Google Pixel 6 with Tensor SoC and 50 MP primary camera launched in eight countries starting from US$599, 5G mmWave available only in the US
It's finally here. Google's much anticipated Pixel 6 series has launched in two flavors — the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro — and is available for pre-order now. Google originally showed off the Pixel 6 series back in August, but today's Pixel Fall Event is where we get to know what actually makes these phones tick.
The Pixel 6 sports a 6.4-inch FHD+ non-LTPO display with a 90 Hz refresh rate. Protecting the display is Corning Gorilla Glass Victus (the back is protected by Gorilla Glass 6). The Pixel 6 also marks Google embracing in-display fingerprint sensor tech that has been the staple of Android flagships for several years now. Facial unlock is curiously not available, at least at launch. A dedicated Titan M2 enclave on Tensor enables overall device security.
Like its Pro sibling, the Pixel 6 features the horizontal camera bar that stands out in the design. Apart from design aesthetics, the camera bar also allows Google to incorporate a much larger sensor that is now 2.5x bigger than previous iterations.
Unlike the Pixel 6 Pro, however, the Pixel 6 offers only a dual-camera system comprised of a 50 MP primary wide camera and a 12 MP ultra-wide lens with a 114° field of view. There's no 48 MP telephoto sensor that is seen in the Pixel 6 Pro, though we do get to see an LDAF sensor. The selfie camera is a centered 8 MP shooter unlike the 11.1 MP one available in the Pixel 6 Pro.
Google offers the Pixel 6 with 8 GB RAM along with 128 GB and 256 GB storage options. Powering the device is Google's new custom-built Tensor SoC. Google is pitching the Tensor chip as much more than just a conventional SoC. The company did not place much emphasis on the actual specifications of the chip itself although it does seem to offer more muscle than Qualcomm's current flagship, the Snapdragon 888. Instead, Google is focusing on real-world applications and on-device AI capabilities such as Face Deblur, Magic Eraser, enhanced voice typing, etc. that are powered by Tensor.
Other features include wireless fast charging of the 4,614 mAh battery for which Google claims a runtime north of 24 hours. 5G support is available across all models, but there's a catch. While 5G sub-6 connectivity comes by default on the Pixel 6 GB7N6 that will be available worldwide and GR1YH in Japan, 5G mmWave will only be available on the G9S9B model that is limited to AT&T and Verizon in the US.
Needless to say, the Pixel 6 comes with Android 12 out-of-the-box. Google is promising at least three years of major Android updates and five years of security updates. There is a slim possibility that Google may extend major Android releases beyond the promised period, but that depends on the feature set and required hardware capability.
The Google Pixel 6 will be available in Stormy Black, Sorta Seafoam, and Kinda Coral color options starting from US$599, which is actually US$100 lower than the Pixel 5's launch price of US$699. Pre-orders are now live with shipping slated to begin on October 28 in the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the UK, Japan, and Taiwan.