Update, July 8, 2021 (12:00 AM ET): We’ve recently updated the Google Pixel 6 rumor hub below with some info about possible specs. We’ve also heard some rumors related to an extended update schedule. Read on for all the latest!
Original article: The Google Pixel 5 marked a return to form for Google’s flagships. It sought to put the polarizing Pixel 4 series behind it and deliver a well-rounded and affordable flagship phone. With the Pixel 5’s first year winding down, all eyes now are on the follow-up, tentatively known as the Google Pixel 6.
Below, you’ll find every credible rumor we’ve heard so far about the next entry in the Pixel line. Be sure to bookmark this page, as we will update it with Google Pixel 6 information as soon as it lands!
Name and release date
Since the first Pixel launch in 2016, Google hasn’t altered its naming strategy. Even when it introduced the first “a” series device with the Pixel 3a, it kept to the numbered naming system it’s had since day one. As such, we are pretty confident the Google Pixel 6 would be the name of the next entry in the line.
However, there is a significant change expected for the processor of this next phone (see further down). There are also rumors the design could see a wild revamp. These could be sizable enough changes that Google would feel it appropriate to start a new naming scheme. We haven’t heard anything to suggest that, though, so we’re sticking with the Pixel 6 name until we hear otherwise.
It's a safe bet that Google will stick to its current naming scheme for the next Pixel flagship.
As far as a release date goes, Google has launched every single Pixel phone in the Fall, usually in early October. The only anomaly in this trend is last year’s Pixel 5, which launched at the very end of September. Regardless, a launch date around the end of September or early October is what we’re betting on for now.
Google Pixel 6 design
Recently, we saw some leaked renders that could be the Google Pixel 6 line. We say “line” there because the renders suggest there could be a Pro model in the works, too.
These renders come from reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer. His track record is excellent, so we are quite confident that this is what the phone will actually look like. Check out the renders for the Pro model below:
With just a glance, you can tell that these renders suggest Google might be doing a lot of new things with the Pixel line. The whole look of the phone has been completely revamped in these renders, with everything from the camera bump to the display cutout seeing changes.
As far as the vanilla model goes, it appears to be of a similar design but with a flat display, a smaller body, and minus a camera lens:
Incidentally, evidence appeared within an early launch of Android 12 that suggests a Pixel with an in-display fingerprint scanner is on the way, which lines up with these renders. Additionally, we also have evidence to suggest that an upcoming Pixel phone could have a centered selfie camera cutout. This would be a departure from the left-aligned cutout we’ve seen on the most recent Pixels and also lines up with these renders.
What is ‘Whitechapel’?
So far, the biggest rumor related to the Pixel 6 is the potential inclusion of a new, custom chipset, codenamed “Whitechapel.” This chipset would be unique to the Pixel 6, co-created by Google and Samsung (and even feature a Mali GPU). Unfortunately, that’s about all we know about it. But we can infer a few things here, too.
By far, the most important rumor so far related to this phone is the secret 'Whitechapel' chipset.
First, this would be Google’s first-ever attempt to make smartphone silicon. Therefore, it is unreasonable to assume that the company would come out of the gate with something better than the industry-leading Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Apple A14 Bionic. Instead, we expect to see something better than a general mid-range chip but beneath crazy-fast flagship chips.
This theory is bolstered by a rumor that the Google Pixel 5a could land with the Snapdragon 765G — the same chipset in the Pixel 5. If that ends up panning out, that would mean Google is confident that the Pixel 6 “Whitechapel” chip is better than the SD765G.
Google Pixel 6: Other specs
Raw specs have never been a focus for Pixel phones. As such, you can rest assured that the Google Pixel 6 will almost certainly not be a specs beast. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be weak, either.
We have some shaky spec rumors from Front Page Tech. Here’s what they say could be onboard:
Google Pixel 6 (Codename: Oriel)
- Screen size: 6.4 inches
- Display: AMOLED
- Front cam: 8MP
- Battery: 4,614mAh
- Processor: Whitechapel
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128GB / 256GB
- OS: Android 12
Google Pixel 6 Pro (Codename: Raven)
- Screen size: 6.71 inches
- Display: Plastic OLED
- Front cam: 12MP
- Battery: 5,000mAh
- Processor: Whitechapel
- RAM: 12GB
- Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
- OS: Android 12
We’re not sure what “Plastic OLED” means. However, most of these specs seem realistic, especially when you keep in mind the specs of the Google Pixel 5.
We also have evidence to suggest the new Pixels could support ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. However, we don’t have any idea what that could mean yet. We also have evidence surrounding the haptic features of Android 12 and how they could apply to a Pixel 6.
Interestingly, Front Page Tech also claims that Google plans to offer five years of software updates to the Pixel 6 series. Considering the Whitechapel rumors, this seems like it could be possible. This would cause the Pixel series to match the update schedule offered by Apple for iPhones, too.
Google Pixel 6 cameras
Hemmerstoffer’s renders show a vanilla model with two rear lenses and a Pro model with three. Unfortunately, we can’t say for certain what kind of lenses these are. However, one of the Google Pixel 6 Pro lenses is almost certainly a periscope telephoto.
If we accept that assumption, then the other lenses would undoubtedly be an ultra-wide lens and the main sensor. Those two lenses would likely transfer to the vanilla model so that the periscope lens is what differentiates the two.
There are rumors that the main sensor could be a 50MP shooter. This would heavily suggest that Google would finally be upgrading its sensor for the first time since the Pixel 3 series. However, this rumor doesn’t have very strong legs at the moment.
Regardless, it’s clear Google intends to update its hardware significantly with the Pixel 6 series. When you combine this with its unrivaled software, the Pixel 6 series could be some of the best phones of the year when it comes to photos.
Price and availability
One of the aspects of the most recent Pixel phones that’s made them so successful is pricing. Even though the Pixel 5 wasn’t “cheap,” it certainly undercuts most competitors.
As such, we would be surprised if Google plans to make the Pixel 6 an expensive phone. It’s likely that the vanilla model could be more expensive than the Pixel 5, but it should come in far under the $1,000 range we see with lots of flagships. Of course, if the Pixel 6 Pro actually exists, that would inevitably be the more expensive device. It’s possible it could push into premium flagship pricing territory.
Availability, though, could be tricky. Google has never been good about bringing Pixel phones to tons of regions around the globe. On top of that, the ongoing global chip shortage could make the distribution even within its core markets tricky.
We’ll certainly have more information on this as we get closer to the Fall!
That’s everything we’ve got so far on the Google Pixel 6! Be sure to check back soon as we will update this with more rumors as they land.