Google Pixel 6 release date, price and specs rumours

When will the Google Pixel 6 be released?

As the Google Pixel 5 is still relatively new, there has yet to be any confirmation from Google that a Pixel 6 will even exist. But, as the Pixel range seems to be going from strength to strength, we’re quite convinced that the yearly update to the line-up will take place in 2021.

Usually, the new flagship Pixel arrives either right at the end of September or mid-October. For example, the Pixel 3 arrived on 18 October 2018, this was followed by the Pixel 4 which made its debut on October 15 2019, and was succeeded by the Pixel 5 on 30 September 2020.

We have a rumoured date of 11 June for the Pixel 5a but Google is unlikely to launch the two together. So, it looks very likely that the Pixel 6 will turn up around this time in 2021. 

How much will the Google Pixel 6 cost?

Pricing is a bit less reliable when looking at past releases. Back in 2018 the Pixel 3 came with a price tag set at £739/$799, but when the Pixel 4 came along its price was £669/$799. The cost of ownership dropped even lower with the Pixel 5, which you can buy at the time of writing for £599/$699.

Google Pixel 6 RRU

Google Pixel 6 RRU

Sadly, we don’t see this descending trend continuing, as Google seems to now have its pricing strategy in place. With the Pixel 4a at £349/$349, Pixel 4a 5G at £499/$499 and Pixel 5 at £599/$699, we think this how things will stay when the Pixel 6 arrives next year. Simply change the model numbers to fit the appropriate price band.

Interestingly, these tiers put the three devices directly up against the iPhone, which offers the iPhone SE at £399/$399, the iPhone XR at £499/$499 and iPhone 11 at £599/$599.

What new features will appear in the Google Pixel 6?

There’s not much known about the next Pixel flagship, but one rumour that has been reported all across the tech press is that Google has been working closely with Samsung to design a customer processor that will make its debut in the Pixel 6.

This would allow Google to move away from any restraints it currently feels under Qualcomm’s processors and position it closer to Apple, which has been making its own chips for a few years now. Having that kind of control over how the phone works in both the hardware and software realms, could prove a huge breakthrough for the Pixel range.

Google has already dipped its toes in these waters, having designed custom chips for security (the Titan M) and image processing (Pixel Neural Core), so it’s a natural step to see the brain of the Pixel range making the conversion.

News of this is ramping up with 9to5Google reporting that the Pixel 6 phones – codenamed ‘Raven’ and ‘Oriole’ – will be part of a “Slider” platform which will also include new Chromebooks. While one will likely be the Pixel 6, the other could be a Pixel 5a 5G.

These will run on the GS101 “Whitechapel” chip (GS likely meaning Google Silicon) which will share Samsung Exynos design and architecture as well as some software components.

We’ve almost got confirmation of this homegrown chip as XDA has noticed a Google engineer has responded to someone talking about Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code mentioning the ‘P21’ (likely the Pixel 6) and ‘whitechapel’.

The cameras have become one of the main reasons for buying a Pixel in recent generations, but even though the Pixel 5 swapped a telephoto lens for an ultra-wide, it could be time for Google to bring new optics to the 2021 release.

For instance, the ultra-wide maxes out at 107 degrees, which is tighter than the 120 degrees that is now pretty much standard in that category. So, it would make sense for the Pixel 6 to compete head-to-head on this territory with a true ultra-wide.

One rumour, via GSMArena, suggests that Google will move the front camera on the Pixel 6 to a middle-alignment instead of having it in the corner. They also say it will be able to record 4K video.

One other first for the Pixel series might be an in-display fingerprint scanner. The second developer preview of Android 12 revealed a new code class labelled ‘UdfpsControllerGoogle’ – with ‘Udfps’ referring to ‘Under-display fingerprint scanner’. This might not mean anything, but the code is found in the system path usually used for Pixel phones, suggesting that Google is prepping the software for an upcoming Pixel device, and not simply shoring up Android’s general support for the under-display tech.

We’re still many months away from the arrival of the Google Pixel 6, so anything could happen between now and then. If you want to keep an eye on the latest rumours regarding the phone, check back here regularly as we’ll be updating the article as news appear.

In the meantime, check out our review of the Google Pixel 5 and our roundup of the best Pixel 5 deals.

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