This week, Google finally gave us a date for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launch. On October 19, the company will take the virtual stage to show off its latest flagship phones, but even that announcement is not going to stop the leaks from coming.
Today, Evan Blass (a.k.a. @evleaks) let forth with a torrent of new photos that appear to be marketing images from Google confirming a number of existing rumors and showing us a few new features as well.
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Blass has an excellent track record and the volume and quality of the photos in this leak make it highly likely that these are legitimate. But as always with leaks, you should take them with a grain of salt. With that out of the way, let's take a closer look at these photos.
Pixel 6 Pro cameras
The biggest reveal is a diagram with a breakdown of the cameras on the Pixel 6 Pro. It shows the same 50MP wide-angle, 12MP ultrawide and a somewhat astonishing 48MP telephoto that we've heard about in rumors for a few months now. I had my doubts about that last one. It is going to be very interesting to find out what Google can do with that high megapixel count paired with four times optical zoom. Given Google's prowess with computational photography, it could offer something akin to the 100x digital zoom you see on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, despite that phone having a much stronger 10x optical zoom.
While there is no corresponding diagram for the Pixel 6, we know that it simply drops the telephoto of the Pixel 6 Pro, so it will feature the same 50MP wide-angle and 12MP ultrawide.
Pixel 6 charging
A few images in the series give us a look at the updated charging options for the Pixel 6, although they don't confirm anything about the actual specs of these products. The new Pixel Stand looks much more substantial than the original, which is likely the result of the rumored fan inside to unlock the full 23W wireless charging. This is hinted at by the "Performance Mode" and "Quiet Mode" options seen on the Pixel 6 screen. As with the original Pixel Stand, you are seeing a special mode for the phone when it is placed on the stand that is presumably exclusive to Pixels.
While it won't be in the box with the Pixel 6, we get a look at Google's new charger that will allegedly offer 33W fast-charging. It's a UK charger in the photo, but it looks largely physically unchanged from the previous Pixel charger.
Pixel 6 security options
Turning to actual features of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, a series of screens showing security options confirm that the phones will feature both facial recognition and fingerprint unlock. These will be the first Pixels to offer both after the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL went all-in on facial recognition before subsequent Pixels shifted back to fingerprint sensors.
Given what we've seen of the front-facing camera on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, there doesn't appear to be the hardware to offer that as a secure unlocked method, meaning apps with higher security requirements likely will still force you to use fingerprint unlock.
Pixel 6 widgets
Another software feature revealed in the images are contextual widgets that, according to Mishaal Rahman of XDA Developers, are referred to as "Live Space" widgets in the Android 12 code. The example shown here is a QR code for a boarding pass on a flight.
Some of Google's Pixel 6 ads have stressed just how "intuitive" and "perceptive" the Pixel 6 is compared to other phones. While this functionality certainly exists elsewhere, it's a nice example of the phone's smarts.
Pixel 6 cases
While images of rain-soaked Pixels presumably are showing off their IP68 water resistance, that doesn't mean that they don't need cases. Google's own case makes an appearance in one of the photos and is notable for how seamlessly it matches the phone itself.
The photo is presumably of the yellow and peach Pixel 6 Pro and it isn't immediately obvious that there is a case on it until you look closer and realize the camera array isn't as pronounced as it should be and the two-tone effect is gone with a uniform bronze color to the case. Assuming it is similar to Google's silicon case for the Pixel 5a, it should offer reasonable protection without adding too much bulk.
That's all we could glean from the images, but given the already considerable knowledge that we had of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the picture is almost complete. The full camera details are still unknown, but at this point, the biggest piece of the Pixel 6 that remains a mystery is the Tensor chip. We've seen claims regarding its raw performance, but that's only part of the story and Google will finally give us the rest on October 19.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.