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May 21, 2021

🌞 Good morning! Note of housekeeping that this newsletter will be back Tuesday! Monday is a day off here and I can't wait to get some sun!

Google Pixel 6 Pro drops again

A week after initial Pixel 6 Pro renders dropped, the well-respected OnLeaks drops another series of Pixel 6 Pro renders, along with the base Pixel 6, that add confirmations and a few tweaks to what’s being reported.

My colleague C. Scott Brown said the spec jump makes it seem like “the Pixel 6 Pro could be a love letter to Pixel fans,” and there’s a lot to like.

Before talking it over, here are the 6 Pro specs according to leaks:

  • The Google Pixel 6 Pro looks like it’ll have dimensions of 163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm, with a curved 6.67-inch OLED display, and selfie camera holepunch.
  • The rear camera module looks to have three lenses, including a periscope lens for optical zoom, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
  • All those cameras mean a big ol’ 11.5mm thick camera bump.

What it means:

  • This is the biggest design change in the Pixel series line. It’s a big step away from its roots, which included some almost stubborn elements, like the fingerprint sensor on the back, the same camera sensor hardware, and so on.
  • The camera bump tells us a story: the bigger the bump, the more camera hardware packed in. It may be that Google is making improvements, but isn’t going all-out, and not as aggressive as we see from Samsung and Huawei. That would fit where Google sits in the smartphone game.
  • The design confirmations we see here have some split opinions. While the camera bump running horizontally across the back is somewhat unique, it could very well be mistaken for a second-rate OEM design*. Aside from the two-tone color scheme, it doesn’t offer the usual Googley playfulness. Then again, that wasn’t exactly present in the Pixel 3a and 4a, while the Pixel 5 wasn’t overly whimsical either.
  • That’s about where we are with the generic glass slab situation though.
  • The Android 12 design ethos around Material You may or may not pervade to the phone. Google is suggesting Material You is all about customization, so in theory, a Pixel 6 will have a wider range of color options.
  • Still, it is a welcome change from Pixel 3, 4, and 5.
  • *A reminder, though: the happy circumstance is that almost always, phones look better in real life than in CAD-renders (except maybe those official and sometimes misleading marketing renders)

Pixel 6 renders also dropped:

  • Most of the same thoughts apply, though the Pixel 6 doesn’t seem like it will be anything as cut-down as the “A” editions (eg, the Pixel 4a) compared to the flagship.
  • The smaller non-Pro Google Pixel 6 features one less camera and goes for a 6.4-inch flat display with the same in-display fingerprint sensor.
  • It likely won’t include the periscope camera to give the Pro a clear edge.

Also: Google Pixel 6 may vibe with your ringtones thanks to Android 12 API (wait, who uses a ringtone?)


💸 The best-selling Android phone was crushed by the iPhone 12, an all-too familiar foe, in Q1 2021 (Android Authority).

⚡ Google’s first-ever permanent retail store will open this summer in NYC (Android Authority).

OnePlus Watch with Cyberpunk 2077 styling is coming this month (Android Authority).

😎 Snap debuts Spectacles 4.0: true AR glasses that show the potential (and limitations) of AR. 30 min battery life, and not on sale… (Ars Technica).

📺 Roku and YouTube are battling for your precious TV data, because it is worth a fortune (Wired).

⚖️ Epic v. Apple: “Apple accuses Microsoft of using Epic in legal attack(Bloomberg).

🔫 Overwatch 2 will pit five-person teams against each other, as the current 6v6 setup in Overwatch moves away from two tanks (Engadget).

🦠 Let’s all keep calm, but this is uniquely newsworthy at this point: “New coronavirus detected in patients at Malaysian hospital, source may be dogs” (NPR).

💉 Dating apps are encouraging users to get vaccinated with the promise of more matches (The Verge).

🤔 “What is something that sounds futuristic but is happening now?” (r/askreddit). Some cool stuff happening when you think about it: 3D printed organs, that little helicopter flying autonomously on Mars, levitating hotdogs (see below)

Friday Fun

Gaze upon this levitating hot dog cooking gadget, writes Mashable, which managed to find YouTuber NightHawkInLight inventing, well, whatever this is.

  • This hotdog hoverings via a stream of compressed air, thanks to the Coandă effect, something that comes up all over the place at unexpected times, including in Formula 1. (The Monaco Grand Prix is this week, by the way!)
  • The crucial element here is that the hotdog is round.

Roundly yours,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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