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Pixel 6: After 13 years, Android is finally getting its own iPhone

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Pixel 6: After 13 years, Android is finally getting its own iPhone
Some smartphone brands die (LG), and some get reborn. It seems like Google's finally decided to make an effort and fight for its life (really, customer satisfaction and revenue).

It's not a secret that the Nexus and later Pixel phones were always just vehicles for Google's Android software. Regardless of the lacklustre hardware on phones like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4, they were still the best way to show off Google’s vision for Android in its full glory.

Now, the recently-leaked Pixel 6 & 6 Pro, coming later this year running Android 12, are telling a perfectly different story. Take it with a pinch of salt, as these leaked images aren’t surefire, but this design says: "I'm here to play". Google will do a bunch of things that it's never done before, and some of them emulate what another Silicon Valley neighbor has been doing for a while.

Add some Apple sauce


For starters, Google is making its own Apple Watch competitor - the Pixel Watch. However, that’s only the beginning.

Apple introduced the iPhone 11 Pro with three cameras on the back in 2019. The 11 series was a great success (no Borat pun intended), but multiple-camera phones have been around for a while. Nevertheless, Google has decided to put the Pixel 6 Pro on par with the iPhone 12 Pro series by giving the upcoming flagship a primary, ultra-wide, and what might be a telephoto camera for zoom and portraits.

Another similarity between the new Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro (and likely iPhone 13 Pro) will be that all of them will run on an in-house built processor. While that's not news for Apple, Google is said to use a unique chip on a Pixel phones for the first time ever!


The benefits of a custom-built chip

This shouldn't be underestimated. A custom-built chip allows the company to take full control of its software and hardware. If we judge by the iPhone, that's a recipe for success. It'll be much easier for Google to optimize the performance of Android on a chip built for the Pixel rather than any Android smartphone.

Google's internal operation should become much more seamless, which in turn should result in more efficiency, meaning we might start seeing more innovative hardware and software updates from the company, unlike the last few years.

Processing power is at the core of virtually every critical part of the smartphone performance: speed, security, display, battery, and of course, camera quality.

We won't have a high-refresh-rate Pixel or iPhone display if the processor isn't powerful enough to handle it, just like we won't see many camera improvements if processors aren't upgraded year after year. Camera sensors and software trickery (which Google is a king of) are just part of the whole picture.

The search-engine creator has been reluctant to change the camera sensors on the last few Pixel devices, resulting in a strong lead for the competition in camera quality and versatility. The brilliant camera processing on the Pixel 5 is there, but at this point, it only manages to mask up the dated camera sensors and mid-range chipset, which hold the phone back, while they are meant to elevate it.

Make Google great (again)

The Pixel-maker had success before - all models from the Nexus lineup had their own identity. Moreover, back in the day the Nexus 6P (made by Huawei) was an achievement on many levels - it had stock Android, a big beautiful display, great stereo speakers, and the best camera on the market (at least for photos).

Unfortunately for the company, it's not 2015 anymore, and Huawei isn't even allowed to use Google apps, let alone manufacture a phone for Google.

Despite the fact that from the front, the Pixel 6 looks like the Galaxy Note 20, and the back looks like all Nexus and Pixel phones had a baby, really it’s more of an Android iPhone than anything else, thanks to Google’s full control on its software and hardware.

As we know, desperate times call for desperate measures, redesigns, and original processors. Let's see if the Pixel 6 can bring back Google's glory days.
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