Google officially announces the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro (again) - everything is brand-new

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Google officially announces the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
The wait is finally over! After countless leaks and rumors, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are official (again). Today Google raised the curtain on its new flagship phones, confirming some of the rumors and debunking others.

This is the second official announcement after the company showcased both phones back in August, months before today’s Pixel Fall Launch event.

With the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Google has made the biggest leap in the series since the old Nexus times. The new phones come with a brand-new design, custom-made Tensor chips, improved camera systems, bigger batteries, great software features, and pretty decent price tags.

Design - behold the Camera Bar


The design of the Pixel 6 and its bigger sibling is the most radical departure from Google’s design philosophy in the past few years. There’s nothing new here, as Google already put its new phones on the catwalk back in August.

This time around, Google has gone for the glass sandwich design, abandoning the polycarbonate-coated aluminum of the Pixel 5. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro sport a metal frame sandwiched between Gorilla Victus glass. It’s made from polished aluminum on the Pixel 6 and matte aluminum on the Pixel 6 Pro.

The selfie cameras are now positioned in the center on both models, but the Pixel 6 Pro features a curved display with thinner bezels than the flat one found on the regular Pixel 6.

The biggest change can be found on the back of both devices, though. Google has opted for a three-tone design and a long camera strip spanning across the back of the devices. Google calls it Camera Bar. It’s a neat design solution - the camera strip is black, placed in a metal housing and it follows the curvature of the phones when it reaches the sides.

Below the camera strip, we find the main color accent of the phone - the back is colored in pastel tones with the G logo in the center. Above the strip lies a small element that accentuates the main color in a more vivid and bright manner.

Display


Google is entering the LTPO high refresh rate display territory with the new Pixel 6 series. The Pixel 6 Pro sports a 6.7-inch Smooth Display placed under a sheet of Gorilla Glass Victus. It has QHD+ resolution with the aforementioned LTPO variable refresh rate technology, capable of going all the way up to 120Hz for the smoothest scrolling and down to 10Hz when possible in order to conserve battery.

The Pixel 6 on the other hand comes equipped with a 6.4-inch Smooth Display with FHD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. Smooth Display uses clever AI wizardry to automatically adjust various parameters and optimize for the best viewing experience and battery performance.

There's an under-display fingerprint sensor in both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and both phones are IP68 rated. 

Hardware - the mysterious Tensor chip


One of the most exciting features of the new Pixel 6 lineup, without a shadow of a doubt, is the custom-made Tensor chip. It’s a bold move from Google, saying goodbye to the comfort and predictability of the Snapdragon silicon and taking a leap of faith into the unknown territory of custom chip architecture.

Google promises 80% better performance compared to the previous generation Pixel 5 and this applies to both devices for the CPU and up to 370% better GPU performance. The Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro both use the same custom-built Tensor chip with an additional custom image processor and Titan M2 security chip.

“Google Tensor is the biggest mobile hardware innovation in the history of the company. It’s the culmination of years of investment in AI, and Google’s deep experience in silicon.”
said Rick Osterloh during the event. 

Google Pixel 6 specs at a glance:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, 1080p, OLED, 90Hz refresh rate
  • Chip: Tensor chip 2x 2.8 GHz X1, 2x2.25 GHz A78, and 4x1.8 GHz A55 cores
  • ARM Mali-G78 GPU
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB
  • Battery: 4,614mAh
  • Rear cameras: 50MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide

Google Pixel 6 Pro specs at a glance:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, 1440p, LTPO OLED, 120Hz-10Hz variable refresh rate
  • Chip: Tensor chip 2x 2.8 GHz X1, 2x2.25 GHz A78, and 4x1.8 GHz A55 cores
  • ARM Mali-G78 GPU
  • Memory: 12GB
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
  • Battery: 5,003mAh
  • Rear cameras: 50MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 48MP periscope telephoto with 4x optical zoom

Camera


The camera system is one of the most important features of every modern smartphone, and Google knows this. The company has upgraded the cameras in the new Pixel 6 phones, opting for a large 50MP 1/1.3 inch sensor for the main camera on both devices, capable of capturing more detail, colors, and up to 150% more light, compared to the previous generation for even better Night Sight photos.

The ultra-wide camera has been upgraded as well, to offer an even wider angle and catch more of the outside world in the frame. The Pixel 6 Pro comes with an extra camera and it’s a 48MP periscope system capable of 4x optical zoom and up to 20x zoom in Google Super Res mode. The new Tensor chip also allows for 4K HDR@60fps videos.

There are also some neat features to expand your photography horizons. Smart tools such as the new Magic Eraser, Face Ublurr, the Portrait Mode and Motion Mode are baked into the camera app of the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to help you take that perfect shot.

The Magic Eraser feature is pretty interesting - it’s a retoucher that removes unwanted objects from your photos - such as strangers unintentionally (or intentionally) photobombing you or vehicles or buildings that aren’t supposed to be in the frame.

Face Ublur uses clever algorithms to sharpen faces if you fail to focus on time, and Motion Mode stacks some frames to add additional depth to the photos you take and animate them.

Software and features


Google is launching the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with Android 12 on board, and the company bets on a fresh new look to go with all the hardware upgrades. The Material You design philosophy is deeply rooted in the new devices.

This is reflected in the way wallpapers can change the overall look of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro interface. If you need to personalize your Pixel all you have to do is pick a wallpaper of your choice and the system will adjust all the interface elements accordingly.

There’s more to the new software than just eye candy. The whole system learns from the user and adapts to be as effective and efficient as possible. At a Glance for example shows apps and information in context with where you are and what you do - showing your boarding pass on the home screen when you arrive at the airport, etc.

A real-time translation feature has been baked into both devices and it can translate chats, podcast captions, and images into up to 55 languages. And most importantly, the feature is part of the internal processing algorithms and will work even without an internet connection. There's also a new Voice Type feature that allows you to dictate text messages with great accuracy.

Security


Privacy and security have been hot topics in the mobile tech industry in the past months. With the new Pixels, Google is trying to address both issues. There’s a brand-new Tensor security core, and Titan M2 security chip baked into the Tensor SoC that takes care of sensitive information like passwords and 2FA keys.

Another helpful feature is the Security Hub - it allows users to glance over all the security settings and even gives recommendations on which ones to turn on and how to improve your security.

Transparency is another key area baked into the new devices. With the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro people will be able to control which apps use the mics and cameras of their phones and turn them off if necessary.

The security update cycle has also been updated. Every Pixel 6 user will get five years of security updates.

Price and release date

After tons of speculation about the price of the new Pixels, we have the official numbers and they're pretty exciting. The new Pixel 6 start at just $599, while the bigger Pro model starts at $899. The phones will be available on store shelves with all major U.S. carriers starting on October 28

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