features Titan M2TM, which works with the Tensor security core to protect sensitive user data, PINs and passwords. Additionally, Google promises five years of security updates for Pixel 6 and 6 Pro buyers.
The Pixel 6 comes with 8 GB of RAM, while the 6 Pro has 12 GB of RAM. The former is offered in 128 GB and 256 GB variants, while the latter can be had with 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB storage.
Battery size is rated at 4,614 mAh for the Pixel 6 and 5,000 mAh for the Pixel 6 Pro, the latter being the most extensive battery yet for a Pixel device. With that giant battery pack, Google promises 24 hours of runtime for the Pixel 6 Pro. Both devices support 30 W fast charging, replenishing the 6 Pro’s battery to 50 per cent inside half an hour.
The rear camera department includes a brand-new 50 MP camera that promises enhanced colour and detail and can capture 150 per cent more light than the Pixel 5’s camera. This shooter is paired with a 12 MP ultrawide lens, and if you opt for the 6 Pro, you also get a 48 MP telephoto camera with 4x optical zoom and 20x Super Res Zoom functionality.
Selfie cameras are different, too – the Pixel 6 has an 8 MP front camera with an 84-degree field of view, while the 6 Pro has an 11.1 MP camera with a 94-degree field of view so that you can fit more friends into that group selfie with the latter.
Both phones can record video at up to 4K 60fps. Google says that by embedding parts of its HDRNet auto HDR processing feature directly onto the Tensor chip, it now works in all video modes for the first time — even at 4K and 60 frames per second — to deliver recordings with more accurate and vivid colours.
The Pixel 6’s ‘Magic Eraser’ feature can detect distractions in photos, like people in the background, power lines and power poles, and suggest what one might want to remove. Then, one can choose to erase them all at once or tap to remove them one by one. And this is not limited to newly captured photos — users will be able to clean up photos taken years ago or on non-Pixel phones.
The Google Pixel 6’s ‘Motion Mode’ features options like Action Pan and Long Exposure, which bring movement to shots. Users can engage in Action Pan to take photos against a blurred background.
To make pictures more equitable and eliminate racial biases that have crept into camera systems over the years, Google has introduced ‘Real Tone’, which brings improved auto-exposure, reduced stray light and minimised blurriness in portraits to make sure pictures look great for people of all races.
Google Pixel 6 users will be able to use their voice to type, edit, and send messages with Assistant voice typing in Messages, Gmail and other apps. The Google Assistant helps add punctuation, make corrections, insert emojis, and send messages entirely based on voice commands.
Live Translate enables Pixel 6 to message people in different languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Japanese. Language detection and processing happens entirely on-device and works even without network connectivity.
With enhanced support for Interpreter mode, users will also take turns translating what is said in up to 48 languages.
For instantaneous Snapchat access, the new Quick Tap to Snap feature – which takes users straight to the Snap camera with a quick double-tap on the back of the phone – will be rolled out exclusively for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this year.
The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be offered in three colour options each – Stormy Black, Kinda Coral and Sorta Seafoam for the former, and Stormy Black, Sorta Sunny and Cloudy White for the latter. Prices for the Pixel 6 in the US range from $599 (around Rs 45,000) for the 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage model, to $699 (around Rs 52,500) for the 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage variant.
As for the Pixel 6 Pro’s price, the range starts at $899 (around Rs. 67,500) for the 128 GB storage model, rises to $999 (nearly Rs. 75,000) for the 256 GB model, and tops out at $1,099 (around Rs 82,500) for the 512 GB storage variant. Orders open today in several markets, with deliveries set to begin on 28 October. However, there is no word on an India launch at this time.